We just completed week two of the sermon campaign, The Church Just Wants Your Money. One of the goals for the campaign is helping our people identify how money grips our hearts, rather than the Gospel. Our money should never control us, but we should control it. Money is a gift from God to us; therefore, we are stewards.
Stewardship is a countercultural idea for many of us. Our televisions, magazines, and electronic devices preach a gospel that we are owners and we are in charge of our lives. The money gospel says, "make more money, get more things, and enjoy love, security, comfort, pleasure." There's a whole book of the Bible written on the disappointment of these kind of empty pursuits. The pursuit of money is like a stomach that can never be filled. Stewardship goes against the grain of society.
Stewardship is birthed by a healthy Gospel understanding of our identity. We were created by God as image-bearing stewards.....
Money has been a god we’ve worshipped and served for a long time. A total retooling of how we handle our finances begins with a good plan. A good plan bears good fruit, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty (Proverbs 21:5)."
Here are a couple things to help you be diligent:
Take Ownership In Theology of Stewardship. Stop believing it’s your money. If you really believe that every gift is from God then you will begin to start managing your money in a way that honors God (Psalm 81:10; James 1:17, 1 Peter 4:11). God provides the money in our lives for us to not only honor Him, but also express where our faith really rests: Jesus or money. Financial dysfunction will perpetuate when you continue to believe the lie that it’s your money, not God’s He has gifted to you.
Create And Utilize A Budget. A good plan that faithfully honors God with your finances always will include having a budget. Budgeting is one of the most underutilized tools, but really helps you gain perspective on how you spend your money. A good first step, would be look back at last month’s spending. Pull out last month’s bank statement and categorize your spending. If it was important for Luke to record historical data, so should your spending patterns ( Luke 1:1-4). Pastor Boyd shared a great formula for budgeting. For example, take 10 percent for tithing. 10 percent towards savings, and 80 percent to live off. Budgeting is one of the easiest ways to rewire your heart to being a steward.
Be Disciplined. The proverb says, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid (12:1).”