The ultimate goal of financial serenity is a permanent change.

I John 2:29 “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”  Maybe you haven’t been all that generous and giving.  Maybe you don’t know how or don’t see how you can be.  Our transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 18:1-4 “the word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord saying, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I shall announce my words to you.” Then I went down to the Potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel.  But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.”

Just like the potter remakes the vessel so God can remake you. This story reminds me of a dream I had long ago. In the dream, I was in a classroom and Jesus was the teacher. At the front of the class was a beautiful vase. I was so awed by its’ beauty that I said, “That is the most beautiful vase I think I have ever seen in my entire life.”

Jesus said, “Hold it up to the light.”

So I followed his instructions and as I lifted the vase up I could see hundreds of tiny hairline cracks in it. I was sickened. Oh Lord, I said, “This beautiful vase is worthless. What lesson is there in this?”

He said, “The vase that you see is you. Your heart has been so hardened over the years by hundreds of opportunities to share my love but you would not. Imagine that the water the vase would hold represents love, joy and peace. You cannot share my love because you cannot hold it. You cannot share my joy because it runs right out as soon as I give it to you, the peace, which you have longed for, will never be held by this vase. The vase must be remade.”

I knew that this meant it would have to be ‘broken’ and that could hurt. And that it would have to be “reformed” and I was afraid of change. I knew that it would probably be “re-fired” and that meant trials and tribulations. But I prayed in song to God when I awoke. “Change my heart O God, make it ever true. Change my heart O God. Let me be like you.  You are the potter.  I am the clay. Mold me and make me, this is what I pray”.

It is important to be transformed and not conformed.  Romans 12:2 “and do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  So it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been righteous up until now.

Eph 4:22-24 “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you may be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”  The truth is God is generous with and to us.

When God reforms you, you’ll be changed.  You will literally “lay aside” your old ways.  When thoughts of greed and malice enter your thoughts you do not entertain them.  Luke 12:15 “and he said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”  Jesus knew what he was talking about.  He taught the eternal perspective.  Let this life you now live be transformed, reformed and renewed.

James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” I know that times are tough.  I Tim 3:1-5  “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”  It is hard not to feel convicted with a list like this.  Those who commit such things will not make any spiritual progress. 

2 Tim 3:9 “But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all.”

Proverbs 11:19 “He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life, and he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.”  Think of the consequences.