Principle: I must be a Christian
I know that life is not going to function right in any area until I am in line with, right with, walking obediently with the Sovereign God and his will for my life. This will happen only when I am rescued, saved from the lostness of the condemnation of my sin(s). My relationship with the Lord God will have been restored when by his grace the holy spirit enables me to deeply, unashamedly repent of sin and trust myself to God, through His Son – Jesus Christ – as Savior and Lord of all my life. Trusting him to cleanse and forgive me of my sin, he will put his righteousness on my account before God, the Father. By his promise that he never breaks, he will give me life eternal and abundant. (John 3:16. John 6:37-40. John 10:7-10, I John 5:10-13, Acts 16:31)
Knowing this is my greatest need, in faith in you I so surrender my life to you, Jesus, as Lord and Savior right here, right now! Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner and forgive my iniquity. Create in me a clean heart and direct my steps in the way that is pleasing to you. Amen.
Principle: I am a steward of God in all of life.
I know the Bible says that almighty God puts everything in my life for me to develop as a steward, an overseer to his honor and glory: my time, ability, job, mind, heart, soul, body, money, possessions, goals, plans, future, everything. When in trust and love of him this is willingly done, he will always work things together for my good and fulfillment. (Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 25:17-30, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 8:28-39)
I yield all these to you, sovereign God, to enable me to wisely serve as a steward of everything you bring to me. Direct me by your spirit and eternal truth, your word, the Bible, amen and amen!
Principle: I should not be anxious over finances.
I find that God has a great deal to say in his word about money, wealth, possessions and their use. He warns against loving them, and to do so is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:6-10) Instead we are to first seek his kingdom and godliness and be content with what God brings to our life as his children. He promises he will supply our basic needs. (Matthew 6:19-34) It is difficult for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God because they grow to trust and love it instead of God, the source of our supply (Matthew 19:16-26, James 1:9- 11) I find there are two ways to be wealthy. One is to make a lot more money. The second is to make the decision and reduce your wants. The first brings discontent, worry and longing for more. (Luke 12:13-21) The second brings thanksgiving, contentedness, satisfaction and availability to God. (Luke 12:22-34)
Oh God, I do not want to be foolish or self-centered. Please help me to provide for my family and me properly, without becoming drawn to and committed to money and what it will buy. I want you and your will above everything, Lord and Savior, Amen!
Principle: God calls me to work.
I have discovered that the way I am to make enough for my family and my needs is to work. From the beginning of the creation in Adam, men made their living by work. (Genesis 1:26-30) After sin came, work became harder. (Genesis 3:17-19) Nevertheless, God’s promise of his presence and provision are his forever. (Psalm 8:1-9, Ephesians 1,2) A job is a gift from God and the Bible teaches the job he has given me is as important as the job of any other person: doctor, lawyer, clerk, farmer, maid, manager, cook. Any honorable vocation is as sacred as any other. My vocation is my calling from God and through my job, he supplies my family’s every need; he opens the way for my fulfillment; enables my family to be a part of world evangelization. I realize my obligation to witness to his truth and glory to those around me by the quality of my work and the words of his gospel; and that through applying what I know about God to what I do in my vocation I participate in the advancement of his kingdom’s control in the world. (Romans 12:1-21)
Sovereign Lord of the universe and personal Lord of my life, guide me in my job to demonstrate and tell your truth and glory in every way, as you did, Lord Jesus. Amen!
Principle: I should tithe from my income.
In the specific area of money, possessions, things, I will begin tithing (returning 10% of my income to the Lord in gratitude and thanksgiving for the uncountable blessings he has brought to me). His blessing is more important than anything I am inclined to want to hold on to and steal from God. (Genesis 14:17-24; Malachi 3:8-10. Luke 6:38, Luke 11:43)
Yes, Lord of all my life, I acknowledge that all that I own belongs to you and is given to my hand that I might provide for my own and serve you in faithful stewardship. Thank you for enabling me to return this tithe of thanksgiving gladly with my sincere love and appreciation . Amen!
Principle: I should save for emergencies.
