Where is ‘God’ in Your Spending?
February 9, 2020 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Psalm 37:21)
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
A. February is Financial Stewardship month – Financial Freedom
B. There is a freedom that most Christians do not know about
1. A freedom from covetousness – obsession with having things - which is idolatry
2. A freedom from financial debts (credit cards, car loans, payday loans, etc)
3. A freedom from worry about money
4. And a freedom to be able to give money away without thought or fear
C. It is part of learning to trust in God’s ways, in God’s care – to rely on God’s instructions, and not your own understandings – to obey Him as he directs your path AND your spending!
D. If you do not master your spending, the devil will
1. Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
2. Wasting countless years of income on nothing of value
a. Smoking – a pack of cigarettes is between €12 to €16 each = €4,400 a year. People on social welfare start at about €11,000 a year (almost half is going for cigarettes)
b. How about drink? Average of €20 a week spent = €1,000 per year down the toilet
c. Gambling? There is approximately €10,000 per minute spent on Lotto tickets and gambling everyday. Ireland has the third highest per capita rating in the world for losses in gambling. Last year Ireland’s losses from gambling totalled up to be over €2.1 billion. That’s €470 per person thrown away!
d. And RELIGIONS and CULTS (2Peter 2:1-3) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
3. Haggai 1:5-7 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
E. This morning I want to teach you about earning money, spending it wisely, and making sure that you make the Gospel part of your budget, so that the devil doesn’t use it for HIS kingdom anymore!
1. There are some amazing conferences and seminars and books and programmes that can help every one of us to get good at managing our money instead of being burdened by it
2. Financial management programmes
3. I can’t teach at that level
4. So I am going to try to get you to WANT to learn more, and WANT to be free
a. So that you can be free from debt
b. So that you CAN give, in the same way that God has given to you!
A. What people normally spend their money on…
1. Rent/Mortgage – couch, room, flat, apartment, house, etc
2. Transportation/Petrol (bus, bike, motorbike, car)
3. Health Insurance (VHI)
5. Gym membership
6. Entertainment – music streaming, netflix, hulu,
7. Car loan
9. ESB Electricity
10. Credit Card repayments
11. Bank charges
13. Eating Out
14. Your child's school needs
15. Car repairs
16. Heating Oil or Gas
17. Mobile Phones
20. Healthcare – vitamins, special diets
21. Beauty products
B. No mention of the amount that people pay to the Revenue every day of the year
1. 20% of €35,000 / €44,000
2. 40% for all above that
C. And no one mentions the 10% (the tithe) that belongs to God
D. What we do with our money matters to God, and to us!
1. You probably are mumbling, God should stay our of my wallet
2. But I am here to tell you that MONEY is just as much a part of the Christian’s life as reading your Bible, is and soul-winning, and prayer, and getting to church every service
III. Message - Where is God in Your Spending?
A. We Are Stewards of the Kingdom of God
1. Everybody is all in on being “stewards” (managers) of the environment – managing it, and taking good care of it
2. And everybody believes it is important to be good stewards of our health – so people work out and walk a lot and try and eat healthy
3. But we Christians are responsible for so much more
a. We are responsible for the entire world hearing the Gospel – we are!
b. We are responsible for starting Bible believing churches everywhere
c. We are responsible for each other – caring for each other’s needs, praying for one another, loving one another
d. And we are responsible for what we do with our money
4. You see, nothing is ours – we are just stewards of what we have – last week’s message
5. We need to get good at managing what God has given us – not wasting any of it!
B. Right Priorities Make Things Easy
1. Start with God, and work down – the Tithe
a. The Bible never says that tithing stopped at the Cross.
b. Now, it doesn’t say we’ll go to hell if we don’t tithe, but the tithe is clearly a scriptural command from God. In fact, in Malachi 3:10, God actually promises to bless us if we faithfully tithe from our income.
c. So, set aside 10% of your income, and give it to God
1) If you made €25 this week, €2.50 belongs to God
2) If you received €300 this week, €30 belongs to God
3) If you received €1,000 this week, €100 belongs to God
4) No matter how much or how little you make – the first 10% of it belongs to God
d. The government takes 20% of you income right at the start!
e. THEN takes 23% of the price of everything you buy
f. Tell me – who are you allowing to be greater? GOD, or our Government?
g. Proverbs 3:9,10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. [NOT FERMENTED WINE but NEW JUICE]
h. To honour means to let Him lead, be in charge of your THINGS, your possessions
i. Give to God the first payment of every paypacket
j. And God repays you with more than you start with
2. Live on 90%, not 120%
a. Ireland’s debt in 2006 stood at €43.7 billion and was then the second-lowest in the euro zone. By the end of this year, the debt is forecast to reach a little above €203 billion. And that is down from a level of €215.6 billion at the end of 2013.
b. What does that mean?
1) €80b was taken in taxes last year by Revenue
2) But it is not enough. The government is paying out about a billion euros MORE per month than it takes in = The Dail spends 20% more than it takes in
3) That is like you and me getting paid €300 a week, but paying out €360, by using our credit cards and borrowing from friends all the time!
4) You cannot keep doing that!
c. So, The first bill you pay is to God
1) Use it as your tithe
2) Use some of it to take care of the poor as we see
3) But give it to God – It is HIS
d. And then the remainder is what you and I live on
e. Can you imagine a government living on LESS than it takes in?
3. What are the Seven Financial Priorities of a Christian?
a. The Kingdom of God
1) Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
2) That means making sure there is preaching and teaching of this Bible everywhere by taking care of your church, and of missionaries and buying tracts and running Childrens Bible Clubs and so on – all so that people get saved!
b. Getting OUT of Debts
1) Psalm 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
2) Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
3) That does not mean you can’t get into a debt – purchase a house, or purchase something on a credit card.
