Focus: Seeking God for wisdom in financial concerns
Matthew 16:26 (NKJV) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Living in stress because of anxiety about the future is not the will of God—whether it has to do with finances or anything else. If we are consumed with anxiety—we have to be willing to admit a basic lack of trust in God. Not that we should sit back and expect that someone else will pay our way—not at all. God expects us to be willing to work.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, ‘If any does not work neither shall he eat’. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, ‘But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever’.
While God expects us to work, he doesn’t expect us to be more consumed with money than with the things of the Spirit. 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us clearly that ‘The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows’.
When you’re having a hard time dealing with depressing thoughts—ask God for an assignment that will help you recover. Sometimes we can benefit by putting our heart into something that will help advance the kingdom of God.
Jesus told a story in Matthew 25:14-30 that is known as the parable of the talents. It goes like this:
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
We are not saved by works, but Jesus was making it plain through this story that God does expect our life on this earth to yield results of eternal value. He has given us all something to work with and He intends that we will put what He has given us to work. It can be bewildering if you aren’t sure what God wants you to do for Him. If that is the case for you, just ask Him to tell you. James 1:5 says, ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him’.
Declaration: I will find new strength by seeking God for the right balance in knowing what kind of work I should be doing and how much. I will take His Word to heart and apply myself to it.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book at the end of 2012, by the grace of God.
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