Financial Peace Intro

Financial Peace University Intro  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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FPU Intro and look through Proverbs about money


Proverbs 21:20 - “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.”

The overall message of the Bible regarding finances is one of personal thrift combined with generosity toward others. The Bible places a high value on saving money to provide for oneself and others in times of need.
The next 3-4 months are going to be potentially life changing, and I don’t say that lightly. I say, “potentially” because you’ll only get out of this course what you put into it. It will also greatly be influenced by the way you and your spouse choose to discuss the topics to come. Your own personal theology will come into play. Are you able to submit to what scripture says, what the Holy Spirit is saying directly to you in your circumstances, and in other areas - step out in faith?
When scripture gets to the root of an issue in our lives, we can often deflect, get hard-hearted, and resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Malachi 3 says that when we are poor stewards of what has been entrusted to us by God, we are guilty of stealing from Him. When we don’t save, spend, invest, tithe money and resources as God would have us do, we are indeed very poor stewards. So for Christians, this is a very significant issue. Have you been a poor steward of the resources God has entrusted to you?
The other point I’d like to make in regards to the overarching theme of finances, is UNITY. It might sound like a strange word to use here, but here me out. UNITY: When 85% of the population will be married at some point, and money is the #1 reason for divorce (adultery is #2), being able to have open, nothing hidden, easy going, continual conversations about your finances is exceedingly necessary. You and your spouse will be on complete opposite points of view on a myriad of topics. How much to give to the church (if anything), how much for retirement (if anything), what debt to pay off in what order, can we afford to put the kids in hockey, can we renovate the house, is there money to go on a vacation or buy new clothes? If every time an issue comes up, you two BLOW UP, how are you going to make it to your 50th wedding anniversary?
Share money story from Yesterday! (Mortgage paid off, now what? Play or save?)
When it comes to money, most people think that is comes down to being rich or poor. But the Bible actually has 4 categories: righteous rich / unrighteous rich and righteous poor / unrighteous poor.
When you think of the righteous rich you can think of Abraham, Job, Joseph of Arimathea… They get and use money in a righteous way. It is possible to honestly gain wealth, work hard, invest and be blessed. To be both righteous and rich.
Then there is the unrighteous rich. Proverbs speaks of this. They steal, charge excessive interest rates, and are never generous.
On the poverty side there are 2 as well. For the righteous poor, obviously there is Jesus. It’s not because of sin, they just don’t have much. Some of you here grew up in families like this. Your parents didn’t have much, and yet they were generous with what they had.
Then there is the unrighteous poor. Proverbs again speaks of this. They are sluggards (they don’t want to work), the person that makes unwise investments, those that gamble, drink, or foolishly spend all their wealth away. They are poor because of their own choices.
It’s not as simple as the Robin Hood mentality of rich vs poor. That the rich are bad and the poor are good. It’s actually about being righteous or unrighteous. Where your heart is at in regards to how you are stewarding God’s provisions. That is what this is all about.
What I want to focus in on this morning is wisdom. Because wisdom proceeds wealth. You could be given millions of dollars today and without any wisdom proceeding it, it will be spent quickly with little to show for it. You’ve heard the saying, “A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted” This phrase is at least 460 years old. It was used by a poet named Thomas Tusser in a poem he wrote called Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, in the year 1557. It is derived from Proverbs 21:20 - There are precious treasures and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a self-confident and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.
What about you? Do you love wisdom? Do you like being corrected, shown your weaknesses or areas of ignorance? It’s easy to like wealth, riches, fame and power, but not wisdom and that’s the problem. Proverbs teaches that people want more wealth, but what they actually need is more wisdom. That if you are wise you will be able to obtain more wealth and steward it more prudently.
I see this every year after tax season. Lots of people get tax refunds and immediately blow it on a new tv, new wardrobe, new tech, instead of college funds, extra mortgage payments, eliminating debt, investing, or blessing those in need. This again comes back to wealth vs wisdom.
So here’s the first thing I’d like you to do.
Go through proverbs and whenever you see something that has to do with wealth or planning, just put a $ next to it in the margins. Then you’ll see for yourself how much Proverbs has to say on this.
Secondly, fully commit to this course! Many of you (myself included) graduated from school without any sort of budgeting or accounting class. We just graduated, got our first credit card (not understanding the full scope of interest rates and penalties) and proceeded to make years of financial blunders. So listen, take notes, ask questions, and gain wisdom from those that have already paid the dumb tax.
Third; for those of us in the room that are NOT the money nerds, YOU NEED TO BE FULLY ENGAGED IN THE LESSONS AND HOMEWORK! You work too hard to not be fully comprehending what is going on with your finances. This is what adults do. Kids do what feels good, adults do what is necessary to be great stewards of God’s resources. For example: Make a budget (this will be your homework next Sunday) it’s not super exciting, it might actually be exceedingly depressing, but it is necessary.
Pr 21:5. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Here’s something I want all of your spenders out here to get excited about! Making a budget allows you to spend more while being guilt-free! (Date night budget story $200 vs $300)
Personal Testimony:
I was never given any sort of financial management education in school. My dad was a hard worker, but he and my mom were horrible with money. When Liselle and I got married I had a car loan for my aging Sunfire, and student debt. Liselle also had no idea how to handle money, but thanks to her parents’ good management, had no debt. After a few years of struggling and always seeming to end up at zero, Liselle got one of Dave Ramsay’s books from the library and read it. She started trying to implement some of the changes recommended in the book, but because I had no clue what she was doing, I would often unknowingly sabotage her efforts. She got frustrated and asked me to do it with her. I agreed and that’s how we ended up buying the course. It changed everything - how we thought about purchases, how we thought about debt, what portion of our money should we tithe, who did our money really belong to, what were our separate roles in managing money? It helped us have tons of conversations about money, and helped us understand each other’s goals while avoiding fights. It taught us to live below our income and how to save for retirement while paying off debt.
Let me know at the end if you want to take the class, and I’ll have the workbooks for you next week. The cost for the book is $25. If you can’t afford that, the church is willing to take care of whatever amount is over what you can afford. If you are in a position to cover the cost of someone else, please let us know that too.
Here are some questions to ask your spouse:
Do you have any hidden debt or spending habits?
Do you naturally see it as your money or God’s money?
Do you naturally see yourself as a spender or saver?
Where do you think you waste the most money?
Where are you the most generous with your money?
Here are 2 verses to discuss with your spouse (or meditate on if single):
Romans 13:7 “Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due.”
Do you honestly (before God) pay your due taxes, or are you living in the grey? Are you claiming expenses that you know to be dishonest? (Mike Stahl trading services story)
Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the Lord with your wealth [from righteous labors] and with the first-fruits of all your income; So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine.”
How do you view giving to God with your first-fruits? Do you do it at all, and if you do, do you do so with a glad heart?
How are you at worshiping God with your money? We don’t worship money, but we do worship God with our money. Would you give yourself an A, B, F?
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