Wednesday, November 1

Financial Freedom

It's funny how feasting on the Word increases my appetite for it. I have been so fed, challenged and shaped by the 2 online Bible studies over the past year that my hunger and delight in the Scriptures must have grown ten times a strong! And I thought I already loved the Word.

So I am embarking on a new daily Bible Study course in a different area of discipleship--Finances. I will go through the book of Ephesians first, and probably will do Luke after that, mining the text for lessons about money, God, and my finances. I will post my lessons here for a week or so, and if I get some positive comments I will continue to post them here. I don't need to fill up cyberspace (e.g. clog my blog) if they aren't useful to anyone.

Here's Lesson 1:

Passage: Eph. 1:1-2
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

v. 2 Both grace and peace come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of a father’s roles are to provide and protect. Grace means God abundantly provides for me, so I will have all that I need, which produces peace. Peace also springs from being deeply rooted in a sense of God’s protection: no evil circumstances can befall me, no evil person can harm me, in a way that will jeopardize my life and take me out of God’s protection.

All my dealings with money need to be rooted in a deep knowledge that God is gracious—extravagantly generous. Peace comes from being rooted in that reality.

Are you peaceful as you deal with money? Specifically, where do you experience a lack of peace, and why?
-Primarily that I am going to make a mistake tracking the money and we’ll get into debt.
-That I’ll “get in trouble.” This comes from growing up and getting in trouble for things I didn’t know I was doing wrong, or for escaping from what I knew I should be doing (such as cleaning up my room). A friend told me “Procrastination can be a form of rebellion.” As a child I developed habits of procrastination as a way to rebel against my parents. Now to become humble and submissive I need to stay on top of my finances and not procrastinate with how I deal with them. So I think that my lack of peace is first sin, a fear of God not providing, but second a warning of my conscience that I am not living responsibly and being fully submitted to God in this area.

How are you going to apply today’s lesson to your life practically?
I have been resisting buying Quicken or some other financial tracking program, because of the cost and negative experiences in the past. However, it’s a powerful tool to help me and would probably help my tracking be more efficient and effective. I will probably buy one this week.

I will also check my heart for peace and a sense of God’s extravagant graciousness every time I look at my finances.

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