We are nearing the conclusion of our “Life Survival Series.” Next Wednesday will be our final night. However, before we conclude, we have one very important topic that we must address, the issue of our assets, or our personal worth. Now, many people get nervous when we begin to discuss issues like this. There are many responses to these type of lessons.
- “What I do with my money is my business”
- “The church has nothing to say about my money”
- “I don’t need assets, I am content with what I have”
- “Bible men were poor, so, so should I”
- “If God meant for me to be in good financial shape he would have placed me in a wealthy family”
- “I’ll just live life and let God take care of my finances”
FINANCES ARE IMPORTANT IN OUR DAILY LIVES
- Arguments over finances are the number one reason marriages end up in the divorce, that’s how important an issue this is.
- A USA Today pole says two thirds of Americans worry about finances every single day.
FINANCES ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO GOD
- It has been stated “MONEY” is the second most talked about subject in the Word of God behind the topic of “LOVE.”
- If this is such an important topic from God’s point of view then I believe that it is just as important that we learn about it. God’s Word is the foundational building block of anything that we could ever do. Let’s see what the Bible tells us about our finances:
On charity and giving:
- Acts 20:35 It is more blessed to give than to receive.
On debt repayment:
- Psalms 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
On money’s place in our lives:
- 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
- Proverbs 21:20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
- Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
- Eccl 11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
On risk management:
- Proverbs 27:12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.
On financial planning:
- Proverbs 27:23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
On giving back:
- Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
- 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
GOD’S FIVE HABITS
FOR FINANCIAL FREEDOM
1) KEEP GOOD RECORDS
- Obviously you have to start with knowing where you are financially.
- The Bible says in Proverbs 27:23-24 “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?”
- Probably not many of you have flocks and herds but you’ve got stocks, not flocks.
- You’ve got houses, not herds.
- We all have things that we manage financially.
- The Bible says here that we should know the state of your finances.
- Understand by keeping good records.
- If you’ve ever said, “I just don’t know where it all goes,” that is a big red warning light that’s saying to you, “I need to be keeping better records.”
- You need to have an understanding of what’s going on financially.
FOUR THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KEEPING RECORDS
A) YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU OWN.
- You ought to know what your assets are – what I own.
B) YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU OWE.
- You need to know your liabilities, your debts.
- There are some people that put off opening their bills as long as possible. There’s something in us that thinks, If I don’t open it it’s not real. It’s not really there. So we just leave them unopened.
- Things are always more frightening when we don’t know about them.
- You’ve got to get them on the table and have an idea of what is it that you owe.
- Ignorance of your financial situation plus easy credit equals financial disaster inevitably.
- So have a sense of what is it that you owe.
C) YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU EARN.
- It’s amazing how many people don’t even know what they earn.
- What is your base pay?
- Do you have any other outside income?
D) YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU SPEND.
- You need a detailed budget (spending plan) explaining where you spend your money.
- Track all of your expenses over the last three months to give yourself a good idea of your spending.
2) PLAN YOUR SPENDING
- Most spend 110-120% of their income. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out if every year you are spending more than you’re taking in you’re getting further and further in debt.
- To avoid this you need to plan your spending.
- God has a little IQ test about spending in the Bible. Proverbs 21:20 “Stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.” The Message – How you doing on God’s IQ test?
- If you don’t have a way to plan your spending you’re going to do exactly that.
- Financial freedom is not determined by how much you MAKE, financial freedom is determined by how much you SPEND.
You’re YEARNINGS will always exceed your EARNINGS.
- Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” NIV
3) SAVE FOR THE FUTURE
- You save for the future because saving is a mark of maturity.
- This is what God’s Word has to say about saving:
- Proverbs 21:20 “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” (Or simply, “The wise man saves for the future).
- Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” KJV
- “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” NIV
- Some people are waiting for:
- Waiting by the mailbox
- A money tree
- It’s money that’s gathered little by little that will make a difference.
- Twenty years ago Americans saved a little over 10% of their income. Last year we saved 2.3% of our income.
4) RETURN 10% BACK TO GOD
- Malachi 3:10 God says “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
- That word “tithes” that’s used here literally means ten percent.
- By doing this you take the first ten-percent of whatever God’s given to you and you give it back to Him as a way of saying you honor Him. You put Him first in your life.
- Deuteronomy 14:23 “And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.”
- The main issue here is NOT money. The issue is ownership. God doesn’t want your money.
- He wants what it represents. He wants your heart.
- God can supply needs in a lot of different ways. He wants your heart! He wants to be FIRST!
- If I say I’m putting God first in my life but I don’t put Him first in my money I’m lying to myself.
- What if your struggling financially? Should we replay all our bills first or should we begin to tithe first. We’re broke. How do we tithe right now?
- Could I respectfully say to you if you’re going through a struggle financially and you’re thinking, “I can’t afford to tithe.” The truth is you can’t afford not to tithe.
- There’s no better time to begin to tithe than when you’re in debt.
- I know it might seem like it would take you longer to get out of debt but the truth is you need God’s blessing on your finances RIGHT NOW.
5) ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE.
- Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
- Ecclesiastes 6:9 “Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit.”
- It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to be always wanting something else.”
- If you and I do not take the time to enjoy what we have then all these other financial disciplines are going to be torpedoed by the constant desire for more. So you start by enjoying what you have. START BY BEING THANKFUL!
A) RELEASE YOUR GUILT TO GOD
- Regardless how you have done financially in the past, today is the day to start over. You cannot allow guilt to hold you back from your future. The important part is to let go of your guilt and begin new financial habits TODAY!
B) MAKE A COMMITMENT TO GOD
- When it comes to this financial plan don’t just make a commitment to yourself or to your spouse. Make a commitment to God together.
- Do what the Bible says in Psalm 76:11 “Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them.” NIV
- Take out a dollar and look at it. On the back of our dollar bill it says, “In God we trust.” Some of us need to have a quiet time with a dollar bill this week. Just look at that and remind ourselves, that’s where our trust is. Not in our money. It’s in God.
C) GET SUPPORT FROM OTHERS
- Don’t face this alone. Find someone you trust and be accountable to them.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” NIV
- God has given each other to encourage each other.
- We develop new habits and we get out of difficulties by leaning on each other.
- This week start saving more than you spend! — Denis Waitley
Take some time to write down all of your A.SSET goals on this page. We are much more likely to complete these goals when they are set before us.
A WORD ON FINANCES:
I do not pretend in any way to be an authority on finances. This lesson was created about 12 years for a student series that was designed to stretch the horizons of teenagers. It was later adapted to be a mid-week teaching series for adults with the same purpose in mind. Unfortunately, since this series was created over a decade ago, I was unable to locate all of the sources. The sources that I do recommend for this topic are:
Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey
Giving and Tithing: Includes Serving and Stewardship by Larry Burkett
LIFE SURVIVAL SERIES
SERMON ONE: THE ART OF SURVIVAL
SERMON TWO: S.PIRITUAL GOALS
SERMON THREE: U.NDERSTANDING GOALS
SERMON FOUR: R.ELATIONSHIP GOALS
SERMON FIVE: V.ISION GOALS
SERMON SIX: I.NVESTMENT GOALS
SERMON SEVEN: V.OCATION GOALS
SERMON EIGHT: A.SSET GOALS