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Biblically Based Money Management Planning

Money is Good!

 

Money and Culture

“Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant.” -P.T. Barnum

Law of Unity: Matthew 18:19-20
“If two of you shall agree on earth about whatever you ask, it will come to pass and be done for you by My Father in heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered together in My name, there I AM in the midst of them.”

Whatever your current situation, you are there because either willingly, or by forceful circumstances, you came into agreement with influential powers surrounding your life. Before we can change present financial conditions we need to analyze how we got here? For some, present conditions may be “in debt” or simply living paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps “here” is living comfortably month to month, with a retirement plan, and even a savings account, but no dynamic plan to really operate “abundantly above and beyond all we can ask or think.” Even obedient tithers are often caught unexpectedly and have little excess to give or donate to Great Commission callings. Even fewer are able to answer those callings personally. Let’s consider the lifestyle of the not so rich or famous American-Christian. If greed and fear are truly the primary motivators of our culture’s corporate mind-set, we can easily define what attitudes and actions influence our society. This table contrasts the stages of two distinct lifestyles.

American Christian Christian American

Money measures our self-worth

Money is A passport to Happiness

Money is a Measure of Success

Money is the Foundation for Security

Christ has made us worthy, valuable

Our relationship in Him = Happiness

Spiritual growth determines success

He is our Source, Comforter, and Counsel

When we pray in agreement with God for our financial wisdom, His power is released to intervene. We must sign each request-check with “In the name of Jesus Christ,” just as we sign a check for an amount to anything. The request is not honored at the bank unless our signature is on the check. God is obligated to honor our request when we ask anything according to His will in the name of Jesus, His Son. Also, once we sign a check we do not say, ” Boy, I hope that check clears!” We sign the check with confidence that the funds are there to cover the need. That is the same way we should expect our prayers to be covered by God when we sign in Jesus’ name.

The Battle for Your Mind

“Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.” James 1:17

“He has given us all things pertaining to life and Godliness.” 2nd Peter 1:3

As a system of exchange for goods or services in our culture, Money is Good. The Bible teaches us that the Love of Money is the root of evil. God created all things for our good. When we exalt those things above our Creator and His purpose in our lives, they become evil. In our culture we seldom consider money, talent, or gift as the same concept. However, because of the culture in which Jesus ministered, He taught parables interchanging these words to impact change in the lifestyles of those He reached. In his search for Motives concerning money and the heart, He encountered a greater number of people whereby they did not have money- Money had them. In His parable of the Seed, Jesus taught, “These are they that fell to the earth and sprang up, but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of riches (NOT riches themselves), and the desires for other things came in and choked the Word, making it unfruitful.” Such controlling relationships, in addition to Money-to-Greed, could be Food-to-Gluttony, Toys-to-Idols, Fashion-to-Vanity, and Friendships-to-Manipulation. Each of these items alone is a blessing and not evil in themselves, but when given over to compulsion and obsession, they become SIN. Let’s examine how a concept develops into a lifestyle of self-consumption and sin.

Exercise: Select an initial concept or idea and develop it toward a lifestyle outcome.

Concept: an Idea

Healthy- (example-Credit Card)

 

Unhealthy (Credit Card Debt)

Attitude: Mindset of thought or opinion

Healthy

 

Unhealthy

Action:

Healthy

 

Unhealthy

Habit:

Healthy

 

Unhealthy

Lifestyle:

Healthy

 

Unhealthy

With healthy concepts to lifestyles, our riches are used to serve those in need, not satisfy our own lusts for power, image, or material excess. Many people are complacent with a concept of “us four and no more.” The movement for the Great Commission would have never evangelized the world if the Disciples had shared that narrow view. They worked together so that there would always be excess to give liberally to those who were oppressed. They gave into others lives to encourage and equip them to “go and do likewise.” Our society has nurtured the concept that standards are met at minimum requirements. “What’s the least I have to do to get accepted-pass this course-get a raise-be a member-stay married-pay taxes-pay my tithe?” We often boast. “That’s the least I could do,” to which the unspoken response is, “and we can count on you for doing the least!”

If, however, we are to follow Jesus’ example, He asked that we do everything “as unto the Lord:” courses, jobs, membership, taxes, relationships, and especially offerings and tithes. The widow’s mite was a sacrificial gift in thanksgiving for all the Lord meant to her. Some people can pay their tithe and not feel a shortage. She felt the full impact. God did not give the minimum requirement concerning our salvation and covenant. He gave the Maximum. When paying tithes we should consider if we would like the hundred-fold return on the gross income, or simply the net income? That question often brings light to our motives and perspective. We should give out of obedience and expectation for a Heavenly return first, then our material return.

As for rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s, our taxes are a privileged opportunity for us to bless our most underpaid servants in this society. Safety forces, Military forces, educators, governing officials each depend on tax dollars, not simply for salaries, but for the equipment and supplies vital to the quality of service they are able to provide for us. If we cheat on our tax dollars, for example, that deficit effects the quality of equipment a fire department uses to rescue our children at their school. We not only cheat “the system,” we cheat their ability to provide the best for our children and neighborhoods.

We really need to mature toward a more global, God-like perspective of the effect our monetary concept has on the big picture. We teach generation after generation to beat the system, don’t do anymore than you have to, get all you can, with a Handout, poor mouth mentality. In great contrast, our heritage was founded on sacrifice, self-denial, no work-no eat, learn all you can, do or die, whatever it takes to win mentality. Instead of being part of the solution as our ancestors of the Faith were, we have become part of the problem. In our lust for the things of this world we have failed to recognize that lusts can never be satisfied. We become entangled as carnal, material believers with newer, bigger, faster, more, most, best! Too often the opposite is true: having a newer wife may not be better; a bigger house gives close families “more personal space”; a faster car may be deadly; having the most clients may result in stress problems; having the best ministry may nurture pride.

Examining personal motives and concepts is crucial to the successful outcome of our financial quest. Whatever we set ourselves in agreement with for personal goals and attitudes will likely “come to pass.” Therefore, it is imperative that we set our spirit, soul (mind), and body in agreement with God’s laws and principles concerning wealth and riches, not society’s.

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