Summary: Are you the master of your money or is money your master?

7c“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

8“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’

“In tithes and offerings. 9You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12“Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

Malachi 3:7c-12

1Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. I Corinthians 16:1-2

Male egos and manly noises filled the room Saturday night, April 2nd, as men laughed, ate, and told stories around the tables. Highlighting the evening were the testimonies of NFL players Brock Huard, former quarterback of the UW Huskies, Seattle Seahawks, and Indianapolis Colts, and Seattle Seahawk Pro-Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Brock played a different role on the sidelines this year as support to the starting quarterback and spiritual leader for coach Tony Dungee.

Space will only allow me share one short story. Brock mentioned that a few years ago while playing for the Seattle Seahawks each quarterback on the roster was a Christian: John Kitna, Trent Dilfer, and himself. He shared that just before the team would emerge from the tunnel at Husky Stadium (during the years the new Seahawk Stadium was being built) the quarterbacks would gather for prayer. Trent Dilfer would lead them, praying especially for the starting quarterback. On one occasion he reminded Matt Hasselbeck that he was playing for only one person in the audience: God. Have you come to understand that life principle? In life and in your finances, you’re playing for an “audience of One.”

For the last few weeks, Larry Gardner, our church administrator, and I have been in the maternity ward delivering messages that will strengthen our church and your personal family. This is the last of those deliveries. What I often say about my family of four children applies to these messages: “It’s these four and no more.” The children have arrived. Now the real work, cost, and joy are starting. My prayer is that the audience and reader will be as delighted as we are and respond, “Oh, how God has blessed our family with such marvelous additions.”

As we finish this series on “How to become Debt Free,” let me introduce you to this last delivery, “How To Go With Green.” I have saved the most important question about debt for the end. Are you ready? If apply these principles, you will win over fear, misguided priorities, materialism, greed, and any number of other destructive belief systems.

Is Debt a Sin?

No area of a person’s financial life is filled with more emotion, misunderstanding, and distorted thinking than debt.(1) Debt has many definitions, let’s use this one, “any money owed to anyone or anything.” Now let’s clear up two important thoughts on debt.

Ø Debt is not a sin! The Bible discourages the use of debt but does not prohibit it.

Ø Debt is never the real problem. It is only symptomatic of the real problem-greed, selfishness, fear, impatience, etc.

There are 5 kinds of debt: credit card, consumer, mortgage, investment, and business. When considering using debt, always ask yourself these four questions:(2)

1. Does it make economic sense?

2. Is my spouse in agreement with taking on this debt?

3. Do I have the spiritual peace of mind or freedom to enter into this debt?

4. What personal goals and values am I meeting with this debt that can be met no other way

Becoming The Master of Your Money

Are you the master of your money or is money your master? If money your master, let me speak as a financial prophet and give you a glimpse of your future.

Each of us struggles with a sin nature that is selfish. James reminds us of this when he says, “…you want something but, you don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.” (James 4:2)

Sounds pretty selfish to me. When you place a selfish person in an environment of consumerism and unlimited choices, like a mall or on-line shopping, the result is temptation that leads to greed. Jesus said, “Be on your guard against of all types of greed.” (Luke 12:15)

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