4) It does mean that if you do, your highest priority is to get OUT of that debt and pay it all off as soon as possible
a) So that you are free from lenders – and from paying unbelievable interest rates
b) So that you can invest and make money with your money – instead of give money to other people who are making money with YOUR money
c) So that you are free again to give away money – when God leads you to – instead of always feeling guilty because you have none to give away!
6) So, never use your credit card unless you can pay it right off
c. Your Family
1) YOU are supposed to pay for your family’s needs – not the government
2) God made you responsible for them
3) 1Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
4) 1Timothy 5:16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
5) Save back money to give to your grandchildren when they get married!
d. Your Church
1) It is not the government’s job to pay our bills and our staff as a body of believers
2) In Germany it is. In Sweden it is. In Italy it is. In Spain it is. They pay churches to be open. But not in the Bible!
a) 1Cor 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
b) 1Timothy 5:17,18 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
3) Take care of your pastor by honouring him with your encouragement, and by paying him for the work that he does in this church
e. The Poor
1) 1John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
2) Christians are responsible for taking care of truly poor people
f. The Government – your taxes. Even Jesus paid taxes!
1) We are responsible for paying for our national defense, our leaders, and services
g. Yourself LAST
1) Goes against EVERYTHING our culture teaches today
2) It is NOT that you shouldn’t spend any money on yourself, but you are supposed to spend the least on yourself compared to what you spend on the Gospel, and on your family, and on the needs of your neighbours
C. Earn Your Money
1. There are six ways to get money
a. Charity – people’s compassion on you
b. Getting an Inheritance
c. Thievery – stealing money
d. Finding it
1) On the ground
2) In machines, leftover change
3) In the couch, or in the car
e. Working for it
f. And investing your money
2. The normal way is to… Get a job - Labour with your hands
a. Sweat, ache, struggle, wear yourself out doing hard work!
b. No shortcuts
c. As a matter of fact, WORKING hard is the best way to have good health
d. Laziness kills people dead
e. And is a sin!
f. 2Thes 3:10,11 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
g. Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
h. Ecc 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
i. 1Cor 4:11,12 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it
j. 1Thes 4:11,12 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
k. If you’re not working, you’re not right with God (1Timothy 5:8) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
l. Maybe you can’t work, or can’t find a job right at the moment, but you can be working, busy, active, helping someone else! You don’t have to be employed to work! But you do have to work! And if you have bills to pay, you have to work then!
D. Contentment is King
1. If you never learn to be content, you will dig yourself into ever deeper slavery
2. We are commanded to be content with what we have right now
a. Do you have a wife, or a husband? Seek not to be divorced
b. Are you single, or divorced, seek not a wife or a husband
c. Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
3. 1Timothy 6:6-10 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
4. 2Cor 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
5. David had a problem with contentment – ended up with SEVEN wives.
6. Solomon never found contentment – 700 wives!
7. It is rare to find a contented person – yet THAT is our calling!
E. Make a Budget and Live by It
1. Governments need budgets – serious limits to what they spend
2. So do its people
3. What does a Christian budget look like?
4. It is an agreed upon LIMIT that you make on what you will spend on things
a. How much you are going to spend on coffee during the week
b. And then only spending that much and no more!
c. How much you will spend on clothes – yeah boy!
d. How much you will spend on groceries
e. On movies
f. On eating out
g. On toys
h. On holidays
i. On birthday gifts, etc
5. It is a method of keeping you from wasting your money so that you have something to invest in the kingdom of God
a. Keep track of what you spend every day for a month
b. Then adjust your spending so that you have not spent all your money
c. There are ways to spend your money wisely
F. Why Do All This?
1. So that you have money left over at the end of every week or month!
2. So that you can save back some money
3. So that WE have money to give away, so that souls to hear the Gospel! Christians spend so much money on THIS world, and so little on souls
a. A Bible believing church needs money to produce and print Gospel Tracts
b. So that we can hold Bible Clubs and Teen Activities
c. So that we can support Missionaries who are going or are already somewhere
d. So that we can all meet together in a warm dry place
e. So that we can expand and build a Christian school one day
4. Jesus said we need to invest in treasures in heaven – by giving money away to people who cannot ever pay you back!
5. So that we experience the greater joy of GIVING instead of getting
6. For your local church to be HERE and to stay HERE
a. A lot of what we do as a church costs MONEY
b. Did you know that I have done everything for you all for FREE for the past 25 years
c. 2Co 11:7-9 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
d. It is time you start tithing so that this church can save back money to pay for its own pastor one day
7. Most of all, you wisely manage your money so that you can to be FREE from bondage of debt and covetousness
A. Where is God in your spending?
B. Where is God at all in your life?
C. Your spending habits will often reveal who your God truly is
1. Either your god is yourself
2. Or it is all your lenders and creditors that you are constantly in debt to
3. Or your God is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself
4. You cannot serve more than one God
D. We Are Stewards of the Kingdom of God – of what God has given us to do
E. If you do not master your spending, the devil will
F. Make the Gospel part of your budget, so that the devil doesn’t use it for HIS kingdom anymore!
1. Right Priorities Make Things Easy
2. Earn Your Money – don’t rely on the Government for it
3. Poverty Does Not Affect Our Giving
4. Contentment is King
5. Make a Budget and Live by It
G. Because the only thing in life that is free, is Salvation
H. And it cost God everything to be able to give it to you