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Challenging Goals for Your Future: Challenging Financial Goals 3 of 4

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TEXT: Proverbs 6:6-8

TOPIC: Challenging Financial Goals

Pastor Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, Alabama,

January 22, 2006, Message 3 of 4 from the Series “Challenging Goals for Your Future”        

6  Go to the ant, you sluggard!

Consider her ways and be wise,

7    Which, having no captain,

Overseer or ruler,

8   Provides her supplies in the summer,

And gathers her food in the harvest.               

Our Lord Jesus had more to say about you and your money than He did about Heaven. The Lord is concerned that His children have a proper understanding about money.  Jesus told 38 parables, 16 of them had to do with money, and He taught more about money than any other subject  That’s why today we are talking about Challenging Financial Goals at the beginning of this new year.               

Whenever money is discussed, you can always discuss it under four categories:(1) Making it; (2) Giving it; (3) Saving it; (4) Spending it.  The problem is, the vast majority of Americans want to put number 4 right after number 1 and before numbers 2 and 3.  In other words, we want to dwell on the making of money and the spending of money and leave out the giving of money and the saving of money.               

Now this is a sermon on money that is not just about GIVING. It is important that Christians have an understanding about giving also. However, that is the part ministers most often deal with when speaking on the subject of money. One reason many Christians can't and don't give as liberally as they should is they don't know how to manage their money. In this message I will share some basic Scripture passages and make brief application as God’s word speaks on the subject of our finances.           

I.  GOD'S ASSESSMENT OF MONEY 

A.    God Owns All Things Including Money.

Haggai 2:8 "The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the Lord." I Corinthians 4:7b "And what do you have that you did not receive?"

B.     God Gives Us the Ability to Gain Money.

Deuteronomy 8:18a "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth..."             

I Timothy 7:17c God "giveth us richly all things to enjoy.                 

C. God Gives Guidelines for Gaining Wealth.  

1.      WORK

Proverbs 6:6-8 "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest." 

Proverbs 14:23 "In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 "If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat."              

2.      SAVE

Proverbs 21:20 The Living Bible "The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets."

Luke 19:12-24 contains the story as told by Jesus regarding 3 stewards to one He said, "Why did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?" (Luke 19:23) 

3.      PLAN

Luke 14:28, 31 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it --" (Vs. 28). "Or what king, going to make war against another kind, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able..." (Vs. 31). 

II. GOD'S ATTITUDE TOWARD MONEY         

A. Cautions Against Loving Money 

1.   MONEY NEVER BRINGS CONTENTMENT.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 "He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.             

2.INORDINATE LOVE FOR MONEY RESULTS IN EVIL.

I Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."         

B. The Consequence Of Loving Money 

1.      IT CHOKES THE WORD.

Mark 4:19 "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." 

2.      IT PROVIDES AN UNSTABLE FOUNDATION.

Proverbs 23:4,5 "Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wing; They fly away like an eagle toward the heaven."             

3.      IT CAN CAUSE COMPROMISING.

Matthew 6:33 "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." 

4.      IT CAN CAUSE ONE TO STOP TRUSTING GOD.

I Timothy 6:17 "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy."        

5.      IT CAN CAUSE DENIAL OF GOD. Proverbs 30:8,9 "Give me neither poverty nor riches -- Feed me with the food You prescribe for me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, 'Who is the Lord?'".   

CHALLENGING GOALS FOR OUR MONEY

 

  1. GIVE IT GOD’S WAY.  

 

Now I am convinced that the vast majority of Christians have a weal financial house because they have a weak financial foundation, and just two statistics tell me that.  First of all, the average Christian gives no more than 2% to the Lord’s work.  Secondly, 30 to 50% of all church attenders give absolutely nothing to the church. I want to share with you that Jesus said God desires, and the Bible teaches that the number one priority of money after the making of it, is the giving of it.  "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all you're increase."    (Proverbs 3:9) 

Do you see the word firstfruits?  That word really means what it says.  When you pick fruit off the tree, the very first fruit ought to go to the Lord.  The first check you ought to write every single month you begin to write new checks ought to be a check to the Lord.               

God doesn’t leave to chance what that check ought to be.  It ought to be a tithe.  "Will a man rob God?  Yet you have robbed me!  But you say, 'In what way have we robbed you?'  In tithes and offerings."  (Malachi 3:8) 

That tithe should go to the regular budget of the church.  Because that is the foundation of all other giving that goes to the church.  That tithe should go to the church.  Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and prove me now in this, says the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."                

I cannot emphasize this strongly enough.  You are not right with God financially and He will not bless you with true spiritual blessings unless you are giving a tithe of your income to the budgeted ministries of your local

church.                 

So I believe the first and most important financial goal for every Christian is that we give in obedience to God by giving at least 10 percent of all God enables us to make!* 

2. SAVE IT SOME WAY.

 

The old rule of thumb that use to work so well for our grandparents was this formula, 10 percent to the Lord, 10 percent for ourselves, 80 percent to live on.

Unfortunately, our generation has lost the discipline of saving money.  Let me tell you why you need to rediscover it. 

               One of the greatest practical lessons I have ever learned in my life is the lesson of compound interest.  I learned a rule a long time ago; one you ought to know if you don’t already know.  It’s called the "RULE OF 72."  You take any interest rate, divide it into 72 and that will tell you how many years it will take for your money to double.  If you invest $1000 and it gains 12% interest, that means that you're money will double every six years.  Interest can either work for you or it can work against you. 

3. MAKE IT EVERYDAY.

 

You might think that nothing would need to be said here.  But I have learned over the years that some people, even Christians live with a welfare mentality when it comes to money.  Some believe that the world owes them something.  Some act as if it is someone else’s responsibility to provide for them.  I have watched with amazement as grown adults live like parasites expecting their parents or the government to keep them up.

The bible says, “if a man does not work neither should he eat.”  And, “if a man does not provide for his own household, he is worse than an infidel.”

 

So another financial goal ought to be, “Get a job, work my job, keep my job.”

 

4. ADD IT BY SUBTRACTING DEBT.

 

               Now the problem that too many people have is that they are in financial bondage.  They are chained by the handcuffs of debt.               

Now I want to make sure you clearly and carefully understand what debt means, and what being in debt entails.  You are in debt if any of the following three things are true about you: 

1.  You owe money that you cannot repay.

2.  You owe so much money that you cannot give a tithe to your church and beyond that an offering to other things.

3.  You owe so much money that you cannot save any of it. 

If any of the three things are true for you then we need to ask what goal should be set?

Now I realize that the main reason some of you cannot seem to get out of debt is that you owe so much that you cannot free up enough money to pay your debts. 

Let me give you one simple goal concerning debt removal.  Begin by removing your smallest debt first.  Set a goal that you will pay any extra money you earn, are given, or save toward your smallest debt. 

If you do this in a few weeks to a few months you can remove at least one debt.  Then go to work on the next smallest debt following the same principle.  In time, you will compound your extra funds increasing the amount you are able to use to payoff debts.

It is important that you also set a goal to stop spending using credit for this to happen!

            These are challenging financial goals.  But if you are willing to accept them, and appropriate them into your life, your life could change financially in 2006.

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