Strapped Week 1: A Godly Perspective on Money

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Too many of us are living in a prison of financial debt and stress. The good news is we can learn how to get out of financial bondage. Let’s get smart with our money and learn practical and Biblical principles to free ourselves from being STRAPPED.


Today we’re starting a brand new series on money, but it’s really all about perspective. Today we’re going to start with a foundation and talk about the heart and money. We’re going to look at a godly perspective on money; today is all about the heart. Then, we’re going to get a little crazy and we’re going to come up with a very different result than what most people have in the world.

“The borrower is servant to the lender.”  Proverbs 22:7

The Hebrew word translated as servant is the word ‘ebed. It means a servant, a slave and in bondageThe borrower, the one who is in debt is a servant, is in bondage to the one that they owe money to. Now, most people don’t go around saying they are a slave or in bondage when it comes to money. But what they do say, really implies that truth.

They say, “Oh, I’d love to get married to my girlfriend but we just can’t afford it!” What they’re really saying is, “I’m in bondage.”

They say, “Oh, we’d love to have another child,” or “We’d love to adopt a child,” or “We’d love for one of us to stay at home with our children, but we can’t do something like that.” What we’re really saying is, “I’m in bondage, I’m strapped.”

Maybe a lot of us are a step ahead of addiction or drunkenness or some of the big things we consider bondage. What we don’t realize is that the bondage of a wrong perspective on finances is a sneaky one, because it works itself into our lifestyle and all of sudden we’re not free to follow God in our lives.

We’re not leaving a wake of generosity in our lives because of the bondage of our perspective.

Take a look at these four statistics that deal with the bondage to money we’re experiencing.

  • 4 out of 10 Americans don’t have enough money to cover a $400 emergency.
  • For those carrying a balance, the average credit card debt is $15,000.
  • The average 21-year-old owes $12,000.
  • By 28, they owe $78,000.
  • The average number of U.S. households living paycheck to paycheck is 78%.

No wonder marriages struggle, it’s no wonder there’s so much tension. No wonder people in their late 20s leave the church and stop focusing on God. They’re in bondage. They have moved their focus to somewhere else.

What these stats mean is that well over a half of us, if we lost our job or didn’t get paid, couldn’t pay the house payment or the rent payment. It’s no wonder there’s so much tension.

Just looking at those stats, maybe you’d say, what’s the big deal? But if we were to translate those statistics, can you imagine what would happen if we ran the church finances this way? If we managed what you gave this way? What if we didn’t have any money to cover an emergency and said, “We’d love to fix the AC but we don’t have any money to cover that.” or “We can’t have church services this week because no one gave last week.” You would be appalled at a church that ran your money this way. The truth is though, we are all stewarding something that’s been entrusted to you by God. Yet, those statistics above are what is normal in the lives of many.

Normal in our culture is debt, normal is car payments, credit card payments, student loan payments, house payments, normal is fighting about money. Normal is divorcing over money, normal is laying awake at night worrying about money. Normal is not serving God in his church because of money.

That’s why we believe, if you’re a follower of Jesus, we are not called to be normal, we’re not called to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. We are called to be different.

Money is one of the most visible measurements of the condition of your heart.

We’re trying to set you free today. This series is about your freedom. God wants to set you free, because financial bondage stinks.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about perspective on money. There are two temptations today of money and we’ll build the foundation around the heart.

1. We are tempted to serve money.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  Matthew 6:24

No one can serve 2 masters. Isn’t it interesting of all the things Jesus could have said, “You can’t serve God and _________…” And He said money. He could have said, you can’t serve God and power, God and popularity, God and yourself, or God and your sexual desires, but He said, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Why? Because He knew that for many people money and material things would be the number one competitor for our hearts. We cannot serve both God and money.

Most people don’t think they serve money. At one point in your life, you probably have, however. If you’ve ever bought something you didn’t even really need with money you didn’t really have, you were serving money. You were under its powers of the false promises that those things would make you important, special or happy. If you ever didn’t give to someone who is in need because that was your money and you expected those people to make their own money. You were serving money.

2. We’re tempted to love money.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evilSome people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  1 Timothy 6:10

This is one of the most misquoted verses. Most people quote it as saying money is the root of all evil. Money is not the root of all evil. Money is neutral, you can use it for good or you can use it for evil. It’s the love of money that births evil. You don’t even have to have a lot of money to love it. If you’re consumed with wanting more or jealous and critical of people with more, you love money.

Let’s be people who have money, but don’t love it. Let’s use money or leverage money, but not let money have a hold on us.

Money makes you more of what you already are. 

If you’re broke and not kind to people, once you have money you’re just rich and not kind to people. If you don’t have much money and you’re generous, when you get more money, you’re more generous. Money is a magnifier; it makes you more of what you already are. Let’s not wait for more money to do great things for God. Start today! Let’s be who God is calling us to be so that when more comes around, we can make it go farther we can magnify God’s goodness.

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”  Ecclesiastes 5:10

According to scripture, if you don’t think you have enough money, you love money. Many of us are under the power of money and we don’t even know it. We’re under the power and influence of money and it’s a heart issue. Most of us don’t need more money, what we need is a Godly perspective on our money. We need wisdom for our money.

Let’s call it what it is: bondage, debt, strapped. Let’s get so sick of it that we do something different. Let’s step out of the normal mold and say, “I want to honor God with my money.”

If you’re a Christian, we don’t serve money, we serve God. You cannot serve both God and money. We’re not in bondage to it, we’re not its slave, we don’t serve money we serve God.

Money serves us, as we serve God.

Money serves us as we serve God. Having a godly perspective brings us peace. The fruit of a godly perspective is margin, freedom and direction.

Have you ever met someone with a godly perspective on money, they’re kind of weird, and giddy, right? These kind of people are not fighting, not worried, they’re not strapped. They are able to embrace the life God has for them.

Money serves us as we serve God. You can get there. This perspective on money is going to take some passion, because the enemy is working double-time so that you don’t have a godly perspective on money. The enemy knows he can’t keep us from God’s grace and salvation. So he is going to try to just keep you copying the world with your money and keep you focused on the wrong things. He’s gonna keep you questioning the goodness of God and keep you from real peace.

This isn’t an easy journey. So the best place to start is with the word of God. You can read verses on God’s perspective of money in our {Bonus Post}. It’s divided those into 7 categories so you can take it one day at a time this week. Let God’s word shape your perspective. God has a vision for your finances and that vision is peace.

If you think a godly perspective is going to mean less fulfillment for you or less happiness, you’ve got the wrong God. We’re not talking about a prosperity gospel, we’re talking about peace, fulfillment and significance that you wouldn’t have otherwise known without God. We serve a God who is concerned about your peace and wants to meet your needs. God does not want to harm you, He has good things for you.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33

Read Matthew chapter 6 this week to see what “all these things” means. Discover every need met, a worry free life, treasures in heaven and a connection with God that you’ve only dreamed of. Too many people are going to get to the end of their life only to realize they weren’t willing to adjust their perspective to align with their Creator, and the Author of their life. Let’s make a shift in our perspective today.


Check Back

Check back on your discussion from last week. Do you have any more thoughts, questions or conclusions about the message on the Bible? What do you think you will most remember from the series “Not So Far-Fetched?”

Listen to the sermon: online, iTunes podcast or Google Play Music

Hear the Word

“The borrower is servant to the lender.”  Proverbs 22:7

Servant: `ebed (eh’-bed); a servant, a slave, in bondage.

The Temptation of Money and Things

1. We are tempted to serve money.

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  Matthew 6:24

2. We are tempted to love money.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  1 Timothy 6:10

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”  Ecclesiastes 5:10

Money serves us, as we serve God.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33

Application

  1. If someone were look at your bank statement, what could they tell about you based on the way you spend your money?
  2. In what ways have you been tempted to love and serve money?
  3. What steps can you take to ensure you are serving God and not money?
  4. Do you have any fears in doing what God asks you to do? What is your perspective of God?

Tell Someone Else

Who do you need to share this message with? Is there someone you’re better equipped to have a conversation with because of this message?

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