More Than Enough

We can often feel like we don’t have enough –

enough money to buy enough stuff to make us happy.Jan 27 2016 more than enough

So, let’s ask ourselves.  How much stuff will it take to make us happy?

We’ve all experienced that empty feeling a little while after we finally buy something we’ve wanted for a long time.  Something we thought about so often that our want turned into a need.  Something we really thought would make us happy.

Yes, we were happy.  It was great!  For a while.

And then we started to think about something else that we really wanted.  That we needed.  I will be happy when I get this next thing….

We weave a tangled web of discontent when we focus on our desires.

We are reminded of God’s provision as we read the historical account of the daily miracles God gave to the Israelites when he gave them manna in the morning and quail at night after their exodus from Egypt.

In the middle of the desert.

Quail at night.  Manna every morning.  Enough for each day.

He provided for them thousands of years ago.

And he provides for us today.

Just like the Israelites, we are often discontent with God’s provision.

We don’t trust him to take care of tomorrow so we are a workaholic today.

We don’t think he provides enough.

We can’t wait.

So we run up our credit cards, getting deeper and deeper in debt.

My small group Bible study is completing Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.Jan 27 financial peace university

I’m reminded that it’s never about how much we make, it’s about how much we spend.  These 2 numbers need to match up.

We’ve taken several other financial studies through the years because we know that how we treat our money is important to God.  So we have a lot of it figured out but we’ve gotten a little sloppy in some areas.  I’m looking forward to improving our plan for telling our money where to go.

Avoiding debt is a huge factor is being able to be content with what God has already given us.  Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians that we have to learn to be content. He calls it a secret because so few people learn it.  That’s not easy in the midst of our culture which worships the ‘god of More’.

It comes down to trust.

Do we really trust God to provide for us?

Can we learn to be content with what he provides?

I believe that God provides more than enough when we are focused on him.

He provides for us physically and, even more important, he provides the important things that money can’t buy like love, peace, and joy.

How much joy do you have in your life?

We trust you to provide what is best for us, Abba Father.

A Purse With a Hole in It…

won’t hold anything.

Your money will slip right through.Sept 26 a a purse with holes 2015

And you won’t have any money left in your purse.

Because you didn’t take care of the hole.

God told the Israelites through Haggai that it was time to give ‘careful thought to their ways.’ (vs 1:5 ).

They had planted a lot but had harvested little.  They ate but it was never enough.  They drank but were never full.  They put on clothes but were never warm.

They made money but it slipped through their hands like a purse with a hole in it.

Never enough.

Whenever we look to anything other than a relationship with God to make us happy, it will never be enough.

We will not be content.

We will always be looking for the next thing – maybe that will make us happy?  I call this worshipping the god of More.

God is telling us today that it is time to give careful thought to our ways.

If we are caught in the vicious cycle of worshipping the god of More, now is the time to turn back to the One True God and find true joy.

True peace.

True purpose.

The Israelites needed to be woken up because they had ignored the work God had given them of rebuilding his temple.  They had wandered down the crooked and dark path of focusing on themselves and their own agenda.

But it wasn’t enough.

It was never enough.

Their purse had a hole in it and nothing but turning back to God and obeying him was going to fix that.

Is God giving us a wake up call as we read this?  Have we wandered?  Have we lost the peace and contentment only God can give?

If so, he is waiting for us with open arms.

Today.

It’s time to jump off the merry-go-round of serving the god of More and plan our feet once again on the Rock.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class – The Best is Yet to Come

In our Sword Fighting Classes, we are memorizing God’s word together.  God commands us over and over in his Word to store his commands in our hearts, to write his words on our minds, to never forget his teachings.  We are being obedient as we review our verses daily and God does the hard part of engraving them on our minds.

With God’s help,  we have memorized James 1 and Proverbs 2 so far.  Isn’t that amazing!  God is now pointing us to Proverbs 3….more wisdom.  Let’s get started with verse 1 and 2:

My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.”Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

How appropriate that God starts out again with his command about not forgetting his teachings.  It’s really hard to forget his teaching when it’s etched on our brains.  Its part of how we think, how we feel.

God tells us that his teaching will prolong our lives many years.  I have been reading a lot about God’s teaching about food this last year and I believe, if we follow his guidance on this, it really will prolong our lives.  Lower our blood pressure.  Take us out of the danger zone for other diseases.  Help our heart to be more healthy.

God promises us that his teachings will bring us prosperity.  His form of prosperity is not the empty prosperity taught by the world where we never have enough…never content.

God’s prosperity comes in the form of things money can’t buy – peace, and purpose and love and completeness and more.

Much more.

You are more than enough, Abba Father.

Audio file of me sharing the verses I’ve memorized so far in Proverbs 3:

 

All We Need

God our provider.

And he gives us everything we need.Jan 27 2015 All We Need

Not all we want.

All we need.

He provides for us just like he provided quail and manna for the Israelites as they travelled through the desert in Exodus.  Each one of the Israelites had all the food they needed.

God provided for them….and he provides for us now.

Living in our materialistic culture, we can often be lured into thinking that we don’t have enough.  We start worshipping the god of More.

We can quickly be enticed by the need to have more.  We end up spending our time and energy on getting more instead of building a close relationship with our omnipotent God who created it all and would give us more if he wanted us to have it.  He tells us in Luke to be faithful with what we have – that is his provision for us.

Do we have enough faith to be content with what God has already given us?  Do we trust God enough to put away our lists of wants and live of life of contentment and generosity?

