Tag Archives: discipline

How to Establish a Biblically-Based Budget

After spending the last few days discussing ways in which we can be an effective rich person (and yes, this is implying that we are rich) through the medium of generosity, I thought it may be wise to provide some insight on how to set-up a biblically-based budget. If you missed the last few posts, you can read them here: You’re Richer than You ThinkHow to Be an Effective Rich Person, and 10 Practical Steps to Be an Effective Rich Person.

May you be encouraged and to God be the glory!

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“The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3

This statement made by King Solomon can easily be used to show the need to budget.

Just as a business plan is necessary for a strong and sustainable company, a budget is equally as necessary for the health and vitality of our finances. Without them, companies or individuals would almost be predisposed to make poor financial choices and experience strategic misdirection.

Yet, despite the benefits of “planning” a financial course of action, my heart used to cringe at the very sound of the word “budget.” Budgeting was overly restrictive to me and limited my spontaneity in spending funds just as my heart desired. Because I worked hard to generate an income, I felt entitled to spend it the way I wanted.

Sound familiar?

After years of living like this, I decided to submit my mind (and spirit) to the financial wisdom of Scripture (through the lessons of Crown Financial Ministries) and discovered major errors in my budgeting (or lack thereof). Dumbfounded yet inspired by this new-found instruction, I was eager to “now” include Jesus.

Remember the Word teaches us to seek after knowledge as God’s FULL intent is for us to prosper and to be successful. However, we do have the responsibility to do our part in applying His instruction.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” Proverbs 18:15

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” Proverbs 4:7

1. So, what is a biblically-based budget?

A biblically-based budget is a structured financial plan that wisely guides an individual to manage (appropriately allocate) their God-given funds in effective ways using God’s word. Always remember that the purpose of this is for God to receive the glory for producing high-yielding fruit here on earth and in eternity. This means being rooted in scripture, covered in prayer, and constantly adapting to the different seasons in your life. The following scripture in Ecclesiastes confirms the value of wise financial planning:

“Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.” Ecclesiastes 7:12

  2. What happens when a budget does not exist?

Chaos, poverty, and destruction are three words that immediately come to mind, along with the following scriptures and bullet points:

  • Impulsive/recreational shopping
  • Paying for services that are too expensive (desires outweighing true needs)
  • Living beyond your means because of internal or external pressure
  • Missing opportunities for investing in God’s Kingdom (spending lavishly on ourselves instead of giving to those in need)
  • Sporadic or inconsistent tithing (missing out on blessings from the Lord)
  • Saving negligently or inappropriately (by not saving, or saving so much to the point of hoarding)
  • Accruing debt (enjoying it now and paying it off later)

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame.” Hosea 4:6-7

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?” Proverbs 1:22

3. What does a budget include according to God’s Word?

I.Tithes

Plan to give a specific amount (10% of income) consistently every month rather than feeling “guilty” through compulsive giving. Once you have the dollar amount set, allow Him to guide you on where it is to go – directly to the church, a missionary, or however He leads you. This is your first “bill” to pay every paycheck.

  • “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
  • “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi 3:10
  • “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” Proverbs 11:24
  • “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine” Proverbs 3:9-10

II. Debt

Debt is not okay. This is very straightforward, yet completely contradictory to what most Americans are taught to do in pursuing the “American Dream”. Indebtedness to a lender is a  form of bondage. And because Jesus died to give us freedom, it is incredibly wise to approach a legal contract of purchase (A.K.A debt) with extreme caution. For many, this means a lifestyle change. And often this is exactly what the Lord desires. Paying off debt must be a top priority after paying God first.

  • “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
  • “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

III. Savings

Saving is not only wise but very biblical. And it requires intentionality. Pay God first, then pay yourself. Even if it’s little by little ($10 a month if that’s all you can afford), at least do that. One cannot afford not to put funds aside. The goal is to save 10% of your income; however many start off at 5% and then slowly build upwards.

  • “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” proverbs 21:20
  • “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28
  • “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” Proverbs 13:11
  • “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come” 1 Corinthians 16:11

Continue reading the second portion of this post Practical Resources for a Biblically-Based Budget. We have provided a sample budget and helpful worksheets to begin your journey towards honoring God with your wealth. I’ve also shared my personal testimony of paying off over $50,000 in debt (while I was on the mission field with a 15k salary). Now, I am enjoying life completely debt-free – praise be to God alone! 

Photo provided by moneyaware.co.u
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Repost: 4 Points for Holy Living

Boundaries were created by God, through God, and with God, we can openly enjoy the fruit of their protection in our own lives.

