You Can't Have It Both Ways

"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).

Our children were often frustrated when we first started homeschooling because they didn't know whether to listen to Dad or Mom. Our team-teaching approach was seriously lacking, and after the first year, we realized the problem. Although my husband wanted to help with teaching, he simply didn't know where the children were in their studies. When he attempted to answer their questions in the evening, he actually made things more confusing. Making adjustments, my husband and I decided he should be in charge of teaching only one or two subjects and leave the rest to me.

Having two masters in charge rarely works, but serving more than one master is even harder. According to Luke 16:13, there are no fence riders in the kingdom of heaven. The choice is plain and simple. Either we choose to submit our lives to Christ, or we live for money and the pleasures it provides. Ironically, the lack of money can actually make homeschooling parents value money as much as a greedy person living in abundance. By making every penny count, we overdevelop our focus in purchasing necessary items for our home. We also begin to see our husband's paycheck as our salvation, instead of trusting the Lord for provision. Money becomes our master — not because we have it, but because we don't.

How much time do you spend thinking about money during your homeschooling day? Do you wonder how you will make ends meet? If you're anxious or overly concerned about your financial situation, you'll only waste valuable teaching and family time. God knows what you need. Let His Word from Matthew 6:31-32 encourage you again this day: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."

Lord, You know I am trying to handle our finances carefully. Forgive me for stressing out and putting too much importance on where the next meal is coming from. You've always provided, and I choose to look to You again for all that I need. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(12 comments)

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BRENDA D 04/03/2009 22:41:36

I am thankful for this message. It is so timely for me and my family. We have struggled financially for 2 years now, and yet we are not homeless, we are not hungry, and we have our family. I am thankful that through this time God has been faithful to us. Do i struggle with worries, unfortunately yes, and that's why i love this message, it's just God telling me yet again "Trust Me. Don't worry." Isn't life more than food and clothing? More than what we see around us. I am thankful He is working in my family; building something more than what we can see. thank you for your message.

arnita p 04/05/2010 04:29:18

This situation is where my husband and I are now. It somewhat effects the homeschool atmosphere, but then it doesn't. However, this passage has encouraged me to remember my faith in Christ and to apply it daily in my walk with him, my homeschool teaching methods as well as my finances and a lack there of. It is difficult in these times to stay focus and rely on customers, friends, family, and neighbors, but we must in order to succeed at what we do. Thank you for the word of encouragement and the reminder to keep faith in the one and only Jesus Christ no matter what you face.

KIRSTEN J 04/03/2011 06:24:38

What a great message. My struggle is with confusing want with need. I am a very thrifty person and so I do not physically spend money on things, but sometimes the things I want consume me way more than they should. I try to set money aside for these little things, and then something always comes up - like a dog that needs emergency vet care, or a car that needs new tires. All my little savings goes to these and I feel selfish and deprived. I am of course thankful I did have money set aside for this type of thing, yet it still bugs me! I must know that Jesus is enough.

CARIN M 04/03/2011 06:45:37

This message reminds me of a fact that I keep wondering daily. An event found in the book of George Mueller, who started a very large orphanage in England in the 1800's. One morning he gathered the children for breakfast before empty plates, and with an empty kitchen and pocket book. He had the large group of children bow their heads and thank the Lord for the food He was about to provide. George Mueller had no idea where that food might come from, but he trusted that the Lord would provide the breakfast they needed. A few minutes later a knock was on the door. It was the baker who had been woken up at 3 a.m. with the sense that he needed to bake bread for the orphanage that day. He had brought large loaves of fresh bread for the children. A few more minutes brought the milk man whose truck had just broken down in front of the orphanage. He needed to un-load the milk, and wanted to know if the orphanage could use it that morning. The children and George Mueller sat down to a delicious breakfast of fresh milk and bread. I tell this story, because daily I wonder if I could have that much faith without stress. I also realize, a big part of me does not want to have that situation ever arise to find out. I also think of this story daily because my DH is in-between employment. The part-time job he has found only provides a portion of daily needs, the savings provides the rest. A daily reminder though is that truly GOD is the one providing both, and that we need to remember that fact. The temptation in this situation of course is to return to the work force myself. Yet, continually I pray to be able to continue to home school my very young children. Thank you for a wonderful reminder of God's provision, our reliance on him, and that truly we need to trust him completely for our daily bread. Faith.

DONNA G 04/03/2011 14:25:29

I have always known this is true, it seems when we are tight on money is the time when you want to hold on to it the tight. I am wondering though, I like to save with coupons, but I don't want it to be my time spending focus. Is it ok, to spend a couple hours a wekk finding the best sales, clipping coupons and planning to buy items? I want to be a good steward, but I don't want to be enslaved by sales either. What do you think?

PAT F 04/04/2011 04:14:18

I don't think a couple of hours a week is enslavement! Stewardship is work, and work takes time. I think the most important thing is the condition of our hearts. Do I do this out of fear that we won't have "enough", or that I "have" to do it? Or is it an opportunity to best-spend the money God's given me. "whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." Prov 1:33 Plus, if you have children, it's a valuable skill to be teaching them for their future! Anyway, that's my 2 cents! BTW, I clip coupons, too ;-)!

