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
As Christians we have been called not to be conformed to the status quo, nor to live our lives out in mediocrity, but to be victorious world changers. We have been called to make such a contribution to society that those around us will be changed. God has called you and me to help Him establish His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Throughout the Word of God we are exhorted to be strong in the power of His might: "Let the weak say, I am strong…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…Those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits." The Word of God is full of accounts of people who were dynamic heroes of faith who out of weakness were made strong. God has called His children not to be mastered or controlled by emotions, attitudes, or circumstances. Rather, they are to be the master, to rise up and take dominion and live a victorious and full life.
Theodore Roosevelt said this about success: "It is not the critic who counts nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly who errs and comes short again and again (because there is no effort without error and shortcoming), who does actually try to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
Why is it that many Christians are content to stay in that "gray mediocre twilight?" I believe it is because they have a difficult time reconciling the spirit of faith and the act of faith. The "spirit of faith" means, God is a sovereign God who is in control of events in this world and orders history according to His will. The "act of faith" means that God will do nothing to overthrow the forces of evil until He finds a man or woman who will stand in the gap to intercede, who will boldly act upon and proclaim God's Word, and go forth to do God's will. I would say that all Christians have the "spirit of faith," because they believe that God is in control. But, very few know the "act of faith" because they are not committed to stand in the gap to do God's will. They have a difficult time trusting in God for some of the most minute things. Many are good at talking about God, but they have a hard time acting on His Word.
Jesus said, "You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14). A friend is one who is dependable and trustworthy. He will stick closer than a brother and will take action to keep friendship alive. A friend won't run away when the going gets tough. Find out more online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com.
In August 1978, the first successful transatlantic balloon flight became a reality when Double Eagle II touched ground in a barley field in the small village of Miserey, France. But success in this accomplishment did not come easy. During the years from 1873 through 1978, thirteen attempts had been made---all ending in failure. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1977, in which Double Eagle ended up in Iceland, Double Eagle II was successful in making that historic six-day trip from Presque Isle, Maine, to Miserey, France.
What made the difference between the unsuccessful trip and the successful one? One difference was the addition of another man. A second difference was experience. Maxie Anderson, one of the crew, put it this way: “I don’t think that you can fly the Atlantic without experience, and that’s one reason it hadn’t been flown before. Success in any venture is just the intelligent application of failure.” Did you catch that? Success is just intelligent application of failure.
Booker T. Washington said, “A measure of a man’s success is not what he achieves, but what he overcomes.” Success requires resilience. Many times a successful ball team is one that has bounced back from having a bad season or experiencing several losses. They learn from their mistakes how to improve their game. Life has it way of giving us losses and missed shots so for that reason we must learn from our errors. And the person who can do this will overcome his losses with success.
Lorne Sanny, when he was the president of the Navigators, had the following to say, “If you are suffering without succeeding, then someone will succeed after you…If you are succeeding without suffering, then someone suffered before you.” We are like a tea bag: not much good until it has gone through hot water.
Even Jesus, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Of course, He did this for our sakes.
If you want to determine whether or not an air tank of the kind divers need is usable, you test it. Of course you do not test it when it is empty. No, you test it by applying pressure to it. And the pressure used in such a test is far beyond what would be considered normal. Only under intense pressure can hidden flaws be exposed. And under the pressures of life we are tested severely to see if we will break or hold.
Success, many times, will test our integrity. Praise detects pride or humility. Wealth tests the flaw of selfishness. Education tests our pride. Hearing the Word of God tests our faith. Failure tests our resilience.
A cliché’ says it well: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Even Christ had to experience humility before victory. He had to experience death before resurrection. His Lordship came after He suffered much pain and agony. Our success comes when we understand that we have to do our part in it. For more info and service times 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.