Monday, August 4, 2008

More than a few people have asked me to publish a recent Bible study I gave on "Biblical Budgeting: How to handle your money." I trust this will be profitable for many who check this blog. Since I cannot assume that people know how to handle their money (even if you're a college student with not a lot of money!), I thought it wise to give some biblical principles to guide people in need of this important teaching:

Introduction
The importance of biblical stewardship
Materialism is not having nice things.
It is not driving a nice car, etc.
Materialism IS your attitude towards it all
It is not a possession issue, but an attitude issue.
The desire to want more.

Note these Credit Card Statistics (Source: Reader’s Digest, August, 2007)
Over 200 million credit cards used every day (691 million dollars total)
In 2001, over $670 billion charged on credit cards
In 2007, 1.8 trillion charged on credit cards
Presently, there is over $800 billion owed on credit cards.
There is an average 17% interest rate
There is an average of 5 credit cards per household
60% of people carry unpaid balances from month to month

“We will never handle anything less significant than money, nor more outwardly indicative of our inward spiritual condition” (Jim Rickard).

Matthew 6:21 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart
will be also.

Note: In 85% of divorces, the reason has something to do with money.
Whenever you value something too much, whatever happens to it happens to you. For example, if your car breaks down; then you break down.

Here are 2 worldly (sinful) attitudes regarding money:
1. Keep God out of it – it is mine anyway!
2. My ego is supreme and should rule!

Outline

I. LEARN TO BE A GIVER
a. 1 Corinthians 16:2 2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.
b. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
i. God set the example for us!: 2 Corinthians 8:9 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
c. Psalm 37:21 21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
d. Proverbs 3:9 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first of all your produce;

II. LEARN TO BE A SAVER
a. Proverbs 13:11 (ESV) 11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
b. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 7 Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
c. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.

III. LEARN TO SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN
a. Proverbs 21:20 20 In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
b. Don’t get into debt:
i. Conclusion to the article: “Ten Ways to Save Money” on the crown.org website: Debt-free living is still God's plan for His people today. The blessings of becoming debt free go far beyond the financial area. They extend to the spiritual and marital realms as well. No one who is financially bound can be spiritually free. The effects of financial bondage on a marriage relationship are measurable in the statistics of failed marriages. Therefore, God's people need to make saving money and debt freedom top priorities in their families.

IV. HAVE MONEY SAVED AWAY IN AN EMERGENCY FUND
a. 1 Timothy 5:8 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
b. Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, 7 Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, 8 Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provision in the harvest.
c. Proverbs 21:20 20 There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up à this is the principle of learning to save for the unexpected (cf. Prov 6:6-8).
i. Cf. Prov 27:23

V. DON’T FINANCE PLEASURE ITEMS
a. Proverbs 22:3 3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
b. Don’t take out debt for pleasure items à stereo, video games, clothes, etc.
i. 1 John 2:15-17 15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.a. Proverbs 22:3 3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
b. Don’t take out debt for pleasure items à stereo, video games, clothes, etc.
i. 1 John 2:15-17 15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
i. If you are in debt: read the article: “Getting Out of Debt” on the crown.org website.

Part 2 will follow tomorrow.

Source:

This outline for my Bible study was adapted from Jim Rickard's Stewardship Services ministry. Check it out here.

Also see Crown Ministries for a host of articles that may serve you in great ways!

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