For today’s Tuesday testimony, a Financial Peace University attendee’s demonstration of the change it brought to her. It sounds to me like she was liberated from money focus, and now wants to bless others. Heart and financial change working together.  The next Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class starts September 9th at Vineyard Columbus, and you can check it out first by attending the first class free, or the preview class September 2nd at 7 pm. More information is online.

The Financial Peace University Class has been a blessing to me. It has helped me reorganize my priorities with my finances. Since taking the class I have been able to support A child Through the World Vision Organization on a monthly basis; I have doubled my contributions to the Vineyard and have been volunteering my time and some financial support to a non- profit group called A Kid Again that supports children with life threatening illnesses.

I have had more money to carry out random acts of kindness in my neighborhood as well. I have also taken out an insurance policy on my new granddaughter so that when it matures she will have $18,000 a year for four years to help pay for her college; a vehicle or other needs. I would have never been able to do all of the  things listed  had I not received the focus from the class and the faith that God will provide.

After taking the class, I realize how easy it is to lose your financial focus and how much stress it removes from your life when you have a plan. I have encouraged others to enroll in the class as it has been a blessing to me.

The class is just a beginning for many people. It opens people up to a new way of living, and a new perspective on finances. Dave isn’t right about everything; no one has all of the answers. But he helps steer people in the right direction with a ton of information. We provide additional resources and guidance, to not only help you get the most out of class, but to fill in any gaps from a spiritual perspective.

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Jesus, Temporary Stuff & Heart Matters

by Kent on August 25, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 21:5-6, Jesus is responding to the disciples asking if he was impressed with the church building that was constructed.

I’ll never forget the first time we walked into the brand new building the church constructed in 1991. Moving out of an old facility, and into freshly minted carpeted floors, and brightly painted walls, we were like children on Christmas morning. We were able to go from 4 services to 2, and the children had ample spaces for church school. Everything was clean and new. Like it was yesterday, I remember John, one of our associate pastors, speaking at the opening service. He said something to the effect that the new building was great, but it is not for worshiping us, but Jesus. And, although we were to take good care of it, we were not going to get upset if someone spilled coffee. These things will happen, and is not important. What John was communicating to me that morning, was that Jesus was to clean up our lives and we were not to worship the building.

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” Luke 21:5-6

Does stewardship involve caring for homes, businesses and church buildings that we construct? It doesn’t seem like Jesus was very impressed at all about the temple in Jerusalem. Reading Matthew 23:27-28, he is more concerned with what is inside the church; you and me.  Furthermore, he cares less about our house and yard, and more about what is going on inside of us; in our minds and hearts. Our first call is to steward these things, not our material possessions. When believers neglect what’s most important, the sad fact is that buildings will eventually be destroyed or re-used for something else. You only have to look at abandoned businesses and churches in the inner city, and the Crystal Cathedral going belly-up, to witness this fact.

Does stewardship of material blessings have eternal ramifications: Many Christians make the assumption that since everything will eventually be destroyed and made new (Revelation 21:1-2), then we don’t have to worry about maintaining buildings or the environment. This is tragically wrong. Matthew 25:23 is one of the concluding sentences of the Parable of the Talents, indicating that how well we steward and work with temporary things, says something about our character and integrity. These two things do last into eternity, and have reward.

Do we worry too much about buildings, especially our homes? If I have a regret as a father, it would to have been more present like Mary and less like Martha (read Luke 10:38-42). If I had less concern about our house’s landscaping, remodeling and cleanliness, I would have had more energy and time for Jesus and my family. We have God’s grace in the messes of life, but we can’t ever get back lost opportunities from days past.

Are you a perfectionist? God is perfect, and loves order, shouldn’t our lives mirror that? Jesus didn’t worry much about appearances (read Isaiah 53:2). The home he grew up in was very modest. During his ministry, he had few belongings and only simple clothes and sandals. He was born during a messy time of civilization of unpaved roads, and lack of modern sanitation. Jesus came and provided grace, during a messy time in human development.

What does this have to do with Christian finances? Believers want to be more generous, and better at managing spending so that they can have less debt and more accumulated wealth. Change is hard. Materialism and perfectionism gets in the way. Worrying about the wrong things get in the way. Invite Jesus in to your finances, your plans and goals, and your priorities. Put your heart into his hands, and let him direct your paths (see Psalm 119:105). Take a moment to talk to Jesus about this.

*This Monday blog post is a chronological walk through of the four gospels, examining any verse that involves money and stewardship.  This is the sixtieth post in this series.

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Gifts from Jesus Come in Many Forms

by Kent on August 19, 2014

I love this Tuesday testimony, because it simply communicates Jesus’ heart of generosity and his intimate knowledge of us. He loves us, and knows and loves what makes us tick. Likewise, Jesus shows himself in many form to us throughout every day, and often it’s through the generosity of others.

A large part of my life has included music in a huge way. Before I was a Christian I was a professional singer and flutist then as a Christian ministered in worship teams and even helped build and work with contemporary worship programs in Ukraine as a missionary for eight years. Being involved in music has always been important to me. Then, about six years ago, opportunities to serve the Lord and participate in music dried up as I was led in different directions for service and life in general.  A few years back I was particularly disheartened over this but really didn’t share my pain with anyone.  We had just finished putting in a family room at our home Christmastime of 2011. I had hoped to have a piano in that room, but knew there was not room in the budget. Then, on Christmas Eve, the day after the furniture came for the room, a friend showed up at our door with a beautiful new electronic piano. She said the Lord told her to buy it for me. I was so thankful, and knew from that experience – that the Lord meets with me where I am. The obedience and generosity of a friend became Jesus to me at that time.

