Summary: Practical sermon on wise financial practices.
WAYS TO AVOID FINANCIAL MELTDOWN
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
John and Jane are my friends. Years ago I was able to learn from their story.
1. Be content
a. The Commandment that saves us from financial ruin is the 10th Commandment, “Do not covet”.
b. We are bombarded by a culture that says, “More, more, more”!
c. Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
d. When we trust God we learn to be content in life.
2. Be cautious about the yoke of debt
a. Larry Burkett writes in his book “Debt Free Living” that debt is “not normal” and that is really enslaves us.
b. The Bible tells us in Romans 13:8, “Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another.”
c. Larry Burkett writes about this verse in his book “Debt Free Living”. He says:
i. Debt enslaves us (pg. 53)
ii. Borrowing is permitted with these guidelines (pgs. 57-60)
1. Recognize it isn’t the normal avenue of obtaining things (in the case of a house and other very expensive necessities, it is understandable)
2. Don’t tie yourself up forever (fixed rates only)
3. Have a way to repay
4. You have an absolute commitment to repay (God doesn’t smile upon those who don’t repay debts.
d. God understood the downward spiral debt laden society would have on itself and therefore instituted laws that every seven years and every 50 (the year of Jubilee) the Israelites were to cancel debts. They didn’t follow the Lord’s directive and we aren’t anywhere near that kind of structure. It may seem to be a redistribution of wealth but in effect is simply lifts burdens that people can then be more productive. Call it what you want but it is God’s economic policy and I’m sure He knows what He’s doing.
3. Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can
Throughout Scripture we see these principles honored by the Lord
a. Earn all you can (Parable of the talents)
b. Save all you can (Proverbs 6:7-11)
c. Give all you can (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
TOP TEN MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS
Will Fulbright helped me to compile these skills.
1. Have a plan to identify your goals and develop a plan to achieve those goals.
a. Thomas Jefferson said it best, “Don’t spend more that you make.”
2. Have a budget to identify waste and look for opportunities to identify savings.
3. Track your spending (even little things).
4. Tithe (if you’re a Christian)
5. Have an emergency reserve. This should equal 6 months worth of expenses. 3 months is an ok start. You hope you never need this; it is there in case of emergency. Leave this in an FDIC savings account.
a. The number one emergency in our culture today that bankrupts people is health.
b. Take care of your self, see the doctor, keep up with insurance & medicine.
6. Set up savings as an automatic draft. That way you don’t realize you are even doing it.
7. Save smart (if your company does not have a 401K) or your income is under the IRS limits (use the Roth and regular IRAs)
a. Understand all the various ways to save: (know the rules)
• Savings accts
• Investments accts (for some)
8. Attack debt (understand the rates you are paying).
a. Pay credit card debt first!
b. Focus first on the highest rate then pay on the lesser ones. Once you pay off the debt, don’t do it again. It is a slow process to get rid of the debt.
c. Limit the number of credit cards you have.
9. Get everybody in the family on board!
10. Look to God (Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.”)