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Good Plans Involve Good People

Money Talks  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
One day, a manager was sitting at work. He had a lot to do because he handled all the affairs of a very wealthy business man. He had properties to manage, estates to run, and massive amounts of wealth to oversee for his employer. This day though, wasn’t going to end well for him.
His boss, the rich man, scheduled a meeting with him because he was starting to hear rumors and complaints that this manager was mismanaging and misappropriating his money. The rich man could not have a manager like this. His business and his wealth were directly tied to his reputation in the community, so he had to fire this manager. Whether the accusations were true or not, he couldn’t have a manager overseeing all of his wealth with a questionable character.
After the short but shocking meeting,

READ Luke 16:3-8a NLT

Luke 16:3–8 (NLT)
3 “The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. 4 Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’
5 “So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ 6 The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’
7 “ ‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’
8 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.
Welcome/ you tube/ recap
Well, hey, and welcome to Community Christian Church. We are in the last weekend of our 4-week financial series called Money Talks .
If you missed a weekend or just need a refresher, you can always check out our YouTube page and find previous services there. While you’re there, like and subscribe to our page because it goes a long way in helping the church out.
Now, we get that Money cannot audibly talk to us. But make no mistake, your money can communicate to you. It can communicate what you value, what your goals are, whether or not you have a plan for that money or if someones else plan for your money is guiding your bank account.
Throughout this series, we’ve been training our ears to not only listen to our money but to also learn from our money. We’ve learn that money isn’t the most important. Yes, it is very important; but if you’ve ever lost a loved one then how much money would you give to get them back? Your money is not the most important thing, yet you can run the risk of falling into a money trap and making it the most important. That’s why we talked about and worked through the 5 Capitals together.
5 Capitals _ break
A capital is anything in your possession that you can invest. So, you have money (even $1) and you can invest it into something: stocks, ETF’s, IRA’S, your education, your future, your physical health, and even your spiritual health. In order to live the life you were purposefully designed to live, then you have to properly prioritize your money before you can even think about properly monitoring your money, managing your money, or even grow the money God has given you.
We also learned that money can reveal your heart. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 ESV:
Matthew 6:21 ESV
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Literally, where you send your money your heart will follow. We know that to be true. Say you invest some into the stock market, into a specific company. You are putting more than your money into that investment. You are put your time into by checking up on that stock reading what analysts are forecasting for that specific stock. You invest your intellect into that investment by reading up on what is happening with that company and where they are heading. You get the idea. Your money is uniquely positioned to reveal who you truly are on the inside and where you place the most value.
But, unfortunately, for the vast majority of us, we have no clue where we are sending our hearts because we have no clue where our money is going according to recent surveys done by by Mint.com and CNBC. That’s why we developed the Money Talks Spending Tracker that literally helps you track your money and see what it reveals about your heart.
Lastly, we’ve heard money say that it wants you to grow it. There are multiple ways to grow your money: get a side hustle, get a promotion, negotiable a raise, cut spending, make smarter investments, end your lifestyle creep that looks like when you make more money then your lifestyle expenses go up with it. But at the end of the day, and whatever you end up doing to grow your money; you have to have a plan. Your money wants you to properly manage it so that it can produce growth in every area of your life. That is why we created the Money Talks Spending Plan. So that you don’t have to be a part of the majority crowd who has no clue where your money went last month, but instead you can tell your money where it should go and where it shouldn’t go.
Attention:
That was actually this guys job. He was the one who told the rich man’s money where to go and where not to go. He collected the payments, made the investments, and oversaw everything for this rich man. The only problem is that he was like most of us, he wasn’t that good at telling money where to go and it got him in trouble.
Need:
How do you feel when it comes to your money?
Do you feel like your in trouble when it comes to your money?
Do you feel stressed out when it comes to money?
Do you feel confident in your ability to grow and manage it?
Well, whether you feel great about your money or you are losing your mind, Jesus says that you can learn from this guy.
Transition:
We can learn from this guy and money is here to tell you exactly what you can learn from him. Money says, “A Good Plan Goes A Long Way.”

Point #1: Money says, “You Need A Good Plan.”

