Faithlife Sermons

Financial Guardrails

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Introduction
Every now and then … and maybe you do this too… I wonder what I would have… own… if I didn’t know what everybody else owned. Wonder about how much money I might have saved if I didn’t know what everyone else spent theirs on. Sometimes we know too much… to much about what others have and what we have or don’t have.
That knowledge can make us dangerously discontent. It can feed an appetite that can never be satisfied. It’s like eating sweets, they never satisfy you… you always want more and that’s what we are talking about - - - Guardrails.
Guardrails - a system designed to keep you from straying into dangerous or off limit areas.
GR are not placed in the danger zone but in the safe zone so that they can keep us out of the danger zone.
Guardrails are designed to minimize damage
Guardrails are a standard of behavior that becomes a matter of conscience
These are personal… something we put in place for ourselves… not me for others. unless you work here and then one of ours is the BG rule.
The point of a guardrail is to light up your consciences before we hurt others or ourselves.
Today we will talk about

Financial Guardrails

In church world, people will come with issues about their children, their family… different challenges in their lives. Many people struggle with either sex or money or both. These are two areas of NT teaching that are most often ignored.
Culture thinks the church is against sex… not true. God created sex, but within certain context… between married couples.
Culture also thinks that the church is just after your money. God doesn’t need your money. Jesus doesn’t want your money, but he wants something for you as it relates to money, and any good church that tries to follow Jesus teachings wants something for you as it relates to money.
Today we are not going to talk about debt or bankruptcy. You can be debt free with money in the bank and drive over the edge financially.
As a Christian, we want to know what jesus said about it…
Matthew 6:24 NLT
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Master - someone who owned someone.
Jesus is saying that you cannot serve or be owned by two owners at one time. He says you can’t serve God and money. (money - stuff)
For Jesus followers, the issue regarding money is ownership.
Jesus is asking, Do you have money or does money have you?
The reason we need guardrails around money is that money or what it will purchase is the chief competitor for mastery or ownership of our hearts.
We need guardrails around money because it is the chief competitor for mastery of our hearts.
God does not want something from you but for you.
Without guardrails, we veer off the cliff of consumption or into the wall of hoarding.
You may never have debt or financial chaos, but you will either spend, spend, spend or hoard, hoard, hoard.
W/O guardrails, we will experience uncontrolled desire or uncontrolled fear. They are the same. Both find their root in greed. Greed is not mysterious. It’s the idea if it hits my hands it’s for me…
Greed is the assumption that it’s all for my consumption.
ILL - man who built bigger barns
Whether we fall into overspending or hoarding, we are living as if there is not God … until there is trouble and then we pray. Here is what God is telling you.
You chose the wrong master.
Here is the question. If you will invite God into your finances when you have a problem, why don’t you invite him
If you are mastered by money you live, save and give.
If you are living that way, you are mastered. You are living life like God has no interest in you or your finances.
If you are mastering your money, you give, save and live.
ILL - Andrew Carnegie - 10%… 10% … 80% / Larry and Mike… gave away more than they kept…
I know people who put three jars in their kids rooms… give, save, spend. Teach your kids to use money God’s way. You might do it with envelopes or accounting…
The results are financial independence… not wealth, but independence. You teach your kids and they will not go through some of the things that maybe you have gone through.
For the rest of your life, money will compete for number one in your life. I don’t want money to win. I don’t want to own stuff but not be owned by stuff. Guess what, your heaven father doesn’t want stuff to win mastery over you either.
If you want God to step in and help, you have to do things the way he operates.
Remember, when we are mastering our money, we give, save and then live.
Matthew 6:24 NLT
24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
I don’t want to be enslaved to consumption… kids… you…
Then Jesus says…
Matthew 6:31–33 NLT
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:31–33 NIV
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I know you think about this stuff all the time. Our inclination is to worry of we will have enough… if our kids will have enough. So we worry, and when we worry, we close our hands. When we close our hands and stop giving, we close our hands to God putting anything in them as well. We will close off our heart.
-3
Jesus then says, don’t do as the unbelievers… they worry about stuff all the time. He says your heavenly father knows…
Then Jesus says here is how you live different… here is how you get victory over worry… over greed.
Matthew 6:33 NLT
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
We seek God first… follow him and he will take care of us.
Jesus’s Kingdom is an other’s first, me second kind of kingdom.
Mark 10:42–45 NLT
42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 6:33 NLT
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Put others first in your finances as evidence of your devotion to God’s others first kingdom, and he will take care you. This is why I pay my tithe first… off the top before anything else. This is why you need to be priority percentage givers.
It’s how you guard against greed.

Guardrails

Give
Pick a percentage. Start at 10% and give it to the Lord through church, through non-profits that do what your passion is.
Save
Save 10%. Prepare for a rainy day… for your future…
Live
Live on or consume the rest.
That’s how you guard against greed.
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