Foundation of financial health
Jesus talked more about money than he did about heaven or hell. Because we spend more time thinking about money than heaven or hell. We spend much of our time thinking about how to get it, how to make it, how to save it, how to spend it, how to invest it, how to protect it, how to insure it and all the other things. It dominates much of our lives. So Jesus had a lot to say about money management. He also told us that money management is a spiritual discipline. That God is actually watching how I handle my wealth to see what he can trust me with, in true spiritual riches in heaven.
Matthew 6:19–21 ESV “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In the Parable of the Ten virgins and the Parable of the Talents Jesus emphasized the need to be always prepared because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. He talks about the kingdom of God, the coming of the kingdom of God and how we should live in anticipation of its coming.
Text: Mt. 25:14-30
In Matthew 25:14, the beginning of the story. It says this, “The Kingdom of heaven [Jesus said] will be like a man going on a journey [this businessman] and he called his three servants together and he entrusted his property to them.”
The end of the story. Two of the guys have a good report. One of the guys has a bad report. Then Jesus draws some spiritual truths out of it.
Circle the word “his” there in that verse. It says “He called his three servants together and entrusted his property to them.” So when we’re talking about money here, whose money are we talking about? The money owned by the master or the money owned by the servants? The master. It’s not the servants’ money. It’s the master’s money that he’s giving to them to take care of.
This by the way, is called stewardship. You’ve heard this word before – steward or stewardship. That’s the old English word for “manager. A steward is a manager and stewardship simply means management. We are called to be stewards of our time – manage our time. We are called to be stewards of our influence. We are called to be stewards of our health, of our minds, of our relationships, of our opportunities. Everything you have you are to be steward of or a manager of. He says here “He entrusted his property to his servants.” This is the first law of financial freedom. It is this.
7 FOUNDATIONS FOR FINANCIAL FITNESS
1st THE LAW OF POSSESSION: EVERYTHING I HAVE BELONGS TO GOD
God is the creator, therefore everything belong Him
Isaiah 40:28 ESVHave you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
1 Chronicles 29:12 ESV Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
Matthew 25:14 ESV “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.
It’s not my money. It all belongs to God. You say, “But wait a minute! I worked for this!” Everything we have and enjoy came and is owned by God. Your body, mind, energy, intelligence and everything you have are a gift from God. So you don’t really own anything in life. It’s all on loan. You didn’t bring anything into the world and I’ve been there at the other end too, at the funerals, nobody takes it out with them. You never see a hearse driving a U-Haul.
So you only get to use it while you’re here. It’s God’s money. God loaned it to somebody before you. He’s loaned it to you for eighty years. And he’s going to loan it to somebody else after you die. You don’t own it. It’s all under management. The master owns it all. God is the owner.
This is really important because we tend to forget it. We forget and when we forget it, you know what the sign is that you’ve forgotten that it’s God’s and not yours? When you think it’s yours, you worry about it. Worry is a sign that you think it’s all yours.
What is a talent, a Roman talent? is seventy-one pounds of gold ( Today’s gold price = 1,958,400). That means if you got a talent of gold you got 1.9 million dollars. This is not a small investment. If you got one talent, which he gave to one guy, Jesus gave you 3.9 million dollars to take care of while he’s gone. If he’s given you five talents, he’s just given you 9.7 million dollars to take care of. This is not a small amount. He’s really trusting.
God has made a huge investment in you. But the first law, the law that God possesses everything; it all belongs to him.
“To one servant he gave five talents of money, to another two talents of money, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he left on his journey.” Matt. 25:15
Then the second law it says, He gives five talents to one, two talents to another, one talent of gold to another, “…each according to his ability” then he left on his journey.
2nd THE LAW OF ALLOCATION: GOD HAS LOANED ME MONEY
Matthew 25:15 ESV To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
You don’t really own it. He’s loaning it to you for thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, eighty, ninety, at the most, a hundred years. Say this, “The money I thought I own is only loan”
You notice in this story that Jesus tells, everybody gets a different amount. It’s obvious. We’re all not equally wealthy. We’re not all equally of the same economic status. It says one guy got one talent. Some guy gets two talents. Some guy gets five talents of gold.
VS. 16-18 “The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents also doubled his money. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and just hid his master's money.”
There are a couple things I want to point out here.
1. Money is a tool to be used. You put it to work.
2. You use money and you love people. If you get that reversed you’re going to be in trouble. Because if you start loving money, you will use people.
3. People are to be loved; money is to be used.
4. You are to never love money. You’re to use it. It is a tool to use.
The love of money is the root of all evil. Money is a neutral thing. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s what you do with it.
NOTE: Everyone gets different amount
You don’t get to choose what you receive. God is the one who determines it according to our ability. But You get to CHOOSE what you do which God gives you! Waste it… Spend it … Hoard it… Use it .. Invest it!
God gives you that freedom as a TEST
BUT ONE DAY you’ll explain to God the choices you made!VS. 19 “After a long time the Master of the three servants returned to settle his accounts.” circle “accounts”
3rd THE LAW OF ACCOUNTABILITY: ONE DAY GOD WILL AUDIT ME!
Matthew 25:19 ESV
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
A final exam on the life God gave you! A Life Audit , not by C.R.A. but by G.O.D! & He has all the records!. God has made an investment in you. He’s given you intellect, passion, ability & He is counting on a return!
Rom 14:12 “Each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Irresponsibility never lasts. It catches up with you!. The master said, “What did I do with what he gave me?”
