Summary: Kick off of a three week stewardship series on how to move from curse to blessing in our financial lives.
Introduction: Politics can be a funny thing. Do you like politics? I’m a political junkie really. I intentionally don’t talk about it in here much because I don’t think who leads our country has a whole lot to do with the mission of the local church. Jesus lived in a corrupt society and he never talked of reform or revolution – he talked about his mission. My mission isn’t to win democrats or republicans – it is to form followers of Jesus. But, I say all of that to say that politics are pretty funny.
One of our political parties seems gleeful at the prospect of the big “R” word in the economy. What’s the “R” word? Recession. They are delighted that the economy may be sliding into a recession because that would mean that people would blame the recession on the party that is in the white house now and they would get elected because of the economic misery of the country!
The other party rightfully points out that we really aren’t in a recession because there is a definition for the word and it is 3 economic quarters of negative growth. Since we haven’t had one quarter with negative growth –we aren’t in a recession. But recession or not, things are getting tougher out there! Wouldn’t you agree? People are losing their homes, people are having a hard time finding new jobs, unemployment is rising., fuel costs are affecting all of us – including everything we buy because it’s taking more money to get the goods to the stores! So, recession or not – we need help – we are motivated to look for answers – and every family here, whether wealthy or just getting by – is affected in some way by all that is taking place in our economy.
So, today we’re starting this series, “Recession Proof Your Finances,” but I have to warn you that this isn’t just going to be a series on economics. Here’s why. Because dealing with economics alone won’t fix our situation. In this message I will tackle some of this from a spiritual perspective.
You might say, what does spiritual have to do with rising gas prices? Everything. See, everything has a spiritual side to it. Life is more than the things that we can touch or see or put under a microscope. I would argue that everything in life is spiritual. You aren’t just skin and bones – you are also soul and spirit. I do have a body, but I also have a soul, my soul is my emotions. It’s where there can be happiness, or sorrow or anger. Then there is your spirit. Look with me at our first verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:23, it says, “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”
The reason we were created with these three parts is because the Bible says that we were created in the image of God – and God is 3 parts. He is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In the book of Genesis where we read the creation account we read that God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” Genesis 1:26.
Interesting, isn’t it? He didn’t say, “I will make humans in my image and they will be like me.” Why not? Because God exists in three parts, just like us. .3 parts but only 1.
My point in all of that is you can’t separate the spiritual from the physical. Who you are spiritually affects everything else about you, who you are emotionally, physically – even financially are all interconnected.
I’m going to use this rope as an illustration – this rope is important in your life because it is what separates my power from God’s power. What is this side?
This line separates my best from God’s best. What’s this side?
Cursed or Blessed. What’s this side?
This rope is the battle line. You have this line in every area of your life. This is the line between a bull market and a bear market, the line of your best and God’s best, the battle line of blessing and curse. You face this line several times a day in your life. You have to choose which side of the line that you want to be on.
There is a principle in God’s word that I want you to get today and the principle is this: “There is always a battle before the blessing.” You’ll find this true throughout the Bible. From Genesis all the way to Revelation that there is always a battle before the blessing. Always. God wants us to learn how to move from my power to God’s power, how to move from my best to God’s best – how to move from curse to blessing.