Explanation: Managers Plan = Lifestyle Creep
The manger had a plan… a bad one.
This guy got in trouble with his boss because he was mismanaging and misappropriating his bosses money. He had a plan and he was working that plan, until everything came crashing down.
Manager = Prodigal Son’s Lifestyle
Jesus doesn’t tell us what this guy was specifically being accused of. He just tells us that this manager was wasting his employers money. Now, the word that Jesus uses to describe this managers wasteful spending is the same word we see Jesus use in another famous parable: the Parable of the Lost Son where he described the wasteful lifestyle of the prodigal son who took his portion of his inheritance and went off on his own and spend all he had on wild reckless living.
Lifestyle Creep
If the manager was living the same type of lifestyle that we see the Prodigal Son living, then as his income rose so did his lifestyle expenses. This is called Lifestyle Creep and the best way to describe this is to actually sing The Jefferson’s theme song:
“Well we’re moving on Up
To the East Side
To a DELUXE apartment … in the sky.
Moving on Up
To the East Side
We finally got a piece of the pie.”
This song actually looks like this: [GRAPH]
Now, there is nothing wrong with making more money, improving your life, or moving up to the penthouse apartment or estate upstate. Nothing wrong with that at all, but what tends to happen to all of us when we do start to move up?
As our income creeps up, then our lifestyle creeps up. This is called Lifestyle Creep and it looks like this: [GRAPH]
Now, it is safe to assume that this was this guys plan. As his employers income increased, so did his income, and so did his lifestyle. He was able to upgrade his life, not because he was working hard, but because he was misappropriating his employers funds and wastefully spending money to increase his lifestyle. It was only a matter of time until people started noticing that this guy was living large and buying things that he previously couldn’t afford.
He had a plan and it looks like the plan we all want for our lives: increase my income; upgrade my life. But there is something deeply flawed with that plan because when does it end? When do you have enough? When does it start to become ridiculous? Do you really need to upgrade that iPhone right now, even though your current model is fine? Do you really need to swap out that couch because your just tired of looking at it? Do you really need to have that vacation home that you will visit a couple of times a year?
Now, there is nothing wrong with upgrading your life or having vacation homes or whatever. There is nothing wrong with increasing your wealth. But what is driving you to do that? Are you simply trying to upgrade your life, like this guy, or is something else driving you? What is your purpose for making those purchases? What priorities are you placing in your life that is causing you to buy that?
If your plan looks like the Lifestyle Creep chart, then you don’t have a good plan. Just like this guys didn’t have a good plan for his life. Good news though, you can get a better plan!
MONEY TALKS SPENDING PLAN
Last week, we talked about how you need a plan and how God actually gives us a plan that we can use. It’s a very simply plan that works well for Heather and I, but by no means is this the exact plan that you need to put in place for your life. There are many different plans that work great, but using God’s word as our guide we can see that the best spending plans need to include three things: Giving, Saving, and Spending.
If you want to manage your money properly, then you need to have a good plan in place because there is a direct link between planning and prosperity.
READ PROVERBS 21:5 (NLT) - [BREAK]
Proverbs 21:5 NLT
5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
10-10-80 Plan
10% - GIVE
You need to give to God.
This is how you use your financial capital to invest in your spiritual capital. This is also the only way to properly prioritize your money because when you literally give something away, then that means it is not the most important thing in your life. So, when you give to God, you are literally saying, “God you are more important to me then the wealth you have given to me.”
In the Old Testament, we see this habit clearly spelled out for the nation of Israel. It was called the TITHE, and that word literally means one tenth. So, it was a habit for the Israelites to give 10% of their resources to God.
Now, before you say, well that is the Old Testament we don’t have to follow that anymore. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 23:23.
READ Matthew 23:23 (NLT) - [BREAK]
Matthew 23:23–24 (NLT)
23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
Jesus was pro-tithe and so was the Early Church because it broke the power that money has over us and helps us properly prioritize the resources that God gives us and places the giver of those resources where He rightly belongs in our lives: first and foremost.
Now, it is true that we aren’t under the Old Testament law anymore. So, if you legitimately can’t give 10% of your income to God, then this is what Paul says to you in 2 Corinthians 9:7-8.
READ 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (NLT) - [BREAK]
2 Corinthians 9:7–8 (NLT)
7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
10% - SAVE
READ Proverbs 13:11 (ESV) - [BREAK]
Proverbs 13:11 (ESV)
11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Try your best not to live paycheck to paycheck. Save some of it, park it somewhere that will create interest and overtime it will increase and grow.
80% - SPEND
Application: What is your plan for long-term success and growth?
Does it look like the lifestyle creep? It will if you don’t have a good plan in place for your life.
Transition: So, we’ve heard Money say that “A Good Plan Goes A Long Way.” But it has something else to say to us today and that is that “A Good Plan Involves Doing Good.”

