First Things Financially
Love you all, praying for you,
Some of you may already 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 when you lie down and when you are walking on the way. Some things are worth reviewing… so you remember.
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. From God’s Word, and by way of review – if you’re just starting out in life (or maybe just need a reset). What are first things you need to know or do financially? Here they are… #1 God owns it, so He directs it. #2 His first Directive is 10% off the top. #3 Give an Account/Divide Your Portion #4 Work #5 Get Debt Free / and then save to be debt-free for life! #6 Live Within Your Means #7 This Month’s Income Pays Next Month’s Bills #8 Take Every Opportunity To Work #9 Give Freely as God Directs. #10 The Principle of Delayed Gratification and #11 Learn To Be Content these are first things you need to know or do financially. So what do they mean?
#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. Bitcoin is mine, the stock market is mine… OK, I added the last part – but you get the idea… I Corinthians 4:2 – It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. (When it comes to what God wants regarding money… You don’t manage God’s money, like you think He would want… You ask Him what He wants and then just 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 you have, breath in your lungs, strength in your body, 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. 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 ninety percent.
#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 don’t? The 4C’s Tool is a pretty good one. It’s 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 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 16:11 – Give an account of your management… Proverbs 24:27 – Know the condition of your flocks, 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 – to 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 and Planting required. Weeding and watering required. Harvesting required. You can’t live within your means, if you have no means. 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. (Prov 12:27)
#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 possessed by 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 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 for your car… that’s why people get ‘upside down’ in the car loan game… It’s “Surety, not just Security.” The car doesn’t cover it, you do. God said doing either is stupid (one lacking in judgment). God said “ Do not strike hands in pledge. But if you did… God then said - Romans 13:8 - Let no debt remain outstanding. Pay all debt first before saving for future purchases. If you save or buy other things - instead of pay off debt – that is the 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. 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? Different from what God commands, less than God’s best for you). 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. 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? What does God say about that? 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, that God has not given you the money for yet. God said - Don’t do it. You’ll have to decide for yourself…
#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, 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, and save each month to repeat the process 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, and they buy things they will need, and enough to share.
#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 is running out. 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 Funds 2) Annual Bills, 3) Payoff All Debt, 4) Save for a debt-free future.
#9 – Give Freely – as God directs. It’s His money – you’re the bookkeeper, not the owner. 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. God’s secret: giving is gain, not loss. Most people don’t understand that. You’re not just laying up treasure in heaven, you will get a return on earth. Givers always prosper, those who withhold come to poverty. God makes sure givers always have seed to sow, and bread to eat. Give and it will be given to you… See the Relationship Topic – 11 Things you need to Know About Giving. Givers always prosper.
#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. You would rather have the nice house and car when you’re thirty-five or forty-five than when you’re twenty-five. 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. Ten 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. If you fully commit, you can get out of debt in seven years… It was God’s prescribed Biblical Model. And once you have no debt, the same seven years that got your out, could save for mortgage free housing, so you can live debt-free for life. 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 twenty-four years old. No one cared then, and no one even knows now.
#11 Learn To 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 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. 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, 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!