Practical wisdom with money

Ruth was passionate about discussing Biblical models for financial stewardship. In this talk, she discusses God's role in our finances and how we should respond.

Date of speech
January 24, 2016
Location
Sunday School

Open with prayer.

Ice breaker- What was your first paying job and how much did you make?

What is the world’s view of money?

Let’s see how that compares with God’s view of money.

  • Jesus said more about money than almost any other subject.
  • Bible has 500+ verses on prayer, 500- verses on faith
  • More than 2,350 verses on money and possessions!!

Money is clearly important to God! Therefore, learning about how he wants us to handle money is crucial for at least these three reasons;

  • How we handle money affects our fellowship with the Lord. Luke 16:11 If we handle money properly, our fellowship with Christ grows stronger. If we are unfaithful, our fellowship with Him will suffer.
  • Possessions compete with the Lord. Matthew 6:24 Sword and baptism example from the Crusades. Many of us do the same thing today but less obviously saying “You can be the Lord of my entire life, except for my money. I can handle that myself.”
  • Much of life revolves around the use of money. Deut. 5:12-15 We all remembered our first paying job! During a normal week, how much time do you spend either making money or figuring out how to spend, invest or give it?

Society says- God isn’t concerned about how we handle our money, just our “spirituality”.

Scripture says- As you learn and follow God’s principles for handling money, you will experience true contentment and a close relationship with God.

How do we handle money God’s way?

As with the covenants we see in scripture, there is God’s part and our part.

God’s Part in the Process: 1 Chron 29:11-13

#1 Ownership

Ps. 24:1, Leviticus 25:23 (land), Haggai 2:8 (silver), Ps. 50:10 (beasts, cattle)  He owns it all!

  • Are we willing to recognize his ownership in our lives? Abraham and Isaac in Gen. 22:2, How did God respond to Abraham’s faithfulness? Gen 22: 13-14
  • Recognizing his ownership is the first step toward learning contentment. Phil. 4:11-13 If we accept that it’s all his, we will hold onto possessions with an open hand. What does openhandedness look like from this perspective?

#2 Control

Ps. 135:6 Not only does he own it, he controls it. Whether things appear to be bad or good, he controls it. Is. 45:6-7  Fortunately, he assures us that he uses his control for our good. Rom. 8:28  Why?

  • To accomplish His intentions. Joseph was sold into slavery to rescue Israel. Gen 45:5, 8
  • To develop our character. Romans 5:3-4 A.W. Tozer said “God can’t use a person to the maximum until he or she has been hurt deeply” (My typhoid story.)
  • To discipline His children. Heb. 12:6,10-11 Because he loves us and wants us to be holy.

#3 Provision

Matt 6:33, Phil 4:19 He promises to meet our needs, though not always our “wants”. 1 Tim. 6:8 Manna versus meat. The right stuff at the right time. Accepting this and trusting Him is part of learning contentment.

Our Part in the Process: Matt. 25:21

#4 Faithful steward

God owns, controls and provides. Our only role is to be faithful. 1 Cor. 4:2

  • Faithful with all our resources. Not just the tithe or other giving. Therefore, we need to learn and practice biblical principles for handling resources. Hosea 4:6
  • Faithful regardless of how much we have. Matt 25: 14-30 Parable of the talents. Rewarded according to our faithfulness with what we have been given regardless of the amount.
  • Faithful in little things. Luke 16:10 Think of examples in our own lives where we have been tested by others (boss?) or did the testing ourselves (children?)
  • Faithful with another’s possessions. Luke 6: 12 This is often overlooked, especially in the little things. Office supplies, hotel amenities, returning borrowed items? Remember, everything he have is another’s possession-God’s!
  • Faithfulness build character. You cannot serve both God and money. How does serving money shape our character? Think about what’s involved in the process of getting it, saving it, using it or giving it.
  • Faithfulness leads to contentment. Phil 4:11-13

How shall we then live to counter the world’s view of money?

  • Think with an eternal perspective. Right now isn’t all that matters.
  • You are a pilgrim. We are travelers, not settlers on this earth.
  • Make an effort to live simply. Possessions require time, money and attention that could be used for more eternal matters.
  • We are at war. 2 Tim. 2:3-4 In wartime, people live strategically to support the effort.
  • Recognize the enemy. Eph 6:12 Satan wants us distracted and the world agrees with him!
  • Spend in a way that pleases the Lord. 1 Tim 4:4 Prayerful consider and give thanks.
  • Don’t waste possessions. Luke 16:1-2 Watch for impulse purchases or habitual waste.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy. Let God direct you and don’t judge others.
  • If only I had more I would….. You can already do what God has called you to do.
  • Don’t be conformed to the world. This can be tough to see. If in doubt, seek godly counsel.

As you learn and follow God’s principles for handling his money and resources, you will experience true contentment and a close relationship with God.

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