Money Matters
Description

Summary: Solomon, the richest man in the world, made this observation: "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings - they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." Prov. 23:5

"MONEY MATTERS"

MONEY - it is the most important value in American society, it is absolutely essential for existence, it is one thing almost everyone wishes they had more of, it is the subject which causes more family arguments than all others combined. Solomon, the richest man in the world, made this observation: "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings - they fly away as an eagle toward heaven." (Prov. 23:5 kjv) Or, as the "modern philosopher" said: "That money talks, I’ll not deny, I heard it once, it said, ’Good-bye.’"

The subject of money is mentioned numerous times in the book of wisdom. But is money good or evil? It is neither! However, our attitude toward money, and our use of money, can be good or evil, according to God’s Word.

So even before we turn to see what Proverbs has to say about "money matters," let’s seek to answer the question: "What is a ’Christian attitude’ toward money?"

Let me mention four key attitudes:

1. "God is the source of all our resources"

*James 1:17 "Every good gift and

every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."

In *John 3:27 John the Baptist said,

"a man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from above."

In *Deut. 8:17, 18 Moses warned,

"[Beware, lest you]say in your heart, ’My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers as it is this day."

So praise God for every resource you have. They all come from Him and thus belong to Him.

2. "We are the stewards of God’s property"

*Luke 16:1&2; 10-12 "And He [Jesus] also said to His disciples: ’There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ’What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous money, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?"

God will indeed hold us accountable for how we use that which He has entrusted to us. This applies both to material and spiritual resources.

*1 Cor. 4:1&2 "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful."

3. "Our most important investments are heavenly"

*Mt. 6:19-21 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Our responsibility is not to "lay up" a

great fortune on earth, but to invest all our resources (time, talent and treasure) on that which will last forever. What one "earthly thing" is everlasting? PEOPLE! Let’s invest in "heavenly treasures" - the salvation, growth and blessing of PEOPLE!

*Prov. 13:7 (nkjv) "There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches." (heavenly treasures)

4. "We should trust God to provide for all our needs"

*Mt. 6:31-33 "Therefore do not worry,saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the unbelievers seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

God has committed Himself to provide for the necessities of His children. If we are poor, we must believe God will keep His Word. If we are well-off, we must never trust in our riches, but always trust in the One who provided them.

*Heb. 13:5 "Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have for He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you or forsake you.’"

*Prov. 10:3 "The Lord will not allow the righteous one to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked."

*Prov. 30:8 (b+c niv) "give me neither poverty or riches, but give me only my daily bread."

Before we can ever hope to please God financially, we must have the "right attitudes."

1. "God is the source of all our resources"- an attitude of gratitude

2. "We are the stewards of God’s property"

-an attitude of faithfulness

3. "Our most important investments are heavenly"

-an attitude of eternal values

4. "We should trust God to provide for all our needs"

-an attitude of faith

With these four attitudes in our

hearts, let’s look at some "practical applications" from the book of wisdom:

*MONEY - How to get it, how to keep it, and how to use it!

I. MONEY - HOW TO GET IT

A. Through Hard Work

Prov. 14:23 niv "All hard work leads to profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."

Prov. 10:4 niv "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth."

B. With Honesty and Integrity

Prov. 13:11 niv "Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."

Prov. 20:17 niv "Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel."

Prov. 10:9 niv "The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out."

C. By depending on GOD

Prov. 11:28 niv "Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but he righteous will thrive like a green leaf."

Prov. 28:25 niv "A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper."

So this is not a "get-rich quick" scheme, it is a long-term financial plan: "Work hard with honesty and integrity, depending on God for the results….and He will prosper you!"

II. MONEY - HOW TO KEEP IT

A. By not borrowing it

Prov. 22:7 niv "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

Rom. 13:8 "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law."(for depreciating items) - just the opposite of our society’s philosophy: "Buy it now and try to pay for it later."

B. By planning ahead

Prov. 21:5 niv "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty."

Prov. 30:25 niv (more ant wisdom:)"Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer."

(Budgeting - what you make, what you need; balance it, follow it!)

C. By not spending it unwisely

Prov. 6:1&2 niv "My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck your hands in pledge for another …you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth."

Prov. 11:15 niv "He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe."

i.e. Be very careful about loaning money, co-signing, and credit card use!

Instead, pray about every purchase:

Prov. 15:16 niv "Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil."

So, to keep your riches from "flying away like an eagle," don’t borrow; plan ahead; and don’t spend money unwisely.

How can we save money on things: Here’s my father’s wise advice: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!"

III. MONEY-HOW TO USE IT

A. Give it to God first

Prov. 3:9+19 nkjv "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine."

Mal. 3:10 "Bring the tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house."

1 Cor. 16:2 "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come, no collections will have to be made."

B. Give to meet the needs of others

Prov. 14:21 niv "He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy."

Prov. 29:7 niv "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern."

Prov. 19:17 niv "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done."

"Give as ’twas given to you in your need

Love as the Master loved you,

Be to the helpless a helper indeed,

Unto your mission be true." (Make Me a Blessing)

C. Save for the Future

Prov. 24:27 niv "Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house."

Prov. 13:22a niv "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children."

Experts say: at least 10% of our income should be saved for future needs, for our children’s education, for our retirement, for an inheritance for our children and grandchildren. Remember, the wise person plans for the future - both materially and spiritually. (Give gospel, if needed).

Eph 4:28 tells us why a Christian works so hard: "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need."- We work hard, not just to meet our own needs, but to have enough left over to GIVE to God’s work, to the needy and to our family.

Conclusion:

So, is money good or evil?

*If money is our god, it’s evil!

Mt. 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

*If we use our money for God, it’s good!

Phil. 4:16, 17 "for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account."

OR, TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY:

"If you love money and use people, that’s bad!"

"But if you love people and use money, that’s good!"

That’s why I believe God wants us to be FINANCIALLY FREE!

-We can be free from "the deceitfulness of riches" (Mt. 13:22) by working hard with honesty +integrity, depending on God for everything!

-We can be free from "the entanglement of debt" (1 Tim. 2:4) by not borrowing or spending foolishly, but planning ahead!

-We can be free from the love of money (1 Tim. 6:10) by giving it away: to God, the needy and our family (in that order!)

Jesus said, "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!" (Jn. 8:36)

*MONEY - it can be the root of all evil, or the fruit of all goodness. Let’s bear much "good fruit" to the glory of God the Gardener!

John 15:8 "This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Details