Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Treasure Hunting

There are more than 500 verses in the Bible concerning prayer; nearly 500 verses concerning faith; but more than 2,000 verses on the subject of money and possessions. Jesus talked about money in 16 of His 38 parables.

And of course there is that pesky little verse in the Beating on the Mount: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt 6:21)

So ... I guess you could say that I'm on a "treasure hunt" right now in my life. No, I'm not looking for more treasure but rather I'm looking for my treasure.

Let me explain. Over the past two weeks I have lost 16 pounds. It was two weeks ago today that I sent my sights on becoming a better steward of my body and since then I have been a man on a mission. Through the power of prayer, encouragement of family and friends, and the supernatural, discipline giving prescience of the Spirit, I have been blessed with the uncharacteristic ability to not allow any sugar to enter my body. None! Not just sugar as in candy, cakes or cokes but also the kind that is found in rice, bread, potatoes, chips and the like. I am completely confident that I will lose no less than 25 more pounds.

Yesterday I turned my focus on becoming a better steward of my money, or better yet - God's money. They say that faith comes from hearing and hearing comes from the Word. Yesterday those words of Jesus that I quoted above arrested me and threw me in the slammer of introspection. I read. I prayed. I talked it over with Kim. I sought help from a trusted friend. And now, I'm asking for prayers. I am asking God to take my giving to an entirely new level. I don't want to be a good giver - I want to be a great giver! I want it to be unmistakably clear to God and myself "where my treasure is" So will you join me in this prayer battle. As silly as this sounds I am asking you to actually ask God to help me trust Him more and put Him first with how I spend His money.

I'm on a treasure hunt. And I pray that I find out that God is really first in my life. Will you pray for me too?

4 comments:

Greg Kendall-Ball said...

Joel,
You could send some of that treasure you're wanting to give away to some needy missionaries...I happen to know of a few!!!

;)

RPorche said...

I will pray for you Joel. This topic has been something I've thought/prayed about a lot since I've moved and had to begin making these huge financial decisions. What precedents will I set with my money and material-management? It's scary to think how deep our culture has penetrated our thinking on this stuff.

It has been helpful to me to re-read Foster's Chapter on "Simplicity" from "Celebration of Discipline." Blessings, my friend.

Matt said...

Go for it, brother!

If we live in the most wealthy nation in history, and if a huge focus of scripture has to do - as you point out - with what Christians do with their money, how can the primary question of our age be anything BUT "what is to be done with this embarrassment of wealth that we're experiencing?"

Some popular Christian leaders seem to believe the answer has to do with seeking out even more "blessings" from God, but I'm beginning to wonder if there aren't really some (very) tough questions about money, the mission of Jesus, and sacrificial discipleship that need to be faced head-on.

May God bless your treasure hunt.

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