Why Work?

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This morning I was reading through Ecclesiastes, and there is only one word to describe some of the thoughts contained in this book… depressing.

Solomon details his journeys through gaining riches, success, wealth, wisdom, possessions, and really anything you can think of. It almost makes you wonder, how could someone like that not be happy with their life?

Solomon had a very different perspective on money and wealth than most of us have, and his perspective came from pure and raw personal experience with it. He had the highs and lows of accomplishments and toil, he ruled over people that came to him with all kinds of situations and problems, and he struggled to find God’s will in all of these situations.

In the first couple of chapters, Solomon goes through the way that men “work” and relates all that we do “under the sun” as vanity. Over and over again he repeats this word, not able to find anything else that describes the hopelessness in going to work every day without a cause or meaning behind what you are doing.

Have any of you ever felt this? You wake up to a tireless alarm, get ready for the day, and before you know it, you are sitting at your desk wondering what exactly you are doing with your life?

There is hope in God’s word for the purpose behind work, and we are not left to be in this hopeless state forever. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 highlights this…

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.”

It is scary to think of the alternative isn’t it? Apart from God, work is just a meaningless task that will really get us to one place…nowhere.

Today, I want you to take some time throughout your tasks and think about one thing, What is God’s place in your work?

Are you primarily doing it all for yourself? For personal gain? Or are you working to please God, and to make Him proud of you as His child?

God opens doors for us every single day, he brings situations upon us where we can either choose to honor and glorify Him, or we can shirk away in the shadows. Today make it your goal to do everything as if you were doing it for Him. No matter how small the task, make it count, and don’t sacrifice on any of the details.

Did you do something today that was above and beyond the call of duty? Tell us about it. We all need encouragement to get out of our comfortable and daily routine, and to go against what the world screams at us to give in to … laziness.

By: Erika from Faithful with Finances 

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Meet the founders of Faithful with Finances:
Tony Amaradio and his wife Carin. 

10 Verses on Money to Memorize

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We know memorizing scripture is essential to our Christian walk … but did you ever think about memorizing verses on money?

Believe it or not, there are over 2,000 scriptures relating to money and possessions … that’s more than heaven and hell combined!

Jesus continuously mentioned money and possessions throughout His ministry on earth. Knowing that this was so important to Him … don’t you think we should take it seriously too?

After all, money affects our everyday lives constantly, and we want to be equipped to handle each and every situation as if we were acting on behalf of our Lord.

Here are 10 verses on money to memorize this year (or maybe even this month!)

1. Luke 16:10

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

2. Proverbs 24:3-4

“By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.”

3. Proverbs 11:1 

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
    but a just weight is his delight.”

4. Hebrews 13:5

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”

5. Romans 13:8

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

6. Proverbs 21:5

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

7.  Deuteronomy 15:10

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.”

8. Galatians 6:7

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

9. Proverbs 6:6-8

“Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.”

10. Matthew 6:31-32

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”

Now get memorizing! 🙂

– Erika from Faithful with Finances

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P.S. Visit Christian Personal Finance to view a comprehensive list of 250 Bible Verses About Money

Do You Consider Yourself a Steward?

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Believe it or not, if you are a Christian … you are called to be a steward.

You may have never realized until now that this is the job you were called to, but God takes great delight in making you a steward of His resources, and He is waiting for you to become faithful with what He has blessed you with.

Charles Spurgeon puts it this way …

“Every child of God is where God has placed him for some purpose, and the practical use of this first point is to lead you to inquire for what practical purpose has God placed each one of you where you now are? You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are. If you are sitting at the King’s gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen’s throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein. Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward.”

If you have ever spent your days wishing or hoping for a different position in life – it’s time to stop!

God has placed you EXACTLY where you are for a reason … and He wants you to be a steward in that position.

What does this look like if you’re a stay at home mom? Or a cubical worker? Or a garbage collector?

All occupations, all callings, all lives can be lived for the glory of God – no matter where you are or what you do.

Here are 3 Ways to Become a Better Steward Today:

  1. Look for Opportunities to Share the Gospel

We are stewards of the great message that Christ has given us – the gospel! Because you have been entrusted with this, don’t be afraid to share it. Take special care of that message and reach souls for Christ when you get those opportunities.

  1. Live Your Life Out In Front of Others with GREAT Stewardship

Do you take care of the little things? The big things? People will notice. Let the words of your mouth be gratefulness, an attitude of contentment & gratitude. (Need inspiration on how to do this? Check out our last post on gratitude.) Before you know it, others around you will see the stewardship in your life.

  1. Take a Hard Look at How You Spend Your Time, Talents, & Treasures

The three important areas we are called to be stewards of is our “time, talent & treasures”. Take a look at how and where you spend your time, if you are using your talents to your full ability, and the way you handle and give your money.

Remember that becoming a good steward doesn’t happen overnight … it is a slow process that grows us to become more and more like our Savior.

Do you have ways that you practice stewardship in your life? Share with us!

– Erika from Faithful with Finances 

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

A Little Reminder …

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Never forget to count your blessings, remember there are others who have much less than you, and give God the glory for what you do have.

– Faithful with Finances

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Your Challenge: Be Completely Opposite of the World

“Given a choice, most people would choose to be rich. 

They dream about inheriting a million dollars, 

even if none of their relatives have that much. 

They spend money they often can’t afford 

to lose on lottery tickets, hoping to win the big jackpot. 

They play slot machines and gamble at casino tables, 

sure they can double and triple their money. 

As Alexander Pope wrote, ‘Hope springs eternal.’ 

