First Things _ Financially
Love you all, praying for you,
This one’s a repeat, but it’s so important. It’s a little longer, but I’m praying that you will listen to the end. First Things _ Financially.
Some of you may know this. It may be review for all of you. But just because we knew it once, doesn’t mean we do it now. God said keep His Word with you. Meditate on it day and night, teach it to your children when you get up and lie down when you are walking on the way.
I just love God’s Word. It says more than just one thing about something. It tells you all you need to know to operate in wisdom. Praying that you will review The Money Packet. If you don’t know what God says about money – you will only think what the world thinks. These are eleven things to get started financially – to establish a money foundation - according to God’s Word.
#1 – God owns it, so He directs it. Psalms 50:9 – I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine and everything in it. Haggai 2:8 – The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of Hosts. I Corinthians 4:2 – It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. You don’t manage God’s money, like you think He would want… You ask Him what He wants and then do what He says. You’re a bookkeeper not a manager, a director, not a decider, the Accounts Payable Clerk, not the CEO. Steward doesn’t mean – you decide. It means the Owner decides and you do it. The best stewards are the ones who talk with the owner most often - to see what they want. You just write the checks you are told to write. You don’t feel some kinda way about it. It’s not your money – just write the check. Do what He told you. Generic is ok, you don’t need brand name all the time. Ask Him, He’ll tell you what and when. And sometimes, God wants you to pay full price. It’s not about getting more, it’s about distributing as directed. It’s about doing what He wants to do with it. It’s His. Even what you think you earned. David said, I Chronicles 20:14 – But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! What you have belongs to God, and was given to you by God. Whether a gift, or the job, breath, strength, and the talent and ability to earn it. God just uses money to teach us obedience. He doesn’t need it, we do. It’s how we learn to hear his voice. First Things First - God owns it, He directs it.
#2 – His first directive is 10% off the top – (Gross) You then ask Him about how to direct the remaining 90% There seems to be debate recently about tithe and grace giving. One pastor said – ignore all I preached about the tithe, it doesn’t apply to the church… Really? What does God say? Tithe is a tenth part. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, test me now in this, declares the LORD (Supreme in Authority) and see if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you will not be able to contain.” So is that Old Testament only, and doesn’t apply to the church today? Jesus said: “You Pharisee’s are hypocrites, you tithe off the smallest spices and garden herbs but you neglect the more important things: justice, mercy, and faith. You should have done the former without neglecting the latter.” So clearly the Tithe along with justice, mercy and faith is what we are called to do – they are part of the new covenant as well as the old. Excelling in grace giving is over and above the tithe, as God directs. Test me now in this, God’s perfect solution. Don’t go by what some people say… Go by what God says. In this case – test me now in this. The tithe belongs to God, and you seek Him on the rest.
#3 – Give an Account / Divide your portion - Live by categories. You must have an Accounting Tool. You first have to know where God’s money is. How can you ask Him about what you don’t know you have, or what you think you still have, but really don’t – you spent it already? The 4C’s Accounting Tool is free, and it works. If you don’t know where God’s money is, you can’t ask him about it and do what He tells you to do with it. You won’t know what you have… He does, you don’t. The 4C’s Accounting Tool helps you hear and obey financially. If you do, you’ll walk in peace. Money will be a testimony, never a worry. You do your part and He will surely do His. Luke 16:1 – Give an account of your management… Proverbs 24:27 – Know the condition of your flock, give careful attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever, neither is a crown secure for all generations. God wants us to be diligent with His money – give an account – and just ask Him for direction – He’ll tell you. He’s really good with money.
#4 - Work. I Thessalonians 3:10 – For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: “If anyone is unwilling to work, neither should he eat. God’s provision is often a job, or a field, or an orchard. Tending required. Plowing required. Planting required. Weeding and watering required. Harvesting required. You can’t live within your means, if you have no means. And you can’t give, if you have nothing from which to give. God gave Adam a job before he gave him a wife. Tithing requires a job, Giving requires a job, saving requires a job, providing for your family requires a job, sharing with others requires a job. The precious possession of a man is diligence - not his car, or his bass boat, or his play station… The precious possession of a man (male or female) is diligence. (Proverbs 12:27)
Note: An Observation - Four Ways To Earn Money.
First you get paid for your time. You earn an hour’s wage for an hour’s labor.
Second Level: you earn for your knowledge. Subject matter experts get paid more than new employees – you get paid to answer questions, and solve problems.
Third, you earn by directing others that do the labor (as a Manager or Owner).
Fourth: your money works for you – investing it – gaining appreciation or dividends. Your labor doesn’t make money, your money makes money.
The only other way to earn, is to sell something someone else did, or made. Or create or procure something, and sell it yourself. These are still considered Level 2 earnings – your skill and knowledge, or level three – your ownership.
Ultimately your paycheck reflects the problems you solve. Small problem, small paycheck. Large problem, large paycheck.
