Today’s guest post is by Robert Morris, the founding and senior pastor of Gateway Church—a multicampus church with more than 26,000 members. His weekly television show, The Blessed Life, is broadcast to 90 million US homes, and he’s also the bestselling author of The Blessed Life: The Simple Secret of Achieving Guaranteed Financial Results. Discover how to trade in selfishness for generosity, and get the secrets to living a truly blessed life: download The Blessed Life on Vyrso today!
As a nation, we’re going through some pretty tough economic times. But I want to remind you of a simple yet profound truth right up front—God is bigger than the economy. He will always provide for his children. Psalm 46:1–2 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.”
When living in uncertain economic times it’s difficult to have hope, but here are three principles guaranteed to help you develop the proper perspective and walk in financial freedom.
1. Put God first
The Bible says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;” (Proverbs 3:9). Do you honor God with the firstfruits of your finances?
You can claim God has first place in your life—but by observing where your money goes, I can tell you who really has first place in your life. Maybe it’s the mortgage company, the electric company, or even Visa, MasterCard, and American Express!
When God is first, he blesses the rest. This principle is seen throughout the Bible. The first check I write every month is the tithe check. Not the second check, third, or eighth—the first. I want to give God the first part of all my increase, not the last part.
Please understand me. This isn’t law; it’s love! This is expressing love and gratitude and honor to the God who has given us everything.
2. Learn to wait
When Egypt experienced a season of great abundance, Joseph made the Egyptians store up, store up, and store up. Maybe some of the people said, “We’ve got enough grain stored up by now! Why can’t we just use some of this grain, instead of storing it up?” Joseph most likely replied, “No, you don’t understand. If you don’t store it up now, you’re not going to have it later when you need it.”
When it comes to wealth, the Bible teaches us to wait, be faithful, and be good stewards (see Proverbs 28:20). Sometimes people try to get rich quickly because they aren’t willing to live as they should financially. They want to have what they want and have it now!
Before you make a purchase, look at your budget and ask God if this is his will at the moment. In an “instant gratification” society, it’s all too easy to fall into the pattern of buying whatever we want at the moment without being patient or seeking God’s counsel about it.
3. Live below your means
This principle is very important. Truly living below your means dictates that you use less than 70 percent of your income. So, if you tithe 10 percent, put 10 percent in savings, put 10 percent in retirement or other investments, and give something in offerings above your tithes, you’re going to be living on 60 to 70 percent of your income at the highest level.
When my oldest son was away at college, his accelerated academic schedule made working a part-time job unfeasible. So I provided nearly all of his support. Before he went off to school, we sat down and drew up a budget for him based on a set amount I’d send him each month. I was pleased to discover he was doing a great job living below his means. He was being a good steward.
So, as a loving father, I rewarded him! I increased the amount of money I sent him each month. A few months later, he called me and mentioned moving into a new apartment could lower the costs even more. We checked into his idea, and helped him move into the less expensive apartment. Shortly thereafter, he called and shared his costs were indeed lower and he needed less money. But I kept sending him the same amount. He had been a good steward, and I wanted to reward him.
Why don’t we expect God to be as gracious and responsive as I was to my own son? Why are we so surprised to learn that God rewards and blesses us for being good stewards and living below our means?
Where are you investing?
It’s good to save, make investments, and be a good steward financially. But I wonder how many people have an ERA—an Eternal Retirement Account.
Although we’re going through tough economic times, each of us has the unique opportunity to place our trust in our Father who owns it all, knowing that he can provide for all of our needs. I urge you today: be a good steward, give generously, and continue to make eternal investments into God’s kingdom.
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Get more powerful financial and spiritual tips from bestselling author, Robert Morris: download The Blessed Life: The Simple Secret of Achieving Guaranteed Financial Results today!
Today’s guest post is by Robert Morris, the founding and senior pastor of Gateway Church—a multicampus church with more than 26,000 members. His weekly television show, The Blessed Life, is broadcast to 90 million US homes, and he’s also the bestselling author of The Blessed Life: The Simple Secret of Achieving Guaranteed Financial Results. Discover how […]