Before David and Maura Reza hand out the $5 weekly allowance to their children, David reads a scripture from the Bible about money. This is a shift for the family which has retreated from what Maura Reza calls years of “self-spending.” Now they have turned to a higher power for managing their budget: the world of biblical financial planning.
Their 5 children gather around the dining room table to listen to their dad then light up when mom walks in with the cash. “The important thing to remember is that all of this,” David Reza says, as he opens his arms wide gesturing to everything in the house, “belongs to God.” It may not belong to the Reza’s much longer because the family is in danger of losing their 5 bedroom, 2,900 S.F. home. Even if they do, they believe their faith will help them with their finances.
The Reza family turned to their church for help to climb out of their debt. Courses on biblical financial planning, how to get out of debt, and saving and tithing are now begin offered at many churches these days. These programs teach tithing to God must be first. Before, the Reza family gave sporadically to God, but now they give about $300 a month to their church. “What we have given we’ve gotten back in blessings,” said Maura Reza. (The Sacramento Bee, July 29, 2008; Faithful find fiscal salvation in church; pg. 1, by Jennifer Garza)
And yes, it is amazing how absolutely true the Word of God is. It teaches us how to be saved, blessed, healed, get out of debt, and how to turn a bad situation into a positive one. God’s word tells the reason people are suffering and doing without, which is always conducive to disobedience. If people will pay attention to the Word of God then implement it, the blessings will rain down on them.
God is not a man that is able to lie because He is the absolute truth. His one and only desire is to bless us, but He will not and cannot bless disobedience. God says, “Bring ye all the tithe into the storehouse that there may be meat in mine house and prove me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:8-12). If we will obey God’s word and meet His conditions He will bless us right out of our socks.
The problem with too many is they want the blessings of God without participating with God. God wants His people to cooperate with Him so they can say, “The Lord has blessed me! He has turned gloom into boom!” I am not talking about some Wall Street gamble or some get rich quick scheme. This has everything to do with integrity in God’s Word. Yes, it is just simple faith that God can do anything. And in this economy, many people, like the Reza family are finding out that it is better to give than to be a selfish tight-wad. It is true: you can’t beat God giving no matter how you may try. He will turn your curse into a huge blessing. You can get more info by visiting us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Erik Weihenmayer is blind from a degenerative eye disease, yet on May 25, 2001 he scaled the peak of deadly Mt. Everest. Erik’s success on this treacherous ascent came because he listened well. He cued in on the little bell tied to the back of the climber in front of him so he would know what direction to go. He listened to the voice of teammates who would shout back to him, “Death fall two feet to your right!” so he would know what direction not to go. He listened to the sound of his pick jabbing the ice, so he would know whether the ice was safe to cross.
Question: are you facing a perilous climb in life? Make sure you keep your attention on the voice of the Lord. Take your cues from the Holy Spirit and from His Holy Word to avoid the death drops that are up ahead. In walking with Jesus, what you hear is what you will finally get. You can count on Him to guide you safely over the path of life. When you are with a person a lot, his voice becomes very familiar. And that’s the way it is with Jesus Christ. He said, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).
By spending quality time with the Lord we undoubtedly know His voice. H. V. Morton tells of a scene that he saw in a cave near Bethlehem. Two shepherds had sheltered their flocks in the cave during the night. How were the flocks sorted out the next morning? One of the shepherds stood some distance away and gave his peculiar call which only his sheep knew and soon his whole flock had run to him. They knew his voice. The sheep would have responded to no one else. The voice of their shepherd was assuring.
An 18th century traveler actually tells how Palestinian sheep can be made to dance, fast or slow, to the peculiar whistle or the unique tune on the flute of their own shepherd. And in the same way, we have to listen intently to the Great Shepherd’s voice if we care about where we are headed. He sees and knows what we do not see and know. He cares that we reach our destination and He does everything He can to get us to the top.
Erik climbed Mt. Everest because he listened very closely to his leader. He depended upon his leader’s eyes and ears to get him there. We are surrounded with many confusing voices and sounds today, but we must learn how to pick out the voice of our master while tuning out the others. Christ cares about our safety and success more than anyone. We are always on His mind. But the key question is: is He always on our mind?
I’m sure that Erik had his mind on his leader all the way to the top of the mountain; because, he was depending on him. Even after David became king over Israel, he depended on God to lead him. His signature Psalm tells it all: “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.” He cued in on the Lord. For more info visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Oftentimes it is little children who come up with profound thoughts that few adults would dare express. Here is one such example. The lawyer made it a habit to put his little girl to bed at night by reading her a Bible story. This particular night he read to her the story of Job. As she learned about the man who lost his wife, cattle, and children and whose body was racked with boils and whose friends forsook him, she was finally compelled to ask, “Daddy, why didn’t Job sue God?” Humans can curse God, blame God, abandon God, and yes, even try to sue God, but the smart ones cling to God in time of trouble and refuse to forsake him.
Jesus had a biological brother (from the same mother but different fathers) by the name of James and he wrote a very profound book entitled “James.” In the first chapter of his book he says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers (several) temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” The key to being happy is to keep a positive attitude in the bad times knowing that the trying of our faith produces patience.
We must not sink into a sad or angry frame of mind which would only make us heavy laden and discouraged. But we must strive to keep our spirit up by “counting it all joy.” We must be assured that something positive is coming. When gold is put into the fire it is purified and so must we. Instead of letting temptation draw us into sin we must be made pure. “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
By keeping a good attitude in the midst of trouble we set ourselves up to make the best of it. Therapy and philosophy may instruct us to be calm under pressure, but God’s Word teaches us to be joyful, because this will produce patience, love, growth instead of anger. I especially like what Paul said: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
We know that something great is in the making when we are being tried, because no promotion comes without a test first. No one says that life is easy but keeping a good attitude sure does help. No one can get a handle on you when you are joyful, because, joy keeps you in control. Joy will keep you from succumbing to the negative side of life. So, keep your chin up, square your shoulders, plant joy in your heart and nothing will get you down. Your life will be amazing.
There’s a significant key to keeping joy in your life before the mud hits the fan. Speak loud and clear ten times every morning these words: “This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). You will notice a sense of well-being and genuine peace come over you. Only God through His word can give such dynamic confidence. Make this a habit by repeating it every morning. You’ll be glad you did. For more info you can visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.