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God does not want his children to be in bondage to anything.
But the sad truth is that many Christians are in financial bondage.
Jesus died to set you free from bondage to anything that might control your life but Him.
God is concerned about every area of your life and weather or not it keeps you in bondage.
Few other areas of life have the potential for putting the believer into bondage then do their finances.
An old Jewish proverb says: A penny will hide the biggest star in the universe if you hold it close enough to your eye.
In other words, many — including too many Christians — have become blinded by money.
Jesus talked a great deal about money.
Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions.
In the Gospels, an amazing one out of 10 verses deal directly with the subject of money.
The Bible offers 500 verse on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.
So it must be pretty important, wouldn’t you say?
In the next few moments let me share with you some biblical insights into managing you money and how to keep free from financial bondage.
I. GOD’S PRINCIPLES FOR YOUR FINANCES
#. the bible speaks of four principles concerning money
!! A. THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT MAKING MONEY
God has something to say about how you make your money
* Jeremiah 17:11 /“Like a bird hatching an egg it did not lay, so are the people who get rich by cheating.
When their lives are half finished, they will lose their riches.
At the end of their lives, it will be clear they were fools.”/
#. translations — you are to earn money honestly
The poet John Masefield once wrote a little ditty that says: O Lord, the sin, Done for the things there's money in.
#. "The reason many folks don't recognize opportunity when it comes there way is cause it mostly goes a round wearing overalls and looking just like hard work."
#. the bible tells us we are to make money honestly
!! B. THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT LOVING MONEY
#. no where in the bible does God condemn money or material wealth
God does condemn our love of money or material wealth — especially when they become more important to us then our worship of Him
* Ecclesiastes 5:10 “Whoever loves money will never have enough money; Whoever loves wealth will not be satisfied with it.
This is also useless.”
William Barclay, the great Scottish pastor and theologian, once said of money: /Money in itself is neither good nor bad; it is simply dangerous in that the love of it may become bad.
With money a man can do much good; and with money he can do much evil.
With money a man can selfishly serve his own desires; and with money he can generously answer to the cry of his neighbor's need.
With money a man can buy his way to the forbidden things and facilitate the path of wrongdoing; and with money he can make it easier for someone else to live as God meant him to live.
Money brings power, and power is always a double-edged thing, for it is powerful to good and powerful to evil./
* 1 Timothy 6:9-10 /“Those who want to become rich bring temptation to themselves and are caught in a trap.
They want many foolish and harmful things that ruin and destroy people.10
The love of money causes all kinds of evil.
Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow.”/
#. the Bible warns us about loving money
!! C. THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT WASTING MONEY
#. in the story of the Prodigal Son Jesus tells us that the young man squandered his wealth in wild living
#. in many of His parables Jesus talks about servants who are intrusted with wealth by their rich master
#. those who invest the money intrusted to them are praised and rewarded
#. those who waste the money intrusted to them by hiding or hoarding it are condemned
#. you see friends, God is not only concerned about the tithes and offerings that you bring to Him in worship
He is also interested in what you do the material wealth that you keep
some of you are going to say, /“Aw, preacher.
I don’t waste my money on sinful or stupid things like that Prodigal Son did.”/
#. oh yea?
How many of you bought a Pet Rock back in the seventies?
#. or a Rubic’s Cube (that will never be right again)?
#. or a lottery ticket?
#. the bible warns us about wasting money
!! D. THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT MISUSING MONEY
#. the Scriptures seriously condemn those who have been blessed with this world’s material wealth and who do not share it with those who have not been so blessed
* James 5:1-6 /“You rich people, listen!
Cry and be very sad because of the troubles that are coming to you.2
Your riches have rotted, and your clothes have been eaten by moths.3
Your gold and silver have rusted, and that rust will be a proof that you were wrong.
It will eat your bodies like fire.
You saved your treasure for the last days.4
The pay you did not give the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you, and the cries of the workers have been heard by the Lord All-Powerful.5
Your life on earth was full of rich living and pleasing yourselves with everything you wanted.
You made yourselves fat, like an animal ready to be killed.6
You have judged guilty and then murdered innocent people, who were not against you.”/
#. in this passage, the Apostle James is referring to rich folks who have poor folks working for them
#. the rich folks are socking it away, preparing for the last days — i.e. retirement!
#. in doing so they have not given the conditions of the less fortunate around them a second thought
#. in the Old Testament, God commanded His people to be generous to those who are facing hard times
* Deuteronomy 15:11 /“There will always be poor people in the land.
Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”/
Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, once said, /“God divided the hands into fingers so that money could slip through.”/
#. one of the great Christian examples of a believer being openhanded to the poor is John Wesley
John Wesley was a professor at Oxford University.
When he was elected a fellow of the college, his financial status changed dramatically.
His position usually paid him at least £30 a year—more than enough money for a single man to live on.
He enjoyed his relative prosperity while teaching, and spent his money on playing cards, tobacco, and brandy.
One incident that happened to him at Oxford changed is perspective on money.
One of the university’s chambermaids came to his door.
It was a Winter day and he noticed that she had only a thin linen gown to wear for protection against the cold.
He reached into his pocket to give her some money for a coat, and found he had little left.
It struck him that the Lord was not pleased with how he had spent his money.
As a result of this incident, in 1731 Wesley began to limit his expenses so he would have more money to give to the poor.
He records that one year his income was £30, and his living expenses £28, so he had £2 to give away.
The next year his income doubled, but he still lived on £28 and gave £32 away.
In the third year his income jumped to £90, again he lived on £28, giving £62 away.
The fourth year he made £120, lived again on £28 and gave £92 to the poor.
#. the bible tells us that we are misusing our finances when we use them only for ourselves
GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FINANCES
#. let me ask you a question this morning, “What is your basic purpose in life as a believer?
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