Two weeks ago, 23 people from The Connection Church Go Team went on mission to Guatemala, all of them were of different income levels, and they will tell you, we are rich! We saw firsthand how people live with no hot water, no air conditioning, no cars, barely have medical care, and just barely what you would call a house. The amazing thing that moves us every time is, they seem pretty happy. By world standards, by the very fact that we are Americans, this means we are wealthy. So James message about money applies to us.
Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. James 5:1-2
The Misuse of Money
Challenge #1 – How I save it.
This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. James 5:3b
Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. James 5:2-3
Challenge #2 – How I secure it.
For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. James 5:4
Challenge #3 – How I spend it.
You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. James 5:5
Challenge #4 – How I steward it.
You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you. James 5:6
How to Manage My Money
Saving Well: Learn to be content with what you have.
The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get. Proverbs 21:20
Instead of saving money, the average American spends $1.33 for every dollar we make. A business won’t stay in business long that way.
Keys to saving money:
- Live on a margin.
- Put your security in the only thing that can’t be taken away from you
If you want to have real security, you’ve got to put your security in something that can’t be taken away from you. That is your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Good reasons to save money:
- Saving curbs the impulse urge.
- Saving lets me respond to needs around me.
- Saving puts me in charge of money, instead of money being in charge of me.
Securing it well: Easy come, easy go.
Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. Proverbs 13:11
There’s something sacred about a job well done.
Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Proverbs 14:23
How much money can I make? As much as I can…
Qualifications: …as long as it doesn’t hurt…
- My Health
- My Family – Your family doesn’t need more stuff, they need your time.
- Other People
- My walk with God
If you had just as much money as you had spiritual maturity, would you be rich or poor or somewhere in between?
Spending it well: Make a plan and work the plan.
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
The key: B-U-D-G-E-T
Stewarding it well: We unleash generosity!
Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25
Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20
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. Luke 16:9
Who will be on heaven’s welcome team for you?
On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. 1 Corinthians 16:2
New Testament Giving:
- Give Regularly (As often as you are paid)
- Give Proportionately (A set percentage, such as the 10% tithe)
- Give Generously (Give even more than you think is expected)
- Give Cheerfully (God loves a cheerful giver)
While we were in Guatemala, I saw one of our students, Skylar Ladden, quickly and caringly give his shoes away to Byron, a boy whose shoes were 3 sizes too small with his toes sticking out of them. This was giving to a specific need for the heart that inspired even more generous giving. If you want to live abundantly, you need to give abundantly!
Unmanaged finances may be a symptom of an unmanaged life. The first step is to surrender your whole life to Jesus and let Him have control of every part of your life.