Anyone that has ever been in a relationship with people can attest to the fact that you can always find something that does not line up with the way you would do something. Your ideas will never exactly parallel another. Anyone who has ever done a school project knows that your ideas may not be the ideas of another. This does not change with our relationship with Jesus. The big difference is that He is God and has all knowledge and we are finite creatures with a huge limitation in our understanding.
This means that when I come to the Word (The Bible) there will be things that I will not like about the Lord. Things that we will have suffer for His glory. Yes! He suffered for us on the cross, but when you are in the midst of the fire personally or He has shared with you the fire ahead, it does not make it easy. However, this suffering is a necessary seed for a full life in Jesus Christ. No great man or woman within the Bible was without trials and tests that their OBEDIENCE guarded them from. There are things you can reap because of SIN, but the Christian life is full of suffering with being righteous. Take Joseph for example. Accused of rape and sentenced to jail for a crime he did not commit. He was faithful to God and God did not spare him from prison.
In Revelation, God makes it clear that many Christians in the last hour will be martyred. We may die a criminals death, just like Jesus did beside the two thieves. We should always be ready in all things for the Lord Jesus Christ. If its God’s will for us to live a prosperous life on earth with limited issues and a nice burial, praise the Lord, if through martyrdom, praise the Lord.
In the information age there is a temptation to gather various data concerning all sorts of things and I would encourage exploration, but never lose sight of the words of Solomon. “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-13).
Learning things outside the Bible is a must if we are going to earn a living and contribute to our families by making money and teaching them how to interact in the world in which we live, but every pursuit should have God in mind. We should be most concerned about what he thinks and desires. He created us and not the other way around. It is in God’s love that he desires our prosperity and enjoys our praise and worship. Never forget that Jesus died on the cross for our salvation. His death was the payment for our sin and we inherit salvation when we repent and believe in the work that Jesus did on the cross for us. If we refuse the gift of Jesus Christ we will inherit damnation and no amount of self-help books or the power of positive thinking will help you.
In all your pursuits remember it is Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. If you ever lose sight of him, you lose sight of everything that will matter when you pass from this life unto the next.
It’s a logical plan to address a major concern, but I need you to listen to me: thinking you can just keep working may be unrealistic. In the same survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, just 15% of retirees said they kept working past age 65. That’s a serious gap between expectations (>40% plan to keep working past 65) and real life (only 15% retired after age 65.)
A big portion of people who retired earlier than they expected were sidelined by illness or disability. Taking care of a family member can also derail plans, as can being downsized or pushed out of a job.
If your retirement plan is centered around the assumption you will just keep working longer, please consider these important steps:
- Keep Saving. If you are not saving for retirement, or aren’t pushing yourself to save even more, you are putting your future security at risk. The best way to navigate the unknown is to hope for the best and plan for the worst. In this case, not being able to keep working longer is a “worst” case scenario. Plan for that by committing to save as much as possible today in your retirement accounts.
- Keep Sharp. I know you’ve heard plenty about keeping your work skills up to date, but you still haven’t done much. If there’s no on-the-job training available, check for online courses; there are plenty of terrific web-based classes you can take. Or look into whether your local community college has useful courses in your field.
- Keep Fit. The healthier you are, the less susceptible you may be to certain illnesses. There’s also the mind-body connection; I am a believer that when you feel physically strong it spills over into a frame of mind that can make you ever more valuable at work. Besides, I want you to be in the best shape possible for when you do retire, so you can enjoy yourself! – Suze Orman
Spring is a dangerous time of year for your financial security. I know so many of you will be getting a tax refund; some of you may be getting money back from both Uncle Sam and your state. The danger is that you blow the money on a want, rather than focus on your needs.
And that’s a shame, because chances are your refund could be a serious chunk of change. The average refund last year on federal returns was nearly $2,800.
Don’t you dare spend that money on a vacation or a new flat screen. Or anything that qualifies as a “want”. You are to focus on needs first.
My short list of important needs:
- Pay off high-interest credit card debt.
- Pay-down a high interest car loan.
- Pay down student loan debt.
- Build up your emergency savings. 8 months of living expenses is the ultimate goal.
- Fund a Roth IRA.
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me (John 17:15-16;23).