Pastor Steve Williams : How to Put God First in Your Finances

Escaping the Kingdom of Thingdom · 52:05 · Recorded March 5, 2017

How to Put God First in Your Finances

Proverbs 3:5-6, 9-10 (TLB) Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success…Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.

Grasping the PRINCIPLE of tithing

What it isn’t!

It’s an expression of priority.

Deuteronomy 14:23 (TLB) The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.

It’s an expression of gratitude.

1 Chronicles 29:11-14 (TEV) “Everything in heaven and earth is yours…All riches and wealth come from you…you are able to make anyone great and strong. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and we praise your glorious name. Yet my people and I cannot really give you anything, because everything is a gift from you, and we have only given back what is yours already.”

It’s an expression of responsibility.

Luke 16:10-11 (NIV)  “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

It’s an expression of love.

Developing the PRACTICE of tithing

1. Start by putting God first in your life.

Matthew 6:32-33 (NIV)  “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

2. Decide on an amount you can feel good about.

2 Corinthians 9:7; 8:12 (NIV)  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver…For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (HCSB)  “Because you didn’t serve the LORD your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an abundance of everything, you will serve your enemies the LORD will send against you, in famine, thirst, nakedness, and a lack of every-thing.

3. Establish a specific, regular giving habit.

1 Corinthians 16:2 (TLB) On every Lord’s Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn.

4. Rely on God’s help to manage your money.

5. Let your giving grow with your faith.

Tasting the PROMISE in tithing

Malachi 3:10 (CEV) “I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing.”

2 Corinthians 9:8, 10-11 (NIV) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Your needs will be supplied.

Your faith will be confirmed.

Your life will be enriched.

Because I want to put God first in my finances:
I’ll grow toward the tithe by giving back __% to God consistently.

I’ll give back a full tithe (10%) to God consistently.

I’ll go beyond the tithe by giving back __% to God consistently.

Signed: _______________________________

Study & Discussion Questions
  • Why do you think people are often uncomfortable with money being talked about at Church?

  • The more you think about “The Kingdom of Thingdom,” what would you say has had the greatest influence on your own attitudes and ideas about money?

  • When you think about all the money that will flow through your hands and bank accounts over your lifetime, what are the top 5 things you’d like to do with it?

  • Read Luke 16:10-14. What do you find most surprising in this passage? Why do you think the Pharisee religious leaders made fun of Jesus’ teaching on handling money? When have you had some-one poke fun at or belittle your money management?

  • When you think about the principle of tithing, what can you see about it that is really positive and wise? How have you seen this great practice be distorted and abused by Christians?

  • Is there an idea or attitude about money you’ve held that you’re seeing differently or can see is changing as a result of our focus together in this series on Biblical teachings about financial freedom and good stewardship?

  • If you’ve not already done so, this is a great week to set up three cans or jars in each of your kids rooms labeled “Giving,” “Saving,” and “Spending.” Begin now teaching them the life skill of setting aside one tenth (a tithe) of everything they get from an allowance or from their earnings for giving back to God, one tenth for savings, and the rest for spending.Let them take freely out of the spending can, but make sure they know that once that’s spent, there’s no borrowing from you or the other cans. Teach them to discuss taking money out of their savings can with the family to avoid impulsiveness. Make sure they give back to God at worship whatever they have accumulated in their giving can. Teach the balance and wisdom of all three cans in money management. Work as a family to memorize Jesus’ words found in Luke 16:11 (NIV) “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

For more specific teaching and answers to questions on tithing: www.northpointe.org/messages/generosity/

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