The Ultimate Life, and How You View Money

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The Ultimate Life, prequel to The Ultimate Gift, tells the story of how Red Stevens discovered the series of “gifts” (important life lessons) that he passed on to his grandson, Jason. After finding the woman of his dreams in The Ultimate Gift, Jason Stevens gets so caught up in the busyness of life that he almost loses her in The Ultimate Life. When he comes to the end of his rope, Hamilton, long-time friend and lawyer of Red Stevens, gives him his grandfather’s journal. Through it, he finds out how his grandfather went from a poor young boy to a billionaire financial success, yet threw away all that mattered most in the process. As he reads the journal, Jason is reminded of what is truly important, which helps him figure out the next step to take in his own life.

In The Ultimate Gift, we meet Red Stevens as a determined teenager who sets out on his own, bent on achieving billionaire status. Throughout his journey, he displays initiative and drive that enables him to overcome any obstacle in his path. At the same time, his focus on gaining wealth causes him to neglect other important aspects of his life, such as his family, until he discovers that becoming a billionaire in and of itself isn’t enough to fulfil him. When he nearly loses his only true friend, he is forced reconsider the path he’s heading down.

The Ultimate Life says a lot about how we should view money. In and of itself, wealth isn’t at all a bad thing. As a matter of fact, God wants His children to prosper, and this includes in their finances. The problem comes in when we put money above all else, and begin to view it as the only thing that matters.

1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the LOVE of money, not money itself, is the root of all evil. In other words, what matters to God is how you view money, and where your focus is when it comes to your finances. The right way to view money is as a tool to take care of yourself and someday your family, to bless others, and to enable to gospel to be spread throughout the world. The wrong way to view money is to prioritize it above other things in your life that matter just as much or even more.

Red Steven’s poverty as a child led him to become so wrapped up in gaining wealth he neglected other important matters. Wealth isn’t what causes love of money. There are both rich and poor people who love money, and both rich and poor people who view it how God wants them to. Instead of trying to figure out where the limit is on how much money it’s ok for you to have, trust God with your finances, and focus on using the money you have in a way that honors Him. If you’ll do that, not only will you be blessed with the financial success God desires to give you, but you will also come to view money the way God desires for you to view it!

Glorify God Through Success

Glorify God Through Success

In the movie Woodawn, black high school running back, Tony Nathan, is encouraged to use his gifts for God. The sports chaplain tells him that it may be God’s plan for him to be a star. His coach takes notice of him, and gives him a chance to play a starting position at which he excels, thrusting him into the limelight. When he feels down because of the obstacles and difficulties he encounters, he is reminded by several people that he has encouraged and given hope to those around him by what he’s been accomplishing. As a matter of fact, the pastor of his church acknowledges in front of the entire congregation that he’s glorifying God by using his ability in football, and applauds him for it.

Sometimes Christians can have this mindset that you can’t desire or strive for success and truly be following God the way you should at the same time – almost like if you’re successful, you mustn’t really be on the path that God has for you. There’s this mentality that if you happen to have a lot of money, are in a career that puts you in the limelight, or really, really succeeding, you’re somehow less of a believer. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!

God actually WANTS his people to succeed! He desires to lead and guide them, setting them up for success. He promises that if we delight in His Word, EVERYTHING we do will prosper (Ps 1:2-3). Psalm 45:12 declares that people of wealth will seek our favor. Isaiah 60:3&5 say that nations will be drawn to God’s light shining through us, and that the wealth of nations will come to us. Does this sound like God is against you succeeding?

Oftentimes, success can actually open up a greater platform for God’s people to share Him with the world. Those who have an abundance of money have an increased opportunity to bless others financially. If someone is well-known, as long as they stick with God instead of getting caught up in the fame, they are just in a more visible position to tell others about their faith. When believers experience success, and unbelievers ask how they achieved it, they have the chance to point them to the God who is responsible for it!

Obviously not everyone is famous or a billionaire, but God does desire for His people to live a prosperous, successful life in every area – to have successful godly relationships, to have all that they need and more in their finances, to do well in the career path He has for them, and to prosper in every other arena of their lives.