Elon Musk solved the problem of gasoline, and speed, and getting to space - he earns a lot. Lebron is a level two employee – his knowledge and skill earns him more than a rookie contract. He’s a multi-millionaire because the problem he solved everywhere he went was entertainment and pride. Big problem, big paycheck. People want to be rabid fans of a team that wins championships. A problem he solves everywhere he goes. Cleveland, Miami, LA… Now his money works for him as well.
First you have to start with hourly wages. Get paid for the hours you put in. Always Add Value – always give more than you get paid, and you will always get a raise. Become a subject matter expert. You know you’re getting there – when other employees start to ask you questions. Be excellent, give God a change to bless you, as you share your growing knowledge to help others. Then ask God what other levels of income he has for you, in his perfect timing. And don’t forget. Giving is the key to receiving. It’s what turns on the faucet! Whether adding value - giving more than you get paid for, or giving to the poor, and storing up treasure in heaven. Give every time the LORD prompts you. Ask Him, it’s His money. It’s not just for spending on yourself – but refreshing others.
#5 – Get Debt Free and then Save to be Debt-Free For Life to eliminate Rent and Mortgage payments which consume your income year after year. First – Get debt free! You cannot save what belongs to another. Proverbs 3:27-28 - Do not withhold money (good) from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. “Don’t say to your neighbor, come back tomorrow, when you have it with you…” Pay what you owe, don’t use their money to save for something else. Proverbs 17:18 – One lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor. What is Security? – a physical asset that will be forfeited to the neighbor – should you not pay them back. What is Surety… “I will surely pay.” You yourself are the ‘security’ put up for debt. Your power to produce income – which is unlimited rather than just the value of the item put up as security. Pawn shops work off of a Security principle – if you don’t pay back the money they lent you, they keep the wedding ring, or the gold watch. But Banks or Private Lenders work off of a Surety principle. That’s why when GMAC sells your repossessed car, cause you couldn’t make the payments… you still owe them the balance of your loan over and above what they got when they sold your car… It’s “Surety, not just Security” The car doesn’t cover the debt, you do! You still owe the rest. God said doing either is stupid (one lacking in judgment). God said “Do not strike hands in pledge. Do not become surety for debt. But if you didn’t know what He said, and you did it… God then said - Romans 13:8 - Let no debt remain outstanding. Now you know. Pay all debt first before saving for future desired purchases. If you save for pleasures instead of paying off debt – that is a textbook definition of “letting debt remain outstanding.” You have it with you, but you’re not paying it, you’re using the money that is rightfully theirs - for something else, instead of paying someone what you owe – that you have with you. “But they’re ok with monthly payments… of course, they are earning interest… they’re becoming rich, you’re becoming poor.” Your labor is enriching another man’s house, that’s not what God has for you. That’s how the wealth of the wicked is shifted to the righteous. “But I’m the righteous, they aren’t even believers.” I John 3:7 – Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. (What is righteous? – whatever God commands). Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. What is sin? Anything Different than what God commands, less than God’s best for you. It causes separation of relationship. The reason the Son of God came was to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. Basically God is saying, righteous is as righteous does. God said his people should be lenders, not borrowers. He wants you earning interest, not paying interest. He wants you to be the head, not the tail. Deuteronomy 15:4 – There should be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you - if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. Proverbs 12:27 – The borrower is slave to the lender. I Corinthians 7:23 – You were bought with a price, do not become slaves of men. If you do not know what God says about debt – you will think like the world thinks. Not like God thinks. See the Money Packet - Learn God’s Word about money, and your mind will be transformed. It will transform your life! You will love God, not money. You will have to decide… what am I willing to borrow for? And What does God say about that? In all of Scripture - did God ever have his people borrow? Did they take out a mortgage for the temple (Gold covered drywall (they used cedar in those days) upwards of a trillion dollars in today’s gold prices. They didn’t make easy payments to 1st Palestinian Bank. God provided. Debt is simply buying something now, that God has not given you the money for yet. God said - Don’t do it. But you’ll have to decide for yourself… what you’ll do, and what you won’t. It will depend on your faith… and your belief.
#6 – Live within your means. Save for the future. Don’t just live for today. To save for the future, you must have a job, and margin. Proverbs 21:20 – The wise man saves for the future but the foolish man spends whatever he gets. The fool lives beyond their means… they borrow, or spend it all on their lifestyle today… they don’t save for tomorrow. You have to live within your means, then pay off debts, then save to eliminate expenses. But first you must get your short term obligations covered. You can’t use grocery money to pay extra on the principal of your student loan. You need groceries. You need to pay the electric bill, or they’ll shut your lights off, and you will need $600 for car repairs this year – whether it is required of you this year, or next… it will be $600 per year per vehicle (Repairpal.com). You will need insurance money for this year, and you will need an Emergency Fund for this year. If you have no margin for Emergency, then every emergency forces you back into debt. You will need to know God’s Word, (The Money Packet) and walk in the Spirit financially – in unity with your spouse. Get God’s financial plan for you. He knows the way out! And the way to prosper you. Use a 4C’s Accounting Tool to diligently give an account, and God will do miracles for you financially. Before making lifestyle decisions - Count the Cost – Use the Options Tab in your 4C’s Tool. Seek God for his will for you financially so you live within your means, and be sure to do whatever He tells you. That’s where the joy is.
