Dollars and sense part, pitfalls and purpose of finances
• What is your part concerning finances? • Which are the pitfalls brought on by finances?• What are the purposes of finances?
A. Clarify andaccept our part concerning finances.
My part is being a good steward andrecognizing I am not the owner.Here are four principles to become agood steward from Luke 14:28:
“Supposing that one of you wishes tobuild a tower, will he not first sit downand calculate the cost, to see if hehas enough money to finish it?”(Luke 14:28)
A. Set clear goals: The person alludedto in the passage had three goals. First,he wanted to be a builder. Second, hewanted to build towers. And third, hewanted to build one tower at a time. Doyou want to be a good administrator?Then you should set clear goals—specific goals you can reach.
b. Think first: Before building, the mansat down. Sitting down impliesthoughtfulness. He didn’t makeemotional, hasty, or irrevocabledecisions. The same counsel appliesto us. If we made financial decisionsmore calmly, there would be lesssuffering afterward.
c. Set a Budget: The text says: “Tosee if he has.” What a powerful phrase.The question is not, “How much do Ipay a month?” but, “How much does itcost?” A budget is what tells yourmoney where it should go, instead ofyou asking yourself where it went.
d. Always persevere: Many lives arefilled with projects begun, but rarelyfinished. Persevere, and discover theimmense joy of seeing somethingcompleted.
B. Be carefulabout the pitfalls concerning finances.
1. Don’t be seduced.But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth. Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.” (Job 36:18).
Seduction Questions:• Do you neglect your family because ofyour work?• Is it hard for you to leave your workbehind in the workplace?• Do you keep thinking of work, evenwhen you are vacationing or resting?• What do you think of first when youget up, and last when you go to bed?
• Do you think about work and financeswhen you pray, read the Bible, or are inchurch?• Did you choose your occupation,based on what you could earn?• Do you buy things you don’t need, justbecause they are on sale?
• When you go out to eat, do you eatmore when another person pays thetab?• Is having more money the object ofyour life?
2. Don’t put your trust in them.Proverbs 11:28 Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
3. Don’t pledge for another’s debt.“Do not be a man who strikes handsin pledge or puts up security fordebts; if you lack the means to pay,your very bed will be snatched fromunder you” (Proverbs 22:26, 27).
Money is neither moral nor immoral, neither good nor bad. It’s like a brick, which can be used to build a nice chimney or break thewindow of the neighbor who plays loud musicat 3 o’clock in the morning. The problem is not money, but how it’s used. It adopts the same characteristics as its owner and becomesmore of what he/she is. (More than Rich p. 5)
1.It should be saved.Proverbs 21:20 The wise storeup choice food and olive oil, butfools gulp theirs down.
When we save, we do three things: a. We’re preparing for the unexpected.b. We’re making sure our children will have a better chance for success. c. We’re obeying what the Bible commands.
2. It should be invested. Ecclesiastes 11:2 But divideyour investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.
3. It should be given.Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORDwith your wealth, with the firstfruitsof all your crops; 10 then your barnswill be filled to overflowing, and yourvats will brim over with new wine.
3. It should be given.A philanthropist once said: “I give mymoney with a shovel to God, and He does the same. But the interestingthing is that His shovel is a lot bigger than mine.” Givers first.
4. It should be enjoyed.“Moreover, when God gives any manwealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:19,
Conclusion: A promise from GodA commitment to God
“If they obey and serve him,they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment (Job 36:11).
“He left it all”Rockefeller’s accountantwhen asked how much he left when he died.