NICOLE D 04/05/2011 06:13:50

This was totally for me this week. DH broke his leg a couple weeks ago and is off work for a month. With only a few days of sick and comp time to fill in, money is very tight around here. It's so hard for me to let go of my worry and just trust God....but I'm trying to look at it as an opportunity to strengthen my faith. Thanks so much for these devotionals!

JEN H 04/03/2012 03:06:04

These messages are always so uplifting especially the ones about money because if you have one parent staying at home for homeschooling or just to care for the children and there is only one income and that income may or may not be just average, you really have to be diligent and committed to leaning and trusting the lord. Sometimes I feel guilty cause I am home and I am perfectly capable of providing more income as I always have but I felt the lord calling me to leave my job so I can spend more time with my family and so he can teach us to rely on him and not the money in the bank, to teach us responsibility with our finances. I now will be starting to homeschool our 4 children with this next school year and I know this is God's will because I kept praying for my purpose and I knew it was more that just being a stay at home mom especially since they are in school much of the time, At first, I was like you must have a sense of humor. I just did not feel I had what it would take to do this but I now know that I can do all things through him who strengthens me. jen.

BETTY D 04/03/2012 05:39:31

Jen: God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called! Nicole: It is an opportunity; one you'll be so blessed & thankful to have. God gave me a similar opportunity last year. I have always been "practical"....too much so sometimes. God convicted me to trust Him as my provider (not my husband). I was convicted to be a better steward over my body & to lose weight -- which required a rather expensive diet program. God showed me that when I am a faithful steward, He always provides. I need not fear money anymore, neither lack nor abundance. I know He provides and no longer need to know in advance of the provision anymore. Enjoy the journey with your opportunity! You'll be blessed with an amazing testimony afterward. To His Glory!

TABITHA J 04/03/2012 07:52:51

Yesterday, I talked to my husband about working on a way that we can support ourselves without using SSI to support ourselves because the way SSI works, they prefer to keep the people on SSI very poor. The way we are planning on doing this is through our home businesses and me working as a sub full time until our kids start school, then it will be homeschooling and subbing part time.

KAREN M 04/03/2012 07:58:02

My dad got put into a nursing home which took his social security check and left me to pay his medical bills and his mortgage til I could sell his house. We also have our mortgage and our business mortgage. I didn\'t have money to buy groceries for a whole month but God provided and I have been able to pay all bills. God really does provide! The key is to believe him. This has strengthened my faith which when you think about it we must go through these times in order for the opportunity to TRUST God. God bless you all as He provides you with the opportunities to place all your trust in His care!

KATHY S 04/03/2012 08:13:22

I don\'t believe that worrying about money every second of the day is a good thing. However, we do have to plan grocery shopping somewhat. Not obsessing, but at leat doing some price matching at Walmart. lol) Seriously, I do understand what the Author is saying, depend on Jesus, not the World for our needs. 2 stories of God providing: I needed a car once, had a car, it was a nice car, Engine blew on it. Well, I\'m a single Mom, small child at the time, no money, living week to week, I prayed: \"God either teach me how to drive that old Saturn stick shift car that my brother is going to donate, or, please provide a way for us to have a car, if it is your will (and I hope it\'s your will Lord)\" I had to get my son back and forth to the Doctor, Easter Seals, the Shriners Hospital in Chicago, I really did need a car, but I let God handle it. My Mom had an idea, and I know that it was God that led her to the place we went. Make a long story short, someone donated a car to me, did all the repairs on that car. When my father passed away( 7 years ago thhis month), I inherited his car, a 1990 Olds. The same person that donated the other car to me, fixes the old car that I have from my Father, STILL ! Free ! Yes, I have a pass to get this car fixed anytime it breaks down. A very good and decent Christian man takes care of all the repairs for us. I never have to worry about a thing. I pray abundant blessings in all area\'s for this good man and his family. Praise God that he takes care of his people !! 2nd story: About a month ago, I sat down a nd wrote a check to the church,for some reason I wrote another one some time after to add to the first one. And it wasn\'t because our income had increased, I just felt as though I should. Now, this amount total $$ was above what I normally give, and I actually sent it to the Pastor with a note, letting him know why we hadn\'t been in church. and to keep us in paryer. I have never had so many \"out of the blue Blessings\" come my way after that, it was all small financial/food blesssings, but they sure did help! I had no intention of a \"Return\" on my givings to the Lord, That doesn\'t sound right, I know churches will preach to give and expect returns, that wasn\'t my intention. I think God saw in my heart like the poor widow in the Bible, that gave her last 2 cents, and he was so very pleased. Anyway, God will provide if you ask, and if you don\'t have money like us, you become quite dependant an Jesus for all your needs, and he will take care of each and every one of them ! Thank you Jesus !! Amen~!!

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