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Reaping Not Robbed

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten…You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will My people be shamed.”- Joel 2:25-26

When it comes to trusting our finances to the Lord for Him to bless and multiply, there can be the uncomfortable feeling that we may lose what we have or not have enough. I know that in times of financial challenge, decision, and need there is a heightened urge and temptation to crunch numbers on the calculator, look over the bank statements, and lay awake at night trying to figure out the figures. I am here to tell you that after twenty-nine years of walking with Jesus, twenty-two years of being married (with four kids), and twelve years of being the pastor at Shepherd’s House, that God is faithful to provide and always fills our cup!

One of our church’s staple Scriptures is John 10:10 (double perfection) where Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” As we reap the blessings that flow from our loving and perfect heavenly Father, let us not get into a mindset of gathering frantically due to the potential of loss or lack. Brothers and sisters, we need to be cured from that kind of “provision” amnesia! Let us be faith reapers, who receive what He provides each day for each need with peace and thanksgiving, not counting it, not storing it, not controlling it, and not fretting over it. In Psalm 37:25 David celebrates God’s faithfulness with this account, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

This week something amazing happened in our home that epitomizes this truth. Our daughter woke up crying because someone (i.e.- one of the brothers), had taken a few of her Halloween candies. Despite having a pillow-case full of treats, she was crushed that it was taken without her permission. After we consoled our princess and confronted the sweet tooth bandit, we assured her that she would get the candy back. Well, that very night, while I was at a meeting, a person brought a small bag of candy they had not handed out on Halloween. I was able to bring the extra home and give it to my daughter. It was easily ten times more than what had been taken!

When it comes to our finances, we walk a fine line between being a good steward (using wisdom) versus being a slave (worry). You may be trying to figure out how to pay the monthly bills or pay down outstanding debt; you may be stressed out about not being able to give gifts to your children this Christmas; you may feel drained by how hard you work and how little you have to show in your savings account or retirement portfolio; you may be wrestling internally about whether or not you can give to God. Again, let us reap with joy, knowing that the gifts God sends our way flows from love, answers our cares, and lasts far longer than we can imagine. Receive today His peace on this subject as found in the words of Paul in Philippians 4:12, “I know what is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed of hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

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