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Follow the Money

Proverbs: Practical Wisdom of the Walk of Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The way we handle finances is a reflection of our spiritual wisdom

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Biblical Principles for Finances

Be a tither

Be Honest in your financial dealings ()

Explanation: This should be a given for a Christian, but it is important to emphasize the need for us to be honest and forthright in our financial dealings with others. Believers are to be people of integrity as it reflects who we are in Christ.
Illustrate: Landlords who do not want to rent to people who claim to be Christians because they are most likely the ones to leave without paying
Argument: It is better to pay extra or lose out than have to cheat someone to get what we want. As believers, we are held to a higher standard, and this includes financially. See &
Application: Decide now that you are going to focus on integrity and not the dollar. It is not about getting ahead, it is, however, about becoming more like Jesus in all areas of our lives.

Be honest in your finances

Give back to God with a Grateful heart ()

Explanation: Giving to God (tithing) is really a matter of the heart and a very good gauge of a person’s spirituality. Part of tithing comes from having a biblical world view The implication is that one has the biblical understanding that everything belongs to God; we are simply stewards. When we give, we are giving Him back a small portion of what He has blessed us with. When we have this view, we can and do give gratefully, not grudgingly.
Argument: The other side is obedience: He commands us to give. Some believers are quit to point out that tithing is explicitly commanded in the OT, but not in the NT. The OT based the amount at 10%, the NT is 100%!
Argument: The other side is obedience: He commands us to give.
Application: If you aren’t giving, start. You don’t have to start out at 10%, but start somewhere. It is really a matter of trust - do you actually believe God is going to take care of you when you obey His word?

Do not look for shortcut

Make and keep financial plans for the future (Proverbs 27:23-27)

Explanation: It is wise to have a financial plan for the future. And the plan does not need to be complex. A simple budget is a plan. Instead of allowing your money to control your life, you control your money. But without a plan, you generally have erratic spending habits. Money generally doesn’t save itself - we need a plan.
Illustrate: Danny at the Shipyard. He did not have a financial plan and then the yard went into closure. Danny had $35,000 in debt on 7 credit cards and no job.
Argument: It is not spiritual to live from paycheck to paycheck and have the idea that God is going to bail you out if the money dries up. That is bad theology and very presumptuous! () Too many American Christians are living beyond their means and hoping for the Rapture. Instead, we should live within our means and be content. (Prov 21:5)
Application: Plan to live a long time and save money so you can help others (). If you don’t have a budget, make one and use it. It is also a good idea to have a will so the state doesn’t make financial decisions for us

Do not look for shortcuts to wealth ()

Explanation: It is simply amazing how money people are looking for quick fixes to becoming wealthy. These folks do not want to use the established method of working hard or creating something useful. Instead they look to make it rich with the lottery, get-rich schemes, or scamming others.
Illustrate: Dwayne McCoy and scratch offs. He bought 1 or 2 $5 cards every week. One day at ball practice he tells me how he “won” $100 on a card
Argument: According to a Time Magazine article in January 2016 winning the Powerball is one of the worst things that can happen to somebody. A staggering 70% of lottery winners are broke within a few years. Of those many end up divorced, depressed or dead.
We also need to avoid get rich schemes. Most of these are designed by others to get your money so they can get rich. Much wisdom is found in . The hard work method is slower, but more sure. And it is God’s method
Application: Avoid the lottery. It is unbiblical, immoral, and preys on those who can least afford to use money on tickets. Playing the Lottery is trusting in chance instead of God.
Do not engage in questionable schemes. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. (Bernie Madoff’s pyramid schemes promised higher interest to investors)
Do not deceive others just to get more money. Contractors who have clients pay for 5/8 sheet rock and then put in 1/2 and pocket the difference

Be cautious in your borrowing and lending ()

Explanation: The Bible contains repeated warnings against signing promissory notes for others. It is good to have the desire to help someone, and we are even told to be generous instead of stingy (cf. ). It is not being stingy when you personally do not have the outright means to help the other person. In that case, we are told not to make pledges or put up security to help out () so as not to place ourselves in jeopardy
Argument: We are also given instruction about borrowing money. This is an area of difficulty for most of us, myself included. It involves patience and waiting for something. We live in a world of instant gratification and the idea of waiting and saving is looked on with incredulity. “Who does that??!!! That is crazy talk!!
It may sound crazy, but it is biblical and it has future implications. Every monetary decision has future implications and we need to live in light of that reality. ()
Application: Do not borrow money unless there is not another option.
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