Sunday, January 25, 2015

Trials and Finances

Temple Baptist Church - 1-25-2015
Philippians 4:10-19
A.  We live in a materialistic world and the lust of the eye associated with it is devastating many of our families. 
1.  People were happier many years ago when they had less!  Everyone was poor where we came from though “being poor” varied from family to family.  We had less money and things but also had less expectations or riches.
2.  Young people, can you imagine a world without Walmart, Ingles, BI-LO, McDonalds, Frappe’s (or whatever they are called), Starbucks, one car per family if you owned a car, etc.
3.  Hollywood called them “Happy Days” and they were!
B.  Today, monetary expectations are high: “things” have been mace accessible to even the poorest of families. 
1.  We live in a day of two income families that have taken the mother out of the home.  Many of our mothers are “locked in” by the lifestyle of the family and the debts incurred. 
2.  Kids now have cars and electronic devices of every description.  Where we walked, they ride; where we used our imaginations they have more than we could ever have imagined.
C.  Many families suffer a breakup because of the stress of monumental debt caused by “keeping up with the Joneses.”  The bible has much to say on the subject:
Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 
Psalms 37:16  A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
1 Timothy 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
D.  God has a biblical plan for finances and those who remain within these bounds are both satisfied and happy.
E.  It would do us well to realize that there are:
1.  Periodic trials in our finances - Philippians 4:10-13  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  (These are periods of ups and downs in finances that go along with life.)
2.  Personal trials caused by irresponsibility in finances - Luke 15:13-14  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. (These are hard times caused by us personally through bad financial decisions.)
F.  Personal trials caused by irresponsibility in finances.  These trials are self-induced.
1.  These can be caused by Laziness - Proverbs 6:6-11  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.  (Just too lazy and trifling to earn a living.  We live in a “hand out” society as our nation moves more and more into a socialistic system or welfare state.  Free education; free food; free medical; free, free, free.  Nothing is free because someone is either paying for it or the nation is borrowing to pay for it.  Over 18 trillion dollars in debt and 100 trillion in unfunded liabilities?  What is it about spending that the government doesn’t get.  My suggestion: GO GET A JOB!)
2.  These trials can be caused by Discontentment and Excessive Spending.  Fiscal irresponsibility!  1 Timothy 6:7-8  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  (8)  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  (Too much debt and excessive spending will put you in a bind that you may not be able to get out of.  We live in the day of “flashing” the old credit card instead to waiting until you get the money.  The “gotta have its” turns into the “can’t help its” which is a disaster looking for a place to happen.)
Proverbs 30:8  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
G.  Some can be unexpected and catastrophic.  They are not something that you cause.  Loss of job or unforeseen bills such as doctor, mechanics, replacement of broken down appliances, etc.  These are unexpected and unplanned for.
2 Corinthians 8:1-2  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  (2)  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
H.  What to do when financial hard times come:
1.  Continue To Tithe Your Income And Give A Love Offering - Mark 12:42-44  And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.  And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:  For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living
Leviticus 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
2.  Learn To Be Content With A Little Less Instead Of A Lot More - Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 
3.  Plan To Stay Out Of Debt, Not Incur Debt - Romans 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  (You have to get out of debt the same way that you got into debt – one dollar at a time!)
Proverbs 3:27  Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
4.  Continue to trust the Lord to take care of your needs - Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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