Tag Archives: Money

A Wealthy Pauper

It strikes me that a Christian who knows God is the richest of people while in the world’s eyes he may be without what the world values. We are the people who have everything, but possess nothing. We walk with a God who owns everything that exists and supplies us with daily needs. The world hordes goods, money, and things in the hope of having “enough” for the days ahead. Proverbs tells us to not set our hearts on riches because they make themselves wings and fly away.

And yet we long for security. We want to know we have enough in the bank to be ready for that rainy day when we will need it. We have the strange idea that we are in this by ourselves. In fact, for the man in the world I understand this need for security, but for the Christian who lives and moves in and with God it’s an idol to hold onto and seek after wealth as a security. God meets daily needs so that our trust and focus will be on him and not on our own ability to meet our needs.

There are difficult days. There are times when the economies of the world struggle. In those times those around us fear, panic and struggle….how will we survive? What will happen with our retirement? How will we have enough? We have this sense that all of this is up to us to hold onto, to provide, to save. If that is true we should be afraid! No one can be secure in the evil days. If we don’t trust in God for our daily needs, our daily provision, we will be fearful, worried and will struggle with the world around us.

But, imagine a man or woman who lives in the reality of a sovereign God who has promised to meet our needs and is fully able to do so. Imagine having nothing, but possessing everything. Imagine trusting God as your provision rather than your own ability. Imagine a rest, a trust in one who will provide no matter what the world around us is doing. Paul described it this way, “My God will provide all your needs according to his riches in glory.” What are his riches in glory? He owns everything, he possess all. If he lacks anything then he can’t be God, but he is! He has everything we need, everything. As you put your rest and trust in him you lack NOTHING.

In that trust we find ourselves to be wealthy paupers, possessing nothing, but having everything. We might walk about with empty pockets, but living as children of the Father who possesses the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns everything and promises to provide for us as we trust him. This is a whole different kind of life….a life of trust, of peace, of freedom from the news, the world’s fears, the crisis of the moment. It’s a life lived in dependence on a Father who has promised to provide all we need each day, our daily manna, the bread for the moment. We find we are the richest of men while in the moment we possess nothing at all.

The man or woman who trusts God finds they are the ultimate paradox- a wealthy pauper.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

True security is not in the possession of things, but in the possession of someone…the great God, the wonderful Father, the source of all we need for the moment even as we walk about with empty pockets, a company of wealthy paupers.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Praying Big Prayers

John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

One of the passages of scripture that has troubled me my entire Christian life is this passage in John. These are words from the mouth of Jesus. This is a big invitation to ask. It’s haunting in its scope and difficult in reality. I’ve read many commentaries on this passage and others that speak about prayer, but still these words challenge me. They challenge me in my faith, in my prayers, in my view of God and in my desires personally.

Can I ask for a fancy car? A lot of money? A nice home? Some would tell me yes, that’s exactly what these verses talk about, but then I come to the words that follow the invitation by Jesus, “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” My prayers and God’s answers are meant to do one thing- glorify the Father through the Son. Does that limit my prayers? Not really, but it does focus them. Does what I want bring glory to God? Will it make JESUS look good rather than make me comfortable? This is an invitation to big prayers to a big God for a big reason- his glory. Honestly I don’t ask for big things. I should…the invitation has been extended. God wants me to ask. He promises to respond. He even tells me why he will answer.
Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Could it be that my faith is so small, my prayers are so small because my God is too small? I think I need to see God right sized. I know I don’t always do that. That’s what big prayers and big answers will do….they will help me see God in the right way…so it’s time for some big prayers!

Thankful

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

“It takes a lifetime to just begin to understand the truth. It’s a long journey, and one that is filled with adventure. To not go is to become mostly bored, and resigned to finding entertainment as stimulus to ease the soul ache.” — D.J. Chuang

 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

They feared the Lord and….


I read this passage this morning and have been thinking about it all day. The one word that got the nation of Israel in trouble was the word “and.” It struck me that not much has changed in nearly 3,000 years. We still have our “and” to deal with. Here’s the verse that caught my attention and makes me think about my own life,

2 Kings 17:33They feared the LORD and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.

The “and” always gets us in trouble, doesn’t it? Here are a few examples of how much trouble this can cause us:
-We love God AND our stuff. From experience I will tell you that God won’t allow that “and” to remain. The creator will not compete with his creation.
-We fear the Lord AND man. Fear of man will quickly take our focus off of God.
-We serve God AND money. As you know from Jesus’ words this will not work.
So I wonder. How much of my life is complicated and compromised by “and?”

What are you thankful for?

It’s Thanksgiving week and an opportunity to thank God for his care, provision and love. We have so much to thank him for…not only what he has given, but also what he has not given.
When we have so much we forget how blessed we really are. So, what are you thankful for? May I start?
I’m thankful for God’s care. We are so richly blessed! I’m thankful for a place to live, a job I love, a family that is amazing, friends that care about me and health.
There is so much more….so much we take for granted, but let me start with that short list and I will add to it as we go through the week. So, what are you thankful for?