Tuesday Night Bible Study
September 29, 2020
Conference Call # 508-924-2881 or 712-775-7032, access code 727956#
" Managing Our Finances God's Way”
Dr. James A. May, D. D., M.R.E., Th.M., – Facilitator
Lesson One –“God Wants Us to Prosper”
Romans 8:31-32 NLT
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?”
This series of our bible study is about " Managing Our Finances God's Way.” It is not about prosperity preaching or teaching. God wants us to be productive and prosperous in this life. However, productivity and prosperous living is not based on man’s standards. Each person’s productivity and prosperous living will look different.
It is no secret that the Bible teaches us to live our lives a little bit differently than the world does. And that’s especially true when it comes to money and finances. When it comes to saving, giving and debt, it is no different. The world says one thing, but the Bible points to a better way; a way that glorifies God and actually helps us live fuller, more joyful lives (Galatians 6:8).
Before we start talking about money and finances, we must first recognize that God really owns what you have and that includes your family as well as your time and things. Recognize this biblical principle or it will be impossible to manage our finances God's Way or free ourselves financially. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Psalm 24:1 NLT).
Note: A distraught man frantically rode his horse up to John Wesley, shouting, “Mr. Wesley, Mr. Wesley, something terrible has happened! Your house has burned to the ground!” Weighing the news for the moment, Wesley replied, “No. The Lord’s house burned to the ground. That means one less responsibility for me.” We might say, “Get real,” but Wesley’s reaction didn’t stem from a denial of reality. Rather, it sprang from life’s most basic reality—that God is the owner of all things, and we are simply his stewards.
has given us stewardship, (someone an owner entrusts with the management of his
assets) over a lot of things. However, He stills owns all (see Genesis
In Jesus’ parable of the “unrighteous steward,” (Luke 16:1-13) a wealthy owner fires his business manager for wasting his assets. During the brief period before his termination becomes effective, the steward goes to his master’s debtors and reduces what they owe, thereby bring about their friendship. When the master learns of this, he doesn’t praise the steward for unethical behavior—but he does praise him for his foresight in making friends who will be supportive of him now that his term of stewardship is over.
The man’s termination signifies that every steward’s service will one day come to an end. We will finish this life just as the manager finished his job, and likely just as unexpectedly. When that time comes, we, too, will give an account of our stewardship (Romans 14:12). Consequently, Jesus is telling us, we should follow the steward’s example of looking ahead to the long-term future and using wisely what little remaining time and influence we have now. In this parable, Jesus doesn’t tell us to stay away from “worldly wealth” but to use it strategically. He says to “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” (Luke 16:9 NLT).
Stewards are Required to Invest and Produce
In Matthew 25:14-30, the “Parable of the Talents” (Parable of the Three Servants),” a man was leaving on a trip and entrusted his money to his servants while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last, dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. After a long time, their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The master praised the two who had invested the money and reaped a return telling them “‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
The master replied to the servant who buried the money, “You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Note: Even though we are not created equal in regards to the talents given, there is an equality found in this parable and in Gods economy; it comes from the fact that it takes just as much work for the five-talent servant to produce five more talents, as it does for the two-talent servant to produce two more talents. That is why the reward given to each by the master is the same. The master measures success by the degree of effort.”
There are five lessons from this parable:
Each man was given talents “according to his own ability.”
Two of the servants invested the money. It’s our job to be faithful with all God has given us, which means we need to leverage our opportunities. We are to work; using our talents to glorify God, to serve the common good, and to further the Kingdom.
It was not uncommon in those days for masters to entrust possessions to their servants in their absence. If we are followers of Christ, we are His servants—we chose to die to self and follow Him. The Bible teaches us that everything we have—whether acquired or given at birth—is Gods.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The Master, in the parable, expected his servants to do more than passively preserve what had been entrusted to them. God expects us to generate a return by using our skills and abilities toward a productive end. The servant who received 1 talent (bag of silver) had everything necessary to produce 1 more. But out of fear, he chose to do nothing.
The unfaithful servant in the parable did not waste the master’s money, he wasted an opportunity. As a result, he was judged wicked and lazy.
God Wants Us to Prosper
In John 10:10 NLT Jesus says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” The KJV says, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” God want us to prosper, but not always with money. God want us to succeed, but not always with financial rewards.
Sometimes we impede ourselves from receiving blessings. In James 4:3 NLT, says, “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:3 clearly states that if our motives are wrong, God will not honor our request.
Furthermore, if you love money, this will also impede you from being bless. 1 Timothy 6:10 NLT says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”
The reason the “love of money” is the root of all kinds of evil is stated in the previous verse (verse 9). “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.” The “love of money” has a direct connection with temptation, foolish and harmful desires, that will lead us into ruin, destruction and down the road of perdition.
Money can become an idol god. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money” Luke 16:13. Additionally, Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5:10 NLT “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!”
Note: Use money, but don’t serve it. See it for what it is and for what it isn’t. Money makes a terrible master, yet it makes a good servant to those who have the right master—God.
In Mark 12:41-44, Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Note: For mankind, wealth is based on what you have, however, for God, wealth is based on what you give (see Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8; Luke 6:38; Proverbs 19:17; Proverbs 28:27; 1 John 3:17; James 2:15-16). It is the heart of a “giver” that gives us wealth, not the size of our pocketbook.
In “Managing Our Finances God's Way,” we must first understand that God owns everything, and we are his stewards, entrusted to care for His property. As stewards we are required to invest and produce. We cannot sit by idlily expecting something to happen. We must take action in order to be good stewards.
God wants us to prosper. However, we can do things to prevent us from being prosperous. Our motives for what we want can keep us from prospering, our love for money can keep us from prospering and our attitude can also prevent us from prospering.
Lastly, for mankind, wealth is based on what you have, however, for God, wealth is based on what you give. It is the heart of a “giver” that gives us wealth, not the size of our pocketbook.
Next Week – The Principles of Spending