Daily Scripture Reading:
John 8:36 – “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
John 10:10 – “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
“Are you in debt so as to embarrass you in your work?”*
Since the beginning of Methodism, all ordained clergy have been asked this question when they stand before the clergy session for approval to be ordained. Sometimes the question gets smiles but the response should always be no. As a matter of fact, it’s the only question that should get a negative answer of John Wesley’s Historic Questions – all 19 of them. Everything else is supposed to be YES!
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, knew that debt could be a problem for his preachers. Today every preacher that is ordained in the UMC not only goes to seminary, writes papers, has a health screening and a multitude of other steps, he or she also has a credit check.
Why this strenuous examination of finances? Because debt is a burden that can pull us away from serving God freely and fully.
But it’s not just the clergy. Raise your hand if at any time in your life, you’ve worried about your finances. I see your hands. My hand is raised also.
Worry over our finances takes the energy that we could use for serving God. Instead of worry and anxiety, God desires us to live freely and abundantly, without burden. He stands ready to help us. We just need to take the first step.
Prayer: Holy God, you promised us an abundant life, filled by Your grace and glory but too often I’ve let my worries and anxieties overshadow that abundance. Forgive me, Lord. Guide me to make changes in any area of my life that will increase my financial margin and help me serve you more fully and faithfully. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Reflection/Application Question for the Day:
What do emotions do you have when you think about your financial picture? Are you at peace or are you anxious?
What can you do today to move towards a life of peace and abundance? If needed, who can offer you guidance?
What do you need to do increase your financial margin?
* The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2012.
Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series
©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer
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