When it comes to finances, the biggest nemesis for many people is their credit card.
Credit cards can be an asset if used correctly and with discipline, but for many they are what lead to financial downfall. Let’s look at some credit cards statistics from a few years ago that will give a better picture and may also be a wake-up call:
- The average family carries a balance of $4,000 in credit card debt on several cards from month to month.
- If you didn’t have your credit card payment of $400 a month, and you invested that money in a tax-deferred savings plan paying 11% interest instead, then in 30 years you could retire with $1.1 million in the bank. Credit card payments cost thousands of dollars in interest, keep many Americans from saving for their retirement and make bankruptcy look like a good alternative.
- According to one statistic from a few years ago, late feels totaled $7.7 billion.
- Another statistic from a few years ago stated that in one year alone, Americans paid out approximately $65 billion in interest.
The bottom line is that it’s God’s will for you to be a lender and not a borrower (Deuteronomy 15:6 NLT). He will bless us, but we need to do our part and develop wise money management skills.
Pray and ask God for wisdom regarding your finances. Also, take natural steps to get some godly financial counsel. A great tool is a book we offer called Family Finances. This book not only contains godly insights on money management, but also includes worksheets to help you to assess and manage your money habits. Let’s start developing healthy money habits today!
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In order to prosper and increase, we must do a financial checkup every so often.
That means we need to evaluate where we are and see if there are changes that need to be made in our spending. Making more money isn’t always the only answer to increase. Sometimes we need to stop and plug any holes that may be causing our finances to be leaking out.
Haggai 1:6 (NLT) puts it this way, “You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!”
Periodically, take time to go through your bills and your checking account and credit card statements to evaluate where your money is going. You may have a budget (spending plan) in place, but take time annually to inventory your accounts and see where things are going. Has your cable bill increased? Have any of your utility bills gone up? Has your car or home mortgage insurance increased in the past few years?
If so, maybe it’s time to check around for a different cable TV package that would be less expensive. If your utility bills have gone up significantly, are there home maintenance fixes that can be done to bring those costs down? Compare insurance premiums to make sure you’re getting the best deals and aren’t pay for things you don’t need.
Tuning up your finances may take some work, but once you start checking into some of these areas, you may find that it’s worth it. You may be able to save a significant amount by just making some adjustments to your cash outflow and shoring up any areas where funds may be trickling out. Take time to do some financial maintenance and plug the holes!
Proverbs 24:3-5 says, “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” Take time to do a financial tune-up!
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Joe shares how the Apostle Paul started out as a professional hit-man. He literally had Christians killed.
He was far from perfect yet God saw that He could use Paul for His glory. How tells how Paul was transformed from a murderer, to the greatest apostle and someone who wrote over half of the New Testament.
God isn’t looking for perfect people….THERE ARE NONE!
God’s Looking for people who will stand up.
He’s not looking for big people, He’s looking for people He can be big, in and thru. He’s not looking for strong people, He wants to be strong IN somebody He’s not looking for perfect people He’s looking for people He can be perfect, in and thru.
God created you and He knows what He’s placed in you. We need to humble ourselves and allow God to show Himself mighty in our lives. We can’t do anything on our own anyway. We need to just allow God to show off within our own lives.
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Most Christians—people who know the Word and the Spirit of God—still somehow struggle with saving for the future.
However, having a storehouse, a savings account, is scriptural, and the Bible says it’s wisdom to save for the future.
Proverbs 6:6-9 (NIV) says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”
In other words, the ant, even though it doesn’t have a boss, a leader, or an education has enough sense to know that summer won’t last forever. Eventually, winter will come and the time to harvest will be over.
In the Old Testament, Joseph, at God’s direction, instituted a seven-year savings plan that kept the lives of countless people from being destroyed during a seven-year famine (Genesis chapter 41). Paul, who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, understood the concept of saving for the future (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 NLT).
How do we save for the future? We do it a little at a time. Proverbs 13:11 (NIV) says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
God says it’s wisdom to save for the future. He said He’ll bless us in our storehouse, but He can’t do it unless we have one.
Start saving today for your future. Set up a savings account and deposit as much as you’re able to. Take advantage of the 401K program that’s offered at your job and contribute to it regularly. Pray over your storehouses (savings accounts, investments, 401K plans) and believe for increase.
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It’s a spiritual principle in the kingdom of God that order precedes increase. Natural steps lead to supernatural increase and blessing.
In 2 Kings 4, when the widow said to Elisha, “I’m in debt, Preacher. What am I going to do?” the prophet answered her with a question: “What can you do?”
God is always going to ask us to do something natural before He’ll do something supernatural. So if we’re going to see the supernatural in our financial lives, we’re going to have to prepare for it in the natural. Look at what God’s Word has to say about preparation.
“Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house” (Proverbs 24:27 NLT).
“Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” (Proverbs 30:25 NIV).
If we want to have the blessings of God in our homes, our relationships, and our finances, then we need to do what we can in the natural to plan, prepare, and get our lives in order.
What can you do in the natural to plan and take natural steps toward increase? Do you need to take a class to develop and grow in a skillset? Do you need to get a budget in place to keep track of your spending? Pray and ask God for wisdom to show you what natural steps you can take to prepare for increase.
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The first step to becoming prosperous is to realize that poverty is a condition of the soul, not the pocketbook.
In 3 John 2 (KJV) it says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
And in Joshua 1:8 (KJV) it says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
In both of these scriptures, God puts the responsibility of prosperity on us. Our souls have to prosper first, which means we have to get our thinking straight. We need to start thinking the way God thinks, and that means meditating on His Word.
If we’re having problems with our money—we’re always in debt, bill collectors are constantly calling—then our problem is not with cash. Our problem is the way we think. But when we think like God thinks and do what His Word tells us to do, then we will have what God says we can have—prosperity and good success.
Let’s get in the Word and find how God thinks. Let’s change our thinking to be like His. Here are a few scriptures to begin with: Psalm 1:1-3; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 112:1-3; Deuteronomy 8:18; Proverbs 28:20; John 10:10
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The only way we’re going to learn to prosper is to dig into the Bible and find out what God has to say about money.
We have to make sure our thinking about money and wealth lines up with God’s thinking. If we believe that God wants to “keep us humble by keeping us poor” and that “money is evil,” then we’ll settle for less than what God has intended for us.
So what does God say about money? Here are a couple of scriptures that will help you see what God thinks. You may be surprised to find that it’s God’s desire for us to prosper.
“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house, and his righteousness endureth for ever” (Psalm 112:1-3 KJV).
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 NIV).
The desire of any good father is to see his kids prosper. Our Father God is no different! He wants to see His kids blessed and well taken care of!
Dig into the Bible and see what God says about money, wealth, riches, and prosperity. When you know what God says, then you can walk in faith for increase, and you won’t believe the lies of the devil that will try to keep you poor and defeated.
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If it’s God’s will that we leave an inheritance to our children’s children, then it’s evident that He is not opposed to us having money and possessions—and having a lot of them.
God does warn us about the pitfalls of loving money and chasing after it, but if we keep our hearts right and our priorities straight, God will cause blessing and increase to come into our hands.
It’s easy to have a right heart when you realize that God owns everything you have and you are just a steward over what He’s given you. The breath we breathe, the life we live, the strength in our hands and in our bodies—whatever we possess in God—God gave it to us as a gift. We don’t own anything! We’re just managing it so we can pass it on to our children. Then they can manage it and pass it on to their children. As a result, we can constantly be a blessing to our families, our churches, our communities, and the world.
“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings” (1 Peter 4:10 TLB).
When it comes to increasing financially, we can keep our hearts right by realizing that no matter how much we increase, God owns it all! Everything we have belongs to Him. We are simply stewards of what He’s given to us.
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Children are born to believe. If they don’t hear the truth, they’ll believe a lie.
The only way to combat a lie is with the truth. As parents, it’s important that we tell our children the truth! We have to tell them who they are in Christ. When we do that we are getting the truth down deep in their heart.
Watch Day 5 – Promises For Parents
Check our Blog next week for Day 6 of our series Promises For Parents!
Each card has a statement on the front and the scriptures that relate to that statement on the back. You can tell your child the truth and teach them how to study God’s Word at the same time.
Use one card per day or create your own schedule depending on the age of your child. Many parents are using these in their morning or evening routines.
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Have you ever heard the story of Jacob and Esau and wondered, Why did Esau sell his birthright and inheritance for a bowl of beans?
One reason is that Esau didn’t value what God valued. He didn’t value his birthright, and he didn’t want the responsibility that went along with it. As the oldest, Esau would have become the head of the tribe, and he would have had advantages and privileges that Jacob would never have gotten. Esau was supposed to get his share of the inheritance like all his other siblings, but as the firstborn, he was also supposed to get a second portion (a double portion), which would have enabled him to provide everything necessary to care for his mother, his unmarried sisters, the orphans, the widows, and the unemployed of his tribe.
When Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, he was basically saying, “I don’t want to be responsible for anybody else. I don’t want the second portion; I only want my portion. I don’t want to take care of Mom, my sisters, or anyone else.”
Jacob knew about the double-portion blessing that came with the birthright, but he also wasn’t afraid to take on the responsibility that came with it. As a result, he ended up with the responsibility, the birthright, and the double-portion.
Responsibility is an honor. God loves people who will be responsible. He will provide for them and give them more because of their willingness to take care of others. Taking responsibility is a great way of increasing our income.