When it comes
to finances in America, we have the good, the bad and the ugly.
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS:
Compared to the rest of the world, we have low inflation and low
unemployment rate. That means most of you are working and have steady income
coming in. I have traveled in 25 countries and have been in places where
people’s income is $200/year or where there’s been 25,000% inflation or 50-75%
unemployment. Be thankful you’re in America.
In the 1990’s the stock market has climbed 400%. Last time, roaring
20’s. Most of the world is not worried about their investments, but are
trying to figure out a plan to feed their family today.
HERE’S SOME BAD NEWS:
1. USA Today – 91%
making more money than ever before. 66% of these people indicated they were
more worried about losing what they had more than ever before.
HERE’S THE UGLY NEWS:
70% of American households are carrying unpaid credit card balances of
50% of marriages end in divorce and many of them indicate finances were
there #1 problem.
– % given down 30+ years – 30-50% nothing.
Gambling is out of control. In government studies 2 years ago, it was
determined that American households now spend more on government sectioned
gambling (lotteries, casinos, race tracks) than they do on groceries! $2300
per American spent on gambling vs. $1600 per American spent for food at the
5. Over 1.68 million
people filed for bankruptcy last year (a new record). This was equal to the entire decade of
Fortunately, I have some
God tells us a lot
about finances in His Owner’s Manual, The Bible. In more than 2,350
verses God gives His perspective on matters of wealth, generosity, borrowing,
investing, financial planning, business, inheritances, taxes, purchases and
It is reported that Martin Luther who said, “Men go through 3
conversions, their head, their heart and their pocketbook. Unfortunately, not
all at the same time.”
Someone else said that the most sensitive nerve in the entire body is
the one that runs from the head to the heart to the wallet.
When it comes
to our finances, Matt 6:19-24 highlights 3 choices for us:
1st CHOICE is to store up
treasure in heaven.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do
not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be
2nd CHOICE is to get God’s
"The eye is the lamp of
the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But
if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the
light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
3rd CHOICE is to choose to
serve God rather than money.
"No one can serve two
masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted
to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Bible is clear in that it says we can never serve God AND money.
But I want to show you from the Scriptures, that you must learn to
serve God WITH money by making 3 spiritual decisions.
GOD’S SIGHT IS LIKE A 3 LEGGED STOOL
- - if you have all
3 legs, you’ll always be stable, regardless of the ground you’re on. But
without all 3 legs working, you’ll always be unstable or will get hurt.
to have 3-legged financial stool has to do with storing up “treasure in
heaven”. To do this, you must make a spiritual decision to “GIVE TO GOD
back in your Bibles to the last book of the Old Testament. Look at Malachi
(Humor: “Ma-la-chi, The Italian Prophet”) 3:7
Return to me, and I will
return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In
tithes and offerings. You are under a curse-- the whole nation of you--
because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that
there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and
see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much
blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
When it comes to Christian
giving, I have discovered
there are only 3 kinds of Christians. Robbers, whiners and winners!
Which are you?.
REAL LIFE ILLUSTRATIONS:
Bob – New tither, wanted me to start a “Tither’s Support Group”. We
did - - Bob & God. God came through in amazing ways.
Malachi “test me” – Like a father telling his young child to slide down
the playground slide and he’ll catch him.
Have men raise hands if they can testify that they have “tested and
tasted” God’s faithfulness in matters of generosity and finances.
to have 3-legged financial stool has to do with getting God’s perspective.
To do this, you must make a spiritual decision to “CONSIDER YOUR WAYS” (and if
you are married, this means with your wife!!!)
Hag 1:6 You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." This
is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways.
ESPECIALLY IN MARRIAGE, YOU HAVE TWO PEOPLE who think about finances
differently. YOU HAVE TO DECIDE TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE. GOD’S
PAGES. NOT your way or her way, but God’s way.
must decide to find out God’s ways. I did this more than 20 years ago – when
I discovered I had more month than money.
Today, there great
resources to help you (and your wife, if you are married): Ron Blue, Crown
Financial Ministries, Willow Creek Good Sense ministry, and others.
You heard money talks, but
do you know what it says? Good-bye. If you doubt this,
answer the question HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU MAKE IN THE LAST 10 YEARS?
How much is left?
are available from Larry Burkett.
Crown Financial Ministries offers a wonderful financial Bible study
that can be offered in churches. We offer the Crown Financial Bible study in
our church and its exciting to hear the life changing stories from people in
1 guy – outside of accepting Christ, most significant thing.
A couple – argued about money for yrs. Now tracking: debt-free..
A divorced individual who go out of deep, deep financial trouble.
Another person -- debt-free by February.
Common denominator of all these people: Spiritual decision to “CONSIDER YOUR
WAYS” (if married, together)
commitments to give to God
They set up
agreed upon $$$ goals.
established a written budget.
They made a
decision and a plan to eliminate their debt.
And the 3rd
decision to have 3-legged financial stool has to do with choosing to serve God
rather than money. To do this, you must make a spiritual decision to
“TRUST CHRIST MORE THAN CREDIT”
you agree that Jesus Christ is the Master of the universe, here’s an
interesting question to ponder? Is the Master in charge of your life OR is
your Master Charge in charge of your life?
is the last time you prayed with your wife about a purchase you were going to
make, asking God for His direction and provision. Jesus promises to meet your
needs, not your greeds.
Bible does not prohibit borrowing. It just doesn’t recommend it and always
reminds you of the dangers associated with borrowing.
Prov 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's
Here’s 3 reasons why:
Because the credit limits your freedom to serve Christ by making you a
slave to the debt. Like the bumper sticker, “I owe, I owe so off to work I
It will hinder your prayers, asking God for His direction and
often miss God’s stored up provisions that He wanted to give you as His child.
If God owns everything, He can provide everything you truly need.
have been involved -- people’s personal financial lives -- multi-million
dollars projects -- Christ can take better care of you than credit ever can!
The Bible says…
Prov. 13:22 The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
Ecc 2:26 “To the man who pleases God, God gives wisdom, knowledge and
happiness. But to the sinner, he gives the task of gathering and storing up
wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.”
you are here today and you want to please God and see God’s direction and
provision in your life, by operating on His 3 legged financial stool: GIVE TO
GOD FIRST, CONSIDER YOUR WAYS, & TRUST CHRIST MORE THAN CREDIT. I would like
you to raise your wallets in the air as a sign you are dedicating your
finances to God. I will then close in prayer for God’s “blessing on” and
“conversion of” your pocketbook.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Kluth is a national and international speaker and writer
on Biblical generosity and financial matters.
He is also a church pastor and the founder of MAXIMUM Generosity, a public ministry dedicated to advancing Biblical generosity through inspirational preaching, leadership training seminars, writing, resources and the media. Brian’s written materials have been distributed to more than 350,000 Christian leaders in more than 100 countries .For additional materials or to contact Brian, email:
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