Gratitude and Grace

Practice makes perfect.

           

This book is for Christians who want to attain the financial serenity that they deserve and it is also for non-Christians who want to learn what is all the hoopla surrounding Jesus Christ the son of the living God.

Financial serenity begins with a spirit of gratitude. Being grateful for all of the things you have already attained. Being grateful first for the vision God gives us in nature of  “how” to be financially serene. Be grateful for the clothes on your back, for the food in your belly, for the roof over your head, for your transportation, your job, your education, your talents, your ability to earn, and your ability to make wise financial decisions. Be grateful that you trust God for everything in your life. You look to him for his providence. And He does indeed provide. In Genesis we read how God said, “Let there be light”; in this first command of many God set the foundation for your financial serenity.  He knew, because He loves you so deeply, that you would have needs and even in the beginning He sounded the command that would bring forth “fruit” for the harvest. Without the sun there would be no fruit and without God there would be no financial serenity.

God is gracious toward us. He, by the power of His Holy Spirit, draws us to Himself. I believe that is why you are here right now reading these words. It is because God has a plan, a divine plan, to bring to you the financial serenity you deserve.

In order to accept the grace that God gives we have to see our need. We need to see that when we managed our finances our way, that “all hell broke loose”. But, when we trust God, and abide by the natural laws He shows us in nature and in His Holy word, we can have the financial serenity He wants for each of us.

So, what are you grateful for right now?  Make a short mental list of just three things. Maybe, you are thankful to your parents for taking care of you.  Maybe, you are thankful to your wife or your husband for providing for your needs through hard work and unrelenting dedication to you and your needs. Maybe, you are thankful to God for little miracles that happen day by day to carry you through another day.

Being grateful takes practice. It is a habit-forming endeavor.  In order to form a habit you must practice over and over doing a task correctly until you can do it with your eyes closed, without thinking. Imagine what it was like when you learned to drive a stick shift in a car. Remember how you had to coordinate the clutch with the gearing mechanism of the car? After awhile, it became second nature and you didn’t have to think about it anymore. It became a habit for you.

I would commend to you to practice the habit of gratitude in your daily life. Start each day with a prayer of gratitude that you are alive. Thank God for each new day. Thank Him for His presence in your life and His power over your finances. In St. Matthew 6: 24-34 it says, “That even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” If you have never read this passage, please read it now. It will help you to see what abundance there is in store for you.

I Peter 4:10 says; “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” The more grateful you become and the more that God’s grace works its power in your life, the more you should feel the yearning and the churning to share what you have learned with others.  I know that even now as I write these words that God is working a mighty wonder in your heart to hear. He is opening up your mind to hear the wisdom of this work. I believe that God gave me the ability I have to tell you how to be financially serene. It is my sincere prayer that in reading this book you may be blessed and God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

So, what is it you will practice? Practice saying, “Yes” to Jesus Christ every day. Say, yes when you hear His calling. Say, yes when opportunity to do right presents itself to you. Say, yes to Him over and over again as many times as it takes for you to see that “He cares for you.”

Practice “casting all your cares upon him,” I Peter 5:7. This means communicating your needs to God. Yes, He does know what, you have need of, but pray for it anyway. “Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find.” St Matthew 7:7. Let the word of God speak to you. Practice learning His word, today and every day, day by day:  “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that

needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” II Timothy 2:15.

The reason that it is so important for you to practice is because “This, know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, “ II Timothy 3:1-2. Being thankful is part of being Christian. So be grateful. Be thankful. Accept God’s grace. Accept God’s providence. He wants you to be financially serene.

As you go to the Word for wisdom, pray that God will show you how to be financially serene. I have marked my bible with little dollar signs ($) next to verses that lead to the path to financial serenity. Proverbs 8:21, “That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”

Within the bounds of the twenty chapters of this book, I hope to show you many of these verses.  Hebrews 10: 24, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” Are you feeling “provoked to good works?” If so, then grace and mercy be to you today and every day until His coming. If not, read on.

How do we know where to begin? You need to begin wherever you are. Do you know where you are at this time? The best tool for seeing exactly where you are is by creating a personal balance sheet. Count all your blessings. Count your cash and cash equivalents, short-term and long-term securities, receivables, prepaid expenses, fixed assets such as your home and investment property that you have now. Offset that by all that you owe. List all of your debts to banks, for short and long-term notes, personal loans, payables, credit card debt, and long-term liabilities such as the mortgage on your house. The formula is simple: Assets minus liabilities equals net worth. What is your “net worth?” This is an important number that will help you to see where you are starting from and where you will be able to go in the future. Don’t be afraid to take your time to do a complete balance sheet. Check out the current value of your stocks and be sure to list actual market value so you know the truth of where you are now. We will use this statement over and over throughout this book to aid you in your journey to financial serenity.

Some of you may be saying, “I know I am in a bad way financially, I don’t need to do some financial statement to remind me how bad it is to be me.” Remember that this is just a starting point. It is a place that you will look back on in the years to come and say, can you believe that this is where I started, before I used God’s natural laws to direct my path and to assist me in making financial decisions?  I hope you will take the time to list everything. Use original source documents if you have them, to make the statement as accurate as possible.

Galatians 6:7-8 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit life everlasting.”

 

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