You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with  Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the day and week, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Each Monday, a voice from the pews will give personal perspective to the words we soaked in on Sunday. Because of your generosity, lives are being changed by God’s grace, and we’re able to share these stories with you here!

The Monday After Sunday, June 24, 2013: Finding Joy in a World Built by Greed {click HERE to listen to the sermon}

By Anita Everly

Short of cutting ourselves out of American society completely, we have to learn to live generously and Christ-like in this land of excess.  But how?
I’m finding the beautiful example of our Indian sister Prem Gideon to be so powerful in its simplicity:  seek God, listen to God and have faith enough to obey God.
No matter what our bank account says or what kind of home and possessions we do or don’t have, we can all surrender to His guidance in matters of money and things.
That word:  surrender.  Per a discussion earlier this week, I’ve been sitting with the notion that surrender is not just giving up and doing nothing; rather,  it is often actively settling into being present with the Lord and waiting on what He wills to become a participant in His good work as He directs.
Do you have a time of thanksgiving with each paycheck?
Do you have a time of prayer surrendering that paycheck to the Lord for it to be used how He sees fit?
In our world of automatic deposits and withdrawals, sometimes it’s hard to remember the Giver and to be intentional with our gratitude and seeking direction for what to do with our income.
Instead of praying at the end of the month that He would stretch the money and please make it last (been there), what if with every paycheck we surrendered it to God at the beginning and asked for His guidance in how to be a good steward of each cent?
What if before we slid that debit card, plugged in that credit card number or plopped some cash on a counter, we prayed and enlisted the power of the Holy Spirit?   Not just for “extras,” but for everything.
As we go about each day, what if we thanked Him for the simple and beautiful blessings of this life and prayed for people to pay attention to—to love, to bless, to give?
Prem shared with us a great example: seeking first His kingdom and righteousness.   She said she made praying for good stewardship a habit and prayed daily:  Lord, please give me only what is needed so that I am not too satisfied and ignore you.
Then when the closing of her school became a reality, she was on her knees in prayer crying out to the Lord. He heard her cries and she heard His words and remained faithful, acting in obedience to Him.  In a matter of months, her school enrollment almost doubled.  She is sharing hope and the love of Christ with about 800 children and their families.
That’s a crazy-good God thing.
It’s usually in our moments of contentment with Him and faith in His provision (surrender) that He does something that makes no sense to the world, but highlights perfectly His divinity in the everyday matters of our lives.
Most of us have a paycheck coming soon.  It’s a good, regular check-in with God and our use of all we possess.  What if we thanked Him now and began praying how He would have us use every cent this pay period?  What if we asked Him to bring us people to whom we can give abundantly–not just of our money, but of our gratitude, talents, time, a listening ear or a service.
I’m betting the direction of our resources will be clearer, the trust in His provision will be stronger and the contentment of our hearts will be rich with His love and overflowing to others.
And that’s something money can’t buy.

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

4 thoughts on “The Monday After: Enemies of the Heart: Finding Joy in a World Built by Greed {Anita}

  1. I love the idea of praying and enlisting the power of the Holy Spirit before I pay for something. Lately, I have not been thinking about what is the best use of God’s money that He has entrusted to us. Thanks Anita for giving me pause to think about this.

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