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Marriage Advice: Spending Problems

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Weddings

Spending Problems

 

Ecclesiastes 5:10

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver;

Nor he who loves abundance, with increase.

This also is vanity.

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of the officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest _____ become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. 

Anybody know where this happened? Okay, Rome, Cicero, 55 BC. Wow, some things never change. Isn’t that interesting?

 the thing that has gotten our nation’s attention over the years is the financial crisis.

 our country doesn’t have financial problems; our country has spending problems, discipline problems. 

We’re the most prosperous nation in the world and we have abused our prosperity.

 

It’s the same for me and you too, 

I’ve met with many people who have addictions, and oftentimes the thing that bring addicts to their knees is not  the addiction; 

they run out of money for their addiction. 

It just takes health problems or financial problems to get our attention. . 

Our Nation has a spending problem!

America’s debt is over 20 trillion dollars!!

America’s citizens are in debt…too. America has a spending problem and most married couples do too.

Let’s play a word association game. In spiritual matters, there are two kingdoms: earth or heaven; two realms: darkness or light; two masters: God or Satan.

Notice what Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount: He contrasts and compares: storing up treasures on earth and in heaven, light and darkness. Now if you were in the audience when Jesus came to speaking about two masters and he says, 

“You cannot serve both God and____________” What would you expect him to say? 

I would expect him to say “God and Satan.” But Jesus turns the table; 

When Jesus said, “You cannot be slaves of God and of money” (Matt. 6:24). Notice, the word money is capitalized.  Money or  Mammon. 

Jesus is personifying money as a rival god. Anything that rivals God Almighty always loses.

 Money is powerful.  We refer to money as purchasing power? 

 We attach symbols to money – like prestige, status, glamour, and worth 

 we refer to currency as the “Almighty Dollar”?

Money in our society is godlike. It is a substitute God. Money is an idol. Money can make us Idol Worshipers. 

And, if we aren’t careful, it will rule and ruin our lives. Henry Fielding was right, “If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil.”

What do we need to dethrone money? How can we take it off its pedestal and break its control over our lives? 

Here are four truths we need to understand.

 

Money Belongs To God

The very thing that has gotten our nation in to trouble is printed on our money.

“I God We Trust” … because we have began to not Trust Him but we are trusting in the money.

It’s so interesting, when God began his first economy, when God launched his first nation, his first civilization, his first people-group, Israel

—and it’s such a fascinating story, because God took a group of people that had no law, no rules, no culture other than a slave culture. 

They had been in Egypt for four hundred years as outcasts. All they knew was slavery. He pulls them out, the nation of Israel, puts them on their own piece of real estate and says, Now we’re starting from scratch. 

Brand new country, brand new real estate; all you know is slavery. Now from the very beginning I want to tell you how to act. 

And so much of what God said to the nation of Israel when he launched the nation of Israel had to do with money and finances. 

Because he knew, at the end of the day, as the money goes, to some extent, the nation goes.

Deuteronomy 28:12

12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

there are two kinds of people… those that pay interest and those that make interest.

You will lend to many nations. He says that the evidence that things are going well for you as a nation is that you will have margin, you will have extra. And the surrounding nations will come to you for loans and you make interest, but you won’t be a nation that pays interest. 

I’m going to bless you in such a way—and the way that you will know that you are being blessed is that you will be a wealthy nation

wealthy nations don’t borrow money.

America has not always borrowed money.

There was a time…. middle class, lower middle class and poor people, when they wanted stuff that they couldn’t get they didn’t go into debt either, because debt was bad.

 Debt is bad. Debt was an indication that things aren’t going well for you. Debt was an indication that you’re poor.

instead of credit cards we had “layaway”…

Proverbs 22:7

“The rich rules over the poor,

And the borrower is servant to the lender.”

Is it fair? It doesn’t matter if it’s fair; it’s the reality.

We’re the most blessed, most prosperous nation in the world. And we couldn’t resist the temptation to reach into our own future, get a handful of cash, bring it into the present and spend it now and then make it the American way

 

THE AMERICAN WAY IS TO BE IN DEBT… BUT AS GODS CHILDREN WE SHOULD NOT BE In DEBT.

WE SHOULD NOT ENSLAVE OURSELVES.

WE MUST LEARN TO SAVE.

LEARN TO LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS…

Everything we have is God’s!!!!

Many people don’t think we should bring God into our finances. One reason for this thinking is that money is too “worldly,” that it’s tainted. Well, money is tainted: ‘Tain’t yours, and ‘tain’t mine! Money is God’s. 