Even when people win or inherit money, they want more. 

No matter how much money a person has, it’s rarely enough. 

Millionaires confess they don’t feel rich enough, 

although you’d probably change places with one any time. 

Surprisingly, many lottery winners go bankrupt 

or encounter serious financial problems 

within five years of winning huge jackpots 

because they don’t know how to handle wealth, 

and then they need more. 

It’s a vicious cycle.”

Everything the Bible Says about Money 

As you reflect on the words written in this book, take a minute to examine the intentions in your own heart. 

Here at Faithful with Finances, we are big on doing the complete opposite of what the world tells us. 

The world is pretty convinced that you can “get rich quick” and “more money will solve all of your problems” – when we as Christians know this can’t be true.

God causes trials and tribulations to enter into our lives for a reason, and that includes money problems! 

When you find yourself entrapped in thoughts of wealth and wanting more, think specifically about why God has placed you in the situation you’re in. 

He has you here for a reason, and He doesn’t necessarily want you to escape your circumstances, but instead, to grow through them. 

Today, focus on being the “complete opposite” of the world. Don’t go after false sources of money and spending. Think about one way you can put this into practice…and go do it! 

– Faithful with Finances

Giving to God First

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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

Are You Pretending?

Make no mistake about it: we live in an EXTREMELY materialistic world. We are surrounded by nice cars, big expensive houses, beautiful clothing, flat-screen HD tv’s, tempting advertisements, and pressure to become “filthy rich”. Most Christians would rather not talk about this, they like to put this fact to the side, and simply blend into their surroundings without getting too caught up in the madness.

But let’s talk about this, and not discard what might be an important thing to consider for you and your family.

I titled this post “are you pretending” because I came across a verse this morning that kind of struck me with an uneasy feeling. Maybe it will strike you too…

Proverbs 13:7

There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.

In case you haven’t noticed, many people pretend. You see your neighbor driving a brand new BMW, move into a bigger house, or even tote a new Louis Vuitton bag. Chances are, this is an object bought for status, for a remote inner pride, and for a partial hope of acceptance.

Of course, there are people who can afford material things like this, but for the most part, many people cannot.

Just because these facts might be true, doesn’t mean we should give into judging. By no means should we catch ourselves in that web, and cast a judgmental eye on our neighbor.

I am telling you all of this because I want you to be careful. Careful of what might tempt you, careful of ways in which you might be “pretending”. Personally, I struggle with this A LOT. I think my life would be “perfect” if I had a certain amount in the bank. I would feel secure, better protected, and free to live my life the way I wanted to. It has been a long, slow process for the Lord to grow me in this area. Daily He reminds me that we were put on this earth for something MUCH greater than acquiring wealth, His plans are beyond what we might think is “perfect” for ourselves.

Look more closely at this verse. The second part describes the complete opposite. A wealthy man pretending to be poor…But why?

This man has the wealth to buy the bigger house, the fast car, the nice clothing. Why would he settle for less?

This is where the meat of the situation comes in…humility.

What if you had $1,000,000 handed to you today? What would you do with it? Would you go out right away and start spending?

Would it be crazy to say that most people shouldn’t have that amount handed to them? I know that wouldn’t be good for me! The Lord has caused me to grow so much closer to Him the moment He took away financial security. Why would you want to miss out on that growth?

I am reminded time and time again by God’s word that His provision and His guidance are much different from society’s status quo. It is His voice we need to listen to, yet we often listen to the woes and pressures of the world.

Today I want you to think about this verse. Which way are you leaning? Are you practicing true humility? Think about what that would look like in your life right now. Maybe you would live drastically different…

 

By: Erika Pizzo

Why Work?

This morning I was reading through Ecclesiastes, and there is really only one way to describe some of the thoughts contained in this book – depressing. Solomon details his journeys through gaining riches, success, wealth, wisdom, possessions, and really anything you can think of. It almost makes you wonder, how could someone like that not be happy with their life?

Solomon had a very different perspective on money and wealth than most of us have, and his perspective came from pure and utter personal experience with it. He had the highs and lows of accomplishments and toil, he ruled over people that came to him with all kinds of situations and problems, and he struggled to find God’s will in all of these situations.

In the first couple of chapters, Solomon goes through the way that men “work” and relates all that we do “under the sun” as vanity. Over and over again he repeats this word, not able to find anything else that describes the hopelessness in going to work every day without a cause or meaning behind what you are doing. Have any of you ever felt this? You wake up to a tireless alarm, get ready for the day, and before you know it, you are sitting at your desk wondering what exactly you are doing with your life?

There is hope in God’s word for the purpose behind work, and we are not left to be in this hopeless state forever. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 highlights this…

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from Him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.”

It is scary to think of the alternative isn’t it? Apart from God, work is just a meaningless task that will really get us to one place…nowhere.

Today is Friday, the day where most of us are overjoyed at the thought of the weekend! (I know I am). But today, I want you to take some time throughout your tasks and think about one thing, What is God’s place in your work?

Are you primarily doing it all for yourself? For personal gain? Or are you working to please God, and to make Him proud of you as His child?

God opens doors for us every single day, he brings situations upon us where we can either choose to honor and glorify Him, or we can shirk away in the shadows. Today make it your goal, (even though it’s Friday), to do everything as if you were doing it for Him. No matter how small the task, make it count, and don’t sacrifice on any of the details.

Did you do something today that was above and beyond the call of duty? Tell us about it. We all need encouragement to get out of our comfortable and daily routine, and to go against what the world screams at us to give in to – laziness.

 

By: Erika Pizzo