With my creme-colored cup full of hot green tea, I sit before the Lord to hear His thoughts on mental and physical boundaries. This is what I believe He has been sharing with me this afternoon:

Mental Boundaries

1. We must restrict what we allow into the realm of our thinking. I feel like a broken record right now, because the Lord continues to push this point on positive thinking. I believe He truly must see how hard it is for us to focus on the good, rather than pressing ‘replay’ on all that’s falling through the cracks in our lives. A mental boundary says ‘No’ to the negative thoughts seeking to quench any flicker of hope for the day ahead. Because that’s exactly what these thoughts do. They destroy our joy and blind us to see the small blessings the Lord plants throughout the landscape of our day. We MUST lean on the Lord Jesus to help us establish these mental parameters.

 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:12

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

2. We must guard our minds from harmful influences. This of course, is using the moral code of the Lord and not that of the world around us. How many of us watched the Superbowl two years ago? And then the half-time show? I was one of them, along with my husband. I can distinctively recall everyone in that kitchen, awkwardly looking around trying to avoid the TV at all cost, yet no one ever suggesting to turn it off. Including me. It didn’t matter that it was Beyonce dancing around in what appeared to be underwear, it could have been anyone. The point is “is this okay for us to be watching?” I have to wonder as a woman, would I want to slap on an outfit like that and shake it for Jesus? Or do we watch what rightfully belongs to her husband seductively move around for our enjoyment?

I know this may sound very direct, but is it not the truth? We must remember that deception is just that, it makes us think something is acceptable when it in fact is not. This is not to feel shame in any form or fashion, but to really evaluate what we’re permitting to influence our thinking according to the Gospel.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9

“Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.” Hebrews 13:18

“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,your whole body will be full of light.But if your eyes are unhealthy,your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23

Physical Limits with the Body

1. We need to identify and take responsibility for the tasks God has given us. If we are involved in every ministry, every after-school project, and assuming roles God has never asked us to assume, then we will experience burnout. This isn’t what God intends for us. We must seek wisdom to understand what responsibilities He has entrusted to us and to faithfully steward them well. Ask God what He wants you to be doing with your time.

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each is task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-6

2. We need rest and we need to eat well. I understand this is hard for many of us, but we must be intentional in blocking out time to invest in the well-being of ourselves. Let’s treat ourselves the way God would treat us – GOOD.

“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2

“And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31

May the Lord guide us in the boundaries we need to protect our minds and bodies from mental and physical harm. To Him be the glory!

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

Photo provided by thisholywork.com

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My Apology to You

With a gentle breeze flowing into our loft through wide open windows, I’m gazing out at the Atlanta skyline with my Bible resting at my side. I’ve come to realize that I need to apologize to you as readers. Whether you’re visiting this site for the first time today or you’ve been subscribing to HDD since its inception, I want to share a few heart-provokingly honest thoughts with you.

Even though it’s been incredibly rewarding, embarking on this journey of following Christ in creating, maintaining, and growing His Daily Dose (with His grace) has been undeniably challenging. I know many readers that have been impacted by this blog, and I myself am not omitted from this statement. My trust in Christ has been radically transformed, my prideful tendencies are being corrected, and my innate desire for man’s approval is being completely pushed aside. Praise be to Him!

“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

Without Him, I realize that I could never do what His Daily Dose requires of me. Every single day, I am literally starving for Jesus.

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

Following Christ into unknown territories on our journeys of faith has a way of causing us to fall to our knees. We come to the end of ourselves, and He begins to reveal Himself. This is a beautiful (and often lonesome) place. No one else can help us except for Jesus.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Even so, you as readers have provided significant motivation by keeping me grounded and encouraging me in this work He has asked me to do. Thank you for being a reader of His Daily Dose!

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6

Lately, as I have been researching how to transform His Daily Dose into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, my writing has definitely suffered. Since you have been choosing to read the writing God has asked me to share, I owe you a major apology. My heart’s intention has never been to do any reader a disservice nor to poorly steward what God has entrusted to me by not consistently producing fresh content each day. But in recent weeks, I’ve frequently chosen not to produce new content, and for that I ask for your forgiveness.

I believe that He wants you here at His Daily Dose. This blog is simply a platform of His to remind you (His beloved) that He pursues, He convicts, and He challenges. He woos and He romances. He delights in our every detail; He is a God that is highly-personable, powerful, all-consuming, timely, passionate, all knowing, faithful, and loving. And He has asked me to write these truths on a daily basis (and about a wide range of important life topics).

His Daily Dose is His blog, His organization, His company, and His mission. And you are His beloved; you are His reader, not mine. This is a responsibility that I must remember to steward exceptionally well for His kingdom.

Wherever you are, God is absolutely enthralled by you. He cares about your heart being encouraged and your spirit being discipled into a deeper image of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am simply a bond servant to the call of Jesus Christ. Please know that I am committed to you, to convey the Lord’s love to you through words with His grace for God’s eternal glory.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! May His will be done.

Photo provided by blockoutaday.com

 

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