“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)
God is looking after His people. He is our provider. He is also teaching us to be diligent, disciplined and hardworking.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years, it was God who miraculously provided them a supply of water. He also provided them their daily bread in the form of manna from heaven. Even meat (quail) fell from the sky when they cried out for meat. (Exodus 16) All things are possible with God. (Matthew 19:26)
Elijah the prophet being fed by ravens is another story of God’s miraculous provision. God directed birds (ravens) to supply Elijah with bread and meat in the morning and the evening. (1 Kings 17:2-6)
Next, is the story of the widow and the flask of oil. She had just lost her husband and the creditors were about to come and take away her children as slaves due to debt issues. She asks Elisha the prophet for help and he says, “ What have you got?” And she replies, “a small jar of olive oil”. He then asks her to collect as many empty jars as possible and then go home and start pouring the oil into them…. And God miraculously provides the family an abundant provision. (2 Kings 4:1-7)
Jesus provides wine at a wedding. This was one of his first miracles. When all the wine was finished, Jesus miraculously turned about 180 gallons of water into the best quality wine. (John 2:1-11) In the same way, we become the best version of ourselves through Jesus Christ. By surrendering our lives to Him, He is able to transform us to live an abundant life.
Jesus is always in the process of multiplying. He multiplied the loaves and fishes and fed over 5000 people and He gave the biggest catch of fish to a simple fisherman once he invited Jesus into his boat. (Luke 5: 4-6; John 21:6) God (Jehovah-Jireh) is our provider of abundance.
"And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV)
God gives us the power to generate income. When we do something and take a step of faith, this power activates a miraculous element.
Two areas that require discipline are losing weight and making money. It is very easy to gain weight and reduce money, but the opposite is much harder. One small step at a time on a regular basis, to gradually pay off and reduce debt, little by little, is something we can all do. Being diligent is regularly applying discipline in our lives and being consistent and constant. James Moffatt once said, “A man’s treatment of money is the most decisive test of his character – how he makes it and how he spends it.”
Jesus announced that He had come to proclaim the year of Jubilee. (Luke 4:16-21) That was the year when all debts were to be cancelled in Israel. Everyone got a fresh start once in a lifetime.
Keys to creating a healthy financial lifestyle:
- Commit to it: Make a decision to incorporate generosity, frugality and an excellent work ethic into your lifestyle
- Discipline: No dream comes to pass without discipline. E.g. Olympic athletes train vigorously for years before victory
- Live by budgets: This develops character and negotiating skills
And finally, use our God given talents. We are to dig up and identify our gifts and use them to generate income by the power and grace of God. Examples include creating a podcast, doing a painting, writing a book, song writing, poetry or a creative invention or endeavour that God has placed in your heart.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
- What are the gifts and talents that God has placed in your life?
- How can you use them to begin creating something?
- Consider what could be your next step to creating a healthy financial lifestyle? (Examples could include paying off debt a little at a time consistently, creating a budget etc)
- What are some practical ways we could reach out into our local community and share God’s love with a spirit of generosity?