This is encouraging to me, and likewise reminds me to be more aware of Jesus.

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Jesus and the Famous Generous Poor Widow

August 18, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 20:46-47 and 21:1 – 4, Jesus makes the central point of two teachings, about poor widows. Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and […]

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Two Tuesday Testimonies About God Providing Financially

August 12, 2014

Today, I have two testimonies about God providing. The first one comes from someone I have been doing some budget counseling with, and they are wonderful sweet people. I’m so very proud of their hard work and commitment. The husband just told me about the blessing they recently received. This is what I recall from […]

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Taking a Financial Class Was the Beginning of Transformational Faith

August 5, 2014

Tuesday Testimony, about how a great guy’s financial and faith life was totally transformed after he took Dave Ramsey Financial University at Vineyard Columbus. Our next class starts the 2nd Tuesday in September. For more information and sign-up click here. Here is my family’s story of great generosity from other believers through God’s power: After […]

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Jesus Loves Business, But…

August 4, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke. In Luke 19:45-46. We see Jesus rebuking people selling in church, yet in Luke 19:12-27, Jesus tells a parable that seems to have blessed the combination of responsible investing, hard work and stewardship- all elements of business ownership. I think Jesus loves capitalistic, entrepreneurs; […]

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Testimony About Giving, Faith and Worship

July 29, 2014

Putting money is the offering plate can be a difficult thing for many people to do. It isn’t easy to part with money, when we have so many needs and wants in life. Giving regularly often begins with letting go and trusting. Even if our hearts aren’t totally into it, God then often blesses us, […]

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Great Example of How We Are Blessed To Be a Blessing

July 22, 2014

Tuesday Testimony, from a friend. It is an amazing story about how he was blessed through the generosity of others and classes he took. God kept his life together, even though he feared it would fall apart, not only was his home blessed, he was able to bless people around the world, and the people […]

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The Joy of Hard Work, Luke 19:12-27

July 21, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 19:12-27, is about hard work. Modern society’s view of work, doesn’t always agree with scripture, so let’s see what the Bible has to say. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to […]

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Testi-money About God’s Generosity

July 16, 2014

A good friend of mine, sent me an email recently about giving, that I thought might be encouraging.  He has lived good stewardship, and gotten back on his feet financially, after deeply digging out from a failed business venture. “I was looking at our tithe last year and it was indeed 10% but given our […]

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Zacchaeus’ Walk With Jesus, from Greed to Purity

July 14, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 19:8-9. In the preceding verses, we see Zacchaeus a tax collector, following Jesus, and immediately is compelled regarding his financial life. 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the […]

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Being Interruptible to Bless Others

July 9, 2014

A friend recently emailed to me this story about how God used him to bless someone. One Sunday afternoon when I was 22 years old, I sat down with my girlfriend at a nice airport restaurant while waiting on a flight. Travel activity was low that day, so the restaurant was all but empty. Our […]

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Being Aware of Opportunities to be Generous

July 7, 2014

Here is an excellent story about a man who gave his last two dollars to bless someone else. He learned several lessons, and you will to. As a middle school teacher my voice is usually my craft, without it I am already defeated in a classroom. One Friday I was beginning to lose my voice […]

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Modesty, A Forgotten Virtue, But Key to Good Stewardship

July 1, 2014

Is this word still applicable to this age? “It is a good thing for man to live in moderation. It is commendable when a man is able to control his lusts and desires, so that he is not a slave to his belly and is no longer driven by the powers of his fleshly desires […]

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Money, Eternity, and Childlike Faith; Luke 18:17

June 30, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 18:17. In this verse, and the one that follows it (Luke 18:17 – 25), Jesus is giving clues about how to receive the Kingdom of God, and how money can be an obstacle. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God […]

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Financial Performance & Relationship With Jesus, Luke 18:9-14

June 23, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 18:9-14. In these verses Jesus warns us to not base our relationship with him on living a good life and tithing. To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple […]

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How to Pray About Money, Luke 18:1-8

April 22, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 18:1-8. In these verses Jesus shows us how to pray for our troubles, especially financial ones. However, there are two parts of this parable–one speaks to those who are suffering, and the other speaks to those who have the means to relieve suffering. This […]

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The 2nd Coming of Christ and Money, Luke 17:28-35

April 14, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 17:28-35. These verses describe the return of Jesus, but almost every teaching about them teaches the wrong things. It is not about rapture but how we live our lives, day-to-day, and where our hearts are focused. 28 “It was the same in the days of […]

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The Right Attitude About Work: Servantude, Luke 17:5-10

April 7, 2014

This week’s money and stewardship devotional from the four Gospels* is from Luke 17:5-10. These verses seems to indicate how hard work, obedience, and a servant-like attitude are linked to the type of faith that moves trees and mountains. Jesus was responding to the request of the apostles to increase their faith, but His two responses seem […]

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