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Made in His Image

The Bible tells you that the Lord has made you in His image. What does that mean? What is His image? What does that require of you?

Those can be complicated questions when seen in real life. However, the Bible gives you a great simple answer in the book of Micah, do what is right, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
 When seen in real life what does this look like? How do you act? For this article, how does this affect how you spend your money?
 If you start in Genesis you see that you are made in His image. You see God creating, working, and resting.
 Obviously, you do not create like He does, but you work and rest. He has given you the special skills that you have to succeed. The energy, the wisdom, and the focus that it takes to earn money all originate from Him and should be used to glorify Him.
 This gives you a special focus each morning and should be the first thing on your mind when your feet hit the floor.
 Yet, you have other reasons for going to work too. You must provide for your family and yourself, even if retired.
 Provision certainly is enhanced by hard work, a hard earned education, and a determined focus. These agree with God’s Word.
 However, how often do you really manage the money that you work so hard for? Isn't it cool when you do a spectacular job at this? Isn't it a massive waste not to?
 Think about this for a minute.
 You work hard for your money. Yet, how hard do you work to manage it?
 You feel so good when you do something financially responsible. Yet, how often do you do this?
 You struggle wondering where the money goes. Yet, do you do anything to figure that out?
 The Bible teaches us clearly how to manage money on a practical level. No, God is not going to tell what method to budget by, how to file our taxes, or exactly where to invest. We are only told to do so.
 Throughout His word you are taught an ambitious contentment from "do not worry then what you will eat or drink" to "if you don't work you don't eat.” You are commanded to work hard because that glorifies God and to completely trust Him for your provision because that glorifies Him too.
 You can follow these five simple rules.
 1) Tithe –The Bible clearly commands us to give the Lord 10% of our income. This is written in Malachi 3. It is also clearly written that you are stealing from God if you don’t. How can you expect God to bless you if you are stealing from Him?
 2) Pay yourself first - this sounds odd at the number 2 position but this means that after you tithe, save money and invest for your future. Read Ecclesiastes 11 for King Solomon’s opinion.
 3) Don’t buy it unless you've earned it – in other words don't go into debt. This is the best way to stay out of debt. Certainly debt can be used wisely but the bible gives us huge warnings regarding debt. God expects you to pay every penny back. He tells us that the borrower is servant to the lender, Proverbs 22:7.
 4) Plan- the Bible gives you many examples of Godly people making plans and carrying them out successfully. Proverbs 21:5 tells you “The plans of the diligent surely lead to advantage.”
 5) Relax- when you are working and living in the center of God’s will, using resources that God has given you, relax regardless of your circumstance. Philippians 4:6 tells us “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make your requests known to God and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

February 2, 2012

Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser.  Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC.  SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.

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