Have a Plan for Your Money - A budget is a plan for your money. It should be based on your income and not your desires. If you are getting to the end of your money before the end of the month, it time to adjust your budget or to begin budgeting. There are three important building blocks to every budget: 1) Your expenses must not exceed your income. If your expenses are greater than your income, you must find a way to decrease your expenses or increase your income. 2) You need to have an emergency fund of at least $1,000 to help you deal with budget busters. 3) We must give back to God and honor Him with our money.Test God with Your Giving - In Malachi 3:8-12, God tells us to test Him by tithing or giving 10%. This is part of being a good steward. Remember, all we have is on loan from God. If he asks for 10%, a good steward will give it back to Him. There is a promise of blessing if we will obey and tithe. The blessings
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, I preached on obeying God’s plan for our money. There was such a positive response on that sermon that I wanted to include some of the notes in my blog. This will be done in two parts.
Be a Good Steward - It all begins with us realizing that we are stewards of what God has loaned us. Our goal is to be like the good stewards in Matthew 25:14-30. They multiplied what their master gave them. God expects us to use what He has given us to grow His kingdom. When we use what He has given us properly, He will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Remember, a steward does what the master wants. If we are going to be good stewards, we will need to study God’s Word to learn His desires for what He has loaned us.
Serve God and not Money - Jesus says, “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) Proverbs 22:7 tells us that the borrower will be a servant to the lender. Through credit and debt, we are in bondage for years and pay end up paying a huge fine through the interest. We now have three classes of people - the haves, the have nots, and those who have not paid for what they have. Many people are buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t know or like. The best place to begin eliminating debt is with high interest credit card debt.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Dave Ramsey says we need to “act our wage.” That is a powerful statement that we all need to learn. Credit allows us not to act our wage. We need to understand that credit keeps us from knowing how far past broke we are. Credit is like having a gas gauge on your car that is stuck at half of a tank. Even though the gauge says you have gas, you will be walking soon. Think about all the good things the church could do if we had the money Christ-followers were paying in interest. Instead of giving the money to banks, we could be feeding the hungry, helping the poor, and reaching those that need Jesus.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Are you focused on what you have or what you don’t have? If you focus on your wants, you will never have enough. If you focus on the needs of others, you will discover that you have more than enough to share. If you focus on today, you will try to hang on to everything you have. When you focus on eternity, the things of this world don’t seem important.
My prayer is that through Cannonball each of us will have a proper focus.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
My life verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” That verse has gotten me through some tough times. When I was a campus minister and finances were tight, I often went to that verse. It reminded me that I needed to remember my call and my God. If I was doing what God called me to do, then I needed to let Him do it. God always showed up at the right time. I would get paid exactly when I had to have it. There are times when I am absolutely overwhelmed. In those times, I return to my call only to find out that I am doing some things that I haven’t been called to do. For me, that verse provides the focus on the things I should be doing and reminds me that there are some things I should not be doing.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
“The most expensive vehicle to operate, per mile, is the shopping cart.” With a shopping cart, you can go less than a hundred yards, and it can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. If we are driven by what our eyes see instead of a well-planned shopping list, that shopping cart can put you in debt in a hurry. As we think about Cannonball and making a bigger impact thorough our resources, we might be able to give more to the kingdom if we drove our shopping carts more carefully.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
As someone put it, “Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional.” Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in this world. How we react to this trouble will determine if we will be miserable. As Paul was facing death, this is what he said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul focuses on the bigger picture of being with Jesus and pleasing Him. While Paul may have trouble, he sees that he can use that pain as a platform to tell others about Christ. Paul also knows that if the troubles end in death that he will gain his reward and eternal rest. While Paul found himself in a miserable place, he focuses on what Christ can do. We should do the same.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Many people in the world live on less than $2 per day! It costs us $2 just to start up our cars and go a few miles. We are really blessed. Realizing how blessed we are may change how we read these verses.
1 Tim 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
As we move further into Cannonball, I would ask that you count your blessings and then embrace these verses by realizing that God is calling you to use your wealth. The impact of Northridge Christian Church will be expanded in tremendous ways when we become generous and rich in good deeds.
Friday, February 8, 2013
“If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.” In Philippians 4:12, Paul tells us that he has learned to be content. In 4:6-7, he tells that we can have the peace of God that transcends understanding through prayer and thanksgiving. Then in 4:8-9, Paul tells us that the God of peace will be with us when we focus our minds on the right things. The richest people I know are those who have learned to be content and have the peace that only God can provide. Some of the richest people I know would not be wealthy by this world’s standards, but they are content with the peace of God.
Friday, February 1, 2013
As a kid, I can remember having a cannonball competition at a friend’s pool. After the competition, we decided to rock that pool. That meant we all did a cannonball at the same time. We displaced a lot of water. In fact, my friend’s parents got upset because we splashed so much water out of the pool.
As we move into this generosity initiative called Cannonball, I want to challenge you to think about what it would look like if we had 100% involvement at Northridge. We would have a huge impact. We would rock this community in a good way for our Lord. Ask God that we would see everyone who attends Northridge pray, study God’s Word, serve, and contribute. With 100% participating, we will rock this planet.