Weekly Meditations About Life Style Management
ichel Bell developed these weekly meditations
with monthly themes
to spotlight a specific approach to money matters. He uses them to dig deep in the Bible to learn from the Lord. Friends spurred him to publish them to motivate folks to invest time daily to know Jesus.
These weekly meditations
help you stay focused on good stewardship practices and avoid loans. They are not panaceas. If in debt, they can inspire you to be debt free God's way and in God’s time. They do not always discuss financial matters. They stress lifestyle issues because money management is lifestyle lifestyle management.
Michel presents a theme for the month
and a topic and memory verse for the week
to aid your walk with the Lord. We live in a rapid-paced society. People claim if they slowdown they miss a special chance to move forward. Folks add, “Don’t stand there, do something”? The reflections ask everyone every day to stay or sit there and be quiet. Draw near to the Jesus and listen. You are rushing and getting nowhere fast, right? Relax, get into His word and start each morning doing His will, not yours.
The basic idea of weekly as opposed to daily-focused reflections is to enable you to spend one week reading and praying on a specific theme. Although we show verses each day, work through the topic during the week. If the passage for the day is Proverbs 3-5-6, view its position in the text and read the context there. Then, look at the application section for that week and decide how you are doing. When you check the scripture verse or passage, examine its context, too, in the Bible. Spend the week, not only memorizing the memory verse, but considering it's application daily. May these meditations bless you.
Each of us needs to apply wisdom — insight, good judgment under God’s direction — to life daily to do right in God’s eyes. So often we apply the best logic and common sense to our circumstances but the results turn out different from our expectations. Sometimes they surprise us; they even seem illogical!
How does this happen in this sophisticated technology age when computers can model and “predict” results? Surely, we should expect greater predictability for daily routine events, especially those with which we are familiar, such as financial matters. Shouldn’t we?
As we start a New Year, let’s look at wisdom from God’s perspective — its source and uses — by focusing on these key topics throughout the month:
- January 1-7: Fear and Humility: The beginning of wisdom
- January 8-14: Our Daily Walk - Mimicking God’s wisdom in all relationships
- January 15-21: Wealth - Applying godly wisdom as God?s stewards?
- January 22-31: Foolishness - Becoming foolish to gain wisdom
February: Income Sources
Most folks would agree, usually there is only one primary income source—work, either self-employed or other. But people in several homes in North America gamble regularly on lotteries, football games, horse racing,
and other events in an unsuccessful attempt to supplement household incomes. They hope to hit the jackpot and “live happily ever after”; but the few who win, don’t find the happiness they seek.
This month, while confirming work as the valid income source, we review biblical aspects of gambling, borrowing, and other sources where many individuals turn, hoping to supplement or replace their incomes.
- February 1-7: Work - A gift from God
- February 8-14: Borrowing - Running ahead of God
- February 15-21: Gambling - Displacing God as the supplier of needs
- Inheritance - A blessing or a curse?
March: Triumphant in The Valleys
In human terms, “triumphant in the valley” is contradictory although that’s where Jesus' followers spend much time. Sadly, while there, we feel defeated and lost because we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on us. This month as we look at God’s Word, we will see that Jesus calls His followers to live triumphant lives in the valley and on the mountaintop. Besides, we will see it’s in the valley our faith grows as we learn to depend on Him. We will review these four topics:
- March 1-7: Trials - Prescriptions for growth
- March 8-14: Anxiety - The journey toward peace
- March 15-21: Temptations - Choosing the way out
- March 22-31: Contentment - Resting in Him
April: Biblical Stewardship
Many pastors reserve a Sunday in January to preach on stewardship; some devote the entire month to this topic. Mostly, their messages remind us to present ‘our tithes and offerings’ to the Lord. They ignore the stewardship of time, talents, and the environment, and they don’t stress stewardship as a lifestyle.
Each week this month, we will look at what it means to be God’s stewards under these headings:
- April 1-7 - Stewardship: In the beginning
- April 8-14 - Time: Busy but standing still
- April 15- 21 - Money: What are you doing with God’s 90%?
- April 22- 28 - Talents: How am I using my gifts?
- April 29-30 - Accountability: In the end
May: The Family & Lifestyle Management
Despite persistent, vicious attacks on the traditional family by Governments and others in society, God’s ordained roles for the family and family members apply today. Stand firm; do not let Governments’ ill-conceived anti-traditional family policies deceive you. Always remember popular policies don’t equate with morally acceptable policies. God’s Word is the only authority for moral absolutes. This month, we will review God’s Word to learn about the traditional family under these headings:
- May 1-7 - The Husband: Servant Leader
- May 8-14 - The Wife: Partner and helper
- May 15-21 - The Parent and Child: Relationship building
- May 22-31 - The Family Council: Essential teaching and learning medium
June: Walking The Walk
During an intensive two-year period when I set out to prove Christianity was for weak-minded losers
, faith preoccupied me. I realized subconsciously I put faith in many objects and people daily. Still I thought, Why would anyone become a follower of Jesus, accepting ‘blindly,’ assumptions about Him? I learned He died, rose, is alive today. But did I have faith enough to believe?
