Digging Up the Roots

“And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord … if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” Luke 19:8

Yesterday we briefly looked at the accountability of the steward. Every steward will give an accounting to his master. Every person on earth will also give an account to the Lord for how they have handled the money and possessions that God has given them. I encouraged each of you yesterday to sit down and write an accounting of your past. If you have not done so, I highly recommend doing it now. The healing that you so desire in your finances begins here … in your past.

If there are ANY bills or financial agreements that you have made to anyone in the past and you have not paid them, you still owe them. If you refuse to pay them, make excuses about them, lie about them, or deny that you owe them, all you are doing is allowing that sin to fester. It will not stay hidden forever. It will come out and most likely at a very inopportune time. Do not hide your head in the sand any longer and think that things will get better. They will not. Please seek God’s forgiveness and then like Zacchaeus make things right … restore (pay) what you owe.

I know this is a very daunting place to be, especially if you struggle with your finances, because a lot of the problem lies in your past … bills that you have let accumulate, bills that you have ignored (with thoughts and hopes that they will magically disappear … they do not), misuse of credit (i.e. student loan debt and credit card debt), insanely high interest and penalties, etc. Do not despair.

There is light at the end of the tunnel … even though the tunnel is very long and you cannot see the end yet.

I hate to throw too many tough things at you that are hard to swallow, but I really feel that there is another issue that needs to be addressed here before we go further … and that is the ROOT issue of your financial problems.

Yes, every problem has a root and until you discover what it is and dig it up lock, stock, and barrel, you will never gain victory in your finances. What is it? I do not know. Each person is different. It could be overspending, discontentment, unwise choices, not budgeting, not tithing, trying to fill a void in your life, dishonesty, and the list is endless.

What is the root cause of your financial problems? You may know or you may not know. If you do not know, you need to be on your knees right now seeking God’s wisdom. Ask Him to show you. He will … so be prepared! When Zacchaeus met Jesus that day on the road to Jericho, God made a change in his life. Are you needing a change in your life? Let God help you by showing you where your problems began … where the roots lie in your finances.

Stewardship Principle #2: Dealing with the past is an important part of your financial healing. Paying those that you owe is an important place to start. But, without fail, you are going to have to address the root cause of your financial problems too. Do not let them mar your present and your future. Dig them up!

Who is a Steward?

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” I Corinthians 4:2

Today I am trusting to lay a foundation for us to build upon this month as we talk about biblical finances … from the standpoint or eyes of a steward. So, to begin, what is a steward or who is a steward? A steward is one who has been given the responsibility, accountability, or management of another man’s property.

Psalm 24:1 tells us that, “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” So, who owns the earth? The Lord. Who owns all that is in the earth? The Lord. Who owns us? The Lord. Who owns all that we have and more specifically our money and possessions? The Lord. So, if the Lord owns our money and our possessions, then we are just stewards of them, are we not?

The principle of stewardship (how a steward handles that which he has been entrusted with) can be found in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Did you notice that the servants (stewards) were all given different amounts of talents? Not all of us will have the same amount of money. Not all of us will have the same amount of income (salary). But, EACH of us are responsible … and accountable … for EVERY penny that the Lord allows us, his stewards, to have. Not only are they responsible for what they currently have, but they are responsible for their past and their future.

How did stewards keep an accounting for their masters? Did they just do it in their heads? Did they write it down or record is somewhere? What did they do? Well, I can assure you that their master wanted to see it in writing. Why the importance of writing it down? Well, for starters, there is less likelihood of lying. Secondly, there is less likelihood of forgetting. Thirdly, there is less likelihood of mismanagement or lack of management.

The same goes for your family’s finances. You need to write them down. In fact, you need to start with ALL debts from the past that have not been paid … a cell phone bill or whatever bill … even if it was from 10 years ago or to a family member, you still are accountable to God for it. Remember that all of your money is God’s and if you cheat someone of money, you are cheating God Himself. Until you are honest and open toward God and man, God will not bless your finances.

You and I are accountable to God for EVERY sin that we commit … whether a sin of commission or a sin of omission. Am I not correct? Therefore, you and I are accountable to God for EVERY penny that He has allowed us to have … from our past to our present and even into our future. Stewardship Principle #1: All that you have is God’s … your life, your family, your job, your possessions, and your money. A steward is accountable for every penny … past, present, and future. Start with your past … make it right with God!

Tell Me a Story

When our daughter was small, we did not have television. So, we read books to her … LOTS and LOTS of books! Some books we read so often that she actually memorized them … even as young as eighteen months old! Actually one of the first books that she memorized was Psalm 23.

Our lives are like books … they tell a story. No two stories are alike. God has made each one of us uniquely different; therefore, each one of our stories are uniquely different. Your story is special to you. My story is special to me. Yet, God can use each of our stories to help someone else.

As I share my story in the pages of this site, you will find that I am not perfect. You will see flaws in me. You will see mistakes. I do not share to compare. I do not share to act better than another. But, if my story and the lessons that God is teaching me speaks to just one person, it is worth the sharing.

The greatest story in history is the story of my Savior dying on the cross for my sins. He was the only begotten, sinless Son of God. He died in my place on that cruel cross that day. He took my sin and my shame and when I repented of my sin, all things became new. I am now a new creature in Christ!

Tell me the story of Jesus … write on my heart every word

As a child, I do not remember having many books to read, but I do distinctly remember listening to the Children’s Bible Hour stories on the radio. I also remember having some of the story records from the Children’s Bible Hour. One of those records had the story of the rapture on it.

One day as I was playing in my bedroom by myself, I was playing that Children’s Bible Hour story record on the rapture. I remember playing and listening and when it got to the end, I remember going over there and kneeling down on my young knees and praying to God to forgive me of my sin. God had convicted my heart so strongly that day. I knew that even though I had been in church my whole life (at the old age of 6-years-old) and even lived in a pastor/missionary’s home, I was not saved. I would not be going to heaven when Christ returned at the rapture and I knew that I did not want to be left behind.

My story did not end that day. No, my friend, that was just the beginning. Many years have passed and many pages have been written since then. My story has not always been one of love, or of faithfulness, or of servitude. Some of those pages are sodden with tears of sorrow and of grief. Some smell like a field of beautiful flowers on a sunny, summer day.

As my storybook has gotten thicker, I have finally come to the place where I so deeply desire to be a sweet-smelling savour in all that I do and say. I know that I have failed the Lord many times, but He has never failed me. It is the least that I can do each day is to strive to bring honor and glory to His name.

So within the pages of this site, you will see me pointing to God. You will see me seeking answers and wisdom from Him who sees all and knows all. We have lived and played in the world long enough, my friend. It is time now to get serious with God. It is time to love Him and serve Him as He has always intended for His children to.

What story is your life telling? Every single day He gives you a new page to write on. What story will you write on your page today?