Series: Saving For Life
I Save So I Can be Generous
Within the Declaration of Independence of our country exists this phrase of what is the free right of every person, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That last part of pursuing happiness for most people infers a sense of gaining more money or more possessions which most assume would make their life more enjoyable. I would have to agree this is probably what was meant by this phrase because so often the ability to have more wealth means more open doors of opportunity and comforts. Unfortunately a couple of years ago I think I saw the modern interpretation of this phrase on a bumper sticker which said, “He who dies with the most wins.” Meaning they believed happiness is found in the accumulation of stuff. Later I saw what I might call the Christian response to that bumper sticker in the form of another bumper sticker which said, “He who dies with the most toys still dies.” It is a joke – well at least it is supposed to be.
If we closely examined our homes, where would we place in the competition to get the most toys? Truth be know we have quite a bit more than the average person in the rest of the world – I have seen that with my own eyes. But before you start thinking that I am going plant this big guilt trip about how we all should be ashamed because we have too much, I want to point out that riches aren’t evil in themselves and some of God’s favorite people were wealthy. What we are warned about is the danger inherently found in having wealth and how if we do not become master of our money it will become the master of us
Forest Dale is in the midst of our stewardship campaign where we ask each of you to prayerfully consider giving consistently to the church through 2010 – It is a call to make our offerings to God be the first decision in our financial plan for next year. In our current economic situation you might be tempted to cut your giving to God because there is so much uncertainty but listen to what Psalm 37:25-26 says, I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.
So the question becomes, if God promises to take care of our needs and supply for the benefit of our family, then what is the real purpose for saving? If God is going to do that why should we just spend everything we have right now and just wait for him to his magic? He could but he hasn’t chosen that as our test – we instead have been provided with abundance not randomly but with a specific purpose. As the ups and downs of our financial situation create a sense of uncertainty is where we have a huge opportunity. If we are striving to be good managers of what we have been given – to save our money for a larger mission and with the goal of becoming people who will display a greater generosity. Taking a portion of what we are given through our income and saving it away is a smart decision that each of us must practice with determination and perseverance – but that way of thinking isn’t very popular in a place where credit and debt are the norm. But let’s admit something: Just putting money away is not the most exciting or enjoyable use of our money – a thousand other toys seem to be so much more rewarding. In the back of our mind I believe we know that the ability to be generous with our money is the most rewarding because it lasts and it seems to change both the giver and the receiver. This is the attitude we need to feed – saving our money so that we can be even more generous in the future.
I. A Problem with Saving
A. The practical decision to save money is more than just the action of storing it away..
1. It is a decision to consider something else more than just the present day. Because even though living pay check to pay check might work for a while, some unexpected expense or need will always arise and create. That is where we really get into trouble with our money.
2. Jesus told parables about those who saved and those who wasted, and those who were the real smart people in the stories were those who approached their spending with thoughtful consideration.