The Best Bargain
Rachel Olsen

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

If you are anything like me – and millions of other women – you find it hard to disengage yourself from the lifestyle of consumerism all around us. Material things - mere inanimate objects – seem to have so much power over people.The frustrating thing about money and things is you can never quite get enough. Styles and fashions change with the seasons. Fancier homes are being built around the corner. Technology improves so rapidly. Great bargains await us down every aisle. There are always newer and nicer things to be had, and there are always people around us having them. There is a subtle but unrelenting pressure to have it all.

So what happens when we give in to the pressure? We discover the tyranny of material things. Soon we find ourselves in spiritual bondage, and financial debt. A few years ago I read an eye-opening statistic - seventy percent of all Americans said they are carrying so much debt that it is making their lives unhappy. Are you feeling the pressure of financial debt? Is it worth it to have a home full of nice things, where tensions run high, creditors call, and you can hardly sleep?

At the time I read that statistic I was beginning to feel the pressure of my own mounting debt. I remember quite well the stress, fear, and feelings of failure. Thankfully, it drove me to my knees where I cried out to the only One who could truly help me change. Through tears I asked God’s forgiveness for how poorly I’d handled the money He had provided me, and asked Him to help me gain some control and make wiser choices. I humbly confessed to others the situation and asked for prayer. Next I prayed frequently and reverently for God to increase our family income so we could pay down the debt. I increased my giving to God. And, very importantly, I put a strict moratorium on myself buying anything but groceries. No more new sweaters, cute kids’ toys, or anti-wrinkle creams – no matter how great the sale – until I’d gained some self control when it came to money.

I am glad to report that God has been faithful to hear and answer those prayers. I’m also confident in saying He can do the same for you.

The Bible clearly states that God will not reign in our lives as long as we have material things enthroned in our hearts (Matthew 6:24). So join me in renouncing money, luxury, and possessions as the main goals in life. Today let’s choose better goals – to know God intimately and to bless others out of the abundance of our hearts. The lifestyle of consumerism is all around us. The temptation to try to satisfy our own needs and desires with material things is strong. Ultimately, however, the best bargain in town is still that we can trade our filthy rags for robes of righteousness in the dressing room of our very own hearts.

Dear Lord, forgive me for seeking material things more than You. Forgive me for being stingy or selfish with the money I have. I need Your help to change, and to pay off my debts – both spiritual and financial. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

Visit Dave Ramsey on the web for some financial guidance

Dollars & Sense by Cynthia Sumner

Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

Application Steps:
Get a clear picture of your debt situation. Pray as I did above for forgiveness and help. Give to God and his work through your church and ministries such as this one. Drastically curb unnecessary spending.

Follow the Dave Ramsey link in the resources section for excellent, professional financial advice from a Christian perspective.

Is shopping a problem habit for you?

Do you know how much debt you have?

Are you giving to God?

Who or what is truly on the throne in your heart?

Power Verses:
Psalm 36:5, “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.” (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 7:12, "Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor." (NIV)

Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (NKJ)

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This is awesome! Amen!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should be a good lesson for everyone. We are so busy trying to do everything the Jones do that we forgot that God should come first in anything that we do. Thanks for this devotion.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great reminder! God should always be our focus even if the world tells us otherwise!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has such awesome timing for me. God is really dealing with me in this area.
Let me add that an awesome read for this topic is "The Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn. It has set my heart on fire for allowing God into this area of my life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting, gals. I'm praying today for each of you!

Yes, Alcorn's "The Treasure Principal" is a great book!

Blessings to All ~ Rachel

Blogger cheryl said...

I have a comment can you please send me some power verses for my job and my boyfriend my boyfriend is on drugs and my job is not working out for me. i need some preyer in my life i prey all the time i don know if i am doing it right please help.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I have started to feel the pressure of finances and I know we have wasted the resources and money that god has given us, this in turn has made us as the Bible says a slave to the lender and we don't want to be there. Thank you for your great words and plan of action.

Dear God,
Thank you that you do hear me when I cry out. I am sorry that I have squandered what you have given us financially up to now. I have not been faithful to use it the way you wanted. I cryout for your forgiveness in this area. It was so studid for us to waste so friviously what you had given to us. I pray that you help us to continue on the budget we have set forth that is wiser and uses the money you have given us. Thank you that you have helped us commit to this budget and that we have stuck to it so far. continue to give us strength and determination to get these debts paid off and stay on the budget we have set forth even though it is difficult we really want to honor you with our finances and I am sorry
that it has taken this long for us to hear your voice and come to our senses financially. Thank you that you forgive us and that you seek to want the best for us. please increase our family income to pay off debt and put money back in the savings where it belongs. I pray that you make the counseling successful and able to increase to pay off these debts we owe. We don't want to be slaves to lenders. Thank you in advance for what you are going to do. We choose to be faithful and know that you are going to provide for us. We rely on you for our finances and to help us pay off thee debt we have accumulated. Thank you that you are faithful to hear our crys.

Blogger Таnia in Delhi said...

Thank you for a great reminder!
We all need to help each other to keep first things first. Our lives are so busy, that often we just don't have time to stop and analyze... we work hard, have no time left for our families, and then spend unwisely...I am sure God has a better solution... we just need to keep looking!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's so funny that at the bottom of the devotion, there is an invitation to spend money on Dave Ramsey's material because it's 'on sale'.
Other than that funny aside, the devotion was wonderful!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The resource website, is a great one! If you apply these principles to your life, you'll be dramatically changed. The FPU class is really good. It's regular people going through life just like you. Take a look at it, you'll be glad you did! :)

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