Thursday, September 12, 2013

Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will. A Guest post by Pamela Carmichael

Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will

Are you in a constant financial struggle and juggle where there never seems to be enough? Do you wonder if God is able to or even willing to provide for you? Are you constantly paying bills and covering debt payments without seeing much progress? Are you faithful in tithing and giving but yet you cannot see on outpoured blessing?

Then this book is here for you. Financial Empowerment discusses the problems we face in different areas of our finances and shows how to manage money in a God-pleasing manner. In a simple easy-to-read manner, it provides biblical and practical solutions to personal financial management.

Financial Empowerment is a fresh look at how you see your finances and how to deal with them effectively.

Get ready to be empowered as you honor God in managing your financial resources. As you give eternal value to your money, God will continually bless you.

Enjoy this excerpt from Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to God’s Will
This is not the entire chapter, just a sampling.


Create Wealth: God Has Given You the Power
“So why do I have to work?” This is a question we may sometimes ask, especially when we don’t feel like working. According to an old saying, work is never complete. Yes, something always needs to be done, whether at home, in our business or place of employment, even when we’re on vacation. Work is a very necessary part of life because it is part of who God is. We are created in His image, and like Him we are workers.
Work Originated with God
God created the world not by dreaming, wishing, imagining, or relaxing—but by working. The world we see now would not exist if God hadn’t done the work of creation. God knew what He wanted the world to look like and went through the effort to create it and maintain it. After creating this world, He approved of the results of His work and said it was very good (Gen. 1:31). All that we experience—the seasons, the stars, the sun, the moon, and all the planets—are the results of God’s work.
This introduction to God in Genesis shows us that God not only envisions what He wants, but also works to make it become a reality. Since work is part of God’s nature and we have been created in His image, work is also part of our nature. God has created us to work. We are His masterpiece, His special work He created, but we are also His coworkers (Eph. 2:10). God loves to work, and He loves to see His creation at work. He gives each person his or her own work to do and is pleased with our activity.
Work Is God’s Priority
God created the heavens and earth in six days, and on the seventh day He rested (Gen. 2:1–3). In the Law He gave to the Israelites, He commanded them to work six days and rest on the Sabbath (Ex. 23:12). By this example God showed us the importance of work. We should spend the largest part of our lifetimes productively. Think about it. We should spend six out of seven days each week working; that is approximately 85 percent of our time at work. In His wisdom God understands that the work of creating or building dispenses a lot of energy from us; therefore He instructs us to take time to rest and be refreshed. But, as we can see, work was—and still is—the priority for God and man.
We also see work at the top of God’s priorities when He created Adam. God immediately put Adam to work. His assignments included ruling the earth (Gen. 1:28), taking care of the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:28), and naming the animals (Gen. 2:19). Adam was born to work. God could have named the animals Himself, but He gave the assignment to Adam. God could have filled the earth with many more human beings without Adam and Eve, but He chose to work with man. He gave man the work to produce and reproduce, to fill the earth and manage it, and to take authority over every living creature in it. God wanted Adam to exercise his dominion right away through working and experiencing the joy of working. What God did showed Adam that through work we can solve problems, produce good results, and enjoy fulfillment.
Work Brings Reward
Psalm 128:2 says, “You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours” (NIV). Through work God makes provision for us. From the work we do, we will need to eat; however, if we choose not to work, then we shouldn’t eat (2 Thess. 3:10). God gives us the responsibility to take care of our families and is displeased if we fail to work and provide for them (1 Tim. 5:8). He uses work as a means of provision for us and our families. In addition, work relieves us from being dependent on others and becoming a financial burden to our relatives or society (1 Thess. 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8).
So work does more than just pay the bills. When we are able to use our strengths, skills, experience and knowledge to work and receive compensation for it, this is a blessing from God. We don’t just receive money for our labor. In fact, we receive food, clothing and shelter, as well as the benefits of health insurance, life and disability insurance, pension contributions, and more. Work is an extension of God’s hand on us to bless us; therefore, we should be thankful.
Work Is for God and Honors God
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
—Ephesians 6:5–8

Whether we are employees, those who are self-employed, business owners, or investors, our work should honor God. The main focus of our work should be to please God, not men, and to work knowing God is present with us at all times. Why? Because the Lord rewards the work we do and how we do it.
We are sometimes unaware of things we do that displease God. We sometimes steal time—we’re tardy to work or fail to adhere to the contract we agreed to. Sometimes we fail to give our best and provide disappointing results, then we wonder why we didn’t get the promotion we wanted.
Whatever we do in life should be pleasing to God. Daily we should ask God to give us the ability to do our work well and let it honor Him. Joseph was a great example of one who honored God in his work. Even as a slave, his superiors saw that God was with him and blessed everything he did. Joseph had the spirit of excellence upon him, and others saw this at each stage of his life. Regardless of what they believe, people should be able to see that same spirit of excellence in us and be willing to trust and favor us.
Whether at work or in relaxation, our lives as Christians should honor God.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” No disconnect should exist between you, your work, and God. God is interested in all of you. The thought that your work is separate from your relationship with God dishonors Him. The attitude that your strength and wisdom, not God, are what provide for you also dishonors Him.
Any credit, any good in our lives, is from the Lord; we therefore need to guard against pride that rises up in our hearts when we achieve success and prosperity through our work. God, who cares for us, is the One who gives us the ability to create wealth.

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Author of Financial Empowerment: Realign Your Finances to Gods Will - a book which examines why we struggle financially but provides solutions from God’s word to empower us financially. Visit Pamela’s blog: Live Out Loud: Success by God’s Word for encouragement and resources to help you become financially empowered and be successful in every area of your Christian life.
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