It saddens me when people think they need to choose between God and success. Just like Tony Nathan was able to glorify God through his success, pointing others to Him with the platform he’d been given, God wants us to prosper, and glorify him through that prosperity. Commit your life to the Lord, with the determination to stick close to Him even in the midst of success, and discover the amazing things He has in store for you!

10 Verses to Speak Over Your Life Every Day

10 Scriptures

In a previous post, we discussed how what we believe and are constantly speaking about ourselves and our lives is what we will often see happen, and how God wants us to believe what His Word says, speak words that agree with it, and see His promises to us come to pass. How can we do this?

First of all, before you can believe God’s Word, you need to take time to find out what it says. Secondly, once you’re spending time in God’s Word, one way to speak words that agree with it is to actually take promises from it and speak them over your life. Take a verse with a promise from God that you love, and declare what it says about you on a daily basis!

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 scriptures to speak over your life every day!

Standing Before God – “Because Jesus took my sin upon Himself, I am the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Favor – “God’s favor surrounds me like a shield!” (Psalm 5:12)

Wisdom – “I ask God for wisdom, and He gives me an abundant supply of it.” (James 1:7)

Health – “Because of the stripes that Jesus received when He was whipped, I am healed.” (Psalm 53:5)

Protection – “God keeps me from every kind of harm, and watches over me.” (Psalm 121:7)

Success – “Everything I put my hand to is blessed.” (Deuteronomy 28:8)

Finances – “God blesses me abundantly, so that I have all that I need, and can be generous to others at all times.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Peace – “I am not anxious, worried, or stressed because I keep my focus on God, and He keeps me in perfect peace.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Joy – “I am not depressed or downcast because sorrow and sighing flee from me, and gladness and everlasting joy are mine.” (Isaiah 52:22)

Forgiveness – “God has forgiven me for all of my sins – so completely that He no longer even remembers them!” (Hebrews 8:12)

 

What God Has to Say About Our Financial Success

Financial Success

Earlier, we discussed whether or not it’s ok for Christians to prosper financially. We talked about how it’s the love of money, not money itself, that is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10), and how it’s not so much about how much we have, but whether or not it has us. Now, let’s look at what God’s Word has to say about our financial success.

  • Proverbs 10:22 – His blessing brings wealth, and adds no sorrow with it.
  • Isaiah 60:5 – To you shall come the wealth of nations!
  • Philippians 4:19 – He will supply all your needs.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:11 – He will enrich you in every way so that on all occasions, you can be generous.
  • Psalm 1:2-3 – Those who meditate on and delight in God’s Word shall prosper in all they do.
  • Isaiah 61:6 – On the wealth of nations you will feed, and you will boast in their riches.
  • Deuteronomy 30:9 – He will make you prosperous in the work of your hands – He will delight in you, and make you prosperous. (This was a blessing given for obedience. We can never obey perfectly, but Jesus lived the perfect life for us. Because we are in Him, His perfection covers us, and we have access to this blessing!)

This is what God’s Word promises regarding your finances! Trust in His promises. Take Him at His Word, and see what He will accomplish in your life financially!

Blessings For The Righteous

Blessings For The RighteousThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is
Psalm 5:12. This verse tells us that God blesses those who are righteous, and surrounds them with His favor as with a shield.

How are we made righteous? Do we become righteous by doing enough good deeds, trying to obey all of God’s rules, or by being a ‘good’ person? Romans 3:22 gives us the answer to this question. It says that righteousness is given through faith in Jesus to all who believe. We can never be good enough to become right with God on our own. The only way for us to truly be made right with Him is by trusting in Christ’s finished work at the cross.

If we have faith in Christ, then we are righteous – not because of what we have done, but because of what He has done for us. God’s Word says that He blesses the righteous. Know that if you have placed your faith in His Son, His blessings are yours! Also, know that His favor surrounds you as with a shield. Wherever you go, and whomever you come in contact with, God’s unmerited favor is upon you! As you go about your day, expect success, for your Heavenly Father is on your side!