Introduction: How we handle our finances is often a reflection of our relationship to God and our commitment to Him. It is also a means that God uses to witness to others of His faithfulness and love to us as we follow and obey His principles. On the other hand, the devil is sometimes able to bring despair, fear, guilt, and division through attacks on our finances. Some have even wandered from their faith because of a wrong approach to money. In this class we want you to:
§ Believe that God wants to bless you financially.
§ Root out wrong attitudes you may have about money.
§ Establish godly attitudes about money.
§ Apply God’s laws of financial success to your life.
I. Believe that God wants to bless you financially.
A. You are to be spiritually and financially prosperous. “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (III John 1:2 KJV).
B. Let God be your source, and be in right relationship with Him so His blessings can flow down to you. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters “(Psalm 23:1-2 NIV). (Read also, Psalm 37:4, 25; I Chronicles 29:11-12.)
C. God’s blessings under the Old Covenant and the New Covenant include prosperity.
1. OLD-“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity-in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock, and the crops of your ground-in the land He swore to your forefathers to give you” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 11 NIV).
2. NEW-“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
D. God wants you to be successful. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8 NIV). (Read also, Philippians 4:13; Luke 11:11-13)
E. Money is not the root of all evil-the love of it is. “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 NIV).
F. You are called to surrender your rights to everything, but this does not mean that you are to be poor and penniless. You move from being an owner to being a steward (one who takes care of the resources of another). With this perspective, God can then “richly provide us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
II. Root out wrong attitudes you may have about money.
A. Acquiring wealth is the most important thing in life. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NIV).
B. Abundance is more valuable than love, godly character, or a good name. “Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred” (Proverbs 15:16-17 NIV). “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice” (Proverbs 16:8 NIV). “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1 NIV).
C. You are guaranteed you will be able to keep your material possessions and live to enjoy what you have acquired. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20 NIV). “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-2 1 NIV).
D. Wealth and abundance are more valuable than your faith. “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Philippians 3:7-9 NIV).
E. The quality and value of life are determined by the amount of money you have. “Then He said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15 NIV).
F. You should not have children because they cost too much. “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one‘s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5 NIV).
G. It does not matter how you get money as long as you have it. “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11 NIV).
H. You can earn all the money you want without anyone’s help, even God’s. “But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV).
III. Establish godly attitudes about money.
A. Everything belongs to God, and you are to be a good steward of what God gives to you. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1 NIV). “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV).
B. You are not to love money or what it can bring you, as this can cause you to lose your faith. “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” (I Timothy 6:10 NIV).
C. God expects you to be honest in all of your financial dealings. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.” (Romans 12:17 NIV).
D. Wisdom and understanding are more valuable than silver or gold. “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16 NIV). You should not be proud about how much money you have, but instead, you should glory in knowing the Lord. “This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, Who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV).
E. Godliness and contentment are to be very valuable to you. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (I Timothy 6:6-8 NIV).
F. Good works are to be more important to you than great riches (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
G. The greatest wealth you have is the riches that are in Christ (Ephesians 3:8).
H. Use your money, wealth, and position to influence and bless others (Proverbs 19:4-6, 17; 22:9; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15).
I. Avoid envy, coveting, and greed (Colossians 3:5, Exodus 20:17, Proverbs 15:27).
IV. Apply God’s laws of financial success to your life.
A. Get your priorities right: Put God’s kingdom first in your life, and your other needs will be met (Matthew 6:25-34, *verse 33).
B. Tithe: If you give the tithe, or 1/10 of your income, to God through the local church where you are committed and submitted, God will bless you financially. If you refuse to give the tithe, you are robbing God, and your finances are cursed (Malachi 3:8-10).
C. Use what you have: If you use what is given to you, you will gain more. If you fail to use what is given to you, you will lose even what you think you have (Matthew 25:14-30).
D. Give generously: According to the portion you give, it will be given to you (2 Corinthians 9:6, Luke 6:38).
E. Treat people fairly: However you want others to treat you, treat them in the same way (Matthew 7:12).
F. Be diligent: If you keep going and persevere, you will eventually overcome problems, obstacles, pain, or difficulties (Matthew 7:7-8, Galatians 6:9).
G. Plant what you want to have in your life: For whatever good crop you want to come up in your life, you must first plant the right seed (Galatians 6:7).
H. Walk and talk faith: You can move mountains by the power of God through faith and a right confession (Mark 11:22-24).
I. Walk in unity: Division destroys, but unity brings success (Luke 11:17, John 17:20-23, Matthew 18:19).
J. Develop a financial plan and budget: To bring discipline to your spending and saving habits, develop a written plan (with your spouse, if you are married) for your financial goals and a monthly budget plan to achieve them. These goals and budgets should be both scriptural and workable (example of Joseph: Genesis 41:33-37).
K. Don’t spend what you don’t have: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12 NIV).
L. Avoid the debt trap: “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7 NIV).