In Ecclesiastes, we read about casting our bread on waters. In doing so, it will be found after many days. We are also advised to not stand around observing the wind instead of sowing the seed. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Bible gives us great wisdom for handling money and making investments.
The bread that is cast on waters, is actually grain. Note that the word waters or seas—this is important. This means that it is not that you are casting your grain in one place, but that you are spreading things out. This means you don’t put all your apples in one basket. Practically living this out means you have a budget that includes not only your general life bills (housing, utilities, transportation, etc.), but room for giving and room for saving. It also means you shouldn’t simply save for one thing, but rather save in different ways. For me, I follow what Dave Ramsey teaches in his Financial Peace University, which is a biblically based teaching. There is emergency fund, vacation saving, car saving, etc. Giving is the same way. On top of the church tithe, we are blessed to be a blessing in other ways. This may include supporting other ministries, fundraisers, and even blessing someone you personally know who is in need.
Notice this passage speaks about tossing out this grain upon the waters (remember multiple areas) and not hold back waiting to see if there’s a sure thing. This doesn’t mean that you are carelessly tossing money in the air and watching it fly away. This means you are trusting God with your money, with all your investments. If you continue reading, note that the passage mentions the work of God who makes everything. Solomon proceeds to advise us to sow in the morning and evening, that we do not know what is going to prosper. We simply trust God. Today, cast your bread upon the waters. If you are not in control of your money, you won’t want to cast it. If that is the case, dig deeper into what God’s Word teaches about money. Check into more information about Dave Ramsey material. Remember, we aren’t meant to cling—we are to cast. Peace is available my friends.
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” – Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 [ESV]
There is a great difference between cooking with propane and cooking with charcoal. I never realized this until a few days ago. Many years ago I had learned how to cook with propane. I was given all the instructions and never even considered cooking with charcoal. Sadly my propane grill met its demise and my budget only allowed for a small, portable 14” charcoal grill. It would prepare the amount of food needed and it worked for the Dave Ramsey budget.
Charcoal is different than propane though. It took me a few attempts to even get the food to cook properly. I expected to see a flame. I expected to see what I saw when I cooked with the propane grill. I could not grasp the fact that the food would cook without big flames being visible. I had to do research to figure out that my expectations were very different from the reality of charcoal grilling.
In the same way, God is working in your life without signs necessarily being visible. You might not even know He’s up to something when He is actively working. He is always present. He is always working out His purpose. He is always around whether you see signs or you are not seeing anything. Today remember what God has promised you. He will always be there. He will not forsake you.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:8 [NLT]
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” – John 14:18-20 [NIV]
I love the story of Zacchaeus. He was short. I am short. He was rich. I’m a Dave Ramsey student. He could climb a tree. I like to look at trees. What I really love about Zacchaeus is that he was desperate for Jesus. Being desperate means feeling hopeless. Being desperate is when you have tried so many other things and all attempts have failed. This is it. Do or die. It’s critical. It’s risky. It’s a last-ditch effort. You realize there’s no way. There’s only Jesus.
Zacchaeus was a sinner, like you, like me. He recognized that his life was hopeless. He realized it was do or die. He wanted so badly to see Jesus. All he wanted was Jesus. But he couldn’t see him. He was too short. He ran. He ran ahead and climbed higher. Higher. He climbed up a sycamore tree so he could catch a glimpse of Jesus. He did all he could to see Him.
We live in a different time than Zacchaeus but we too can see Jesus. We actually are blessed with the Holy Spirit, God in us, when we accept Christ. So anytime we want to catch a glimpse of Jesus, we simply need to pray, to read His Word. We don’t have to climb trees. We don’t have to run fast to get ahead. He’s right there within reach. Are you reaching? Are you desperate for Jesus? Is He all you want right now?
“Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.”
-Luke 19:1-4 [MSG]
Whenever there is something that needs to be done, I always try my best to be prepared. When planning for a trip, I make a list of all the needs for packing. For my finances, I have my budget organized in Excel, outlined meticulously after having some amazing training from Dave Ramsey. Even when I take my dog Max for a walk, I have things I do to prepare. I like being prepared.
In 2 Chronicles we read of groups of people who did not prepare themselves properly for the Passover meal. As a result they did not partake of the meal. Hezekiah prayed for forgiveness for these people who pretty much missed the boat.
Today, I challenge you with your preparedness with God. Do you prepare yourself in the morning by reading God’s Word and by praying? Do you prepare yourself for worship? Do you prepare yourself before Communion? Remember the Parable of the Ten Virgins, with the five women who had no oil for their lamps. Are you prepared for Jesus’ return? Are you prepared to share your faith? Remember what Peter said, to always be prepared to share the reason for your hope. Are you prepared?
“There were a lot of people, especially those from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, who did not eat the Passover meal because they had not prepared themselves adequately. Hezekiah prayed for these as follows: ‘May God who is all good, pardon and forgive everyone who sincerely desires God, the God of our ancestors. Even—especially!—these who do not meet the literal conditions stated for access to The Temple.’”
-2 Chronicles 30:18-19 [MSG]