Friday, February 7, 2014

God Wants To Adjust The Way We Invest Our Financial Resources

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  Matthew 6:19
Every one of us, all of us, no matter who we are, no exceptions, need major adjustments.  There are at least four major adjustments that God wants all of us to make in our lives.  Yesterday we learned the first two:
First, God Wants to Adjust the Place we Put Our Focus
Second, God Wants to Adjust the Way We Use Our Time and Energy

            Third, God Wants To Adjust The Way We Invest Our Financial Resources:
What do you think happened to Paul the minute he started following Jesus, and turned his back on the religious leaders in Israel?  Do you think those religious Pharisees kept on supporting his work?  I don’t think so. Do you think they said, “Oh, well, Paul’s not throwing Christians in prison like we wanted, he’s actually become a Christian himself, but we’ll carry him on the payroll anyway?” Not a chance.  In fact, he tells us later that he had to turn to tent-making in order to support himself.
You see, when Jesus meets us and asks us to join Him in His work, there is always a financial impact.  Always. If we try to be followers of Christ without making major adjustments in the way we use our money, then we’ve lost the battle before we start. You can’t do it. Because it was God who said, Matt 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. You’ve got to choose one or the other. But when you make that adjustment in your life, and decide to use your money to serve God, then God blesses your life, and promises to provide everything you need.
            Fourth, God Wants To Adjust The Way We See Ourselves: Paul was so changed that he even changed his name.  And Saul the old Pharisee became Paul the new man in Christ.  Saul the old persecutor became Paul the new missionary.  Saul the angry struggler against sin became Paul who talked about his joy in Christ.  Paul made a major adjustment, and got a new name and a new identity, in order to join God in His work.
Does your identity come from the God who created you, from Jesus who saved you, from the Holy Spirit who fills you?  Is that how you measure who you really are?  Or does your identity really come from your job, or your family, or your possessions.  We have to first see who we are in Christ , our spiritual identity.  Our perspective of ourselves is often distorted by life’s shadows and that distortion becomes our reality, tearing us away from God’s truth and derailing our purpose.
At the end of this story of Paul, Paul asked, "Who are you, Lord?" and Jesus said.  "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." Jesus said, Get up and enter the city.  That is God’s word for many of us who need to make major adjustments.  Get up, enter the city, in other words, get going, get to work on what God has shown you to do, Don’t procrastinate, don’t rationalize, don’t argue. Just get up and go. Get up and enter the city. And the next steps will become clear. When we take the first steps, God makes the next steps clear.  And I believe each one of us knows, down deep, what our first steps are, what we have to do to join God in His work.  Whatever God shows us to do, he’ll make it possible for us to do, but it’s not without cost.  It’ll take a major adjustment on our part, in the way we invest our time, our energies, and our money, and even in the whole way we see ourselves.

Scripture to Claim:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

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