1st guy: Good Returning to Report
VS. 20-21 “The man who had received five talents brought the other five he had made. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!” Doubled investment! 100% return!
2nd guy- another good return
VS. 22 -23 "Then the servant with the two talents of money also came. ‘Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; now see that I have gained two more!’ His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!” Resourceful! 100% ROI!
3rd guy- not a good report
VS. 24-26 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!’”
BURIED IT! Did nothing!
• Then blamed his master for his mismanagement! a victim!
• The easiest thing to when one fails is to blame others.
• You blame your parents, your school, govt., etc…
PROV. 19:3 (TEV) “People ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame the Lord!” When you BLAME you are BEING LAME.
You only have yourself to blame. Who told you to buy the things you have that caused you to be in financial trouble?
God “When did I tell you to do that?”
Notice the Master’s response to this whining:
VS. 27“You should have at least put my money into the bank so I could make some interest!”
4th THE LAW OF UTILIZATION: I MUST WISELY USE GOD’S MONEY!
God expects me to use what I’ve got. Not to hoard it, not to sit on it, not to hide it, not to bury it, not to deny it. But money is a tool and it is meant to be used. It is not meant to be stockpiled.
Money is like manure. If you spread it all around it helps things grow – like fertilizer. But if you pile it up it just starts stinking. Money’s like fertilizer. You don’t pile it up. God says money is to be used. God expects me to invest what he loans me. This third guy, what’s the problem with him? He’s cautious, he’s conservative. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He just sits on it. He takes what his master has given him and doesn’t do anything with it.
1. You can’t please God by doing nothing (MUST RISK!)
Without faith...impossible! Whatever...Doing nothing with my talent is inexcusable. Doing nothing with your money is inexcusable!. Doing nothing with your time is inexcusable!
2. God would rather you try to serve Him in faith & fail than do nothing
“I’d rather attempt to do something & fail…” Who is most likely to do nothing with what God gave him? The 1 talent person! “Since I’m not a superstar, I’ll just sit here…Just because you can’t be “the best” –doesnt excuse you to do nothing! Some of you have no joy in life. No spark /no enthusiasm WHY?
PLAYING IT SAFE! Sitting on the sidelines of life! Spectators. Not using your talents the way God intended. Living for yourself. Not involved in ANY service to others!
5th THE LAW OF MOTIVATION: I MUST MOVE AGAINST MY FEARS!
Matthew 25:25 ESV so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’
Now we get to the heart of the matter! Every talent have corresponding fear:
· If you have a talent singing, there will be a fear that nobody will like it.
· If you have a talent in business, there will be a fear of, what if I fail? · If you have a talent in any other area there will always be the what if’s in the back that keep you from stepping out and doing what God created you to with your life, investing.
GOD PROMISES blessing IF you’ll follow his commands. BUT THEY REQUIRE FAITH!
There are 3 kinds of fear that can bury your “talents”
1. SELF-DOUBT “I could never do that! ... “I’m not qualified”
2. SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS: “What will others think?”
3. SELF-PITY - “I failed in past so I’ll never try again”
God uses ordinary people. Moses-murderer. David-adulterer, Jacob-failure
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been-but where you’re headed!
READ AGAIN VS. 25 “I was afraid and went out and hid your money in the ground.”
Remember how he prepared a little speech to justify himself! Blamed his boss! “It’s your fault I failed! You were unreasonable!” Fear ALWAYS causes me to make excuses to do nothing! Satan often attaches a fear to a talent God has given you! If you give into the fear… never see the return on investment God intends
Must move against your fears!
VS. 28-29 The Master’s reaction: “Take away the money from this servant and give it to the one with ten talents. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance! But for those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away.”
6th THE LAW OF APPLICATION: IF I DON’T USE IT I’LL LOSE IT!
Why do some seem to get less & less in life? They aren’t using what they’ve got!
God has the right to take away ANYTHING I don’t use to invest for Him! That is a principle of the universe that you cannot deny. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. If you’re not using what you’ve got, you don’t get what you’ve got. God has the right to take away anything that I don’t use to invest for him. Because it’s all his in the first place.
Universal Law: You forfeit what you don’t use! Refuse to exercise - lose muscle! Refuse to think - mind goes dull! Refuse to practice - lose a talent!
o Flip side: If I DO use what God gives me- He will give me more!
Heb. 13:21"God will equip you with all you need for doing his will"
Q: What do you need more of? Energy? Time? Talent? Money?
Whatever you need more of - start using it to help others! Whatever you sow…you will reap. But you will say, “I don’t have enough time to give, not enough money to Give.”
• You need more time? – give your time to God • You need more money? – give your money to God • You need more energy? – give your energy to God
When you sow a seed, you don’t get one seed back. You always get exponentially, geometrically more. If I sow one kernel of corn, plant it in my backyard, I don’t get one kernel of corn back. I get a stalk of corn with hundreds of kernels on it. I always get back more than I sow. That is the law of sowing and harvesting
7th THE LAW OF COMPENSATION: GOD WILL REWARD ME FOR GOOD MANAGEMENT (Stewardship)
God will reward me for good money management. Money is the acid test of your faithfulness. God uses it more than any other thing in your life to test your faith. Why? Because it’s the thing we have the hardest time with.
VS. 21 “The Master replied, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, I will now put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”
MONEY IS GOD ACID TEST OF HOW MUCH YOU TRUST GOD
Luke 16:11-13 “If you are untrustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people's money, why should you be trusted with money of your own? No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
Money is a bad master but a good servant. If you work for money your life will always be in debt. If you make money work for you, you will have financial freedom