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
God’s desire for us is that money doesn’t have our heart, but He does. The purpose of money is to fulfill God’s purposes on the earth, not just ours. My prayer is that in this journey over the next few weeks, we would find ourselves not standing on the sand that shifts, but standing on the rock. Let’s pray together.
Spirit of the Living God, would you open your heart and your mind to us. Would you show us how to trust, how to live? Lord, we trust that Your Word is true and accurate. It always has been and it always will be. Lord, I ask that You cut through our culture today and our own ways and would show us Your ways. Lord, we trust You with our lives. Bring Your Word alive today. Take this five loaves and two fish, Lord. Break it for Your glory we pray, in Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.
Well in order to lay the foundations for everything we are going to be talking about , I need to give a little background of Laura’s and mine own journey to frame where I am coming from, Biblically and practically, and even where we are coming from as a church. From the earliest days that I can remember, I wanted stuff. Maybe you are a lot like me. In my household, how I grew up was mom and dad were wonderful. They were good at taking care of our needs, food and shelter; they would take care of our basic needs. Anything we wanted, they said we had to work for yourself. As early as I possibly could remember, I began to work. Whether it was a lemonade stand or mowing lawns, painting houses, building fences, I went to work. I worked in scrap yards, gas stations. I had 25 different jobs from the time I was 5 years old until I graduated from college. Every one of those jobs had one thing in mind: make more money to get more stuff.
Nothing was wrong with the work ethic, it was needed. We’ll talk about that next week. The work ethic was needed, but the motive behind it was so that I could keep up with everybody else, so that I could be the coolest, the biggest, the best. There was something wrong with the heart. When I got to college, and I got to Baylor, I grew up in Beaumont, TX and there were a few wealthy people, but I came to Baylor and WOW! Look at all these people with all this money and power. I thought I want to be like them, and like them, and my heart went out to it all. Then, God got a hold of my heart. As God began to deal with me about loving Him with all my heart, I began to open the Scriptures and begin the Book of Matthew. I read it and said, “I will obey whatever God says.” I ran into some Scriptures early on that have been life-changing. The first one was Matthew 5:32, “If anyone asks for anything, give it. If anyone asks to borrow anything, give it without expecting anything in return.” I thought, wow. I’m actually supposed to give what I have, and Jesus actually asks me to give freely and not get up tight about it when someone doesn’t return something that is mine. I thought, “Well, I’ll obey Lord.” I began to give things away. Over the next year, I gave away just about everything I had.
There was something that God was doing. The big one though was actually Matthew 6:25-33. It’s titled in Bible “The Cure for Anxiety.” It goes through all these things we are not supposed to worry about: food, clothing, what we wear, what we have. Jesus basically reiterates surely your Father knows that you need these things. He ends with Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” I realized that I was seeking things and materialism as a way to satisfy a need in me rather than the Kingdom of God first.
Somewhere in the midst of just these early days, and a number of other situations that happened, I said, “I am going to quit living for myself in grasping for things, and I’m going to open up my hands and trust God, and give freely and live seeking the Kingdom of God first.”
Well those were great days of God defining and changing and rearranging things. As a result, I found myself the next summer, one year later after all these departing things related to finances, I found myself in Papua, New Guinea. I was on an island for two and a half months, in the jungles living with three pairs of shorts and three t-shirts. I was living as simple as I have ever lived in my life and I was the happiest I have ever been in my life.