Later, with open eyes, I found out I did not have faith enough to disbelieve Jesus is Messiah. This month as we look at how we practice our faith, we will review these faith-related topics:
- June 1-7: Faith and Hope
- June 8-14: Commands and Assurances
- June 15-21: Forgiveness and Restoration
- June 22-30: Happiness...
July: Money by The Book
Biblical teachings on money startles many folks as they discover Jesus spoke more about money, wealth, and possessions than other items. Many people don't understand why they learn so little from churches and Messianic congregations.
We will explore Bible teachings on money this month to help us build a solid, biblically based money management
foundation. We will address these areas:
- July 1-7: ABCs - What is Your Worldview?
- July 8-14: Saving For Retirement?
- July 15-21: Rich Man Poor Man, Who Will Inherit The Kingdom?
- July 22-31: Breaking The Vase--Lavish Spending
August: Biblical Stewardship Choices
Life is about choices. Often unconsciously we choose between important matters such as working rather than loafing, eating instead of starving, sleeping rather than staying awake. Nobody tells us which to choose because these responses either are inherent or come by experience. Not so with other choices where ignorance and cowardice often hold us back.
This month we will look at some choices that result from inaction:
- August 1-7: Heaven or Hell
- August 8-14: Truth or Tolerance
- August 15-21: Success or Failure
- August 22-31: Christianity or Religion
September: Life Lessons
Life is a journey that’s not smooth, but lesson-filled. Our great challenge is to be open to learn as we go. Sadly, rarely do we learn from our experiences, especially if bad, because we don’t accept them. We need to ask Jesus, our Messiah, to lead us through these bad experiences as He promised, and show us how to grow from them.
Because we don’t use these events He presents to develop us, we repeat mistakes and act daily like each outing is our first. We are busy with our priorities that spotlight urgent matters without everlasting significance, so we side-step God’s messages He chooses specially for us.
This month we look at some journeys with several life-lessons. We will highlight a few and look at how we might apply them daily as we stay alert to Messiah’s teachings. Don’t miss God’s faithfulness that permeates these journeys:
- September 1-7: Egypt to Canaan
- September 8-14: Jerusalem to Moab
- September 15-21: The Cistern to the Mansion
- September 22-30: Shepherd to King
October: Satan Is Active
Church folks are growing more “religious" and further away from Jesus. In a June 2000 study, Church Lay Leaders Are Different From Followers,
Barna Research Group Ltd., of Ventura, California reported 39% of lay church leaders in the USA said there is no Satan. And a 2010 PewResearch U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey
shows even more ignorance of the Bible. It states, “on questions about Christianity – including a battery of questions about the Bible – Mormons … show the highest levels of knowledge.”
Preachers push easy believe-ism to grow congregations so we have scores of people ignorant of the Bible in churches. This month we try to shed some light in the following areas:
- October 1-7: The god of this age
- October 8-14: Satan is Active
- October 15-21: Wear Your Helmet--Use Your Sword
- October 22-31: Walk In The Light
November: Jesus Is Lord
This month’s theme stresses the reality many folks do not wish to confront: Jesus is Lord. We may surrender to His
Lordship and allow Him to direct our paths, or we may not. But if we don’t, still He is Lord and rules the world.
When we surrender control of our lives to Jesus, choose to love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds, our stress levels
will fall because we correctly transfer our burdens to Him. That’s what He asks us to do. He knows we can’t do it on our own, so He invites us to cast our worries onto Him. He deals with them much better than we could!
We will review these topics this month:
- November 1-7: The Bible is the Source of Truth
- November 8-14: Invest in His Kingdom
- November 15-21: Count the Cost
- November 22-30: Is Money His Competitor?
December: Goals and Plans
A New Year on the horizon; time for a fresh start. Do you want to start the year understanding what you should be do - ing and where you should be going? Better still, do you want to learn where God is working in your life, or where He wants you to be during the New Year?
This month, let’s explore the Bible to answer these questions about goal setting and planning under God’s direction. We will cover these topics:
- December 1-7: A Life Goal: Why am I here?
- December 8-14: His Goal or Mine: Why not mine?
- December 15-21: Smoothing Peaks and Troughs
- December 22-25: God’s Perfect Plan: Available to me?
- December 26-31: Where is God: Where is my plan?