Saturday, February 19, 2011

Financial Devo

When preparing for this devotion I tried to decide what exactly to speak on in the whole wide world of financial stewardship.

After taking the Dave Ramsey class, twice, it became abundantly clear what is important to us women.


We want to feel secure, taken care of, provided for.  I want to know that my husband is going to go to work tomorrow, a month from now, a year from now, ten years from now.  I want to know that he will provide for his family.  I want security that I can take care of what's in the house, including the people, and Jared will provide a way to keep the house through his hard work and diligence. 

After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 says:

New International Version (©1984)
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We women are quick to place financial hardship on the shoulders of the men in our lives completely ignoring the vital role we play.

Which of you are responsible for your family's checkbook?  Who pays the bills?

The security that we seek can be destroyed by our own hands.  Are we being good stewards over the money that we and our husbands provide?  Are we supportive of our spouses when they try to control superfluous spending or do we buck against rules and guidelines?  Is "retail therapy" your drug of choice?

The first step in securing your security is to recognize that all we have is not ours.

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it (Deuteronomy 10:14).

For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).
The world is mine, and all that is in it (Psalm 50:12).

"The silver is mine and the gold is mine," declares the LORD Almighty (Haggai 2:8).

It all belongs to Him.

When you control your checkbook understanding that the balance does not belong to you it changes things.  Dishonest behavior, such as… Spending money while hiding purchases from your spouse takes on a new more serious.  Manipulating your spouse in order to get approval for purchases you know are unnecessary, all while spending God's money creates conviction.

Why would you purposefully undermine your marriage?  Sabotaging your own security like this is removing your foundation one brick at a time.

Proverbs 31 speaks of a noble woman of character.  She works hard to add to her family's security.

11 Her husband can trust her,
      and she will greatly enrich his life.
 12 She brings him good, not harm,
      all the days of her life.

She busies herself making her earnings stretch.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
      with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
 17 She is energetic and strong,
      a hard worker.
 18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
      her lamp burns late into the night.

It is not uncommon for us broken women to look at the Proverbs 31 passage and feel it unattainable so we dismiss it all together.  Let alone those who are too broken or selfish to even try.  

I'm not challenging you to be perfect.  I am challenging you to shop for your needs and allow God to grant your wants.  Manage your spending, your income, and your view of "things" with the mindset that it is not yours.

Jared and I have been surviving on a single income with 5 children.  Due to necessity I have learned different trades.  I enjoy decorating cakes and have even earned income doing so.  I just wanted the kids to have nice cakes and we couldn't afford to have them made.  I cut the kids hair.  A good friend gave me some lessons and after a few months of crazy hair they started looking better and better :)

Google is a beautiful thing.  If something is broken, try to fix it.  You really don't have anything to lose, it's already broken!  You'd be amazed at the information and instruction you can find on Google.  I once googled, "my washer is making a waa waa sound and isn't agitating."  I found out instantly that my "agitator dogs" were worn out.  $8 and 2 hours later we were back in action :)


The master has left it all in your care and will return.  When He comes back He is going to ask how you managed His resources. 

What will your answer be?

Matthew 25:14-30

The Parable of the Bags of Gold
    14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
   19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
   21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
   22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
   23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
   24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
   26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
   28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth


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