Tending Kingdom Financial Crops

God, Your ways are higher than ours; Your Wisdom more precious than gold. We seek You!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011                                                   www.holyspiritpress.org     www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

Note: Often sections of Scripture are included at the conclusion of these blog posts.  Please do not skip them!  Even when time seems short or it happens to be passages you already know, please take the time to read these passages.  God’s Word contains His Truth.  Because He is so much greater than we are, our comprehension of His Truth often comes in layers.  In other words, each time we read the same passage, if we ask the Holy Spirit, frequently He will take us to a new depth of understanding and application.  God is worth our time.  Sometimes what He shows you will be what He knows you need to get through that day. ~ Elizabeth

PRAYER:  Lord, help us to trust in You enough to quiet our hearts, receive Your Word and let you speak to us through it.  We are waiting and expectant of Your message!  In Jesus’ name, Amen

 Like farmers, what we sow, we shall reap.  The analogy of the seed and harvest can be applied in many productive ways.  In this instance, the seeds and crops considered are the fruit of our financial choices.

To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.  (Deut. 10:14 NIV)

Everything we have actually belongs to God.  Its just here for us to care for and use until we enter into eternity.  In the planting fields of life, He is the Master Gardener.  Our job (and responsibility) merely is to steward what He provides.  Therefore, let us consider what types of crops are we tending and what harvest can be expected?

Unlike a farmer whose harvest is determined by the type of seeds, plants and bushes at his or her disposal, our “seeds” (our money) has the potential to produce a variety of different crops and harvest results, dependent upon how we choose to steward them.  For instance, though a farmer who owns a plum tree orchard can only expect to harvest plums, money can be planted to provide for a current need, produce a crop in anticipation of a future need or be invested into God’s kingdom where its effect is forever.

Each of these uses has its place!  Clearly, though God tells us to support the needy, He also states we don’t help if in supporting others we come to the place where we cannot support ourselves.

But often, we live here as if this life were all there is and forget that once we become believers in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we are offered the gift of looking at our lives differently.  Life is no longer about getting as much money as we can so we can have more stuff.  We understand that everything we acquire here is passing away.  We realize that the special treats we buy ourselves have no lasting consequence (except perhaps an emptier wallet or expanding waistline).  And the possessions we acquire are but for a moment.  They cannot be taken where we are going and certainly can’t be sent ahead.  God alone is furnishing the mansion He is preparing for each of those who love Him in the life to come.

Consider each bit of money available to spend as a seed to be planted.  The manner in which we choose to employ it will determine the crop it produces and how God can use it.

The money we invest in providing for current needs sprouts, produces a one-time harvest which is consumed immediately, then the crop withers never to grow or produce again.  Money spent on current needs (or wants) does not leave behind any seeds to plant to produce the next crop which will be needed to support upcoming needs because it already was spent.  The effect of this crop we have planted and tended was but for a moment.

Money invested in what we may need for the future can grow and grow, but the crop it produces may never be harvested (or only harvested in part.)  God alone knows when He is calling us home and how much we need to set aside in order to have sufficient resources to supply our needs until that time.  (Anything leftover often goes to waste.)  Once again, as the crop is harvested, its application and effect are brief.  The crop we plant and tend for the future provides for a momentary need or want and then is spent.  However, this crop is slightly different in that it is possible for it to produce multiple harvests which meets current needs year after year (if we live on the income produced by our investments, instead of on the savings and investments themselves).  Regardless, the effect of the harvest from these crops we have chosen to plant and tend with our money (“seeds”) often does not go beyond ourselves or this lifetime.

There is another option.  When we choose to plant the dollars He puts at our disposal into efforts, projects and organizations which supply those around them with the love of God and the spreading of the fragrance and revelation of His Son, Jesus, the harvest from these crops has an effect which is never ending.  The crop grown from choosing to employ our dollars as this type of seed has an eternal effect.  Consider getting to heaven and seeing all the people who are there because they met Christ face-to-face through work we helped to fund.

The decision how much money we are to plant and then tend to produce a crop in each of these areas – whether for current, future or eternal use) is not really ours.  Each of us must consult God.  There are so many needs which He would like to address by having the money He has provided flow through us.  The potential good uses for money are seemingly infinite!  Only God knows whose money is to be used to tend to which need.  If we will seek to hear from Him (listening!), God will place His strategy for every financial “seed” He has provided on our hearts with His peace, our joy will be great and His harvest from what we plant eternal.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all his angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  32 All the nations will be gather before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave m something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’   37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you?  39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?’   40 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’  44 They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and did not help you?’  45 He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matt. 25:31-46 NIV)

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having what you need, you will abound in every good work.  9 As it is written (Ps. 112:9): “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”  10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and though us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is  also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generousity in sharing with them and with everyone else.  (2 Cor. 9:6-13 NIV)

Selah!  (Pause and calmly think of that!)

END

UPCOMING DEVOTION:  HIS NAME IS EMMANUEL

PLEASE emember to view the new song, “One Nation Under God” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share  SHARE the link!  Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.  

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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