Monday, August 8, 2011


I am sure that anyone, everyone, reading this devotional piece today is aware that the current financial outlook for both the national and global economy is troubling at best. Even ‘expert’ prognosticators swing between being over-the-top optimistic on the one hand and doom-and-gloom fatalistic on the other. The stock market is reflecting the volatility. Only God knows how this will settle-in.

Respected Christian financial counselor Dave Ramsey puts it in perspective for us: “If the U.S. government was a family, it would be making $58,000/year and spending $75,000/year. It would be [currently] proposing BIG [?] cuts to reduce spending to $72,000/year. It would also have $327,000 in credit card debt. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget and debt, reduced to a level we can understand.”

I believe the due bill has come in for our consistent pattern of ignoring God’s values and priorities. And, it is not just a government issue. Each and every person, especially every serious Christ-follower, must think deeply, clearly and honestly about his or her own stewardship practices. A love affair with money and the material world will result in flawed judgment about earning, debt, spending, saving and giving. Biblical wisdom, especially in the Proverbs, can be shunned, but not without consequence. The statements of Jesus about money can be ignored, but not without negative outcomes.

Obedience in tithing [returning 10% of our income to God] is the place to start….either immediate obedience, or moving intentionally to the place that tithing can be standard operating procedure. Then add honorable and diligent work, debt reduction/elimination, conservative spending and disciplined saving and you will have an irrefutable formula for achieving financial freedom. Then add offerings [giving over and above the tithe] in order to experience unprecedented blessing in every area of life.

We are lead to believe that the solutions to our current financial crisis, nationally and personally, are difficult and complex. I don’t believe it. I believe the answers to the present dilemma are basic and simple. What is difficult and complex is the reasoning people use to resist conforming their thinking to God’s wisdom and their behavior to God’s directives in the areas of our values and priorities.

Remember today: I am ‘speaking the truth in love.’

Pray with me…. Our dear Father in heaven, our strength is in You; our hope is in You. We are secure in Your wisdom and Your will today and everyday. We know that, left to ourselves, we can only rely on the ‘arm of flesh.’ And it will fail us. We will instead seek to remain in a place where Your everlasting arms will be under us to elevate us and Your everlasting arms will be around us to sustain us through whatever comes in this life and the life to come. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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