Welcome to day 5 of our week of prayer.
Trust you’re coping ok with the Lockdown?
We’ve looked at various aspects of our Wellbeing or Shalom peace – physical, emotional, spiritual and relational. And we’re encouraged to pray for God’s blessing on each other, in these various areas.
Today’s theme is financial. You might be tempted to think, is God really concerned about my finances?
The answer is a definite yes!
The state of our finances has a massive impact on our state and feelings of wellbeing as I’ll show in a moment. Furthermore, Jesus Himself spoke a lot about money.
16 of the 38 recorded parables concern how to handle money and possessions. And 10% of all verses in the gospels deal directly with the subject of money.
Also one recent UK survey found:
77% of the UK are stressed about money
20% said they’re genuinely scared to check their bank account
38% said they don’t feel comfortable talking about their money struggles
So in conclusion … we need to be talking about our financial wellbeing.
A few principles:
1 – God is the owner, we are simply stewards.
Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lords and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.”
As Robert Morris put it in his book, Beyond Blessed, ‘When you truly, deep down, acknowledge that it's all God’s anyway, you'll feel your spiritual fingers loosen their iron grip on things. You’ll finally experience release from the crushing burden of thinking you have to hoard everything that comes your way.”
2 – Be contented not coveting
Like Paul expresses in Philippian 4:11-13, we need to learn the secret of being content. Be grateful for what we have rather than be greedy for what we don’t have.
Reading 1 Timothy 1:6-10 in the Message is refreshing, (6-8) A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.
(9-10) But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.
3 – Plan, Save and Give
Ponder or discuss John Wesley’s thought, ‘Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can.’
Planning is advisable
Assess where you’re at
Develop a budget
Stay out / get out of debt – help is at hand
Avoid impulse spending
Save for emergencies and future needs.
Also consider Jesus’ words, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35.)
Research shows that people who are more generous are generally happier, less depressed and healthier. As Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
We don’t give to get, we get in order to give.
Give willing, cheerfully, generously and gratefully (2 Cor 9:7-8).
Our giving also needs to be planned, regular and proportional to our income (1 Cor 16:23).
We’re also called to give prayerfully, in faith, and make giving to God a priority. As Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33.
Finally, consider how God provided supernaturally for Elijah through ravens, an angel and a widow. And let’s not be afraid to pray for and trust God for provision for ourselves and others, as we go into this new year keeping in step with His holy Spirit.
We have our final week of prayer meeting tonight 8pm on zoom. Look forward to seeing lots of you there.