Gas prices are increasing. Grocery prices are increasing. It seems like everywhere we turn, we’re having to spend more money on the necessities of life. What can we do? Here are a few strategies to help make ends meet:
Manage Your Money
Step 1: Decide how much you will donate to the Lord each month. Set this amount aside first.
Step 2: Pay all bills.
Step 3: Use what is left for discretionary purchases and savings.
Manage Your Time
Step 1: Block off time for attending church meetings and personal devotion time.
Step 2: Devote as many hours as makes sense for working and earning money.
Step 3: Make sure to save some time for family.
Step 4: Use any time that is left for relaxation.
Use Your Creativity
Step 1: Pray and think about ways of spreading the gospel.
Step 2: Pray and think about ways of growing your career and earning more money.
Are you seeing a pattern in the above financial strategies? In each case, you first do what is necessary as part of your service to God and then you follow that up with “taking care of business.”
This may seem counterintuitive. After all, if you donate to the Lord first, don’t you run the risk of not having enough money left to pay your bills? Isn’t it possible that you will miss out on some prime money-earning opportunities if you go to every church meeting?
This is where trusting in God comes into play — If we put Him first, He will provide for us. Jesus puts it this way in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
Let’s make sure we understand what Jesus is saying here. He’s not saying to do nothing and expect that God will just give you everything you need.
On the contrary, He’s saying to work and then work some more — first for the kingdom of God and then to earn a living. But the nice thing is that when we do it in this order, all of our work is blessed by God!
- When we give to the Lord first, somehow there is enough left to pay all the bills.
- When we reserve sufficient time to commune with the Lord, somehow there is enough time left to get everything else done (regardless of how “busy” we think our lives are).
- And when we employ our personal energy and creativity to work for the kingdom of God, He blesses us with the ability to do our best in a professional capacity too.
In the previous portions of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about prioritizing treasure in heaven over treasure on earth and choosing God as master rather than the things of the world. This portion concludes that teaching by letting us know what happens when we truly prioritize the things of God over the things of the world — God provides for our needs.
So, if you find yourself (even occasionally) putting other things first, saying, “Well, I have to take care of this or that first,” then try turning things around. Trust God enough to focus on His kingdom first, and then see what happens!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.