Earlier this week, I was reminded of all the years I helped people in career transition. In fact, for a number of those years, I also taught financial stewardship classes to assist people who had become entangled in their finances. Most of them needed to understand God’s desire for how we should handle His resources as stewards of what has been entrusted to our care. Clearly, when people lose their jobs or are forced to change careers, financial hardships can be right around the corner.
These two areas of family trials – careers and finances – are initially what brought my cousin, David, and me into ministry together. I focused on the career stuff – and David headed up our effort to advise people on how to handle their finances God’s way. In fact, it was a financial stewardship class David was teaching that initially brought us together – when I finally realized the relationship between these two disciplines.
Anyway, we have now worked together for almost twenty years and it is a very comfortable relationship. We have our different audiences and messages – even our styles are quite different – but we both believe that God put us together as ministry partners for a reason. It also helps that we are cousins – we have similar experiences in the way that we grew up and just have a great relationship – we look out for each other and help each other whenever we can.
While I have never published a book, even though I have been asked to think about it from time to time, David felt called to write a book of financial stewardship stories that he has witnessed throughout the years. As the name of this post implies, it is named “Troubled Finances” and is designed to help people practice money matters in such a way as to consult God on important purchases, eliminate debt, reduce impulse spending and acquiring wealth so they have the resources to help fund God’s work around the world.
As a result of the book being published, David has started a weekly podcast. He recounts some of the stories he mentioned in the book and gives financial counsel to those who listen and are willing to consider a more God centered approach to finances. By the way, did you realize that there are more verses about money in the Bible than any other subject – and that includes prayer! It’s clear that finances are very important to God.
So earlier this week, David asked me to participate in several of his podcasts. We engaged in lively dialogue, focused on certain biblical passages and had a great time working together to bring his audience a little twist to the normal things they have come to expect. I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.
I was transported back to years gone by when I was so actively engaged in helping people with their career objectives. Once I got started on the podcast, memories came flooding back to me and it was as if the years had melted away. Please don’t get me wrong – I would not want to head back to the past – but my seminary studies helped prepare me for the chapters that God has placed in my life since then. The same is true with David.
So as we enter the next stage of our lives, and our ministry, we both realize that God isn’t done with us yet. It’s comfortable to continue on the path that has been ordained for us. It’s exciting to imagine what God has in store for us next. But for now, the podcasts are next on the menu! For our verse for tonight, I have chosen one of the foundational verses that affirms that God owns everything and that we are stewards of all that is His. We are told the words of God in Psalm 50:9-12, “I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be stewards of His resources. He loves us and trusts us to manage all that is His. My prayer is that we will all turn to God for His approval and that we will ask Him to lead our lives along the path that He has already chosen for us. There is no greater joy than being in the center of God’s will. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…