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We have been talking about Margin. The extra space of your life. The space between where you are and the maximum of where you could perform. For many in the room there is no margin. We are performing at our max. No extra time to relax or daydream. No extra space in your emotional life. Today, we are going to talk about Financial Margin. In other words. MORE MONEY! Yeah!
Did you know that:
- It is God’s desire that everyone in here has Financial Peace!
- It is God’s desire that you do not worry about your financial future ever again.
- It is God’s desire that you never fight with your spouse over money again.
Did you know that those things can happen without you ever getting another raise? Did you know that Financial Peace, never worrying about money, and never fighting over money has nothing to do with what your income is or what you do for a living?
Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with your idea of who God is and what his role is in your life.
Today, I want to show in the Bible that you don’t need any more money. You need to trust the provider. He is going to give you peace. And you will start seeing more margin in your finances.
We serve a BIG GOD. God is so Good, that we don’t need to look anywhere else for satisfaction.
The Old Testament called him: Jehovah Jireh, My provider. My provider. I am not my provider. My boss is not my provider. Money is not the proof of my provision. God is my provider!
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. NOT for I have a good job and the economy is going to turn around…
God, my provider is with me!
When God created a need in the Garden of Eden, God was always the fulfillment of that need. Now that there is sin in the world, God hasn’t changed! God is still the answer for every need.
However, the key change is that man no longer fully trusts that God will unconditionally provide. Our dependence has shifted to ourselves instead of God alone.
The way this hits home is by analyzing your “if only..” statements. If only this ____would happen, then everything would be ok. If only I would win the lottery, then I would be set. If only I graduate then everything will be cool. If only I my spouse would listen to me about our money, then it would work.
“If only” statements put the weight on us and drive us away from an all-powerful God.
The reality is that God is so good that he could give you all the emotional satisfaction that you ever desire. It can be completely unrelated to your purchases. Or acquisitions.
HOW DOES GOD LEAD US TO A LIFE OF FINANCIAL PEACE AND MARGIN?
On my first job, I made $3/hour. And I was so happy. I was pulling in $24/day, $120/week, $480/mo. At that rate, I could have made $5700 that year. That is a lot of money for a 12 year old in 1988. That was great for me. I always made more money than my buddies during the summer. I remember by a stereo after saving up that first summer. It had a CD player. I had one Phil Driscoll CD that I played over and over. It was all MARGIN money. I gave the first ten percent to my local church. I saved 10% and then could do whatever I wanted with the rest.
How could that happen? My parents were paying for the standard of living I enjoyed. My house, car, food, toys, etc. I had a good standard of living that I was not responsible for.
The big problem happens when kids in my generation and those after me grow up, they want to continue the same standard of living. The problem is that we don’t make the same amount of money that our parents did. The only way that we can live at the same level of car, house, clothes, vacations, accessories and toys is to use the credit cards that the credit card companies are offering for free.
Most kids start their adult life off with zero financial margin and zero financial peace because their lifestyle level does not fit their income.
FINANCIAL MARGIN IS THE SPACE BETWEEN LIFESTYLE AND INCOME.
MYTH– The issue with financial struggle is that I don’t make enough money.
TRUTH – My financial struggle is tied to my lifestyle.
You start entering a catch 22. It is a downward spiral. You are stressed about life and so you buy something to make you happy. But, you can’t afford it, so you get a loan or put it on a card. In order to pay for the loan, you have to work harder, longer hours, get a new job or a second job, both parents have to get a job or multiple jobs. Why? To pay for things that are now getting older and not as interesting.
Before you get a car paid off, the commercials on TV have convinced you that this new car will get better gas mileage, go faster, hold more people, you will be more accepted as a man, or a mom, you will save the planet by driving this new car and this special only lasts until the end of the month.
I’m not just picking on car dealerships here. It is in the food you buy, the clothes you buy, the computer that you use, the shoes you wear, the coffee you drink, the beer you drink.
Our identity is completely built by the things we drink, eat, wear, drive, play with. We are consuming not just things to keep us alive, but to MAKE US WHO WE ARE.
