Money…we always had it, we never seemed to lack it, and we rarely talked about it.
This is how I describe my family of origin and what I grew up thinking about money.
As we began our married life, I carried that same understanding of money into the early years of starting a family. This presented some challenging life issues and brought us to a point of needing some help from others.
There were some very important lessons about money that were learned during that time. God provided wise counselors in our lives so that we could learn to “seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness.” God used these counselors to graciously show us the error of our ways and provided us with discipline and new financial freedoms. God also blessed us with many things that we did not deserve, and showed us how to bless others and steward what he has so wonderfully provided for us.
One of the hardest things we all face is dealing with pride. It is hard to admit to others when we have made poor choices. It is hard to let others in when we think that we can handle it on our own. It is just plain hard to ask for help even when it seems so obvious that we need the help.
Proverbs speaks over and over about the wisdom that is found in seeking to connect with those that are wiser than us. Following these wise people and learning from them not only helps us, but also grows us so we can help others.
Dealing with money is a progressive journey. We are still growing in our understanding of how to manage it well. We are still seeking to learn from others and are trying to be generous with what God continues to lavish on us.
I would encourage you to seek guidance from others in understanding how money impacts your life. Talk to a close friend who also follows Jesus. Be open with your community group. Seek out a mentor, be a mentor. Let others in and be authentic with others who you trust. Let God show you all that He has in store for you as you seek to honor him with your life and your money.
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6,7 (NIV)
You’ve probably never considered the book of Deuteronomy as one long funeral sermon, given by a man who knew he would die, to a people aware of his impending death. That’s exactly what we reflected on this last Sunday.
This last week we made our way through the book of Numbers. We learned how this book, filled with some pretty famous Sunday School type of stories, is also shot-through with the sad themes of unbelief and rebellion. It is shocking how a people who experienced so many displays of God’s faithfulness could still be ungrateful and unsatisfied with his provision and timing. Which ironically makes it so relevant for our study, for we all struggle with being satisfied with the circumstances of our lives.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
There are a number of major themes that weave their way through the whole story of the Bible: covenant, kingdom, and temple, just to name a few. This last Sunday we looked at the theme of God’s presence in each of the sections of the story that we have covered thus far (Genesis 1-11, Genesis 12-50, and Exodus 1-18), and then how this idea of God’s presence comes into a bit of a sharper focus in Exodus 19-40.
I think it is probably safe to say that there are two great peaks in the mountain range of God’s rescue and restoration of the earth. What the cross-resurrection event is to the New Testament, the exodus is to the Old Testament. In each case, the great redemptive salvation act (exodus/cross) produces the covenant community of God’s people (Israel/church) who are called to serve God and his universal mission.
Genesis 12-50: I Will Bless You
It is hard to look at any one text in the Bible and say that it is more important than any other text of the Bible. Since the whole Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit as God’s Words, it is all equally valid and useful for growth in the grace and knowledge of our King, Jesus (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18). At the same time, there are those passages that are particularly vital and important to knowing what God is up to in his rescue and restoration plan for the world.
The Whole Story: Genesis One Through Eleven
This last Sunday, January 7th, we kicked off our new sermon series, The Whole Story. As Genesis is the first book of the Bible, we began there, by covering chapters one through eleven...