Sunday, April 22

Grace through finances

Hey, friends and readers!

This is the last lesson from Ephesians. It has been a powerful study. I still feel I have a way to go in this area, so I may keep going with my study, probably working through teachings of Jesus. 

But this is the end of the Ephesians road on this topic, for now. I'm just going to draw a couple quick things from this.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts. 23 Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first and last lines are the most gripping to me. How on earth (for that is where I find myself) do I pray without ceasing, unless I stop whatever else I'm doing? The only way I can think of is to relate to Jesus in whatever activity I'm doing.

Application to money: I need to learn to pray while I spend, pray while I save, pray while I do my banking and pray when I balance my checkbook. I have been learning to do that while I spend, save and to some degree when I look at my bank account online. However, I do not look forward to balancing my check book. 

Something tells me that if I were relating to Jesus, I would enjoy it more. I really look forward to date nights with my wife, because I know I'll get some focused time with her. I really look forward to Bible study, because I know I'll be learning something new from Jesus. But I don't have that attraction to managing my finances. Well, Jesus' finances. Because I'm just a steward of his stuff.

This is where I come to the last line, about grace. I have found much grace in spending as I've focused on relating to Jesus as I make buying choices. I don't experience balancing and tracking finances as a grace-filled activity yet.

So I shirk them. Or I do them with a sense of drivenness or anxiety. They have not yet become a place of grace for me.

Lord, teach me to pray and interact with you as your steward while I manage your funds. Transform me into the kind of person who experiences much grace in all my financial accounting activities. I long to look forward to banking with you as much as to my date night or prayer times.


Larissa said...

Hey, Jon! I love your thoughts on how to engage with God in the area of money and finances...those are some gret ideas.

Nathan said...

Hey Jon--This is not so much related to your blog, as it is to your person! I hope you are well and I miss you. I had such a good time with you and Ken last year when you visited. It's hard to believe that was about a year ago. We love you and miss you and Jen and the kids. Thanks for doing this Ephesians study focused on finances. I finished, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger not too long ago, and feel pressed by the Lord to continue to evaluate how I deal with money and possessions.