Step 1: Prepare
Step 1: Prepare
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1 NKJV).
Pray and Read

Ask the Lord to inspire your heart and guide your steps with principles from His Word.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO HELP YOU:

  • Prayer of a Good and Faithful Servant
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    Lord, the earth and everything in it is yours (Psalm 24:1)! Everything comes from you, and I have given you only what comes from your hand (1 Chronicles 29:14). You send poverty and wealth (1 Samuel 2:7). Have you not put a hedge around me and my household and everything I have (Job 1:10)?

    Father, in your Word, you said it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). And so Lord, I want to honor you with my wealth (Proverbs 3:9). I know that faith, if not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17). But unless I respond in love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). I am willing and my heart is moved to bring an offering to you Lord (Exodus 35:21).

    Lord, you’ve called me to provide for my family (I Timothy 5:8), to provide for those who have instructed me in your Word (Galatians 6:6), to share with your people who are in need (Romans 12:13), and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

    May my service of giving to you—during and after my lifetime—supply the needs of your people and overflow in many expressions of thanks to you (2 Corinthians 9:12) so that one day I’ll hear you say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23). It is in the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

  • What Does God Say About Providing for My Family?
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    • Make provision for your loved ones.
      1 Timothy 5:8 reinforces the principle of responsibly providing for one’s family, following our heavenly Father’s example in caring for His children’s material, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
    • Take steps to avoid interpersonal conflicts.
      "He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart" (Proverbs 11:29, NKJV).
    • Be cautious about leaving large inheritances to children.
      "An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end" (Proverbs 20:21, NKJV).
    • Don’t store up excess resources you don’t need.
      "Then [the property owner] said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods" (Luke 12:18, NKJV).
    • Use resources to reach people for Christ.
      Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:10)
  • 7 Practices of Effective Believers
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    “True greatness is not measured by the headlines a person commands or the wealth he or she accumulates. The inner character of a person—the undergirding moral and spiritual values and commitment—is the true measure of lasting greatness.” --Billy Graham

    Many books, webinars, and courses are offered to help people be more productive or effective, with varying degrees of success. But God’s Word promises success that will last. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8). His precepts and principles teach us how to live effectively within God’s will and experience His blessings. Here are seven habits that are part of the abundant life Jesus came to give:

    1: Be Thankful
    “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18). A steward’s heart is a thankful heart – cultivate gratitude for God’s big and small blessings, and rest on His promises during difficult times.

    2: Trust God’s Provision
    “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17). The only path to true peace is to put our trust in God, not our bank accounts or abilities.

    3: Be Content
    “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have...” (Hebrews 13:5). Contentment isn’t getting what we want - it’s trusting that God has provided what we need. Contentment comes when we tune out our culture’s relentless pursuit for more and fix our eyes on Jesus who supplies all our needs.

    4: Be a Faithful Example
    “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). Our children may fail to listen, but they often will imitate us.

    5: Live Within Your Means
    “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). We can live on less than we make by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even if we have plenty to live on, our spending choices should line up with God’s Word, will, and the opportunities He gives us.

    6: Give Time and Talent
    “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Effective stewards see their time and talents as precious gifts and use them to bless others, advancing God’s kingdom.

    7: Give Treasure
    “Honor the Lord with your wealth…” (Proverbs 3:9a). When we give, we demonstrate the depth of our loyalty to Christ and understanding of His grace. As our love grows, it pours from our lives in generosity and joyful giving to the things He cares about - during and after our lifetimes. How can we do this? By remembering to include the ministries we love in our Will. This practical way of “giving treasure” can extend our impact and effectiveness for generations to come.

  • Ways to Bless Your Family’s Future
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    1: Get a Will.
    When people start adding up the value of their home, life insurance, retirement accounts, and other property, they begin to see that even with a modest middle-class estate, a plan is needed that provides for their families and the ministries they love.

    2: Reduce (or eliminate) unnecessary taxes and court costs.
    A Will can help reduce hassles and costs in the settling of your estate. Thoughtful planning with certain assets like IRAs and retirement accounts can avoid taxes. This frees up more resources for your heirs and the Lord's work.

    3: Decide who will manage and who will receive what you leave behind.
    Without a Will, State law determines who gets your possessions, and a court will decide who manages the process. On the other hand, your Will names the representative you trust to manage the money and things God entrusted to you, making sure your legacy gifts go to those you desire to bless.

    4: Decide who will care for your children.
    If you have minor or special-needs children, a Will allows you to name the guardian of your children and a Trustee of the assets to provide for the children. If a court is left to make these decisions for you, your spiritual values may be disregarded.

    5: Include “ministry” in your family.
    Your Will can be powerful a testimony to family, friends, and even legal and financial professionals. Including your spiritual "family" in your Will - namely your church and favorite Christian ministries such as Samaritan’s Purse - is a wonderful way to express your values for generations to come!

  • What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
  • If you do not have a Will, the State actually has one for you. Unfortunately, that means state law would determine (without your input):

    • Who will be the next steward of the resources God gave you
    • Who will care for your young children
    • Who will administer your estate

    With a Will, you get to decide these things. In addition to making sure your family is provided for in your Will, you can also bless your spiritual “family” – including your church and favorite ministry organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse.

  • When Should I Update My Will?
  • There are at least 10 life events that create the need to review and perhaps update your Will:

    1: Marriage or Divorce

    2: New baby, adopted children, or stepchildren

    3: Moving to another state

    4: Changing your mind about heirs

    5: Major changes in property ownership or financial assets

    6: Changes in Estate planning and estate tax law

    7: Death or disability of someone named in your Will

    8: Children have reached the age of 18

    9: You would like to provide for a ministry organization

    10: Change in health condition