Pastor Steve Williams and Pastor Shane Ham : Out from Under Financial Pressures

Money, Sex & Power · 49:11 · Recorded May 24, 2015

OUT FROM UNDER FINANCIAL PRESSURES

Mark 4:18-19 (NLT)  “The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word,  but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.”

A second look at “the American way”

Consuming puts me under pressure, but stewarding brings freedom.

Luke 16:10-12 (NLT)**  “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.  And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?  And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?”

Matthew 25:29 (NIV)  “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

The pathway up & out

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NRSV)  As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

1. Look to God to meet your needs.

2. Decide you’ll follow his financial plans.

Earn all you can!

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (TEV)  Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before.  In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers, and you will not have to depend on anyone for what you need.

Give all you can!

Proverbs 3:9 (TLB) 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.

Leviticus 27:30 (NIV) A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

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

Save all you can!

Proverbs 21:20 (TLB)  The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.

Proverbs 13:11 (NIV) He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

Enjoy all you have!

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (CEV) It’s better to enjoy what we have than to always want something else, because that makes no more sense than chasing the wind.

3. Dump debting as your way of life.

4. Aim for a “10-10-80” lifestyle.

The smallest actions trump all your noblest intentions!

  • Look again at the contrast pointed out between consuming and stewarding. What are 4-5 characteristics of each of these contrasting ways of life?
  • When you hear about “The American Dream,” what does it mean to you? What’s legitimate about it, and how can they be threatened by “The American Way” Steve and Shane spoke of? How does stewardship tie in with “The American Dream” in your mind?
  • Look over the summary of God’s financial plans in point 2. Which one of these comes easy for you? Is the hardest? How would you explain the “10-10-80” principle to someone? What would your advice be to them in starting to put it into practice?
  • If you have attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, or some other Biblically-centered financial course, what did you find most helpful from the experience? What would you say is the most important habit you’re trying to put into practice in stewarding the money you’ve been entrusted with?
  • As it relates to money, is there something God is speaking to you about or prompting you that your group can be praying for you over?
  • This would be a great week to help your children establish a way to start learning the “10-10-80 principle!” Set them up with 3 cans or fruit jars or boxes marked “Give,” “Save,” and “Spend” and teach them to put 10% of everything they get for allowances, gifts, chores,etc. into the Giving and Saving cans, and the rest into their spending can. Help them remember to bring their Giving monies to Church for the offerings each week (or however often they’re paid). If they’ve been practicing this already, take time to celebrate with them how much they’ve now accumulated in their Save can, and how much they have on hand in their Spend can. Perhaps you can share with them ways in which their giving has made a difference in our Church, community and world through their giving. Listen to their dreams about what they’re saving their money for! Consider rewarding their faithfulness by adding another dollar to each of their cans. Memorize Luke 16:10 together this week.
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