Money is a topic which gets peoples attention. Why? Its just green pieces of paper, right? Well, no its not. It represents our labor and our ability to supply our needs and wants in the future. The future aspect of this reality is the focus of our sermon today. We usually get paid once a week or twice a month. In between pay checks, at minimum, we need to be able to manage the money so that our families needs are met. If we simply spent all the paycheck money on soda and movies right after we cashed our check, how would be pay for the rent, or car insurance, or gasoline? This is pretty basic stuff, but Proverbs is warning us to plan ahead so that our needs will be met. Sadly, many people never learn this basic skill and so they struggle to keep an even keel on their financial ship. They are constantly tossed about by financial storms. Storms, that for many people who plan well, are simply not that big of a deal. Troubles come to all of us and money is not the solution to most of them. But, having a stable financial platform from which to navigate life makes daily living a whole lot less stressful. Today, lets explore a bit of what Proverbs has to tell us about managing money.
Proverbs 21:5 GNB - Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough.
Proverbs 21:20 GNB - Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it.
Proverbs 3:9,10 GNB - Honor the LORD by making him an offering from the best of all that your land produces. (Thats the tithe of first fruits. You did not give Him what was left over, that would not honor Him. You gave Him the first of the harvest, in recognition that without Him you would have nothing!) If you do, your barns will be filled with grain, and you will have too much wine to store it all.
Money represents wealth (stuff we need, food, shelter, clothing
In ancient times money was not used as much, because many people were subsistence farmers. They ate what they grew. They lived in what they built. They wore what they made.
In ancient Israel certain things were understood from Moses teaching and their history. The land of Israel was owned by God. He was their covering and was due honor via tithes and offerings for being so generous to them.
Proverbs mentions riches, grain, fruit, gold, silver, poverty, hunger, slavery, etc. These are all just other words for wealth or lack. In our world they are gotten through earning money and using it wisely, or lack due to not earning money or poor planning.
Trans: We are talking about money
What is money?
A medium of exchange
Green pieces of paper with no intrinsic value. It only has value because someone will take it in exchange for something of value.
A claim on a national economy. An economy is a big grocery bag of stuff made in that country.
A store of value.
Money is a tool. It provides a simplified way to manage wealth. Thats all it is!
What are the spiritual dangers of money?
Money can become too important. Some people think it can solve any problem. It cant. In fact, if money can solve the problem, its not a big problem.
Money, the pursuit of it, has ruined many peoples lives because they believed the devils lie that money would make them happy.
Money can be confused with Gods blessing. That is, the rich are Gods favorites. Entire theologies and churches have been built on this. But it is simply not true.
Money can be confused with my sense of personal worth.
Unearned money can cripple my growth. Some people get so much stuff from the government or inheritance without working for it; they have lost the connection between work and getting stuff. This is absolutely crippling. Why? Because if ever the money runs out they have not learned the skills to take care of their own needs through work.
Why should I manage money carefully?
Money is really easy to waste.
Money is central to our modern economic system. Most all of us need money for everything. We dont own our houses so we pay a mortgage, or rent, we dont grow our food we buy it
Careful money management gives a family the physical and emotional stability that allows them to flourish.
Consistent tithing (means a tenth) or giving is very challenging if not impossible without a plan to manage my money.
What are some of the basic things to do to manage money wisely?
Work diligently with a good attitude. If we are going to manage our money wisely, we must first have something to manage! (Pr 10:4, 5, 8, 11:2)
Plan ahead, have a budget - (Pr 21:5, 20) Having a simple budget, which you actually follow, insures that you spend your money on the most important things first.
Tithe / Giving (Pr 3:9-10) He blesses everybody who will let Him. The more in line we are with Him and His ways the greater the blessing.
Save for future needs and emergencies (Pr 6:6-8) Learn from the ants. They are not all that smart, but they store food for the winter during the summer.
Spend thoughtfully Any purchase that is out of the ordinary is worthy of some reflection. Any ordinary purchase that is habitually driven is also worthy of some reflection.
Money is neither good nor evil, it is simply a tool. However, how we use this tool says a great deal about our hearts. If we belong to Jesus then we cannot be a servant of money, we cannot love it more than we love Jesus. No man can serve two masters.
Proverbs teaches us how to use money in a wise way so that it can serve us and Gods Kingdom. No matter how much or how little we have we can always manage our money in wisdom and in ways that please God and care for our needs.
1) Have you ever used a monthly budget? Was it difficult for you to follow the plan?
2) Share with us a time when you struggled to make ends meet. How did you get through it?
3) In what ways has God blessed you that have nothing to do with money, but everything to do with your relationship to Him?