“Turn Tax Season into Tax Savings!” - A lot of people are fortunate to receive a tax return, but many use this as an opportunity to make large purchases on wants instead of needs. If you are one of those fortunate people, consider using your tax return as an opportunity to create or add to your emergency fund or savings account each year. Each pay period, money comes out of your check to go to taxes before you get your check. Start thinking of this as a “disciplined savings”. Take the money from your return and deposit it into your savings account. Patiently watch your money grow!
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV)
GRAPE JUICE IS READY THE MINUTE THE juice is squeezed from the grapes, but wine takes time to produce. Wine-making requires a press, a channel, and a vat. It is the crushing of the grapes in the press that makes the new wine flow through the channels and into the vats. Even though grape juice and wine look a lot alike, wine tastes different, possesses greater value, and has greater influence.
In our world today, we have too many grape-juice Christians. Rather than recognizing that maturity is worth the wait, grape-juice Christians want everything immediately. It’s maturity, however, that makes the difference. Some of us never experience the overflow of the Spirit because we don’t want to undergo the crushing process. And we never become as valuable as we could be because we aren’t willing to wait for God to mature us.
God, help us never to desire to be less than Your best. Help us not to be content to be grape-juice when we could be wine, or to be disobedient children when we could be mature adults. Give us the grace not to run from the crushing process, but rather be willing to embrace those things that will develop us. Thank You, God. Amen.
Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr., Life Illustrated: Daily Thoughts for Your Daily Walk!