Point #2: Money says, “A Good Plan Involves Doing Good.”

Explanation:
This guy quickly figured out that his plan was flawed and it was about to cost him everything. None of the lifestyle creep or possessions he he had acquired where going to keep him employed or sustain him for the rest of his life. He needed a new plan and he quickly shifted gears and put his new plan into place to save himself. He switched his plan from being self-centered to others-centered and it changed the trajectory of his life.
His new plan involved using his resources for good. This manager was being accused of squandering the rich mans money, which would have brought shame upon the rich man during this time and in this culture. The manager was making the rich man look like a fool and that’s one reason for why he is getting fired. So, the manager smartly uses his resources to repair the rich mans’ reputation, his reputation, and do good for other wealthy individuals who could potentially become new employers for him. Here’s what he did:
READ Luke 16:5-7 (NLT) - [BREAK]
Luke 16:5–7 (NLT)
5 “So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ 6 The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’
7 “ ‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’
The manager met with the rich man’s debtors and had them write off either the interest that was on the loan or his personal commission that was on the loan; either way, the manager is repairing his bosses reputation by making him look like a very generous and gracious businessman. By writing off the interest or commission, he is immediately infusing his boss with cash on hand, and he is showing other businesses that the rich man is fair and generous, which could generate more business for the rich man.
On the flip side of this plan, the manager is also doing a very good thing for those who were in debt to the rich man. The amount of money that he is having these two guys write off is about the same for the different products they are paying on and the amount that they are able to write off is about a year and half of wages for a day laborer. So, for us today, it would be almost $50,000 that this manager had them write off. $50,000 that wasn’t going to go to the rich man anyway. So the rich man isn’t out any money; the two debtors aren’t out any more money; and the manager looks like the smartest guy in the room and probably has multiple job offers for himself after this; which is worth a whole lot more than $50,000 in the long run.
So, his plan was literally and win-win-win for everyone involved and Jesus said, ‘Be like that guy when it comes to your money.’
Application: How are you using your money to invest in others?
Transition: So, we’ve heard money say that “A Good Plan Goes a Long Way,” and that “A Good Plan Involves Doing Good.” But the last bit of advance that money it telling us today is that “A Good Plan Generates Good Outcomes.”

Point #3: Money says, “A Good Plan Generates Good Outcomes.”

READ Luke 16:8-9 NLT - [BREAK]
Luke 16:8–9 (NLT)
8 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. 9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.
Explanation:
What the manager ultimately did was a very good thing that generate good outcomes for everyone involved and that is how we should manage the money and resources God has given us. You weren’t created to just keep upgrading to the next best thing. Instead, you were created to bring glory to God and to do good with what is in your hand right now.
Jesus is saying that we should us our money and resources to make other people’s lives better and use our money to make friends and find favor with those around us.
READ Acts 2:44-47 (ESV) - [BREAK]
Acts 2:44–47 (ESV)
44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
“The moral of the story is: Use possessions to serve people, because you are only God’s managers of anything you have.”
Illustration: Holiday Market - Serve Saturday (Saturday, June 12th)
PICTURES OF EVENT - SLIDESHOW
Serve Saturday kicks off Saturday, June 12th @ 10AM
Will circle up here at the church building and then head out to serve ourcommunity.
Application:
Transition: Money say that “A Good Plan Goes a Long Way,” and that “A Good Plan Involves Good People.” But the last bit of advance that money it telling us today is that “A Good Plan Generates Good Outcomes.”
Conclusion/Call to Action:
Even though this is the official end of our Money Talks series. Know that your money will continue to talk to you until your heart stops pumping.
You need to view your money as a training ground. Your bank account doesn’t reflect your value, instead it reflects what you value. If you value comfort over everything else, your bank account is going to reflect that. If you value security over everything else, your accounts will reflect that. If you value God’s Kingdom over everything else, then your money will reflect that, whether you have $10 million or $10.
Today’s story is showing us that, the way you handle and manage the money and resources God gives you is a direct reflection of who you believe God to be and reflects who God is to those who don't have a relationship with him or know him personally.
Manage the resources God have invested into your care in such a way that will reflect who he truly is: loving, generous, gracious, and personally involved in our lives.
[PRAY]
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