Summary: Biblical guidlines for money management.

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Title: Financial Planning 101

Text: Nehemiah 5

Three Keys to Successful Money Management

I. Be careful how you borrow- 1-5

a. Don’t borrow more than you can afford

b. Don’t borrow foolishly

c. Save for the rainy days

II. Be faithful in how you budget- 6-13

a. Stick to godly principles

b. Don’t take advantage of others

c. Maintain a healthy view of wealth

III. Be intentional in how you bless- 14-19

a. Work hard

b. Give generously

c. Set an example

Let’s turn our attention back to the book of Nehemiah…chapter 5…

Man, each week I am amazed at how this simple account of how the people of God banded together to rebuild the walls around the city of Jerusalem, is so applicable and useful to us today. So far we have seen some great examples of how to pray better, how to maintain a strong faith, the importance of being ambitious and proactive in the work of God, the benefits of unity, and how to deal with discouragement.

Today, as we look at chapter 5, we see some great principles for how to handle our finances. A whole chapter that will help us with financial planning principles! That’s fortunate.

I’m going to focus on the three keys to successful money management that we find right here in this passage. The first key is- be careful how you borrow. Look at verses 1-5…

At this point in the story, Nehemiah is faced with a significant economic crisis in the country. There is a supply and demand problem. The demand for food was greater than the supply. When that happens it causes inflation. The price of food goes way up.

On top of that, there was a famine in the land. That’s probably a big part of the reason the supply was so low. There just wasn’t enough food being produced. People had to mortgage their fields just to afford food.

The second problem was people who were complaining about the taxes they had to pay. These Jewish people were borrowing money from other Jews in order to pay that tax. And they were charging a high interest rate on those loans. So the result was that their sons and daughters became slaves. They could never really repay the debt.

Nehemiah’s solution to the problem was to remind the lenders that God had forbid them from charging interest to fellow Jews. That helped to level things out and stimulated the economy and things got back on track. His solution was simple- do things God’s way.

Their indebtedness threatened to delay the rebuilding of the wall and was destroying their lives. Financial turmoil and indebtedness will slow us down and threaten to destroy our lives as well. The number one cause of marital conflict is trouble over finances. So how do we protect ourselves from crippling indebtedness?

First of all, don’t borrow more than you can afford. This is also known as living beyond your means; and in this country it is one of our national pastimes. We buy houses we can’t afford, car payments that are enormous, and then buy toys. I’ll be the first to confess… I am a techno-junkie. I love electronic toys, video games, fancy phones, new technology. I have a hard time not wanting to buy big, expensive toys.

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