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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