A believer and his finance (Part 1)
Joke: A man brought a brand new Ferrari car and parked it in on the main road in front of his office to show it off to his colleagues. As he was getting out of the car, a truck comes speeding too close to the car and takes off the door before zooming off. The man gets very angry, takes out his mobile and calls the police. The police arrives and immediately calls the ambulance. The man starts screeming, “My car, my Ferrari. It is ruined. No matter how they repair, it will never be the same again.”
The police said, “Hey man, you are so focused on your possessions that you don’t notice anything else in life.” The man shouts to the police, “How can you say such a thing at a time like this?” The police replies, “Didn’t you realize that your right arm was torn off when the truck hit you?” This man looks down in horror and says, “Oh! My God, my Rolex watch.”
Money is one thing that always continues to dominate the media.
We hear about inflation, global slowdown, debts, failed investments, job loss all the time. Subrata Roy and Vijay Mallya’s debts have been in the headlines even today. The Bible speaks a lot about money and Jesus in fact spoke more about money in his teachings and parables. I really believe finance has a tremendous bearing upon your spiritual life and fruitfulness
Money, itself, is amoral.
It’s not good, and it’s not bad. But depending on how it is used, it either becomes good or becomes bad. In this series I want to show you God’s standards for the Christian’s finances in five categories: The right to possess money. The reason you don’t have money. The way to possess money. Pitfalls of loving money. The way to use money.
1. The right to possess money
a. Finance – All wealth belongs to God.
Haggai 2:8 // ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. God was talking about all of the nations of the world and He was saying, “All of their silver and all of their gold is really Mine.” So it’s all God’s.
b. Finance – God gives the ability to produce wealth.
Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
1 Chronicles 29:12 // Wealth and honour come from you.
1 Corinthians 4:7 // What do you have that you did not receive?
So all money is God’s. That’s basic. Now, God also gives men the power to gain money.
1 Timothy 6:17 // Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
God gives us richly all things to enjoy. So God, the possessor of all wealth, is willing to grant some to us. Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, they were all extremely wealthy men. Even Israel was rich.
Isaiah 2:7 // Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures.
So God has designed to grant that power to gain wealth to men.
2. Reason you don’t have money
Proverbs 28:22 The stingy are eager to et rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them.
Proverbs 11:24 KJV // There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; (One who scattered is the farmer, but he increases in harvest.) and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
NIV One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
Joke: Paul and his wife lived in the country. Paul was very stingy and hated spending money. One day a fair came to the nearby town. “Let’s go to the fair, Paul,” his wife said, “We haven’t been anywhere for a long time.” Paul thought about this for a while. He knew he would have to spend money at the fair. At last he said, “All right, but I’m not going to spend much money. We’ll look at things, but we won’t buy anything.” They went to the fair and looked at all the things to buy. There were many things Paul‘s wife wanted to buy, but he would not let her spend any money.
Then, in a nearby field, they saw a small airplane. “Fun flight!” the notice said, “Rs. 500/- for 10 minutes.” Paul had never been in an airplane and he wanted to go on a fun flight. However, he didn’t want to have to pay for his wife, as well. “I’ve only got Rs. 500,” he told the pilot. “Can my wife come with me for free?”
The pilot said , “I’ll make a bargain with you. If your wife doesn’t scream or shout, during the flight both of you can have a free flight.” Paul agreed, and got into the small airplane with his wife. The pilot took off and made his airplane do all kinds of things. At one moment it was flying upside down. When the plane landed, the pilot said, “O.K. your wife didn’t make a sound. Both of you can have a ride free ride.” Thank you,” Paul said. “it wasn’t easy for her, you know, especially when she fell out.”
Maybe you violated the principle of hastiness. You got in a big hurry. Well, you know, some people get all excited and all energetic, and they see something they want it then.
Proverbs 21:5 // The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Be patient. Don’t be hasty in spending your money.
You know what you have to do with your money but you are stubborn. People say, “I have learnt. I worked hard, have a salary. I will do what I want to do with my money because even if I overspend next month I have my salary coming.”
Proverbs 13:8 NASB // Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects instruction
Proverbs 20:13 // Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread. Get up. That’s half the battle.
Proverbs 23:21b // Drowsiness clothes them in rags.
If you don’t have enough money, maybe you’ve been indulgent.
Proverbs 23:21 // For drunkards and gluttons become poor
Proverbs 28:19 // Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
KJV He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough. He who pulls off some shady deal will have poverty in plenty.
Listen, God wants you to have money.
He wants you to have enough to live and have all your needs, and He wants to give you more than that, so you’ll have a margin to be available for emergency, giving to the poor and needy, and also using it for God’s work other than our regular giving. And if you don’t have enough, then you need to backtrack and find out what’s wrong. You have violated a scriptural principle or maybe God is bringing you through a time of tightness to test your faith.
Now let me go a step further. There are, in the Bible, certain Biblical principles that are designed to increase a man’s money. Now, when I tell wealth, I’m not talking about being a rich man. I’m just talking about the term wealth as it’s used biblically. Now, there are some Biblical principles in order that a man might gain a measure of wealth. You say, “What are they?
