Daily Devotional for Wednesday July 30, 2008
A Test for Where Your Heart Is
THE LIVEPRAYER FAMILY HAS LOST A WONDERFUL FRIEND AND A MAN GOD HAS USED OVER THE YEARS TO FURTHER HIS WORK HERE, HELPING US TO IMPACT MILLIONS OF LIVES FOR ALL ETERNITY. THIS DEVOTIONAL TODAY IS DEDICATED TO MY DEAR FRIEND AND A TRUE MAN OF GOD, DR. ALAN BELCHER, WHO WENT TO BE WITH THE LORD TUESDAY. DR. BELCHER WAS A HUMBLE MAN WHO GOD BLESSED RICHLY BY THE WORLD'S STANDARDS, BUT ONLY WANTED TO USE HIS RESOURCES TO FURTHER THE KINGDOM OF GOD. IT IS SO APPROPRIATE THAT THIS DEVOTIONAL TODAY DEALS WITH HOW WE USE OUR TREASURE BEING A TRUE INDICATOR OF WHERE OUR HEART IS. DR. BELCHER HAD A PURE HEART THAT ONLY WANTED TO SERVE GOD, AND NOW HE IS FOREVER IN GLORY WITH THE LORD HE LOVED SO DEARLY RECEIVING HIS MANY REWARDS. PLEASE PRAY TODAY FOR DR. BELCHER'S WIFE AND FAMILY AS THEY FIND THE LORD'S STRENGTH AND COMFORT IN THE MIDST OF THEIR LOSS.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21
A test for where your heart is. In today's world of modern medicine, there are numerous tests to check the condition of your heart. However, today I have a very different test for your heart. Jesus said many profound things during His years of ministry. One of those profound sayings is our anchor verse today that binds together your treasure and your heart. What you spend your money on is a great indicator of where your heart really is. I want to challenge you to let God speak to you through these words today. This is like one of those pop quizzes you used to get in school. How you score on this test will give you a great indication if you are on the right track or if you need some work in this area. Please know that I will be praying for you.
Every day we have many choices to make. One of the choices we make each day is how we will spend the money God gives to us. Never forget, all that we have is from God, it is simply on loan to us. We have been given stewardship over the resources God gives us during our life. How we manage and utilize those resources becomes a test of not only our ability to be a good stewards of what God entrusts into our care, but where our heart is. As Jesus stated in today's passage of Scripture, you can get a great measure of your heart for God based on how you spend the money God blesses you with.
Ok, here is your test. Get a piece of paper and something to write with. You don't need to be an accountant and detail every penny, but in round numbers, figure out how much money you have made in the past year. You need to include all of your sources of income. What you made working, what you may have made selling something, any money people gave you, include everything that you have had come into your hands over the past year. Now, roughly figure out what you spent. In this part, break it down into two columns. Column one is basic living expenses and column two is everything else.
Basic living expenses include what it costs you to live each month, where you live, utilities, food, insurance, transportation, medical, clothing, all the basic necessities of daily life. Everything else is all the money you spend outside of your basic living expenses. This is the key element of the test, so it is important to do your best to include EVERYTHING you spend money on, no matter how trivial it may seem. Most people are actually shocked as they fill out this column regarding how much of their money they spend on so many different things. A very small percentage of people have ever done this before, actually sitting down and listing all of the things they buy and how much they spent. I assure you it will be an eye opening experience for you.
After you have finished putting everything down on paper, it is time to take a look at where your heart is. Listen, the purpose of this exercise is not to make you feel bad or upset you. It is a great exercise to see exactly where your heart is, since what you spend your money on gives you a great indication of where your priorities are, what is really important to you. Zero in on the everything else column. Look carefully over what you are spending your money on and how much you are spending on different things. Out of that total dollar amount, what percentage is going to support the Lord's work through your church or some ministry you have been led to give to? Is it 5%? Is it 10%? Is it 25%? Is it 50% or more?
I can't sit here and tell you how much you should be giving to the Lord's work. That is an amount you and God have to work out. All I want to do today is help you see in black and white what you are spending your money on, how much you are spending on different things, and what percentage is actually going to God. Now it is time to get alone with the Lord and pray. Ask Him to show you through these figures if your heart is where it needs to be. I know most will be amazed at the things they buy, at how much money they spend on things that seem so trivial, and how much more they could be doing to support the work of God. Those in bondage to smoking and/or alcohol will quickly see a huge amount of money that is acutally being spent to kill yourself slowly. No doubt you will see other areas that you are spending a great deal of your resources on and it will force you to ask yourself how much of your heart is really God's.
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today. I will be praying for the Lord to use this test to really show you where your heart is. God's Word teaches us to be good stewards of what He entrusts into our care during this life. After our basic living expenses are taken care of, we need to be wise to invest some of our resources for the future. How we spend whatever is left gives us a good insight into where our heart is really at. I challenge you today that if your heart is God's, you will find that a good portion of your treasure is being invested in the work of the Lord since it was Jesus who told us, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller