The past few weeks I have been talking about how our spirit is willing, but our flesh is weak. Our spirit wants to do the right thing, but our flesh is constantly fighting against it.
Our flesh is all about what makes us happy NOW and it doesn’t care about the consequences later. Our flesh makes ignorant decisions all based on emotions.
The flesh is all about what feels good in the moment. It’s a never-ending fix, because a soon as the hit of happiness wears off, you are off to the next fix of temporary pleasure.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26:41
You can apply this most everything that the flesh desires, but today we are talking about finances. It doesn’t take a business degree or an expert economist to understand that we are in a financial crisis.
Our kids are being set up for financial failure by being bogged down with student loans before they even get out of school. Not to mention the credit cards that are pushed down their throats on campus.
Parents, YOU NEED to help your kids stay away from this drug of choice.
The average federal student loan debt balance is $37,718 and many are balances are over 6 figures.
The average monthly student loan payment is an estimated $503.
The average borrower takes 20 years to repay their student loan debt. The government is likely not going to pay your loan off.
Americans are drowning in debt, and they think the only fix is to buy more.
That is what the flesh keeps telling you.
The flesh tells you that you must have the latest of everything.
Quit letting your flesh win.
The average American debt (per U.S. adult) is $58,604 and 77% of American households have at least some type of debt.
This is NOT how God intended us to live.
“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
Debt makes us as a SLAVE TO THE LENDER. What happens when we are a slave to the lender? It means we are slaves to our work, not for provision, but to satisfy the master of our debt….all because our flesh is weak.
I want this church to become the most generous church we can be to God and to others. But that cannot happen if we are in the bondage of debt.
Every time we spend money we do not have, we are placing shackles on our feet and hands.
Every time we spend money we do not have, we are giving tools to the enemy that works against us.
We can eliminate so much worry, stress and anxiety if we could get our finances in order.
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” Proverbs 22:3 NLT
Those that are prudent with their finances will win. Those that have no plan will lose.
Let’s build a biblical foundation of the willingness to give.
First, here is Paul encouraging the church at Corinth for giving in the difficult times.
“They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 2 Corinthians 8:2-3 NLT
In the difficult times is when it is the most challenging to give. But I promise you this, it is in the difficult times is where our FAITH excels the most when we do not give in to the flesh.
“For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.” 2 Corinthians 9:2 NLT
“So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly. Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Corinthians 9:5-8 NLT
When we align ourselves biblically with God’s Word in our giving, He will always provide generously ALL that we need.
“Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!” Proverbs 21:26 NLT
When we get the mindset that He owns it all, and we are just stewards of the money He gives us, then we will start winning in our finances.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!” 1 Chronicles 29:14 NLT
I want to speak hope into someone’s life today.
If you have made some mistakes with money, you can get it right today.
If you have debt up to your eyeballs and you cannot even see if there is way out, there is hope for you today.
If you have any debt, there is hope!
I think this has been unintentional, but we have entered more in covenant with man (loan contracts), and we have lost our covenant with God.
There is HOPE!
Crystal and I want to help every single person in this house today be debt free.
As Dave Ramsey puts it, we want to help you be weird. Why weird? Because this world’s “normal” is killing us financially.
If you added all your minimum payments up, and you didn’t have them anymore, how would your life be different?
Just think about that for a moment. Does that make you feel free?
There’s a way for that to happen!
Before we can attack our personal debt, we must make sure we are aligned with God in our giving.
First and foremost, our tithing. This is a tenth of our gross income. Not just any tenth, but our first tenth. Before anything else. Why? Because we always honor God with our first and our best. Not our leftovers.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-12
Once our giving is aligned with the Word of God, we can focus on attacking our debt. We regularly host Financial Peace University classes and would love to talk to you about that resource.
One thing is for sure, our money is a major part of our lives.
There’s so much freedom and peace to be found when we take control of our finances and get our money in line with God’s plan.
Let’s get there together!