February 5, 2011 – Stanley

Prayer-Based Planning Luke 14:28-30

In Luke 14, Jesus’ example of building a tower shows the importance of planning and using resources wisely. Otherwise, money may run out before the work is done.

Any financial plan should be covered with prayer. First, ask God for the wisdom to understand His teachings about money and how they apply to your situation. Next, pray for clarity about all details—including how much is earned as well as how much is spent.

One final step is to seek the Lord’s guidance in assessing whether spending habits are in line with His priorities. In evaluating this, it is helpful to divide expenses into categories, including:

1. Giving to the local church, missionaries, and other organizations

2. Basic needs—food, clothing, and housing

3. Insurance, retirement plan, savings

4. Debt, such as second mortgages, loans, and credit cards

5. Personal spending on entertainment and extras—cell phones, Internet, cable TV, eating out, vacations, etc.

Some of us will discover that our finances are not in line with scriptural principles, which may be discouraging. If this is true of you, turn to the Lord, confess what has happened, and pray for the strength to handle your God-given resources His way.

Financial discipline is a learned skill. It requires a commitment to live according to Scripture, persistent effort to change bad habits, concentration to develop new ones, and faith that we can learn to live according to God’s priorities. We’re blessed when we practice prayer-based planning.

February 5, 2011 – Begg

The Father’s Role

The father has sent his son to be the savior of the world.

1 John 4:14

It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ did not appear without His Father’s permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent by the Father, that He might be the Savior of men.

We are too apt to forget that while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honor. We are prone to ascribe the honor of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than to the Father. This is a very great mistake. Yes, Jesus came, but didn’t His Father send Him? He spoke powerfully, but didn’t His Father pour grace into His lips, that He might be an able minister of the new covenant? Whoever knows the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit as they should know them never sets one before another in his love; he sees them together at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation.

O Christian, have you put your confidence in the Man Christ Jesus? Have you placed your trust solely on Him? And are you united with Him? Then believe that you are united with the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus you are brother and live in close fellowship, you are in this way linked with God the Eternal, and “the Ancient of days” is your Father and your friend.

Did you ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped His Son for the great enterprise of mercy? If not, meditate today on this: The Father sent Him! Contemplate that subject. Think how Jesus works what the Father wills. In the wounds of the dying Savior view the love of the great I AM. Let every thought of Jesus be also connected with the Eternal, ever-blessed God, for “It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief.”

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1Isaiah 53:10