Today's Devotion comes from The Teen Devotional Sponsor: Dare To Share
I think it's official now- if not obvious at the very least. We are living in one of the most affluent cultures in the history of the world.
Americans these days love to saunter in their sumptuous surroundings and luxuriate in our lavish lifestyles. And why not? We work hard. Scrimp and save. Plan and produce. So what's
the big deal?
In a word: deception. Somewhere along the way we have believed the lie that possessions can make us happy. When that happens, we become
nothing short of idolaters who worship at the shrine of shekels. We bow to the almighty dollar instead of the Almighty Himself.
Am I telling you how to spend your money? No... that's pretty much between you and God. But remember that He had more than a few things to say
about the subject. Let's review a few of those insights- shall we?
Looking at his disciples, Jesus said:
"Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who "have it all' to enter God's kingdom?" The disciples couldn't
believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: "You can't imagine how difficult. I'd say it's easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for the rich to get into
God's kingdom." (Mark 10:23-25)
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)
You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for
the other. You can't worship God and Money both. (Matthew 6:24)
Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith
completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (I Timothy 6:10)
And that's just a few. Did you know that the Bible has 500 verses about prayer, close to 500 verses that deal with faith, and over 2,000
verses that deal with how we acquire our money and possessions?
Perhaps now is a good time to re-evaluate your priorities, and especially how big a role bucks play in your view of happiness and fulfillment.
To help with that process, here is a great story that will help get you started:
The Rich Family in Church
By Eddie Ogan
I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12, and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and
the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.
By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special
Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.
When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us
to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn't listen to the radio, we'd save
money on that month's electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough
cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.
We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.
Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to
enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times
that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our
We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.
That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the
We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our
home, but it didn't seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.
But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new
clothes, and I felt rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in
As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter
eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her
hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.
Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to
feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn't have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and
other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.
We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd never
thought we were poor.
That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn't like being poor.
I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed--I didn't even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!
I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that
we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got
dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What
did poor people do with money? We didn't know. We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we
didn't talk on the way.
Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in
Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help
these poor people?" We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.
Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in
When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn't expected such a
large offering from our small church. He said, "You must have some rich people in this church."
Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100."
We were the rich family in the church! Hadn't the missionary said so? From that day on I've never been poor again. I've always remembered how
rich I am because I have Jesus!
How do you define 'rich' and 'poor'?
How are you investing your possessions in the Kingdom?
What is one change you need to make in your life as a result of reading that story?
I know what it 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 or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12
Am Praying For You Each Day
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Some of the devotions that are seen on T.A.G. are from and are
Today International/Ignite Your Faith magazine
The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength
Laughter Is Good
For The Soul
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