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The power of money 2: Know the territory
The last time I did the teaching here at Weekly worship was just before Christmas at the Carol service. I talked about Joseph making some courageous decisions in his life, decisions to trust and follow God. I hope today that each of us will make some really good decisions about managing money.
Firstly, on the Christmas theme I would like you to engage in a money quiz, its very easy as it is only one question and we have a theme tune to help you.
Now have to get into role [put on 70’s wig]
I would like to encourage you to talk your answer through with the people sitting next to and around you, conferring is allowed.
So the question:
How much did the average household of four in the UK spend over and above their normal spending in the three weeks before Christmas, December 10th to January 1st?
Now the answer: £1100, but wait for it, that is per person. So the average UK household will celebrate Christmas by spending £4340 more than base spending
To me that does not speak of a Christmas message of freedom.
If nothing else I want you to think of Christmas now. Set a budget for what you plan to spend, then put in place a weekly or monthly savings plan so you have the money and you can freely spend and avoid the Ghost of Christmas Debt.
Also if you are going to reduce your Christmas spending budget or have very little and you do not expect to be able to afford much or anything at all, then let your friends and family know now so you are not just drawn into spending in all the Christmas hype.
Karl Martin at Morningside Baptist in Edinburgh encouraged people to set their budget then give half of it away. Less may be spent on presents but what a great Christmas gift the giving away will be.
So prepare now, Christmas is likely to happen.
So today I will look at how we manage our money, how we steward it, how we can have wisdom in spending. There will also be practical tips and help. Much like the Christmas story of Joseph we need to make some decisions and take action.
Why managing our money, and why do we talk about it today? It is something that we all need and should do?
This is one of a series of three.
Michele talked last week about how Money is a big challenge in our hearts and to who we are. It is clear that money has a big effect on our lives and there are many pressures and influences that are designed to capture our hearts. Our relationship to money has a lot to say about us and our relationship with God.
This week I am talking about Managing money and next week David will be talking about Money in difficult times.
• Establish principles and approaches to faith and money
• To increase awareness of what is shaping our attitudes and behaviour in relation to money
• To encourage critical interaction and understanding of our culture
• To dispel myths about money
• To equip us to manage money
• To give us an opportunity to discuss and get support with issues relating to money
As I talk today, I want you to keep clear, in your own mind the truth that Jesus teaches.
Your worth is far greater than the amount of money we have or possessions you have. His teaching and principles are so good that they apply to all of us whatever our financial circumstances. The challenge is whether we actually apply them.
You may feel uncomfortable, and I see that as positive. This series is not a judgement but a call to action, to make some changes, help to find freedom, but let's work through it, be courageous.
"The Money Revolution" by John Preston goes through in really good detail five core biblical principles:
1 – Everything belongs to God
2 – Active stewardship
3 – Living within your resources
4 – Build up treasure in heaven
5 – Give generously
Agenda for today
The series on money and aims
Principles and resources
Plan, give, clear debt / save
Summary and Doing
When we are addressing money in our lives and also particularly when we are spending money we have to make lots and lots of decisions. Many of these will be conscious decisions but many are made in our subconscious and we simply accept without question.
Michele highlighted last week that our culture has lots of imbedded ideas about money and how we spend it, get it, use it. If we compare this to what Jesus teaches us and principles in the Bible there is often a difference.
Where there is a difference it is important to be conscious and aware. We need to see the myths and understand them, it will help us manage our money better.
Lets have a look at some of the myths and also be really aware of our reaction to them. Michele last week demonstrated the value of actually thinking through some of her emotional reactions, in identifying them she and we are able to deal with them.
I encourage you to examine these in terms of “how do I react”, emotional response and also “what do I do”, rational response, but give them both close examination.
Myths of money that have strong influence:
Myth of mine and now
Myth of more
Myth of worth
Myth of credit
Myth of money talk
Myth of mine and now
If we look at society and indeed our own actions it is easy to see that we treat money as our possession, as something we earned or gained.
Language we use for money is very possessive “my money, my wallet / purse, my earnings, my stuff”. It is actually really difficult to identify elements of money which are not about what we have or talk about it without referring to what “I” have. I would love to suggest a new language to this, but it is difficult. We need to see this myth though and make our “actions speak louder than the words” here
Couples who don’t have shared finances, now that may have caused a little jolt for you, just think if you are about to get married it may seem romantic to be getting a joint account, but for those who have never done that it could be a frightening prospect.
Myth of now, the constant bombarding of, Buy now pay later.
Often it is the case that we can be drawn into that, but also be aware of when it happens when we just buy – because we can afford it
Why is mine and now a myth:
Psalm 24 verse 1
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it
Haggai 2 verse 8
The silver is mine and the gold is mine,” declares the Lord
The myth of more
Ecclesiastes 5:10 “Whoever loves money never has enough money; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income… as goods increase so do those who consume them”
All I need is a little more versus manage what I have.
Biggest factor in increasing satisfaction in life – more money.
