What a Stolen Wallet has taught me about the Gospel

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The Gospel in our Everyday Lives

What a morning?  Let me back up – what a 24 hours!

Real life: my mister and I didn’t have the best 24 hours in communicating about finances.  God is good.  Communication is good.  A husband who pursues wholeness in our marriage is good.  Thankful for him.

More than once he’s asked me not to leave my wallet in the car.  I’ve ALWAYS left my wallet in the car (please don’t lecture me).  Never have had a problem.  This morning, I go to get in my car and notice a random hot pink knit glove in my seat.  I have little boys, not a teenage girl.  I thought maybe I’d picked it up from the gym somehow or one of the boys had.  Then I got to McDonalds to get a Diet Coke to drink during Bible Study.  No wallet.  Sorry McDonald’s drive thru lady.  Screaming boys because they weren’t going to get any coke.  Call my husband who is in a meeting.  Look briefly in the house but know its not there.  Realize I’d probably left the car unlocked last night because of several trips I made to the car.  Looked for my emergency cash stash and that was gone too.

Seriously.  Right after having hard conversations about finances?  Really, Lord?

Well, this is what I have learned in the last 4 hours:

1.  God will never tell a child He loves I Told You So.  He doesn’t spitefully throw our sins back in our faces.  He doesn’t haughtily say that He is right (which He always is).  He lovingly graces us with his continual presence even when we fail. Oh the joy and assurance of the gospel.  My husband didn’t tell me I told you so.  He graciously waited where he was till I got there so I could have 2$ in cash for the day.  He called all of our credit cards and the cops to get the ball rolling for a police report. All of this while fighting ATL traffic on his way to work.  I really just wanted him to tell me I Told You So and get it over with so I could have my punishment and go on with my day.  Oh, the last words he said to me as he walked toward his car was “go in grace.”  Oh, how he loves me – because Jesus loves him!

2.  Acts 2 is graciously lived out in our local church body.  I had just gotten our cash envelope for the week of groceries.  Gone.  This morning – God is so gracious.  Thank you ladies for your gracious giving and your prayers.  It was a tough morning.  God is good.

3.  God has told us He will provide for all of our needs!  Matthew 6 tells us many of the things that we could and often do worry about – and how God has commanded us not to because he is faithful.  He is faithful.

4.  Also, a lady in our Bible study group this morning asked the question of how will Christ be exalted every moment of our lives.  I then mentioned this incident this morning.  I wondered if I have the opportunity to meet the young girl who stole my wallet how I will respond.  How will I show her Jesus?  I thought of her as I drove to church this morning: does she have parents who care?  Does she know Jesus?  Is she dealing with guilt that only Jesus can remove?  Why did she feel the need to steal my wallet?  What will she turn out to be when she grows up?  Oh, Father – change her heart, right now!

Do I believe God?

Kids r Readers 2: Trouble with Money (Berenstain Bears)

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bears money

I grew up totally loving the Berenstain Bears and all their lovely adventures.  And now that I’m a parent I would love to share these tales with my boys and have them love them too!

Grownups do have money worries – with insurance, mortgages, health coverage, gifts, food, diapers, etc.  But, how do we teach our children about money and possessions and what God has to say about them?

In this children’s book Papa and Mama bear notice that their cubs didn’t make good choices when it came to the money that they had and how they used it.  They spent it on frivolous items at the mall.  Fleeting joys.  They teach about saving for a rainy day – but that isn’t exactly what the Bible teaches us.  The cubs don’t keep the money for themselves, they instead give it to Papa Bear so he won’t have to worry.  Generosity is a loving characteristic.

Here are some teaching points about money when reading this book to your children:

1.  God is more concerned with our eternity than our financial status.  Ecc 5.10

2.  We are not to be OVERLY concerned and worried with the cares of this world.  Matthew 6.24, 31-33, Hebrews 13.5

3.  Our money is not meant to be hoarded, but spent wisely and given generously. Deut 15.10, Deut 16.17, Luke 6.38, 2 Cor 9.6-8

4.  God gets the first of everything.  Prov 3.9-10

5.  The gospel is more than money because you can’t take money with you into eternity. 1 Tim 6-7-10

6. God owns everything. Our lives are about stewardship. 1 Chron 29.14-17