Get Your Spending Under Control
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
If you think winning the lottery would solve all your problems, you couldn’t be more wrong! Almost half of those who become overnight millionaires end up bankrupt within a few years. Why? For a variety of reasons: bad business deals, extravagant living, crazy schemes, and fast-talking relatives. And here’s another one – a big one! Believing that they now have the Midas touch and that Lady Luck is on their side, they continue to gamble at an even higher level – and end up losing it all. Try to understand this: unless you spend less than you earn, no amount of income will ever be enough! So if you’re wise, when you get a salary increase or an unexpected windfall you won’t adopt a more extravagant lifestyle. You’ll reduce your debt before it becomes an albatross around your neck that drowns you. No amount of income will be sufficient if your spending is not brought under control. The only way to get ahead financially is to deny yourself some of the things you want and save for the future. If you don’t have the discipline to do that, you’ll always be in debt. Now, when the government gets into debt, they simply tax you. But when you get into debt – you’re on your own. That’s not how God wants you to live. True contentment doesn’t come from getting all you want, but by discovering the blessings you have been given and learning to enjoy them. This should be your goal: ‘owe no one anything—except for your obligation to love one another.’
Heavenly Father, help me to live simply so that I can use what you entrusted, and still own, to serve others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Commit To It!
… I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break.” Judges 11:35
After arriving in the New World, the Spanish explorer, Cortez, took his crew off their ships and set the ships on fire as the sailors watched in confusion and horror. By that one act, Cortez sealed their commitment to explore new territory and ensured they’d never give in or go back. Guess what? Having no alternative clears your perception, does away with procrastination, and helps you make up your mind. When you’re in a corner, you learn to reach deeper inside yourself, and in so doing you discover God-given strengths you never knew existed. When you’re up against a deadline, it releases a creative flow within you. For example, nothing increases your commitment like the threat of failure or the risk of embarrassment. In The Tyranny of E-mail, John Freeman says, ‘Attention is one of the most valuable modern resources. If we waste it on frivolous communication, we will have nothing left when we really need it.’ Distractions drain your energy, blur your focus, and disrupt your momentum. Projects fail, companies collapse, and marriages are damaged because of the way distractions deplete our resources and destroy our relationships. Don’t get to the end of your life only to look back and discover you forfeited things which were truly significant, to make way for things that added nothing of value. Jephthah made a vow to God that resulted in great victory for Israel, and led to his promotion as their leader. It’s a commitment you need to make today: ‘I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.’
Heavenly Father, protect me from the distractions that try to redirect me from where I should be focused and going. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Gods Promise to Prodigals – Part 2
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:24
Observe what the father did for his Prodigal Son the moment he humbled himself and said, ‘…I have sinned…’ (v. 18), because God will do the same for you. (1) ‘…the father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him…”’ (v. 22). Can you imagine what this boy smelled like and looked like, after wallowing in the muck of a pig-sty? Can you identify with him? Good news: God covers our sinfulness in the robe of Christ’s righteousness. And from that point on He sees us ‘in Christ’. Therefore we are always acceptable in His eyes. (2) ‘…put a ring on his hand…’ (v. 22).This was the family signet ring used in transacting business. When placed on wax, it was equal to a signature. More good news: God doesn’t partially restore you, He recommissions you and gives you back full authority to do business in His name. (3) ‘…put…sandals on his feet’ (v. 22). The Prodigal Son was getting ready to say to his father, ‘…I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants’ (v. 19). In those days hired servants didn’t wear shoes in public; only sons did. How wonderful—his father gave him the full rights of sonship. (4) ‘…bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry’ (v. 23). You don’t fatten a calf overnight! The father had been planning this celebration for a long time. He never gave up on his son and the word for you today is: God hasn’t given up on you either! Come back to Him and let Him restore you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on me, help me to do the same with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Gods Promise to Prodigals – Part 2 – April 27, 2016 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
Gods Promise to Prodigals – Part 1
So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
Here’s an interesting and largely unknown thing about the story of the Prodigal Son, as pointed out by Dr. Ken Baily. Jewish families living in small villages were tightly knit communities where people knew one another well. So when something like this happened, word travelled fast. When the younger son demanded his inheritance it was like saying to his father, ‘I can’t wait until you die. I want what’s mine, now!’ Such a thing was unheard of. Then he went away, forgot the values he’d been taught, and squandered his inheritance on wild living. As a result he ended up destitute, working in a pig-sty. For a Jew, you can imagine the stigma. After breaking his father’s heart and the rules of the community, he decided to come back home. And that’s when his father ‘ran’ to meet him. Here’s why. Had he reached home after failing so badly, the village elders would have held a ‘ceremony of shame’ known in Hebrew as kezazah. They’d have taken a clay pitcher and smashed it on the ground in front of him, meaning his ties with the community were broken and he was no longer welcome. That’s why his father ran to meet him. He was saying, ‘I have to get to my son with grace before they get to him with the law. I have to give him hope before they take it away. I have a different ceremony in mind: a homecoming party to celebrate his restoration.’ What the father did for his prodigal son that day, God will do for you today, if you’ll only turn to Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for saving and protecting me from the stupid sinful things I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
The post Gods Promise to Prodigals – Part 1 – April 26, 2016 appeared first on LCC Daily Devotions.Read more...
What Happens In The Aftermath?
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27
A marriage and family expert writes: ‘It’s not the arguments that should worry married couples; it’s what happens when the battles are over. Almost all husbands and wives experience conflict from time to time, which is not necessarily unhealthy for the relationship. A verbal spat that stays within reasonable limits can open the windows and give a couple a chance to vent their frustrations and release some steam. The important question, however, is what happens after an argument is over? In healthy relationships, confrontation ends in forgiveness, in drawing closer together, in deeper respect and understanding, and sometimes in greater physical intimacy. But in unstable marriages, conflict is never entirely resolved. This is a very dangerous situation where the consequences of one battle begin to overlap with a prelude to the next. It’s a good idea for couples to take a closer look at what happens in the aftermath of confrontation. Are there things that you’ve said or done that have grieved your spouse? Do you need to ask forgiveness for attacking the self-worth of your spouse instead of focusing on the issues that divided you? Are there substantive matters that haven’t yet been resolved? If so, deal with them quickly before they can fester and erode the relationship from within.’ The apostle Paul understood this principle clearly. ‘…don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.’ He wrote these words two millennia ago, but they’re still great marital advice today.
Heavenly Father, help me when having an argument to have it end well! In Jesus’ Name, Amen