God offers countless principles to make your life incredibly great. He is interested in the money you earn and how you choose to spend it. He longs to be part of your financial decisions. If you approach your finances as a gift from God, you can learn about His ways.

  • God uses money to demonstrate His faithfulness. Moses reminded Israel that it was God who would give them the power to make wealth. (Deut. 8:11-18) Your security is in God, not in your bank account. Discovering His faithfulness through your financial needs encourages your reliance on Him in every area of life. Be careful not to confuse your needs and your wants.

  • God uses money to stimulate your prayer life. Jesus teaches three intensity levels of prayer: asking, seeking, and knocking. (Matt. 7:7-8) Some financial matters will be answered at the first two levels, while others will require a deeper level of prayer - utilizing not only your time and energy but persistence and repetition. This financial stress can deepen your prayer life.

  • God uses money to reveal your need of the Savior. The management of money potentially can provoke sinful attitudes and behaviors in life - similar to swatting a hornet's nest. Paul taught that "those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. 8:8) No one is perfect. God uses money to demonstrate your daily need for the Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • God uses money to cultivate self-control. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control, a key aspect of successful money management. The inability to stop spending in America's materialistic culture is a prescription for trouble. "Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit." (Prov. 25:28)

  • God uses money to clarify your life values. Many temptations will clamor for your attention. You can tell a great deal about your spiritual maturity by how you spend your money. Jesus said, "But, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." (Matt. 6:33)

Excerpted from Money Before Marriage by Larry Burkett with Michael E. Taylor. Copyright (c) 1996 by Larry Burkett. Used by permission of Moody Press, Chicago, Ill., 1-800-678-6928.

Larry Burkett is founder and president of Christian Financial Concepts, a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry that provides personal counseling and instructs individuals through nationwide seminars. He holds degrees in marketing and finance and hosts two radio programs, heard on 1,100 radio outlets, and has written more than 40 books, including The Coming Economic , Debt-Free Living, Women Leaving the Workplace, and the novels The Illuminati and The THOR Conspiracy. He and his wife, Judy, live in Gainesville, Ga., and have four grown children and nine grandchildren.Michael E. Taylor works in the Career Pathways department at Christian Financial Concepts, and is a freelance writer and columnist for various newspapers. He was a pastor and church planter for 20 years.For more information on the ministry of Christian Financial Concepts call: 1-800-722-1976 or write: Christian Financial Concepts, P.O. Box 2458, Gainesville, GA 30503-2458.