Summary: When we understand God's heart and Divine design for our finances and put His design into practice, we put ourselves in a position to experience the abundant life He desires for us and for our families.
Rock Solid Finances: Part 1 “Live Simply”
Preached by Jimmy Seibert
Lord Jesus, Thank you for your great love for us, thank you for your mercy, and thank you for your abundance. The abundance in the Word of God, abundance for your favor on our lives. Lord, would you take these simple words and would you multiply them for your glory, and for your kingdom. Would you capture our hearts we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Again, this is the third part of our series, Rock Solid. We’ve been talking about in some ways stepping out of the American dream and into God’s dream. God’s dream of freedom in every area of our lives. As I shared at the beginning of our series, for Laura and I, and specifically me individually, college was such a turning point as we began to read the scriptures and then respond to the scriptures. The commitment of my heart was if Jesus is saying to do it, then I want to do it. Early on there were several passages that kind of laid the groundwork.
Matthew 5:42 says “Give to him who asks of you and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” In Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where neither moth and rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Last passage, one to make note of here in the beginning, Matthew 6: 33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
Early on, all these passages are talking about God’s heart for us to be our provider and God’s heart for us to be a part of who He is, to also be a giver. And again, with that commitment, I kind of launched into this new experience where I said ok, now everything that I’m earning, and actually that summer as I’m reading through the passages I’m making more money than I ever made in my life. And I said ok, we’re going to start with just setting aside 10%. Now I hadn’t really grown up in a church experience that talked about that, but I said ok 10% at least the tithe of my income I’m going to trust God with and I’m going to start giving.
And also as I would see things, there were places of need, I would give to them following that scripture. And I remember I had seen a little program about kids in Africa that had a need and sponsoring a child. I started sponsoring a child. You know the fun thing about that, I was sponsoring that child for about 15 years and finally realized that kid was about 30 years old and had four kids. But anyway, committed to it, I jumped into it. Also, if I saw somebody in need, I would just say ok God, how do I give? This began to be a fun experience and a joyful experience. Then in the upcoming days as I came back to return to school I had a lot of personal needs and spent some of the money on what I needed and the rest I continued to give away. One of my practices was anytime I was in a church service and they passed the plate, I would just empty my wallet of everything I had. Because they were asking, so I was giving.
Those were unique experiences where I began to experience not just giving by obedience, but the joy of giving and I began to see God work on my behalf. By the end of that second semester, we planned on going on a trip to Papua New Guinea as a part of God leading us and didn’t know how we were going to come up with the money and I’m basically broke with two weeks left and this need before us. And so, it was April and actually I had $1 left and I remember going to a Wednesday night service and a friend of mine came up and said, “Hey Jimmy, I owe you $20, here it is.” But he gave it to me before they passed the plate. Oh bummer. So, now I had $21 and I knew what was coming. They passed the plate and I threw the $21 in and said, “Well, thank you Jesus.” You know and praise God for the meal plan at Baylor that my parents had given me.
I threw my 21 bucks in, yeah some of you students need to thank the Lord for your parents giving you that meal plan. So I threw the money in and then that Sunday afternoon, my mom calls me and she says, “Hey I want you to know, you were $54 short on a rent payment,” somehow she had gotten notice of $54 short on this bigger check and I couldn’t figure out how, but she said I’m an unbeliever. You talk about God and how He provides for you, but buddy you better take care of business. And I said Mom, I don’t know what to do, but God will provide and I’ll trust Him with my life. And so I go to church really down that Sunday night and I’m sitting in the back and the pastor at the time, it comes to the end of the service and says, “I really feel like God is saying He wants to give to people that have needs this evening.” So he said, what we’re going to do is we’ve already taken the offering, but we’re going to pass the plate again and if you feel like you want to give to people’s needs put money in the plate and then the associate pastor will distribute needs after the service. If anybody has a need please talk to the associate pastor after the service and he’ll distribute the money that we have.