Proverbs 14:23 // All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
God had designed that labor issue in a measure of wealth and prosperity. God has given us work in order that we might gain. Many people are itching for things but are unwilling to work. We need to work, or not eat! There are some who are obviously disabled and need help, but if you are healthy and able there is no excuse from working.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 // For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
Not only work, save. Proverbs 21:20 // In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
Living Bible The wise man saves for the future. The foolish man spends whatever he gets. You know what a wise man does? He sets aside some of his treasure and some of his oil…for the unexpected. Do you know what the fool does? He swallows it all up.
Always operate on a margin.
You’re actually presuming on the grace of God hoping He’ll meet your need. For example, instead of buying a nice little phone people go and buy an I phone 6 or 7. Now, if you have the means you must go for it, not if you have to use your entire salary for one. You say, “Well, God will provide.” So what if the crisis comes, you presume on God to provide or borrow for your foolishness.
David said: Psalm 19:13 // Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins. Those kind of sins that are illustrated in Matthew chapter 4 when Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and said, “Cast Yourself down, and then God will have to save You.” And Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’” Don’t put yourself in a situation that you’ve gotten into by your foolishness, and then demand that God extricate you. That’s presumption. That’s sin.
Illustration: If you save Rs. 1500/- a month for 1 year with a bank interest of 8% at the end of the year you have Rs. 19500/- with bank interest. 5 years you have deposited Rs. 90000/-, gained an interest of Rs. 23000/-. Just Rs. 1500/- maybe the cost of a meal for 4 in a good restaurant.
Proverbs 13:11 // He who gathers money little by little make it grow.
Now, what you do mean by plan? Well, plan means to have a budget. Keep records so you know where you are. You know whose money you’re handling? It’s God’s money. You say, “Oh, but I give Him His money, His tenth.” Now, wait a minute. Since God has given you wealth, even the remaining money belongs to him. So we need to be careful how we spend the money.
If most of us were the finance minister and we were to handle the government’s money the way we handle our money now, we would land up in jail. This is how most of us handle our salaries. No planning, just splurging for our own comfort and desires.
This can be handled if we have records or budget.
Proverbs 27:23-24 // Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.
You oughta know how many flocks you have. You oughta know what condition they’re in, because your money’s not gonna last forever, and you need to know where you are at all times.
Proverbs 24:3-4 // Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. That’s basic. So you not only work, but you save.
d. Clear your debts ASAP.
Owe no man nothing. Romans 13:8 // Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another. The only debt you ought to have is love. Just don’t get in any other debt. You know what happens when you owe somebody something? Now, I’m not talking about when you’re making your payment on your house. However, even when you take home loans and others loans do it with great calculation and plan to finish it as early as possible.
However if you are in the habit of borrowing money, you will never have money or gain money. Even the rich become poor if you borrow. That is a clear Biblical principle. This is exactly what happened to Subrata Roy of Sahara Group and Vijay Mallya of the Kingfisher group. Times of India came up with an article on March ‘Investing lessons from Mallya.’ It said: Don’t let emotions dictate. Overconfidence ruins. Don’t live on debt. Review performance, change course. Don’t give into herd mentality. Don’t do things just because others are doing it.
Psalm 37:21 // The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.
Proverbs 22:7 // The borrower is servant to the lender
Illustration: If you borrow Rs. 1500/- a month for 1 year with a bank interest of 15% at the end of the year you have to pay Rs. 25000/- with bank interest where as you have taken Rs. 18000/-. In 5 years you have taken same Rs. 90000/-, and paying an interest of another Rs. 90000/-. You end up being enslaved to the bank by paying almost a laky extra and how many months salary is it?
And I’ll tell you something. When you become the slave to some financial situation…you violate a Biblical principle. 1 Corinthians 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.
e. Don’t Loan money
Psalm 15:5 // Who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
If you have money, don’t become a loan company either for interest or to help anyone. When you give, give without expecting it back. Luke 6:35 Do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get back anything.
You say, “Well, what about if a person comes to me and says, ‘I have a need here. I want some money.'” And you say, “Well, that’s not a necessity.” If it’s not a necessity, don’t give him the money. You say, “Well, what if he comes and he says it is a necessity?” Then don’t loan it to him either. Give it to him what you can as a gift and don’t expect to get it for return.
1 John 3:17 // If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
f. Do not cosign
Proverbs 17:18 // One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.
Study found that 50% of those who cosigned for bank loans ended up making the payment. Seventy-five percent of those who cosigned for finance company loans ended up making the payments!
Conclusion: God has given us principles to have money and use money. It is not the one who has a fat salary who has wealth but it is the ones who put these principles into practice. This will enable that we have money for our expense, money to give to God in our tithes and offerings and also sufficient money for emergency and unforeseen need.
Now, Pastor you say, “I’m so glad God wants me to have it, but He doesn’t really understand my situation, because I never have enough. I am facing a severe financial situation now” Listen, when you don’t have enough, let me ask you.
a. Do you need more? Is it a need or want?
b. Did I already misuse what He gave me? Ask God for forgiveness.
c. Have I violated Biblical principles of finance?
d. Is God testing my faith? Then you pray and wait until God give a breakthrough.