While I would love to start this book review off by saying it was sponsored, Kris Vallotton and Bethel Church did not sponsor me to write this. (Not yet, anway!) I read this book for pure enjoyment. I have read several of Kris’ books and listened to his sermons and I really enjoy the content that he puts out.
Poverty, Riches, and Wealth changed my perspective on the way I run my small business, the way I look at being a good steward, and has given me a biblical perspective of wealth. I think it is important to realize that there is difference between having money and money having you and wealth is so much more than money! One of the most altering points of the book for me was when he pointed out that the streets in heaven are paved with gold. Therefore, God must not have a problem with riches. I am not sure where it came from, but I had a poverty attitude when I read this book. But, by the end I realized that the more I have, the more I am able to give and God gives out of his abundance to us and we should give out of the abundance from what he gives us. This book also helped me see what is a good investment, a godly investment, and how important it is to have different avenues of income. Overall I love this book and wish I had it in my book collection rather than just on my kindle. I give this book a 4 out of 5 only due to the fact it was more business related, however still very helpful and beneficial to read. It was not what I expected but still was great! I recommend this book to anyone who deals with money on a daily basis, soooooo….everyone!
More book reviews are coming soon! I was just offered two more books from pusblishers to review. So stay tuned 🙂
I believe it is during times of uncertainty and trials that how we view God is truly revealed. It is easy to praise him when things are going right. But, what do we do when things are up in the air? What do we do when nothing seems to be going right?
One mistake many make, myself included, during times of uncertainty it to try and figure out things. We are analytical by nature, we are problem solvers, and we want to get things done! How many can agree that God’s timing is not our timing and that his thoughts are much higher than ours!? So often, we try and figure out how things are going to work out. Where the finances are going to come from, when the healing is going to come, or why things happen. When I try and figure everything out, I have realized I display a lack of trust and I stress myself out! Overall, it is just not a good feeling and something is off. That thing is my view of who God is and where my trust has been placed.
Faith is not focusing on what we can see.
For instance, my husband is getting out of the military and he is our main source of income. Through this time of transition, change, and uncertainty, God has revealed that our jobs are a vessel for him to give us provision rather than something we earned. He has also told me that I should rely on him to provide, not the job. God has shown me that nothing is permanent unless he wills it to be so. Therefore, trusting in my husband to provide rather than trusting in Abba Father to provide is a big no-no! This also puts tremendous pressure on my husband. (Sorry babe!)
There have been so many times that I have tripped up and put my trust in the wrong thing. Forgive me Father. In times of trials, suffering, and uncertainty, we are to look at what is known.
The more I search, the more I learn, the more I observe, I have began to understand that Abba Father is the only thing that is known and steadfast. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His promises are yes and amen! I cannot put faith in myself or the situation around me, especially since things look impossible. But, I can declare his promises, and I can praise him for all he has done! He has never failed me, why would he start now?
When you are going through a trial or uncertainty, where is your trust? In the circumstance or in the way maker, the only one who can change what is visible? Do you complain or do you praise? What may seem impossible for man, is possible when God is put in his rightful place on the throne of your heart! Let us not lean on our own understanding and he will make our path’s straight. God is so good that even when we make a mistake, he still holds us up! Thank-you Papa God!!! In our uncertainty, God not only reveals the position of our heart, but he uses what looks impossible to show how good and how big he is. Through faith we know that he is for us, he makes a way when there is no way, and we have nothing to fear because he is our refuge.
If you are in the midst of the storm, remind yourself of who is your Papa and meditate on his faithfulness, declaring his word, praise instead of worry. He has this!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”-Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.” -Psalms 37:23-24 NKJV
“The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”-Psalm 34:10 NKJV
God has brought a lot of revelation of the difference of being worldly and the new creation he has made me us. He has shown me things in my life that when trials and tribulations come that I begin to think from a worldly perspective. He has also used the people closest to me, facebook, and even people in the church, to show me the difference between worldly and thinking and acting like The Children Of God That We Are. How many of our thoughts are just mere feelings and worldly thoughts compared to biblical truth?
(This blog will have a couple different parts over the next couple days!)
Let me drop some biblical truth that relates to being worldly:
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!”-2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”-1 John 2:15-17
Now let me challenge some worldly thinking:
We worry for nothing, especially when it comes to money. “But Tanja, money is important!! The world revolves around money!”
Let me stop you right there…If your world is revolving around anything but your relationship with God, then your priorities are out of order. God is supposed to be first in our lives. He is supposed to be at the throne of our heart. Not our spouses, children, nor our jobs that often can take up a majority of our time. That job you have doesn’t provide your needs, your heavenly father does. As long we give our first fruits (tithe 10%), he will provide our needs. There has been a lot of animosity about tithing. What if I told you tithing has to do with your heart, not your money? Do you trust God to provide your needs even though the overwhelming amount of bills are coming in continually or are you going to keep that money for yourself? The streets are made of gold in heaven. I assure you that God doesn’t need our money! But he is after out heart!
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”-Malachi 3:10
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:25-34
(Here’s the link to a video concerning financial worry and recent government shutdown)
A recent article showed me some astounding facts about how much time we sit in front a tv screen and on social media. I am thankful that I am able to use social media to spread the good news, but how much of our time is really spent on cat and puppy videos or even the death being spewed all over social media platforms?
“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.” -Socialmediatoday.com
Are you spending as much time connected with God as you are other people?? (now that’s good, thankyou Holy Spirit!)
Let’s put social media aside…
Even children, spouses, friends, and our favorite hobby can take up the quiet time being spent with God. I am not saying that these things are bad. However, anything that takes precedent over first spending time with Abba, has become and idol.
Even Jesus took time away and prayed and spent time with the heavenly father. We see this in scripture several times. There was even a time where people were looking for Jesus, but he knew there was nothing more important than to surrender and have quiet time with the Father.
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-Luke 15:15-16
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.””-Mark 1:35-37
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”-Luke 22:39-45
The worldly perspective of the broken, needy, and poor are that they aren’t worth helping. Wipe your hands of them, they will hurt you, they are scary, they put themselves there.
Man am I thankful God took the broken person I was and made something beautiful out of me! Jesus hung out with the broken, the worldly “low-life’s”, the prostitutes, tax collectors, the sinners. None of us are holier than thou, including myself. God has used my testimony to set people free. He has used some of the hardest things I’ve went through to display his glory of healing, forgiveness, and overall victory.
Did you know when you love the poor, you are actually doing loving God?
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”-Matthew 25:34-40
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””-Matthew 9:9-13
God Focuses On:
love not hate
life not death
victory not defeat
I hope this post somehow challenged you like it has challenged me. We are constantly growing which causes growing pains and that’s okay. Remember, progress is progress!
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”-Colossians 3:2