We’ve all experienced the great recession. Now we’re waiting for the great recovery. But why wait? What if the recovery could start with us? Start off your new year by joining us for a life-changing series entitled Recovery Road. We are diving into spiritual principles gleaned from the Scriptures and applied in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. These principles have helped millions of people become debt free, build financial resources, and gain traction on the road to recovery. There’s no need to wait any longer. The great recovery starts NOW.
This week John Burke shared at the McNeil campus, and I shared at the South Campus. Here are some of the thoughts we shared:
“Many of us are feeling worried, stressed, anxious, out-of-control, enslaved, angry and fighting with our spouses, all because of financial struggles. It doesn’t matter how much you make. If you do the things we’re suggesting in this series—it’s gonna turn things around for you—it won’t make life perfect or eliminate every challenge, but it will bring hope, greater peace, contentment, security, generosity, debt-free living, ability to save, and a sense of good stewardship of your finances…and most importantly – freedom. Freedom to both feel blessed and be a blessing—to yourself, your family, and the world. Spiritually growing people should feel increasing freedom.
‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery‘ (Galatians 5:1).
Finances are not usually a money problem, but at the root it’s a spiritual problem. Until we tackle the underlying spiritual issues that keep us from financial freedom, we’re not going to experience true freedom.
God actually cares about your financial state. In fact, the issue of finances is mentioned 2000 times in the Scriptures and includes principles that really work! ‘
‘Make as much as you can, Save as much as you can, Give as much as you can’. – John Wesley
The journey we are on is away from stress about money and towards generosity. Paul wrote in Eph. 4:28: ‘Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.’
Imagine if a wealthy philanthropist gave you $1 million dollars. What would you do with it?
Amazingly: most of us will be entrusted with over $1 million dollars! If you earn $25,000 or more a year from age 30 to 70, over $1 million dollars will have passed through your hands. If you make $25,000 per year, you’re wealthier than 90% of humanity. If you make $47,000 per year, you are the top 1% wealthiest of humanity. Not everyone on planet earth gets the same opportunity we have in the Western world
Here’s what these spiritual principles will help us accomplish:
1. Become Debt Free – We have grown up accustomed to debt not realizing that ‘the borrower is slave to the lender’ (Proverbs 22:7).
2. Identify your Spiritual Weakness. Otherwise, you won’t be getting to the root of the problem. For some of us our weakness is “I Can’t Say No to Myself.” We lack contentment. ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain’ (1 Timothy 6:6). For others of us we “Buy to Feel Better.” If so, ask God to show you how much you’re worth to Him.
3. Build Savings – Scripture says, ‘In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil’ (Prov 21:20). It’s wise to put aside enough money in savings for unexpected crises. Scripture talks about getting out of debt fast and into saving: ‘Since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands…Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter…Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest’ (Proverbs 6:3-8).
4. Have a Plan – We all want to be debt free, have savings, but we need a plan. Money issues are the number 1 cause of marital fights and struggles. An agreed upon and good plan can resolve these struggles. Jesus said, ‘From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked’ (Luke 12:48).
For some of us, our spiritual weakness is faithfulness. We feel like we just don’t have time, or don’t really need to have a plan for handling our money. So we’ve gotten lazy about the way we’ve been blessed, or the power we have to make a difference. We must come to grips with the spiritual responsibility we’ve been given in the world—take it seriously, make time and prioritize being faithful.
We need to ask ourselves: what sacrifices do you and I need to make to become who were meant to be – to make the difference we are meant to make?
5. Be a Difference Maker – Imagine if all of us worked together, with resources, gifts, service—imagine the difference we could make in our city and beyond! Money doesn’t change the kind of person you are—it amplifies the kind of person you are. It’s spiritual—so we need to set our sights on becoming the kind of person who can make a difference now—not later.”
To watch or listen to this message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.