Hope for your financial life and beyond

What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life?

Hidden Nuggets Series #104 – “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

what does God want me to doAt some point you’ve probably asked the question, What does God want me to do? You may have thought about it in relation to your life in general or because of some problem or big decision you were facing. Either way, it seems like a difficult question to answer. How can we figure out what the God of the universe wants for us?

One of the things I love about the Bible is its clarity. Sure it has some cryptic passages and certain issues require a lot of study. But not when it comes to figuring out this question. God’s answers are clear, concise and to the point.

The answer to the question What does God want me to do, initially depends on where you are at in your life. If you don’t have a relationship with Him there is a first step He wants for you. After that, there are two other steps He’d have you take. I’ll take them one at a time.

What Does God Want Me to Do First?

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Encouraging Bible Verses for the Dark Times of Life (Joshua 1:9)

Hidden Nuggets Series #103 – 35 Encouraging Bible Verses

Let’s face it…we’ve all had some dark times in life. Times when we felt like not going on. Instances when we felt like all hope was lost. Periods of life when we hurt. Times that didn’t make sense.

encouraging Bible versesThere is no question we need to be lifted up during those difficult times. But often we don’t know where to turn. Even those close to us like friends and family may not be able to help in the way we need.

Fortunately, there is One to whom we can always turn. God, through His words, has given us many encouraging Bible verses to which we can look and draw hope and comfort. They can inspire us even in the midst of life’s turmoil.

One of the best books to turn to for encouraging Bible verses is Psalms. King David wrote a good portion of that book and evidently he really needed some encouragement. He was routinely calling out to God to give him help, strength and joy in the midst of life’s trials.

Like this one from Psalm 84:11, which happens to be one of my favorites I wrote about,

“For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Being your light and your protector through the tough times is just a taste of what God has to offer you. There are many more encouraging Bible verses to lift you up. I offer a few of them to you now.

Encouraging Bible Verses

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Should I Cosign? Here Is the Truth About What God Says

Hidden Nuggets Series #102: “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety [ cosign ] for debts.” – Proverbs 22:26

If you’ve ever had a situation where a friend or family member asked you to cosign a loan you know it’s a tough spot to be in. On the one hand you want to help. But the idea of being responsible for someone’s debt has you a little squeamish.

cosignSay “No” and it seems like you don’t care.

Say “Yes” and you are opening yourself up to financial risk.

Maybe as you thought think about what to do, you should have considered asking this question: “What does God have to say about it? Would He want me to cosign for this loan?” It may never have occurred to you to seek advice from a higher power.

The truth is God talks a lot about money in the Bible. He even has advice about cosigning which really surprised me when I found it. For anyone, but especially people of faith, His advice is worth listening to.

God’s Advice on Whether to Cosign

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Count the Cost: The Secret Step for Success at Anything (Luke 14:28)

Hidden Nuggets Series #101 – “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish…” – Luke 14:28

count the costWould you like to have success at anything you do? Of course…so would I. Nobody sets out with the intention to fail. However, many times we do fail and it’s often because we refused to count the cost ahead of time.

What do I mean by count the cost? Does that have something to do with money? Well, maybe but not necessarily.

Put simply, when you count the cost you plan ahead. You take inventory of everything that needs to happen before you pursue a goal. Now, you may not know every little detail that needs to be achieved in the process. But you can at least get a sense of all the big rocks that will need to be accomplished in order for you to have success.

This concept isn’t a new one. The term “count the cost” actually has its origins in the Bible. And Jesus used it with his disciples to prove a very important point about planning ahead.

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102-Year-Old Says You Are Never Too Old to Celebrate

You may be too old to become an astronaut. Your age can hinder you from driving a car or starting another family. Many of the things you used to do when younger may be no longer feasible. But this one thing is surely true – you are never too old to celebrate living into a new year.

you are never too oldHow do I know this?

Because I just spent last weekend with my soon to be 102-year-old grandfather and he has no intentions of slowing down.

Don’t get me wrong. He moves slower than he used to. His hearing isn’t what it used to be and he eats slower than the rest of us.

But his mind is alert and he knows exactly why he is still here…to live and impact people, whomever he can.

At the dinner table Sunday night, my aunt asked each of us to share our biggest highlight of 2015. We each told of an experience this past year that meant something to us. When it came time for my grandfather to end the conversation, he said something I’ll never forget.

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Money in the Bible: 99 Topics That Will Move You to Action

When I began Luke1428, the main purpose was to share all that I’d learned about money in the Bible. After reading through the Bible in a year, I had recorded all the verses about money I could find. It was my goal to use those for a series of articles that would teach people what God thought about money and inspire them to take action.

I called this money in the Bible series “Hidden Nuggets.”

digging up hidden nuggets about money in the bibleIt’s called Hidden Nuggets because sometimes things aren’t obvious when you read the Bible. Usually you must dig to understand what God is trying to say. Like a piece of gold that is waiting in the earth to be discovered by a metal detector or a miner, so are many Bible verses. The truth is there waiting to be exposed to those who want to search out the meaning.

God has revealed to me more than I could have imagined through my study of money in the Bible. Many things I thought I knew I realize now I didn’t really know. So it is when you begin to dig for the truth – it stretches you to examine your faulting ways of thinking.

