Summary: To find financial freedom we must follow God’s principles for money management.
A. How many of you have enjoyed playing the game MONOPOLY?
1. You know how the game works. Players accumulate property, build houses and hotels, and then wait for the other players to land on their property so they have to pay up.
2. Eventually you hope to bankrupt everyone else and have all the money and property. Truly, American Capitalism at its best!
3. But, regardless of who wins the game, when the game is finished, the board is folded up, all the game pieces are put away, and the lid goes on the box.
4. It has only been a game.
B. Owning a Rolls Royce, an extravagant house, and living a “more-is-better” life will yield no more joy for eternity than winning at MONOPOLY.
1. When your life is over, the game pieces are put away, and the lid is closed on your coffin.
2. It won’t really matter who owned the railroads or Boardwalk.
3. Earthly wealth doesn’t guarantee earthly happiness nor heavenly treasure.
C. The late Peter Marshall wrote a prayer that would be good for us to pray with regularity: “Forbid it, Lord, that our roots become too firmly attached to this earth, that we should fall in love with things. Help us to understand that the pilgrimage of this life is but an introduction, a preface, a training school for what is to come. Then shall we see all of life in its true perspective. Then shall we not fall in love with things of time, but come to love the things that endure. Then shall we be saved from the tyranny of possessions which we have no leisure to enjoy, of property whose care becomes a burden. Give us, we pray, the courage to simplify our lives. Amen.”
D. Today we return to our series called Extreme Makeover – God Edition.
1. In this series we have been reaching for real life-change, believing that all things are possible with God’s help.
2. Today we want to talk about experiencing a debt makeover.
3. We want to talk about the materialistic and financial bondage that we can find ourselves in.
E. It doesn’t matter whether we earn a little or a lot, whether we spend everything or hoard it all.
1. When we find ourselves in financial bondage we are preoccupied with money.
2. We become anxious about meeting present obligations, and are driven to get more money and the things money can buy.
3. Some of us here today may be doing very well in reference to these things. We are living within our income and are being wise and faithful in the use of the money God has given us.
4. Our desires are in check and we are being generous.
5. Others of us, on the other hand, may be in a very difference place.
6. Money is all we think about. It is the thing that causes the greatest tension in our marriage.
7. We screen our calls to try to avoid the bill collectors.
8. Our credit cards are maxed out and we are barely making our minimum payments.
9. The pressure is great and we are not sure how much longer we can bear it.
F. The good news for all of us here today is that God is concerned about our financial affairs.
1. He is not only concerned, he can teach us the right way to handle our money and he will bless us in the process.
2. God knows all too well that the love of money leads to all kinds of evil.
3. He knows that materialism is a trap and that many people have fallen into it and have been plunged into ruin and destruction.
4. And that is why God’s Word has so much to say about the proper perspective toward money and proper principles for handling it.
5. So, with the rest of our time this morning let’s look at SIX PRINCIPLES that lead to financial freedom.
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF WORK
A. The Bible teaches that we should strive to earn an honest living.
1. The Bible says that we were created to work. When God created Adam, he took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Gen. 2:15).
2. God is a worker and we are made in His image. (Gen. 1:26; Jn. 5:17)
3. Work is mentioned in one of the 10 Commandments – “Six days you shall labor and do all your work”…but on the seventh you shall rest (Ex. 20:8).
4. In 2 Thessalonians 3 Paul writes: “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command and urge such people to settle down and earn the bread they eat”(vs. 12), and “We gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (vs. 10).