Thank you, Abba Father, for all of the things you have already provided for us.

Contentment

Being content.

It’s an attribute rarely seen in our culture.

Paul says in Philippians 4 that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstance he is in.

Contentment is definitely a ‘learned’ feeling – it doesn’t come naturally to many of us.  We are surrounded by a gigantic marketing industry which constantly barrages us with ‘bigger, better & more’ messages.  We just lived through the largest marketing push of the year.  It’s very clear that we all need a new car, a new computer and a new cell phone.  And we need it now :)!Davey, Grandma and me at Christmas

Learning contentment is one of my goals and my mother was a great role model for me.  She didn’t have much worldly wealth but she was rich in happiness as she lived her life in close relationship with God. (The picture is one of my favorites – my son’s first Christmas.  He’s 33 years-old now.)

As I work on learning contentment, I remind myself that God has given me everything I have.  This is my portion and I need to be a great steward of it.  That’s how I can honor and delight my Father God.

When my thoughts are filled with counting my blessings, I feel that I have more than enough.  I have been abundantly blessed and I am content.

Unfortunately, I don’t always stay in the Land of Contentment…..but I know how to get back to it.  When I find myself straying down the ‘bigger, better, more’ aisle, I know I need to spend more time 1 – on – 1 with my Abba Father so he can get my desires lined up again with his.

And – poof!  I’m back in the Land of Contentment!

It’s supernatural!

It’s God!

Thank you, dear Father!

Robbing God

“Test me in this.”  There is only one place in the Bible where God says this.Oct 5 Robbing God 2014

He’s talking about his directions to us to give him back a small piece of everything he has given us.

When we are faithful in tithing, God throws open the floodgates of heaven and pours out his blessings upon us.

God challenges us to test him because he always responds.

He challenges us to give back a portion because our trust in him needs to grow to the point where being faithful is more important to us than the money.  God needs to be a higher priority in our hearts than what this money could buy.

This is important for our happiness.  We won’t have the peace, contentment and joy that God wants for us until we can gladly give back a portion.

I have to admit – it took God and my husband awhile to convince me of this.  I always felt that we didn’t have enough money to tithe.  Other people who had a lot more money could tithe – but not us.  When the topic came up, I always hoped that someday we would make enough money so we could tithe.

Foolish thinking!

I have realized a very crucial truth in this area – if it’s all about having enough money, there will never be enough.

God tells us in Luke – if we’re not faithful with a little, there is no way we’ll be faithful with a lot.

God wants us to find peace and contentment with what he has already given us.  When we are faithful, he pours out the blessings that money can’t buy.

When we follow God’s directions for our lives, we are putting ourselves under the umbrella of his blessing.  If we don’t follow his directions to us in the area of money, we are holding our wallets out from under the umbrella of his blessing.  The result is that God will not bless our finances.  We will have constant money issues until we bring our wallet back under the umbrella by getting in line with God’s direction for this area of our lives.  His direction is to sacrificially tithe and to give offerings above our tithe.

Because we love God.  He’s more important than the money.

And we trust him.  God’s got this.  We can even test him.

Thank you, dear Father.

Think About It…..

Consider it…..

Give it careful thought.

This is the direction given by God to the Israelites about their priorities.  They had been very busy building nice houses for themselves and they had put off rebuilding God’s temple.Sept 26 2014 Think about it

The temple continued to lay in ruins while the Israelites went about their normal lives.

They were planting a lot but only harvesting a little.

They were eating, but they were never full.

They drank, but it was never enough.

They put on clothes, but they were never warm.

They were earning money, but it immediately disappeared into a purse full of holes.

God was telling them that he was withholding his blessings from them because their priorities weren’t right.

What about us?

Is it time to re-evaluate our priorities to make sure they are matching up to God’s?

Are we experiencing all of the blessings God has for us?

* Contentment because what God has already given us is enough?

* Fulfillment because we know we are busy completing God’s purpose for our lives?

* Peace because we have given God control over our lives and we’re trusting him?

* Joy because we are experiencing the love God has for us every day?

* Strength for each day and every situation because our lives are built on our Solid Rock?

God has these blessings along with a storehouse more, just waiting for us.

We thank you for your abundant blessings, dear Father!

 

The Secret….

of being content.

The secret of being satisfied.

“Whoever loves money will never have enough.” Eccl. 5

May 29 2013Studying God’s perspective on money changed my life.  My beliefs and views about finances were so skewed by everything the world had taught me that I needed to go through a financial Bible study several times before it started to sink in.

God owns everything – it’s all his.  He gives it to us to take care of and use and he only asks for a small portion back.

He doesn’t need our money.  He could rain gold out of the sky if he wanted to.  We just need to be able to put him ahead of money in our priorities.  Then we can joyfully give to support his ministries here on earth.

How much we make is not the issue – how much we spend is.

When I really understood that God owned it all, it became easier to tithe.  It wasn’t mine to start with – God gave it to me, I didn’t earn it like I thought I did.  It all comes from God, he deserves it all – he only asks for a little back.  As soon as we started managing our finances according to God’s word, he helped us get totally out of debt and, years later, he is still making sure we have everything we need.  I have lots of stories of situations where God provided just what we needed right when we needed it.

And that’s a key – I know that, right now, I have what God wants me to have.  If I’m ever going to learn to be content, I need to learn to be content with what I have right now. 

I love this saying – Happiness is wanting what you already have.

God has so richly blessed me with all of things I have already.  And he has given me so many more things that money just can’t buy.

Thank you, dear Father.