I’ve come to a very exciting milestone in my Hidden Nuggets series about money in the Bible. This is my 100th article for the series that dates back to July 14, 2013 with the publication of This Little Light of Mine. To commemorate this, I’d like share with you what I believe are the best 25 posts in the series.

My Top 25 Posts About Money in the Bible

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15 Bible Verses About Helping the Poor You Need to Know

 

Hidden Nuggets Series #99 – “…For the poor will never cease from the land…” – Deuteronomy 15:11. This is one of many Bible verses about helping the poor, a major theme within the Bible. Jesus famously said in Matthew 22:39, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This statement can most applicable in how we treat the poor.

bible verses about helping the poorDeuteronomy 15:11 says that the poor will always be with us. There will never be an instance in this present life when someone somewhere isn’t experiencing poverty. Because of that we should consider all manner of ways in which we might go about helping the poor.

God clearly has a special place in his heart for the poor. Here are 15 powerful Bible verses about helping the poor that show us how we might best meet their needs.

Old Testament Bible Verses About Helping the Poor

These verses capture the essence of how God feels about the poor and what the Bible says about helping them:

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How to Eat, Drink and Be Merry the Right Way (Luke 12:13-21)

Hidden Nuggets Series #98 – “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink and be merry.” – Luke 12:19

eat drink and be merry“Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die” is a popular refrain you may have felt or expressed at some point in your life. If you are like me maybe you said it as a joke when you were downing a pint of ice cream swirled with chocolate sauce. As some in recent years have expressed, “You only live once, right?”

Truth is there is great seriousness in the statement and the consequences of adopting this attitude are serious.

There are two basic elements to the “eat, drink and be merry” philosophy towards life:

1) we are all going to die, sooner rather than later and…

2) since #1 is true, then we should live for the moment, enjoying whatever pleasures we can.

But the issue goes even deeper than those two concepts. When we opt for the eat, drink and be merry philosophy we are choosing laziness, neglect of our responsibilities and a forfeiture of the future. We are resting on what we have accomplished and counting on that to sustain us indefinitely.

You may not know the phrase has its origins in the Bible, taken from a story Jesus told of a rich fool.

The Parable of the Rich Fool

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What Happens When You Seek First the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)

Hidden Nuggets Series #97 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

When your eyes crack open in the morning what is it you seek? What is the first thing on your mind?

seek first the kingdom of GodIf you are like me it’s probably the last thing you thought about the night before. Sleep never seems to wash away what we are passionate about. It’s always there the next day, front and center in our mind.

However, the answer to the question will reveal your priorities.

So many things vie for priority #1 in our lives that sometimes it’s a struggle to keep them in perspective. What seems important one day fades into the rearview mirror the next. New challenges, opportunities and attractions replace the old, and so on and on goes the cycle.

In the Bible, Jesus addressed our focus on priorities one day in a discussion about worry. Evidently some around him were fretting over what they might eat and drink and over what clothes they might wear. Not fretting like how you or I might have trouble deciding between steak and chicken for dinner or what to wear on any given Sunday to church. Theirs was a literal concern over not having any food or clothing as basic necessities of life, a dire circumstance to be in for sure.

As only Jesus could, he brought clarity to what they should seek first each day. As we’ll see the benefits received from putting his suggestion priority #1 actually spoke to their most pressing daily needs.

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With God All Things Are Possible – Even Saving Rich People

Hidden Nuggets Series #96 – “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

On one occasion in the Bible a rich young ruler approached Jesus with a very serious question. The man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. After a brief back and forth exchange Jesus had this final answer for him:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

with god all things are possibleIt’s easy to misinterpret what Jesus was saying to the young man. He was not saying that owning possessions in and of itself is bad. Nor was he saying that a person can buy their way into heaven.

He also wasn’t saying that we all have to give up our wealth to enter heaven. And he certainly was not saying that God favors the poor over the rich. God looks upon all people with equal value regardless of their financial status.

Jesus knew something about this particular man though…something that was keeping him from inheriting eternal life. The man’s reaction to Jesus’ final instruction reveals exactly what it was.

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Why I’ll Cherish Every Moment of the Next Four Years

It’s a Milestone Monday of sorts at our household. Today at 7:45 I’ll be dropping off our four kids for their first day of school. That may seem ordinary but it’s not the start of just another school year for us. This year is a bit more special.

hourglassOur oldest daughter Kelly is entering high school.

14 years down.

4 more to go.

Four more years until…

…she likely moves out for the first time.

…she doesn’t regularly join us at the dinner table.

…she isn’t in our home church each and every Sunday.

…she really learns what it’s like to depend on herself.

…we face the college tuition bill (oops, sorry…that’s a tangent of thought for another day).

I used to not care about this stuff. When she was two, high school and college seemed so distant. I’d find myself in circles of older parents who would say, “Cherish these moments because it will fly by so quickly.” I’d politely nod at their exhortation and think, “Sure, sure…I won’t miss anything.”

Now I wonder where all the time has gone. Why did it happen so fast? How can it be 14 years since my first child was born?

Ironically, now I’m the older parent sharing the value of cherishing time with those just getting started on the journey.

Everything Has Its Time

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