Summary: This is message #2 in the Faith and Finance Series - IN GOD WE TRUST. It deals with the witness of faithful finances.
“IN GOD WE TRUST”
Faith & Finance Series
The Witness of Faithful Finances Part 1
Two weeks ago, we began a new series on Faith & Finance titled IN GOD WE TRUST. We learned that before we can be prosperous and truly successful in anything including our finances – we must learn to TRUST GOD! As we go through this series of messages – remember that you must first Trust God.
We stated in our opening message that many businesses do not want to do business with Christians. Why is that? It should be that every business wants to have Christians as their main customer base. It seems that Christians have become no better than the rest of the world when it comes to our finances. As a matter of fact - I would venture to say that we are worse than the rest of the world, because we claim to hold a higher standard. People avoid doing business with Christians because of our reputation – our witness.
****I heard from a man in the propane business who had a truck sent out to a Camp Site owned by one of the largest Churches in Tulsa. (A church who preaches on money a lot). When the driver pumped all the propane (A large order) he went to collect his money. The man in charge then began to “negotiate” the price. He refused to pay the agreed upon price. By the end of the encounter the propane company took much less than what was owed them. Of course the caretaker of the “Christian” property was able to brag how he saved their ministry money.
*****My brother works for a large insurance company as an adjuster. He tells that the adjusters have a name for the “Christian” people who try to rip them off. The call the “GOD BLESS YOU’S” It is these people who say Oh God Bless You then try to make false claims. Some have even stated that Christianity has nothing to do with this – This is Business!
*****Many companies in Broken Arrow cringe every time they do business with students from the Christian College there. They know by experience that many of them will not pay their rent, their car payments, their water bills, etc. They always say OH IM NOT WORRIED ABOUT IT – GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF IT!
These are a few obvious examples of the many ways we have ruined our witness!!!!
I believe most Christians would be appalled by these events. After all, that kind of behavior is not what we are about. Perhaps you have never done these kinds of things – openly ripping people off. My question to you is this….
DO YOUR FINANCIAL PRACTICES REFLECT YOUR FAITH?
We give a bad impression of Christ when we don’t live and manage our money according to His principles – even if we are not ripping people off.
Consider the most common witness of our finances:
I. THE MOST COMMON WITNESS OF CHRISTIAN FINANCES
A. GUARDED BELIEVING
James 4:1-2 – Even Christians can go without and live lives of lust and want because we refuse to ask God. We don’t ask God because we have a faith problem.
Hebrews 11:6 – For without faith it is impossible to please Him…
We do without the things we need and we long for the things we don’t.
We fail to ask and expect God to meet our needs.
1. In general living (limited faith)
2. Especially with our finances
3. We generally fail in 3 ways:
a. We Doubt God’s Promises (That can’t work – I can’t depend it) (don’t bank on it)
b. We Discount God’s Favor (What God provides is not good enough) (always desiring something else)
c. We Demonstrate a Lack of Trust (Faith)
Our unbelief prevents God from doing mighty works in our lives.
Isn’t it strange that we believe God to Save us but not to provide for us. What message are we sending to the world when the Church cannot pay its bills? (special offerings to pay PSO)
B. GREEDY LIVING
James 4:3-5 Christians often ask God to meet their lusts. We ask God to give us things that would serve no purpose other than to be consumed by our desires. These desires will lead us into greed. Greedy living is simply – living our lives with our affection on worldly things. (To get more) This is why we fight and are jealous of one another – “I can’t believe they got a new…” “Honey, why don’t we ever get a new…”, etc.
1. We are Self Absorbed
2. We are Self Centered
3. We are Self Serving
4. We Spend, Save, & Steal (from God and from the needy) in order to satisfy our selfish desires