Summary: Third and final in the series Your Money Is Your Life, Dave finishes up what he began two weeks earlier, listing differences between how human beings think of money and how God seems to think of it.
Money According to God, prt. 2
Series: Your Money Is Your Life, prt. 3
Wildwind Community Church
November 29, 2009
Two weeks ago I shared with you that there are 2,650 verses in the Bible that talk about money and possessions, and spent a little time going through them with you, looking at five differences between human attitudes about money and what appears to be God’s attitude. Last week I talked to you about God’s economy. I shared with you that as we move through these difficult financial times in our country, we need to remember that God is present and active in our lives, he is faithful to us, his intentions for us are good, and that the more we steep ourselves in this belief, the less anxiety and worry we will live with. Today I want to return to more of those 2,650 verses and more differences between human attitudes and God’s attitude about money, wealth, and possessions.
Here are the ones I shared with you two weeks ago:
Man’s Ways God’s Way
1.My view of money is none of God’s Your view of money is business pivotal to your spiritual life
2.All I have is mine All you have is mine
3.I must have more money You must manage what you have
4.I live for pleasure Practice sef-control
5.I love money Love me
A sixth difference between how we tend to think about money and how God thinks about it is that it is our tendency to spend it all, and God wants us to save for the future. Always find the middle path. Trusting in God does not mean living as if we’re not getting older. Properly managing our resources means facing the fact that one day we will retire and live on a more fixed income. It is good to have generous hearts and be reckless givers (in the positive sense I have talked about), but not saving for the future is reckless in the negative sense.
Proverbs 21:20 (NLT)
20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)
3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
A few years ago as Christy and I were struggling to get our financial house in order and get a handle on our finances, she asked the question, “How do you budget for things that creep up expectedly in life.” I said, “I’m glad you asked,” and showed her a spending category I had created called “Unexpected things.” We simply don’t know what is going to come at us. That’s why one of the first things we do is set aside $1000 for emergencies. If you do not have an emergency fund, you’re living hand to mouth, spending every dollar, then when your refrigerator breaks, how are you going to replace it? Chances are good you’ll march down to Home Depot, sign up for one of their credit cards, and walk out with your new refrigerator. You have solved one problem by creating another one that’s even bigger. If you make minimum payments on that $1000 refrigerator, at 20% interest, that refrigerator will take you 26.25 years to pay off and you will have paid $4083.81 for your $1000 refrigerator. Credit card companies make your monthly payments as small as legally allowed, because that keeps you paying interest to them for as long as possible. Without available cash on hand, what is your alternative? We can’t know what’s going to come at us in this life, but we can be certain that unexpected things are going to happen, and they will almost never happen the day you get your tax return and happen to have a little extra money sitting around. If we do not have money socked away to deal with those things, we will face two choices:
1.Do without. God doesn’t want you to do without your basic needs!
2.Dig our hole a little deeper. Bad idea.
Next, we tend to envy others, but God wants us to be content. Has that idea ever really sunk in? Think with me for a moment about the idea that God wants you to be content. Don’t think of it as a command from God, as God telling you what to do, think of as God’s desire for you. Now it is a command, but God’s commands to us spring from his desires for us. Last week we saw that God’s intentions toward us are good. God has good things for us, plans to give us hope and a future. And since God plans good things for us, and is fully capable of bringing about what he has planned, he therefore wants us to live free from constant craving, free of the feeling we’re missing out, free from a sense that if we only had this or that, or could go to this place or that, we’d be okay. God’s message to us is that we’re already okay – we already have what we most need, which is the constant presence of a God who is all-powerful, who loves us, and who desires good things for us. We are not different from the ancient people who wrote and read the words of scripture. Almost an entire Psalm is devoted to this, and it has some distinct movements to it. I want to give you samples from those movements.