Psalm 24:1

“The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the LORD”  

It’s God’s money that we’re dealing with, and there is nothing too worldly for the One who created the world in the first place.

 

Money should Be Managed

Once we understand that God is the owner, and then we understand our role to his money, his possessions, and his talents. From the very beginning God put humans in charge of his possessions. 

God said to Adam, 

“‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth’” (Gen. 1:28). 

Jesus’ speaks in Matthew 6 in the language of a master to his servant, an owner to his steward, a CEO to his manager. 

The Biblical word for management is stewardship. It means a person who manages things that belong to someone else. 

A trustee of an estate is a good example. The estate is not theirs – they don’t own it – they are simply to manage the estate for the owner.

Since we are managers of all that God has entrusted to us, we offer God:

  • An open hand – An owner has rights and a manager has responsibilities. God has the right to whatever he wants.
  • An open mind – In other words, every spending decision is, in reality, a spiritual decision. Giving
  • An open checkbook – Stewardship can’t be faked. Our checkbook reveals our money management.  

Ive’ heard it said that if you want to know where your heart is look at your check book , you’ll find it.

Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.

Augustine.

What about taxes:?   ..Surely God doesn’t care if I pay my taxes or not?

Matthew 22:17-22

17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.”

So they brought Him a denarius.

20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”

21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Romans 13:6-7

Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

So being a good steward means I pay my taxes. Sorry but if you are behind on your taxes, you should start trying to pay your debt. 

But we might say 

look at all the waste.

look at all the people that can work that won’t work

look at all the corruption 

look at how the government has taken God out of the public schools, and the courtroom

Does God really want me to support that?

When Paul instructed us to pay taxes, Nero, the most evil Roman emperor in history, was the head of the government. He was lighting Christians on fire to use them to light his garden.

We are to pay our taxes even when the government is not God-honoring.

Money is the currency of this world not the currency of the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Money is a means and not an end

Sometimes we get caught up in  and checkbook balances and how much is in the retirement account. 

We are bottom line people. 

So is God. 

But the bottom line for God is not how much money we have. 

It is how we use the money he entrusted to us to expand his kingdom. 

A little later in this text 

Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33).

We don’t live for this kingdom on earth we live for God’s kingdom.

1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. 11 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ

Everything I do, say, even buy, give away, should all be done through the filter of Jesus now.

Because my life is His and so are all of the things He gives me…

I’m the manager..

Money is not the end because we don’t live for this world..

1 Peter 2:11-12

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

I’ve heard it said that Christian have dual citizenship..

I do not believe that to be true.

We are only residents of this world if you are born again …

you are a citizen of heaven..

We are Christians first and everything else second

The Bible calls Christians “Pilgrims” .. travelers …

While traveling we are expected to obey the laws of our host country but we are not overly concerned with local details. 

Our desire is to go home. Paul, comparing  the Christian as a soldier, says:  

No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Timothy 2:4).

Money is part of this world that we are pilgrims of right now.

Some have a lot of it, most have a little of it..

either way we are told to be managers of it.

 

Money is to be given away!

You probably don’t like this one. This is truth from Gods’ word. 

Once we understand God’s role in money – it is his. 

And, our role – we are managers of his money. 

And, money’s role – a tool,  

Now we have an important question. 

How is it possible to break the  power money holds over us? 

Very simple – give it away. 

There is a greater power than money and that power is giving it away. French sociologist Jacques Ellul explains, “There is one act par excellence which profanes money by going directly against the law of money, an act for which money is not made. This act is giving.”

Think about it this way. 

How do you gain more energy in your life? You let  energy out. You give it away through exercise. 

How do you gain control over sin? You walk away from sin. You give up the pleasure and in doing so you gain power over it. 

So how do you gain power over money? Simple. You give it away.

Appropriate spiritual stewardship shows that Christ is first in our lives.

 It shows our faith is in God. It shows that Jesus is in control of our lives.

I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.

C.S. Lewis.

I’m not talking about just a tithe to the local church ..

We should give to those in need.

we should give to ministries that are spreading the gospel around the world.  … I like to give to “In Touch Ministries”

we should give to just bless someone… in our life…

It’s not our money ,,,, It all belongs to God..

How are we managing it.?

Marriages are best when we know how to handle our finances!

Pastor Robert Bullock
Trinity Baptist Church and Paradise Beach Weddings

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