It is just wrong, effects many lives around us dedicating lives to having more, houses, cars, more more more
Check and test yourself especially when it is tight and difficult, money would be an escape route.
Be wary of dressing it up, earn more so can give more. It is right for us to be paid fairly, look for promotions, increase in pay etc, but that can have cost and a burden. More often carries more responsibility, different pressures. I would warn against going for something purely because it gives more money.
Also really watch out for envy here, it can be very subtle eg celebrity dismiss them for not being truly happy.
Myth of worth
I think this is encapsulated very cleverly in the “because your worth it adverts” that taps really deeply into people, we need to hear that from God not Loreal.
Crunch busting bargains - don't worry you can still have it, your life does not need to change.
Treasure now versus Treasure in heaven.
Jesus says store up treasures in heaven, we judge success by the amount people have now.
God believes you are worth it, he sent Jesus to tell you.
The myth of credit
Credit or Debt, Credit rating. Bible says you are in debt (bonded enslaved) to the lender.
The myth of Money talk
Myth that the Wharfedale Vineyard always talk about money, after the six on sex series, maybe we talk about sex and money
Brilliant if we do, that is healthy stuff.
But - You are the Wharfedale Vineyard – so do you?
Great if you do, but do we to a level where can help and not judge, feel we are part of this whatever our bank balance. Not about bringing statements to a meeting but managing well and sharing, praying, practical help for each other.
Tell you what I have really enjoyed researching and reading and doing this talk it is actually rather interesting, I love understanding cultural influences, examining spending and trying to seek wisdom, talking to others about how money influences their lives.
Money is not evil, it is not in conflict with God, it all belongs to him. However if we treat money as ours and want as much as we can for now, we are allowing a love of money to take root and this is the root that is often quoted “money is the root of all evil”
Examples of Viking and baptism without sword hand, we need to be totally immersed, and that includes our money and possessions.
Now so far we have talked about a lot of cultural influences, myths and I have asked you to check against your emotional reactions and think about what you actually do, some of you may be pleased or relieved that this next section is all about actual numbers, facts, real things that can be measured.
The verse in Ecclesiastes encapsulates this brilliantly –
“as goods increase so do those who consume them
Whatever our income we need to have a plan and a budget, this is not especially if money is tight or for those who have plenty, this is for all of us.
So we need to have a plan, budget
To do that I need a plan of where I am going, as well as my values and intentions.
What is the plan and call on your life, what is it that you are thinking about the future and where you are going?
As I was growing up it was about being able to get around my village – I bought a bike, plans about going abroad to do a short term mission, going to University, getting married, growing family. My plans have a theme of going somewhere new, meeting people, sharing Jesus with them.
Also your plan is also to include a Will.
Then you need to work out how to do it.
Next the big step – BUDGET
First Budget I did was with Kates Dad, it was excellent, really helpful, it was before we got married as we were planning on having a house, etc…
Think this may have been one of the tests, not sure if was an option – it was great
What you do:
Income: depends on how you get paid, for us monthly.
1 – Give first
2 - Essential outgoings: Housing, gas, electric, insurance, pay debts
3 – Variable potential outgoings: Food, Clothing, car, tv license
You need to make some tough decisions, if it means you are spending more than you earn, start again at the beginning of stage 3.
Also be aware and need to talk it through if you are married.
There are reources on the web you can use to do a budget.
Saving and Debt
Comment on debt, not all wrong eg mortgage, student loan, car when have to get to a job
What a budget does – helps you to spend less than you earn
Example of Zacchaeus – Jesus love for someone who did this really well
All you need to do now is manage it, stick to it, review and measure, ensure your spending is well managed.
So here is an excellent guide in all of this to spend well.
1 Our spending is consistent with our values
2 Are you going to use it?
3 Consider the long term cost, not just the purchase price
4 Spend the appropriate amount of time shopping around
5 pray about major purchases
6 Does it have to be new?
Go through buying book checking against the values
One spending well decision to make is buy one of these books, I bought this book for 1p, on Amazon and then had to pay £2:75 for postage which I was really pleased about.
I hope there have been things in what I have said that mean something to you, provoke a reaction and give you a desire to act and do.
If that is not enough or you want to test what I have said out here are a couple of ideas:
• Deal with peer group pressure, can we go somewhere cheaper, less expensive, our house or I don’t want to spend money on that
• Go around the centre of Leeds with no money and no means to pay at all, if appropriate no phone or anything like that, then go into 10 shops and see what draws you, what you think about money and what makes you think “I must have that” – ask God to teach you
• Budget now for Christmas
• On budgeting and managing, you may have realised you are not sure what is going on, not budgeting or managing well. Well ask for forgiveness, give yourself the sack and then reinstate yourself and ask God and people around you to help.
• Money Fasting, Stay Generous
How are you managing, how will you be managing in a weeks, months and a years time?
Ben Newman, 01/03/2009
The power of money 2: Know the territory
Ben talks about how we steward our money, addresses common myths regarding money, and challenges us to make courageous decisions about how we manage our money.
MP3 Audio (64Kbps, 19.8MB)