Thursday, September 22, 2011

Handling Finances Faithfully

The Bible offers a lot of advice on how to handle your finances. running yoru checkbook God's way insures order and blessing over your finances. Below are some notes from a previous study on Stewardship.

Biblical Stewardship

I. Stewardship recognizes God is the source (and owner) of it all Luke 16.19-31; Lev 27; Ps 24.1Stewardship means that all "our" money really belongs to God and that he will hold us accountable as managers of his supply. Consider Psalme 24.1ff all that the earth contains is the Lords. Leviticus 27 speaks of tithing as more than a matter of giving to support the local ministry, it is a declaration of ownership. By giving to God the tenth portion (the first among ten) we declare God's ownership of all we have.

II. Stewardship requires Discipline in Spending Mt 25.14-30;Few of us have more than enough (though we are better off than we sometimes admit!) clothes, cars, homes, etc. But by the standards in the world we are rich. Disciplining ourselves is not something that Americans are good at but we must learn to say "no" to the wants we wrestle with. If we discipline ourselves with things like coupons, taking advantage of sales, and buying in quantity we will have more than enough.
III. Stewardship realizes that money can be used to build your faith Lk 16.10-13; 1 Tim 5.8; Mt 6.21; Pr 13.11; Pr 28.19f
Finances are a great place to buidl your faith. Your wallet is sometimes attached to your heart, when we lack often it is a heart problem that drives that hardship. Knowing Christ  by faith we must endeavor to expand our practical faith by living out the commands and disciplines of faithful stewardship. Since everything in the kingdom is by faith- it is not unthinkable that God would use money – or that lack of it- to stretch your faith

IV. Stewardship rejects Debt and borrowing money Ps 37.21 Mt 22.21; James 4.13-14; Luke 14.28-30; Pr 22.7; Rom 13.8
Danger- Debt is a poison that drags down the soul and the spirit. When we have a debt – as righteous people we are to pay it off – as testimony to God. We should be careful to not incur debts that do not appreciate. Most do not. Scripture teaches that we shouldn’t presume upon tomorrows supply- James 4.  We need to keep ourselves free of financial obligations- rather than be enslaved by the debts

V. Stewardship rejoices in Saving Pr 6.6-11; 21.20; 30.24f; 31.16
This is a heritage you can leave to your children! Scripture tells us to work while we have the energy- Go to the ant- store in the summer. You can take advantage of situations that come your way- without encumbering yourself in interest. I try to live by the 80/10/10 rule. Live off of 80%; give 10% to God ; Save 10% for the future

VI. Stewardship relishes giving 1 Cor 16.2; Ps 24.1 Mt 6.19-21; Gal 2.10; James 1.27; Pr 3.9-10; 2 Cor 8. 3-9
The Bible says so much about this that I will leave you to search it out completely. The scriptures above challenge us to  a regular giving pattern.. Biblical Giving 2 Cor 8.3-9 consists of
i. Regular weekly giving
ii. Joyful giving
iii. Proportional giving ie., 10% tithe
iv. Worshipful giving
v. Expectant giving

VII. Stewardship reaches beyond stuff to God for satisfaction Phil 4.19; Luke 12.15
Luke 12.15 says  "a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions"  to be truly satisfied we have to seek the Lord. Phil 4.19 tells us that the deepest security and significance come from God.. Be careful to seek the face and trust the hand of God (instead of seeking the hand…)

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