God is Faithful Daily Devotional
By Chuck Bentley and Larry Burkett
Day 1-Sunday, September 22-Humility
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV
Humility is the priceless cornerstone of financial wisdom. It will change the way you think about money, the way you make money, and the way you spend money.
Eliminating pride is important because God is not neutral about our pride, He “opposes” those who are proud. Notice that He doesn’t just withdraw from them or look the other way. He actively opposes or resists people who think to highly of themselves. In other words, He stands against them.
The day you realize this fact, you will truly want to repent of your pride and grow in humility. You won’t mind having less notoriety in the world while others seek increasing levels of popularity and approval, because you can have far greater rewards in heaven.
Pride puts you in an adversarial position with God. And, even though your efforts to impress others may gain you some temporary notoriety, they will bring God’s opposition and cost you blessings not only in this world but also in the world to come.—Chuck Bentley
Day 2-Monday, September 23-What’s in a Brand Name?
“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV
When it comes to shopping, are you trapped in a cycle of buying products with the most prestigious brand names? Have luxuries become necessities?
Satan never wants you to be happy with equality. Instead, he wants you to engage in a process of comparison that constantly drives you to buy those “top-of-the-line” brands, those that make you appear slightly better than those with lesser brands. Doing so may help you feel better about yourself, but it can put you on a treadmill that demands higher and higher levels of spending.
For many people, only the “deluxe” package will do. This means that if they have a choice of low, middle, or hight, they’ll always choose high, whether they’re considering a house, a car, a handbag, a wristwatch, or even a pair of eyeglasses.
Having a roof over your head, getting from one place to another, and keeping track of time can be had for a lot less money than what many people feel compelled to spend. And when it comes to eyeglasses, the most important thing is not the fashionable brand but whether your vision is corrected!
Don’t buy into the lie that only the “best” will do. Satisfaction isn’t found in a name, freeing yourself from the cycle of comparison can save you a lot of money and take a tremendous burden from your shoulders.—Chuck Bentley
Day 3-Tuesday, September 24-Integrity in the Midst of Fear
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house., In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
In times of great financial stress, you may be more tempted to compromise. But as a believer, it’s critical that you not allow financial fears to discredit your witness for Christ.
Always act with transparency, honesty, and complete integrity. Treat others fairly, and avoid even the appearance of dishonesty.
Difficult times may cause you to be plagued with fears and want to hold on tightly to money, but remember the wisdom of God’s Word: “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:7 NIV
Remain generous to God and to His Kingdom, remembering that He, as Owner of all things, is more than capable of meeting your needs.
Continue to shine your light in every circumstance by honoring the Lord in all you do, so that others will be drawn to Him. It is in these times of testing that you will have the opportunity for your light to shine brightly for the glory of God.—Chuck Bentley
Day 4-Wednesday, September 25-Investing vs. Gambling
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Proverbs 27:12 NIV
If you or someone you know has lost money in the stock market, you may be wondering if lotteries would be a better investment. After all, don’t both of these “investments” involve risk? I have been asked this question on numerous occasions by well-meaning Christians.
The truth is, risk is present when you invest in the stock market as well as when you amble. But consider this: During the twentieth century, the average stock market return was about 5 percent. And, any rate of return is better than zero, which is what essentially all but a few lottery players will receive.
In one multi-state lottery, the odds of winning the grand prize were almost 200 million to one, which means that the lottery ticket you buy doesn’t significantly reduce your risk. In fact, one example compared the probability of winning represented by one lottery ticket to picking the correct 12 inches of a line stretched the 240,00-mile distance between the earth and the moon!
For most people, the return on investment represented by a lottery ticket is nothing more than the paper on which it’s printed.
Christians should never take the money God has entrusted to them and waste it on gambling. God is more than able to meet our needs, and when we begin putting more trust in chance than in Him, it’s time to reevaluate our priorities.—Chuck Bentley
Day 5-Thursday, September 26-God or Chance?
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV
In Proverbs 24:3-4, God taught us to rely on what He gives us in order to build our houses. This means we rely on the truth he puts in our minds to develop wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.
Lotteries are promoted as a simple way to get what we need. Tickets are purchased based on chance, to obtain a large sum of money that will be gained quickly and easily.
Using that philosophy, Proverbs 24:3-4 would read something like this: “By the lottery my house has been built, and through great luck it has been established. Through random chance its rooms have been filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
When we rely on the lottery instead of on what God has given us, we put our faith in luck and random chance. And, we ignore what God taught us to use instead.
However, if we’ll rely upon God’s wisdom, understanding, and knowledge and seek godly counsel, we’ll improve our opportunity for financial success through investing, work, and business.
Don’t but your faith in luck. Go is in control. In fact, the Bible teaches that He is sovereign even in the outcome of casting lots! “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:33 NIV)
The difference between investing and gambling is where you put your faith and confidence. God wants us to use the minds He gave us and trust Him for our provision, not random chance.—Chuck Bentley
Day 6-Friday, September 27-Indulgence
“Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.”
Most people don’t get up in the morning and say “I’m going to indulge myself today.” No, this attitude is much more subtle. An indulgence is almost always rationalized as being a need, but in reality it is something that has little or no lon-term utility.
Consider how many expensive pieces of exercise equipment have been purchased with the best of intentions, only to be relegated to the closet or basement, unused and forgotten. And while we go to sleep disturbed over whether to buy a big screen TV, over half the world’s children go to bed hungry or cold.
If you are constantly seeking to indulge whimsical desires, the results will be frustration and bondage.
I’ve found that before you buy something it’s best to identify the need for the item, allocate the money for it, find the best buy, and pray about the purchase.
God often allows us to have more than our basic necessities, of course, but leave the door open for Him to bless you. Don’t run ahead of Him and miss God’s best.—Larry Burkett
Day 7-Saturday, September 28-Greed
“Do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” Ephesians 5:3
Greed means “I want more. I want the best. I’ll not be satisfied with anything less.” Greed can separate families and friendships, and it breeds dishonesty and guilt. Greed is evident in our society in everything from bigger homes to flashier cars to obsession over hoarding money.
Many Christians are going to be ashamed to face the Lord and Explain why they hoarded money while others went hungry.
Once commitment has been made to a disciplined lifestyle, regardless of the abundance of income, the danger of greed and its by-products is significantly reduced.
It’s only when we discern the true needs in our lives, based on God’s principles and values, that we can control greed.
Jesus warned us, “Be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Luke 12:15—Larry Burkett
Used with permission from Crown Financial Ministries. If you would like to sign up for free daily devotionals from Crown Financial Ministries use this link: https://www.crown.org/resources/god-is-faithful-daily-devotional/. Please visit www.crown.org for more information.
God is Faithful Daily Devotional