A J-BAR PRAYER

Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.

Financial Peace. . . that is the ultimate goal of our discussion this morning. We all hope to have enough to be comfortable and take care of the needs of our families – this is financial peace.

Financial Peace is more than just the here and now, though.  If we dedicate ourselves to taking care of what God has given us, in a manner befitting the Intelligence of the Giver, as well as honoring the gift for what it is – a blessing to be multiplied, then we can see that saving for the future is not only smart, but Godly:  (Matthew 25:14-30) The Parable of the Talents14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

We are products of this delusional system that we live in. This system is driven by the reality that as sinners, we tend to live for ourselves – to make life all about us. We are obsessed with what we want, why we want it, how we want it and who we want to deliver it. We invest a huge amount of our time and energy acquiring things for the sole purpose of our own comfort and pleasure. . . all the while telling ourselves that we just need this one more thing and that thing will satisfy us. . . and it never does. . .  so, what do we do? Go out and buy something else.

We, as humans, seem to never be satisfied with what we have. We always seem to be worried about tomorrow and regretting what happened yesterday.  This is one of the Enemy’s greatest tricks. To keep us so ashamed about yesterday and so worried about tomorrow, that we forget to enjoy the gift of today.  We live in a constant state of emotional turmoil. We seem to believe that if we have enough money, that we could have all the stuff that we could ever need and therefore we would be happy and at peace. It is never enough. . . and it will never be enough.

Sadly, much of our money and life is spent looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. We should “be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.” (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Jesus’ words in “The Lord’s Prayer” speak to us about this life being run on self-will: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” These words are important to hear, to think about and to live and build our Faith upon. Embedded in these words is a plea that God, in Grace, would cause our hearts to Love His Kingdom more than we love our own – and embedded in that plea is the Hope for financial sanity and practical spending wisdom.

Financial Peace starts with a decision to change. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then please see Tanis and begin this journey with us.

We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.

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