Summary: in this message i talk about how to get out of financial trouble following sound biblical principles.
What we saw this week was pretty startling, wasn’t it? People’s most prized possessions; their homes, their cars, the stuff with which they fill their homes – scattered about, destroyed and left in the open. It’s sobering to think that in a matter of moments everything that you have worked so hard to achieve can be taken away from you. I mentioned this in my e-mail to the church this week – that while some people lost everything that they had – there were others, including many in this church who lost some of their stuff – but their treasures were still in tact! Not a scratch on them – not one thing missing – no need to pay a deductible and no reason for a blue tarp – because their treasures are safe!
That’s what the Bible says! The title of the message today is where to I turn with financial problems – and I’m going to give you some steps that will lead to help with your financial problems. The first step is what I’ve been leading up to and that is:
1. Realize it all belongs to God!
What is he saying? He’s saying that everything you need is provided to you by Him. Do you see that in there? He has what you need! You don’t need to worry about it, strive for it, preoccupy yourself with it or be anxious about it. You simply need to trust Him and acknowledge Him in your life! You need to surrender control of your stuff to him.
That’s ultimately his goal for all of you. He wants to help you but he can’t help you with your finances until you have surrendered to him. Today I want to introduce someone to you that has gone through a lot to get to a place of surrender. You’ll hear as he shares his story that it isn’t just a story of financial help – although it is that – but it’s far more than that. Money issues are spiritual issues – your wallet is connected to your soul – they are linked together and I think his story captures that well. Please give a warm welcome (someone came and gave testimony).
See, when he surrendered everything to God – his career, his marriage, his depression, his anger, his drinking AND His money – that is when God stepped in to help him. When he surrendered, he was finally in a position to be blessed, in his marriage, in his career, AND with his money. If you want to change your financial situation you first need to address your spiritual situation. I will go over that in more detail in a few minutes.
Once you’ve settled the foundational issue of who your stuff belongs to you are ready to move on to the next step which is:
2. Rationalizing doesn’t help!
If you want to improve your financial situation you can’t rationalize what is happening with your money. You have to know where all of your money goes – and I mean all of it. You have to track your money. You need a notebook and for one month you need to keep a log of every dollar that you spend. You can’t rationalize and say, “well, that was only lunch with a friend – or it was a big sale and I only spent a few dollars – or it’s only a cup of coffee – I ought to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee!!
How many people in here go to Fivebucks? I mean Starbucks. Now, I’m not down on Starbucks – I go there every once in awhile. But, let’s just use that example. If you are going to Starbucks, you are going to spend $5. That’s just the truth – you will spend $5 when you go in there. Let’s say you like a triple shot latte, nonfat. That’s going to cost you $5.
Well, let’s just say you decide for the next 40 years to forego the triple shot, nonfat latte. Let’s say you took that $5 and you put it into an interest bearing account. And let’s say that account kicked off 10% interest. So you have $5 a day, that is $35 a week, about $150 a month. In 40 years you would have a grand total of, are you ready for this…I read this example in a book in preparation for this message, you would have $948,611. I will say it again. $948,611! You can’t rationalize! Every dollar that leaves your hand is important! Every dollar of it. You have to know where your money goes or you’ll always wonder where it went.