All of this drives us to NO FINANCIAL MARGIN. God says, “come back from the edge.”
1 Timothy 6:8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
When there is no Margin, TWO things happen:
- Rob Our Self – financial freedom, kids education, retirement, getting out of debt. We rob ourselves because we are indebted to the creditors. If you are married, you rob your marriage of peace.
- Rob God – When there is no financial margin, we are unable to be a generous giver. We hear stories of needy people or great opportunity to drill wells or feed the poor or whatever. BUT we aren’t able to move and give because we are so strapped with our debt and bills that there is no margin.
The Jews were burnt up and depressed with no financial margin and the prophet speaks to them:
Malachi 3:7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the lord of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ 8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.
God required 20% back then – 10% to the temple and then 10% for the festivals and the poor. They quit doing this. They over time quit giving. They consumed on themselves what was originally intended for God. Therefore, when they took over God’s money, they let them live in the world of selfishness. A lack of blessing. They were falling apart. Malachi says it is because of the fact that they have robbed God.
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Return back to the way of God’s financial plan. Test God in this. Try me. TRUST GOD. What if you were in a position where you put God to the test.
Jesus teaches them the exact same concept in the book of Matthew:
Mathew 6:20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Invite God back into your finances in by putting him first. He is still the same God. He is still in charge of the financial status of the world. Economy and money and business and budgets ARE NOT a part of a separate world from God and faith and discipleship.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Teach those who are rich in this world (Americans) not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
It is the same world. Trust God with your money. Trust God with your finances.
Principle (%) Giving breaks the power of money in an individuals life. It breaks the power of ME ME ME. Put Him first.
This week, the principle is exactly the same. Put him first in your finances and see what he can do with the rest. He supernaturally begins to break down your desire for cares of THIS life.
All of the sudden the things of this world are not as important as they were. The name brand, and the rims, and that neighborhood, and that …
If this is a struggle for you, then there is a big opportunity for God in your life.
He is bigger than you ever imagined. He comes through when you put Him to the test.
We are offering two helpful resources this week:
Dave Ramsey Financial Help
Tonight 6pm (free)
One on One Financial Counseling
As a believer, we do not wander around or even try really hard to determine God’s plan for giving. The Bible is FULL of passages on generosity and giving to GOD first and the best.
Genesis 4:4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, …
When God didn’t accept Cain’s offering, he said, “everything will be ok, if you simply follow directions. If not, sin is crouching at your door.”
Genesis 14:9 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he (Abraham) gave him a tithe of all.
This is first record of someone giving a tenth AND giving to another entity representing God.
Genesis 22:2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Exodus 34:19 All that open the womb are Mine, and every male firstborn among your livestock, whether ox or sheep.
Exodus 34:26 The first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
Joshua 6:19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
1 Kings 19:13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.
Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
(that’s all the Old Testament)
You don’t have to give financially to be saved, therefore, should you just give what is in your heart?
Loving God without giving to God is like being married without sacrificing for your spouse. If you were told by your spouse I will never divorce you. I love you and give myself to you 100%. I will never leave you or go after another. Do we answer that with: “AWESOME- that means I don’t have to be faithful! Sweet, I can do whatever I want!” NO.
What would happen if you were saved by the Mercy and Grace of God? What would happen to your possessions/finances? The Bible tells us:
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
Believers in Jesus understood that HE was in control and that all their possessions were His. They selflessly gave to the body (storehouse) so that there would be “food in His house” as Malachi 3 said. Tithing was now not a legal obligation. They did not consider 10% to be too much. In fact, they not only gave of their “increase”, but sold possessions and gave all.
When looking at the modern day church in America, we people struggling to give anything to the storehouse. They are so wrapped up in their possessions and earnings that they either feel the possessions are not God’s or they are scared that He won’t provide. They don’t trust him. Instead of following scripture’s very clear message: Trust God and have an open hand to the storehouse and those in need, they try to rewrite scripture to fit their lack of trust in God’s all sufficiency.
How the storehouse (local church) stewards over God’s money is a completely different message and could be addressed later. Obviously, there needs to be accountability and Biblical standards in this area as well.