“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my arms around the fact that God’s desire for me is to experience life to the fullest- regardless of my life situation. God’s desire for me to have life abundantly isn’t based on whether I have had a good or bad day, whether the economy is flourishing or declining, whether I perform well or not. It is not relative to the changes in the stock market, the amount of money I do or don’t make, or whether or not I have a job. God’s desire for us to experience life abundantly transcends all these scenarios.
I don’t always experience life to the fullest and often get distracted by the things of the world- I am a work in progress. But when I do experience this abundant life that God’s word talks about it is usually in the context of the following:
Using the gifts God has given me to serve others; this could be talents, time or treasure- it is one of the greatest joys I experience.
Being surrounded by a community of people who love Jesus. People who are real, transparent, challenging and vulnerable and those who allow me to be the same.
Being immersed in God’s word and prayer. Nothing else allows me to experience the Lord in such an intimate way.
I am grateful that whatever circumstance I may be in, both good and bad, the Lord is always offering me something better- life abundantly! I would encourage you to prayerfully examine how this looks in your life and walk with the Lord.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
A few months ago, Howard and I had an opportunity to meet with Dave Ramsey and his team in Nashville. Dave and Howard have had a mutual respect and admiration for each other for many years. I was just thrilled for the chance to meet Dave and his staff. Being in the financial ministry world I have heard the great stories and ways that God was using Dave and his team in people’s lives.
The morning started out with Howard giving a devotional to Dave’s entire staff (about 300 people). We then had the opportunity to take a tour of their offices and meet many of the staff folks that the Lord had been (and has been) using to serve people and churches across the country. As we spent more time with the leadership team it became apparent to me that there were many differences between our ministries – different strategies, culture, staffing, materials etc. But what was incredibly clear was the love that Dave and his staff had for the Lord and the calling that the Lord had put on their hearts. The more I listened to Dave and his staff the more excited I became about the differences between Compass and Dave Ramsey.
Differences are often looked at as challenges and obstacles to overcome but I don’t think that is what God was revealing to us. I believe God was (and is) using people who love Him and their differences (even in the context of similar callings) to further fulfill His purposes. This became pretty clear not only to Howard and I, but to Dave and his team as well.
I have a sense that over the next several months and years the Lord will be connecting ministries with similar passions and callings to further fulfill His purposes rather than competing. Many like-minded organizations that we have been relationally connected to aren’t asking the question “if we were to work together” but rather “how we can work together”. I believe this type of attitude will allow ministries to focus more on their specific calling while utilizing the calling and gifts of other ministries as well.
We don’t totally know what all this will look like yet, but we are looking forward to God guiding and leading this movement. It will be exciting to see God use people who love Him, people who are called to his purpose and a multitude of differences to transform people’s lives throughout the world!
“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die Where you invest your love, you invest your life”
-Mumford and Sons- “Awake My Soul”
I’ve never been much of a music guy. I like music and can appreciate a good song or artist, but it isn’t something I generally gravitate to. So when my best friend told me a few months ago about this new up and coming band, I humored him by listening to the album he had downloaded. The band was Mumford and Sons and the song was called “Awake My Soul”. I have no idea where this band is at spiritually but I can tell you that God used this song to speak to me in a great way.
Danielle and I had recently bought a new home and were unknowingly getting caught up in the whirlwind of “needing” new stuff to fill our home. The more we focused on the things we “needed” the less we focused on the one we truly needed. But God has incredible and unique ways of helping us focus or re-focus on Him. In this case He used my buddy Kevin, an I-pod and a song from a band very few folks had heard of (at that point). When I heard the lyrics “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life” I instantly felt a wave of conviction. It was time re-evaluate how and where we were spending our time and resources. We were trying to serve two masters and scripture is pretty clear about how that will turn out (Matthew 6:24).
This is why Compass- finances God’s way exists. To help people serve the one and true master. Just about everyone in our country is bombarded multiple times with the message of materialism on a daily basis. The only way I have been able to defeat materialism in my own life is through the application of God’s word- fixing my eyes on the eternal prize rather than the temporary things of this world. This is what the Compass Small Group studies do.
In a few weeks we will have two new small group studies – Money & Marriage and Navigating Your Finances God’s Way. There is incredible life change that can take place when people are in a small group environment: being loved and cared for, studying and applying God’s word and faithfully praying for each other. The distraction of materialism doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon but we know that we have God’s word to combat it. I would encourage you to join the fight against materialism and help people (and yourself) experience the Lord in an incredibly intimate way by prayerfully planning on being a part of one of these small group studies.
In His grip of grace,
Thank you for considering a donation to Compass – finances God’s way.