Help! I’m Broke!

486d72c1fddcf1ddeff4eb6cca453e98

 

Photo Credit: https://www.behance.net/gallery/12848761/Bible-Verse-Quote-2

Now that Christmas is over, many of us are realizing the damage we did in spending … mainly over spending. 

The common thread going around is, “Help! I’m Broke!”

We love the gift-giving process, but in the end, we are left wondering how we will make it through the following year.

This inevitably leads many of us to make financial new year’s resolutions!

The list goes something like this …

1. Make a Budget

2. Stick to a Budget

3. Save, Save, Save!

Whether we have bills to pay or expenses coming up, we could all use a little more in savings – and this time of year reminds us of just how real that is!

Let me encourage you to take a few steps this week or next to eliminate stress and give you a great start to the New Year!

1. Breathe, Relax, & Pray About It

Do you have big expenses coming in the next year? Or maybe even a large debt to start paying off? Relax. We are called in scripture to give our requests to God and He will in turn give us peace. Let that be your mantra for heading into the new year. You won’t be able to do anything on your own – only through the grace and power of our Lord. So rely on Him for your worries, and remember to bring it to Him in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2. Write Down Your Goals

Nothing is worse than having a goal in mind and never sticking to it. Make it a habit to write down your goals. It’s better to have one solid goal than many hard to attain goals – so if you must, simply write down one! Have it somewhere that you can easily see it. Post it on the fridge, on a bulletin board at work, write it in your calendar and set an alert. Seeing your goal on a consistent basis will make it more of a reality.

3. Start Small

All big goals can be realized in time if you start small. Maybe you have a goal to be financially independent, or to pay off your home. While these goals sound impossible right now, they are not impossible if you start today. Start small with a simple savings schedule. Before you know it your savings can grow and compound and you will be amazed with the amount that is contributed.

If you practice these 3 steps in the new year you will be on the right track, and before you know it, the stress of the Christmas spending will be behind you!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

get-attachment.aspx-9

God As the Ultimate Giver

Have you ever thought of God as a “generous giver”?

He is the ultimate example of what it means to give generously and freely to others.

A popular verse we hear thrown around very often is John 3:16 …

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The cross was a pure act of generosity. God chose to give us His Son. To allow Him to be dragged through the mud, beaten, scorn. And He did this all for us – to GIVE us this free gift.

In James 1:17 we read “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”

Every gift we receive in our lives that is “good” and “perfect” comes from the ultimate giver of gifts.

He specifically places special acts of grace within our lives to let us know that He cares.

Think of a thoughtful fiancé that wants to let his future wife know he is thinking of her … so he leaves a dozen roses for her to come home to after a long day at work.

Not only does God give us little gifts like this, He also gives us BIG ones …

Our family, our health, our finances, our children …

He will always be there for us, looking for ways to give us special gifts every single day.

Knowing that this is the character of God, His true giving character, how do you feel about the way you are giving back to Him?

Have you given Him “good” and “perfect” gifts from what you have?

Take this week to reevaluate your giving, and if needed, make a change to be more generous. God will ultimately reward those that will chose to let go and give in a more sacrificial way.

– Faithful with Finances

Giving to God First

cropped-emergency-fund.jpg

Many times we hear the phrase “give to God first”, yet many of us don’t realize what that actually looks like in our lives.

Giving to God first ultimately means putting Him in the “#1” position to everything you earn.

Whatever you have decided in your heart to give, don’t hesitate to make that happen right as you receive it.

When you decide to put God at the bottom of the list, you can begin to loose sight of your priorities. Many people will pay all of their bills, their mortgage, their credit cards, and come to find in the end that there is nothing left to give.

If you are in this position, we encourage you to give to God from the “first of all your produce”. In other words – the first of your income.

Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

No matter how small, or how insignificant it might be, make sure you give God that #1 priority spot starting today!

– Faithful with Finances

Wanting More

Most of you have seen this type of commercial. The AT&T representative interviews kids and asks them simple, funny questions. What’s even funnier? Their answers!

This one struck me in particular. The AT&T guy goes on to say, “Who thinks more is better than less?” Surprise surprise, every single kid raises their hand!

The cute little girl goes on to ramble about “more” being WAY better than less, and how sometimes your parents say you can’t have more!

Although this commercial is meant to be humorous, it is also meant to resonate with the mass majority that MORE is what we really need. We need MORE money, MORE cars, MORE possessions. It’s a never-ending spiral that can consume a person’s entire life.

So what should we as believers take away from this?

We can’t give in to the spiral. Most of the Christian life is counter-cultural, and this area is no exception.

The Lord teaches us a much different concept…contentment.

Hebrews 13:5

“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I every forsake you.’ ”

Proverbs 30:8

“Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with the food that is my portion.”

Today, think about the things in your life that cause you discontentment. Are you not happy with your savings? With your house? With your clothes?

Choose today to think about what God HAS given you, and what He HAS blessed you with.

What areas do you struggle with? How have you overcome them? Leave us a comment below!

Radical Giving

When most church-goers think about giving, the first word that typically pops into their mind is “the tithe”. This is what most people feel is their duty, and often times, they will faithfully give that 10%. Yet, we see throughout scripture that our Lord calls us to give with our hearts, and this can sometimes mean stepping out of that 10% boundary in BIG ways!

The challenge here is to think of giving as a journey, not a destination. Your giving should continually reflect the attitude of your heart, and your dependence on the Lord.

When we first become believers, at some point, someone has instructed us that giving or tithing was required, or the right thing to do.  Chances are, we began with an attitude of reluctance.  I remember as a child growing up in the Lutheran church. They would pass around the wooden offering bowl that had a red velvet lining on the bottom.  My mother would instruct me to place my quarter in the tray, and I did so, but with reluctance. My heart wasn’t necessarily in the right place, I was just giving because I had to.

As faith grows, you begin to acknowledge that what we are really doing is returning a portion of that which belongs to the Lord. Therefore, our attitude changes and now becomes one of obedience, and reverence to our Lord. At this point in the journey, we are usually still calculating a percentage and faithfully and obediently giving. We must become careful, because many get stuck here in their giving journey without venturing any further.

At some point in your life, someone might begin to challenge your thinking to step out of the obedience box and really get a hold of the concept that ALL of what you have belongs to the Lord, and the freeing part of the journey begins when you begin to give more than a calculated percentage. You venture into the area of giving beyond what may be considered “normal”. When you take this serious step of faith, you will experience joyful giving.  It’s a sort of emotional high from becoming part of the financial leg of a ministry or church relay team. You are no longer concerned about percentages or calculated tithing; it’s more about joyfully helping and using your financial talents to serve.

Soon – almost automatically, you become passionate in your giving journey. No longer does that cap on the deductibility of charitable giving matter as your accountant prepares your income taxes. You begin to see things through different, heavenly- bound eyes. You are a “cheerful” giver (Greek translation, HILARIOUS giver) enjoying the process no matter how upside down it may seem to the world – and oh, does God LOVE a cheerful giver.  You consider your earthly balance sheet and compare it to your heavenly one. The heavenly one must be stronger. You start to think about the amount of inheritances to be left to family members. You sense the urgency of God’s work in this world, and you act to help get it done!

So I challenge you ladies the “purse strings” and the “heart strings” are in your hands. Get control of your spending, save and invest wisely, and ultimately accomplish great things in the area of Passionate Giving! Your Heavenly Father can’t wait to tell you, “well done…good and faithful servant”.

By: Carin Amaradio