Summary: This is message #3 in the Faith and FInance Series titled, N GOD WE TRUST. It offers simply yet practical advice for financial mgmt.
“IN GOD WE TRUST”
Faith & Finance Series
The Witness of Faithful Finances Part 2
This morning we began looking at the Witness of Faithful Finances. WE learned that our attitudes and our actions concerning our money carries a lot of influence in the world. WE are called to be salt and light, we are called to help people in need, we are called to be stewards over the wealth of God. I think that it is important that we recognize three ways that we can better our financial situations. These principles are scriptural and are easily applied to any financial state – poor, rich, debtor and debt free. After we state the five Purposes of Money in our lives we will examine three principles of Faithfulness Finances then we will quickly examine the Power of Faithful Finances.
I. FIVE PURPOSES OF FAITHFUL FINANCES
1. To Meet Our Needs
2. To Confirm Direction
3. To Give to Christians in need
4. To Demonstrate the Power of God
5. To Cultivate our Obedience
I will cover these five points more in depth later in this series in message titled “PURPOSEFUL PROSPERITY”
II. PRINCIPLES OF FAITHFUL FINANCE
Before we look at these three important behaviors I want to make sure that we all understand something very basic and important. The primary means of providing for your family, yourself and others is WORK. I have approached this particular message with the understanding that all know this. If you don’t work – you don’t eat, etc. Therefore the following behaviors are truly only beneficial when you are working/sowing. In addition to Work we must be about these three things:
a. Trusting God
b. Seeking God
c. Depending on God to provide
The Necessities, The Needs, the Desires and the EXTRAS! ** When these three are in balance, they will each be filled. When the balance is tipped, they will each be unfulfilled.
** Do not take matters into your own hands. God will provide – usually through work. If you cannot afford it you probably do not need it. If you buy what you do not need, will you have enough left to buy what you do need? If you want something that is not a necessity, pray about it. Is God in favor? Why not ask Him to provide it?
a. Honor God
b. Honor your obligations
c. Pay what you owe
d. Pay on time (saves you lots of money)
Illustr: Paying late costs you money. Consider: Late charges – Interest charges – Credit Scores = higher rates. Often end up writing hot checks (explain what is a hot check), which costs you money on every side – at the bank at the retailer or service provider.
The bottom line is this not managing your money costs you money and costs you your witness. It is helpful to Plan, to Prioritize, and to Pay on time.
3. THE STAYING - I COR. 4:2; ROM 14:12; HEBREWS 13:5; PHIL 4:11
a. Stay on top of your financial situation
b. Always have an idea of what you owe (by the way you owe the utility co.s)
Illustration – always get told “Well, I had the money but something came up.” Expecting that an emergency had arisen or at least some unforeseen problem gad arisen, I ask “What came up?” Do you know what came up? Rent or the electric bill or insurance, etc. These bills do not come up. They are a constant part of your life. Plan on them.
c. Learn to be content – Trust God – with what you have
d. Live within your means – Repeat “SO WHAT!”
Illustr. The Joneses have a new car – “So What!” The Jones got a new whatever.. – “So What!”
e. Focus on the future
f. Save for emergencies (@ least 2 mo. Salary)
You should have at least 2 months worth of salary set aside in a liquid form (easily converted to cash). This sounds impossible to todays consumer because they spend what they make. The next few points will show you how it can be done. Another definition of STAYING is to Stop. Consider
g. Stop spending
h. Cancel the Cable TV
i. Stop the Newspaper
j. Brown Bag It (Stop eating out)
k. Quit your habit (Smoking, Soda, etc.)
There are many ways to cut back, even if it is only temporary – in order to save emergency money. Usually you will find that those items lose value once you have gone without them for a couple of months. (It is easier for me to continue paying for something than it is to start paying for something, therefore I probably would not restart it)