I have discovered that the Bible is silent on how much I should put in savings each time I receive money, but it speaks loudly that I should save for emergencies, solid needs and plans for the future. Also this teaches me the discipline self-control, [a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:23)], over my impulses to throw money away at whatever may attract me. Wisdom says that it should be a reasonable amount (many counselors say a minimum of 10% of my gross income). It should be invested where it will be safe and bring a good return of interest. I will need some knowledge and wise counsel to do this. (Proverbs 19:20) I will need grace not to be enamored by the increase you provide. (Matthew 6:19-20)
Living Lord, I am in need of your wisdom to know how much to begin to invest in savings each time I receive money; and I need your strengthened will to do it consistently. Please protect me and enable me to do it. In your name who works in me to will and to do your good pleasure. Amen!
Principle: I should live within my means.
The Bible is clear on certain guidelines for spending. Aside from major purchases like a house, I should not buy anything that I cannot immediately pay for. My rule for shopping is “If I cannot pay cash right now, do not buy it.” Further, in recognition that the Bible says “Owe no man anything,” (Romans 13:8) I will endeavor to pay my bills on time. I recognize that God gives me this simple truth for my protection, to keep me out of bondage. If I am caught in an emergency not of my own making and must make a loan, I should pay it back as soon as I possibly can. (Proverbs 3:27-28) Also, I am to spend frugally, thriftily, carefully, not just because I see, I want it, I have money in my pocket and can buy it. This requires a major shift in my thinking. Particularly when I am working myself out of a hole financially, I will want to have a realistic budget and stick by it regardless. My joy and reward will come when debts are paid and I have financial freedom.
God, I can hardly think of not having debts and being financially free and able to do the things I know you want me to do. Grant me the resolve to make a real budget and stick to it. Give me the wisdom and the will for this new way of thinking and acting. Save me from myself that I may be wholly yours, living savior. Amen!
Principle: I should spend according to a plan.
I find a simple outline of spending after my tithe and savings is that:I will pay my regular bills or special emergency bills, e.g., rent or house payment, utilities, old bills, car payments, etc. I cannot expect others to handle my expense, beg, panhandle, or steal, so I will save to have enough to pay them.I will plan well to be able to pay future taxes, insurance, repairs, etc.Then comes shopping carefully for food, clothing, etc., comparing prices, buying in volume to save cost, buying good used when I can find it, etc. Frugal, thrifty, modest but adequate are key words here.
Holy spirit, enable me with knowledge and wisdom, free me from foolish pride to think I deserve the most expensive, and lead me to where I can get the best for less, so much I need your enlightening presence. Thank you. Amen!
Principle: I should be generous with others.
As I have read his word, I am made aware that there are times when I should give special offerings: to the Lord’s work, to those in need, to say thank you in times of deep gratefulness, to do a special service that needs to be done, to meet a need for something in the church of the Lord Jesus of which I am a part. I know true Bible-believing churches will not always be trying to get my money from me, but as opportunities are presented I will want to be a glad and generous giver as God directs me. (Proverbs 11:24-18; Matthew 6:1-4; 11 Corinthians 8-9)
Lord, I open my mind and heart to you for you to guide my special offerings of love and appreciation. Make me as generous as I should be. Protect me from my ignorance and my being guided by my emotions and from those who are not trustworthy. To your honor, Lord Jesus.
Principle: I should be gradually getting ahead.
Everyone tells me that if I have some left over, this is the time to make gains by putting it in savings. That way I am ahead from the beginning of the month not catching up. I should have a savings account so I will not carry it around and be tempted to blow it on an impulse or lose it or have it stolen. I need to be getting ahead and not dragging behind!
My king, show your stumbling child how to take these steps with faith and confidence in you. Take away my old way of depending on myself and failing. I love you. Amen!
Principle: I should continue to grow.
I surrender, Lord! I am aware that I have got to study these truths for clear understanding. I pray that God will work these things in my mind, heart, soul: All my life. I cannot do this for myself. I want to surrender my life in faith to the sovereign Lord to change these things in me . . . . And I do, now.
Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I surrender everything I have and do, Lord, to you. Amen
This article appeared in The Christian Observer magazine several years ago and has been slightly edited for use here