#7 – This month’s Income pays next months bills. Next, Pay bills annually if allowed, so this year’s income pays next years bills. Monthly payments add service charge. Annual payments are discounted. Save each month and the money will be there when the bill is due. Pay the year in advance, (like Car Insurance, or Real Estate Taxes)… and save each month throughout the year – to pay the year in advance next year. That’s how “in the house of the wise there are stores of oil and food.” They pay in advance, they increase their margin, so they can buy things they will need, and enough to share with others.
#8 - Take every open door to work. When you are starting out. Take every work opportunity you can. When you’re young you have no money, but you have time and energy. When you get old, you might have some money or not, but your time and your energy has waned. Seek the LORD – Do what He calls you to do. But if you don’t have a mortgage-free house yet, you should be working and saving. 1) Emergency Fund, 2) Annual Bills, 3) Payoff All Debt, 4) Save for a debt-free future.
#9 – Give Freely – as God directs. 10/10/10 is a good place to start. 10% Tithe, 10% Offering, 10% Savings. If you can do it now, you’ll do it then. If you don’t do it now, neither will you then. You won’t tithe on the Lottery, if you don’t tithe on this paycheck, and you won’t save in the future if you don’t save now – no matter what you tell yourself. Always give more than you receive in any work relationship, and always give to the poor. Let God direct your giving. If it’s His money, and it is… He should decide. Ask Him, and He’ll tell you what to give. Giving is really a misnomer. Is it really giving, if it doesn’t belong to you? You’re really giving God’s money away. That’s why it’s important to ask Him what to give, how much, when, and to whom… Since it’s all His money - giving according to His will is the least you can do. Don’t give away what belongs to Him, without asking Him if that’s what He wants you to do with His resources. If you’re willing to give when He says to give, that’s the best way to remind yourself, you’re not the owner – He is. You just work and give and save as He tells you – and He will surely provide for your every need.
#10 – The principle of Delayed Gratification. It is the principle of Proverbs 21:20 The wise man saves for the future… He delays gratification today, to meet the needs of his family, and others… tomorrow. Trust me, you would rather have the nice house and car when you’re 35 or 45 than when you’re 25. You are not impressing anyone. They don’t care! They are worried about $5.00 a gallon, they aren’t even thinking about what you drive, or the house you live in. 10 years from now – God might give you a whole new circle of friends, in an entirely different State and City. They won’t care that you got the nicer apartment ten years ago. And you’ll wish you had the extra $200 a month that you could have saved for 10 years – to take with you. Be willing to sacrifice now – to live free later! Get God’s Seven Year Plan. The wise man saves for the future, the foolish man spends whatever he gets. Your lifestyle now, will impact your lifestyle in the future. You don’t know what you’ll need then, but it will be a greater need, with more at stake than you have now. You’ll have kids! Or your kids will be older… Sacrifice now, you will never regret it. Whatever your perceived needs now, they will be even more needed later. No one remembers my sports car when I was 24 years old. No one cared then, and no one even knows or cares now.
#11 Be Content. If you aren’t content now. You will not be content then - no matter what your income, or car or house, or husband or wife, or kids, or vacations, or toys. Contentment is learned - in the little first. Philippians 4:11 – I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. If your life is not your own, you won’t really care. What soldier gets entangled with civilian affairs… He is focused on serving His commanding officer. (II Timothy 2:4) It’s the analogy God uses regarding contentment. If you are content, your peace and joy will abound. If you aren’t – more money or stuff will never buy you contentment. I’ve never met a discontented person that walked in peace, or joy. Be content. Be willing to remain thankful if God never gave you a penny more… Just obey with the one or two talents you have been given. Let God decide who gets more. If he chooses you, it’s just for you to distribute anyway… so what does it matter? Learn to be content, and fully obedient now, so you will be - then.
Praying that you will Start Obeying Financially Today:
That you will let God direct your money decisions,
that you will tithe off the top,
that you will get a 4C’s Accounting Tool so you learn to hear His voice financially – it’s the best way to practice hearing!
Praying that you will take every opportunity to work as unto the LORD, that diligence will be your precious possession.
That you will live within your means, that this month’s income pays next months bills for the rest of your life.
Praying that you will start paying annually in advance –
that you will set aside for short term needs so debt free will be your absolutely priority. And then save to live debt-free for life.
That you would be ok with delayed gratification, and learn to be content with where you are right now, so you also will be then. God can do more than you can ask or imagine. His ways are higher than ours like heavens above earth.
Praying that you would review The Money Packet – so the world’s opinions on money won’t ever replace what God said.
Praying that you will be faithful daily in your 4C’s Tool. So He directs the money.
So your heart is fully His, and He always remains your first love.
Love you all,
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Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!