Jesus talked a lot about money, making it very clear that there is a right way and a wrong way to feel about money. The love of money, not the careful management of money, is the root of all evil! But we want to be people who handle money with wisdom, rather than being obsessed with money all the time! Money is simply a tool, not a goal. We need to always remember that money is a gift from God to be used for His glory and pleasure! Guard your heart in the area of money.
It is so easy when finances are tight, to think about money all the time. You daydream about winning the lottery (which you don't do because you DON'T gamble!!!!) or receiving an unexpected inheritance! That takes your focus off Jesus and His Kingdom and puts it on money! Be careful. Keep your "treasure" in Heaven! Wrap your hope and dreams around Jesus, not money!
God is generous and kind! It is His heart to bless us with good and perfect gifts! Know the character of your Heavenly Father! He longs to give you good things, meet needs and give you extra to give away! He is a Generous King!
We need to seek first the Kingdom of God in our finances. Start at the beginning!
Acknowledge that God owns everything! We are simply His stewards/financial managers. When we realize that nothing really belongs to us, we are apt to be more faithful in managing God's money! We put God first by tithing, obeying Biblical principles, and loving God more than our money.
God is our provider; so let Him provide! Wait on Him to provide miraculously before heading out in your own strength to get what you need. We talk about waiting on the Lord, but often we rush out and purchase things without praying―be honest, now! Pray about everything first, then shop!
You can't out-give God! Give and it will be given to you! He who lends to the poor lends to the Lord and He will repay! God is generous to us! When we give to others, we are like Him! God will give it to you, if He can get it through you!!!!!
Seek first the Kingdom of God; everything else will fall in place. This applies to our financial life! We can trust God to provide if we seek Him first!
Tithe! Tithe faithfully! Always tithe! Never stop tithing! I highly recommend giving God HIS 10% (or more!)! Everything is already His, so when we tithe, we are simply returning what already belongs to HIM!
We are to provide for our family"s health, nutrition, education, recreation and physical needs. These things cost money. We must budget to make sure there is money left at the end of the month. If we don't have a budget, money seems to "disappear"! Yikes!
We need to budget for the unexpected as well as the normal monthly bills. Set aside money for car repairs, replacing appliances, and other things that can catch us by surprise if we don't plan ahead. Use a budget worksheet or buy a Christian financial planning workbook. It is worth the time and effort to plan ahead.
Don't make planning a budget negative. We have gone out on a date and sat down after a delicious meal to make our budget. When there isn't enough money coming in through our paycheck, we make two budgets, our real one and the one we think we need. We live by the real one and pray for an increase in finances so we can live on the budget we believe we need. Three times, we have done this and each time, God has increased our income!
When we got married, Mike told me that we would never borrow money except to purchase a house and that we were too young and inexperienced to have a credit card (he was twenty-three and I was twenty-two!). I thought he was crazy, but I submitted to him because he was head of the house. Everyone I knew had a credit card and borrowed money for everything, cars, computers, appliances, and vacations.
Twenty-five years later, after counseling many couples who were in debt, I am so thankful that Mike was so very wise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We only borrowed money twice―each time to buy a house. When we reached our mid thirties, we got a credit card, which we pay off each month. Jesus has blessed me with a wise husband.
Debt puts such a strain on a marriage because you are always behind and it can feel hopeless. If you find yourself in debt, don't worry, you can get out of it. It will take commitment, patience, and hard work!
A Free Market Economy (capitalism) is one in which individuals, rather than governments, make decisions about economic activities, especially the transactions of goods and services for money. People decide who they will work for or, if they own a business, who they will hire. They decide how they will spend their money and how they will save it. A Free Market economic system allows the economy to take its natural up and down swings, without panic and intervention by the government.
Adam Smith, a Scottish economist who lived in the 1700's, wrote a book, Wealth of the Nations, that hypothesized that man, because of original sin and self-preservation, will act in his own best interest. If a man has to work to eat, he will go ahead and work. Conversely, many men, if given a free ride, will take the free ride. In a Free Market, the government makes laws, enforces them, and maintains diplomatic ties with other nations. The government does not provide welfare, social programs, or excessive regulations for businesses.
In a Socialist economic system, the government makes all decisions regarding the economy. It "regulates" the interest rate, provides social welfare programs, and limits the autonomy of business. In a completely Socialist nation, the government owns all capital (wealth in the form of money or property).
In the Bible, the authority to run businesses is given to the individual. We are to work our businesses and provide for our families.
No matter what foolishness the government is up to, the Bible remains true. ALL hard work brings a profit. Not some, but all. If you are a homemaker who doesn't receive a paycheck, your hard work will still bring a profit. Work hard for the Lord, by faith, and just see what He does!
Inflation is simply the increase in the circulation of dollars. When the government prints and circulates more money, the value of the dollar goes down because there are more dollars in circulation. This causes prices to rise. The government controls how much money is in circulation, and, thus, the rate of inflation.
No matter what foolishness the government is up to, God will take care of His people. Invest in things that maintain their value, even when the government is inflating the economy. Do not be afraid in difficult financial times. Our future is in Christ, not this world's system!
A wise man saves for the near future and the distant future. We all want to save money for our retirement, our children's college education, and our family weddings. We also need to save for new cars, appliances, future car repairs, dental visits, braces, bookcases, school books, and vacations. It is good to put money aside a little each month in preparation for the near and distant future. Don't buy something on credit―save up for it!
If you are a Christian, you are abundantly rich. Your eternal retirement is taken care of forever! You will live in a gorgeous place where every need will be met and abundant provision will be yours! Every blessing you can imagine will be laid at your feet! If you go through difficult times, keep your eyes on the eternal and it will keep your mind thinking correctly. God will provide for His people! Don't forget this truth. There is no scarcity in the Kingdom of God!
© 2008 Meredith Curtis (adapted from Premarital Counseling Workbook by Mike & Meredith Curtis
& Jesus Fill my Heart & Home Bible Study Workbook)