Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings, prayer prompts, and action steps to help you spend time with Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him.
Ephesians 1:11,14 "Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.” (NLT)
A Promise You Can Bank On
When most of us are questioned in a social setting about our personal finances, we absolutely cringe. We may not hesitate to engage in a conversation about money when it centers on other people who are out of earshot, but when the spotlight turns directly on us — how much we have of it, what we do with it, and where we donate some of it — we instantly clam up. We become horrified that someone would dare ask such revealing and personal questions. Yet, Jesus was not shy about the subject of money. He talked about it frequently, as did the apostle Paul. In fact, the topic of money appears more than 2,000 times throughout the Bible, and almost half of Jesus’ parables deal with issues surrounding material possessions. To put those statistics in perspective, money is talked about in the Bible more than all mentions of heaven and hell combined. No wonder Paul passionately wrote in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” Paul warns that loving it, desiring it, and hoarding it puts a believer in great danger of wandering away from the faith and falling into great suffering. The world tells us the opposite… it would lead us to believe that money can solve all of our problems. While we all know deep down that money can’t do that, many people still chase it as if it can.
In His conversations and parables, Jesus shows us the path to true riches and life-giving wealth. This is especially clear when we read the following two verses back-to-back. "And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37) "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) The bottom line is that God wants your whole heart. He wants your heart to desire Him more than anything or anyone else. When a love of earthly treasures creeps into your heart, it tends to grow until it squeezes Him out. On the other hand, when our greatest and most cherished treasure is our relationship with God, we become so rich in the fruits of His Spirit working in our lives — things like mercy, hope, peace, joy, humility, patience, and generosity — that any material wealth we have becomes merely a tool for His purposes. Instead of being consumed with how we can obtain more wealth, a focus on loving God and others frees us up from the fears, control issues, and greed that can destroy our faith.
Once we have the heart issue settled and make Jesus our greatest treasure, then a life of lavish generosity to others becomes possible. Ephesians 1:11,14 gives us an unbreakable guarantee that our true inheritance — the satisfying kind that can never be exhausted or stolen — begins with living for Jesus here on earth and will exceed our wildest dreams when we join Him in heaven. "Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.” (NLT) There is no amount of money… no investment plan… no windfall of lottery winnings… or anything else on this side of heaven that could make us richer than we are as a Jesus-filled follower overflowing with God’s love and reflecting His glory.
Daily Bible Readings
This week, as you go through the daily readings below, ask God to show you how His riches are better than anything you can desire or acquire on earth. As you contemplate these passages, make time to pray before and after you read them. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you and then write down anything that the Holy Spirit whispers to your heart. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind.
Monday — Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 and Matthew 6:19-21 — Money itself isn’t bad. It’s what happens to our hearts when we treasure it or what it can do for us. A healthy perspective about money, power, and fame begins with a belief that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. When we realize that financial blessing is solely at His discretion and that loving Him should be the primary longing of our hearts, we are released from the striving, worry, and control that comes along with pursuing, collecting, and protecting money and possessions. Spend time meditating on God’s perspective, His wisdom, His power, and His control. Ask Him to reveal any longings in your heart that do not yield to His plans.
Tuesday — Read Malachi 3:10-12 and 1 John 3:16-18 — Many people struggle with the concept of generosity when it comes to financial giving and often get hung up on wanting to know a specific number or percentage. But asking how much is the wrong question entirely, and in fact, points to a heart issue. Rather than asking what the rule is, we should instead focus on living by the Holy Spirit’s dynamic and powerful guidance on a daily basis. Loving God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds means loving others and living generously as God leads and is not limited to a specific routine or an arbitrary number. When we live as Jesus calls us to, our hearts are not guided by rules, but instead overflow with enough love and trust to let God direct us to give more than we've ever imagined. Spend time in prayer asking God to fill you with generosity and a courageous willingness to give as He directs you.
Wednesday — Read Matthew 19:23-26 and 1 Peter 1:7 — It’s no secret that the more comfortable you are, the less you feel inclined to depend on others… or on God. This principle applies to any kind of comfort, whether it’s material, relational, or physical in nature. This is why we are called to rejoice in trials, suffering, and seasons of lack — all of them produce true riches that make us look and act more like Jesus. Ask God to help you welcome the refinement that He wants to bring in your life, writing down anything you need to let Him remove from your life.
Thursday — Read Luke 6:21, 24, 27, 30-31 and Acts 4:32-35 — When your heart is one with Jesus, it will also be one with others around you. Lavish generosity is counterintuitive to our human existence, so when we are obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading to give sacrificially — with our time, resources, energy, and money — His Kingdom expands exponentially here on earth. Lavish generosity makes the world scratch its head and raises curiosity. Lavish generosity is magnetic like the Savior who inspires it. Ask God to open your eyes to those around you who need to experience God’s lavish love.
Friday — Read Luke 12:15, 1 Peter 5:8-9, and 1 Timothy 6:9-10 - The Bible is packed with warnings about money because having extra amounts of it makes the path to a long list of sins that are much wider, more appealing, and accessible. Even people we would consider to be “veteran” Christians are vulnerable to its snares, tricks, and temporary luxury. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are not at risk… ever. As you close out this week, ask the Holy Spirit to make you more aware of how you use the money that God has given you and surrender anything to Him that might make it easier for you to make a habit of sin.
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