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The Church Just Wants Your Money (Part Two)

Part Two - Regrets

Do you ask yourself many questions? Not just talk to yourself, but ask yourself – underneath your voice – things like:
1. Why did I do that?
2. Man, are you stupid?
3. Where did she get that outfit?
4. What were you thinking when you put that on?
5. What were you on when you married him?

Apparently, asking ourselves questions is normal. Have you ever noticed how many songs are questions?
Songs with Questions:
1. Do you believe in magic?
2. Do you know the way to San Jose?
3. What’s new, Pussycat?
4. Who wrote the book of love?
5. How can I be sure?
6. Wouldn’t it be nice?
7. Isn’t she lovely?
8. Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?
9. Doesn’t anybody stay together anymore?
10. Why don’t you love me like you used to?
11. Do you want to know a secret?
12. Where’s the orchestra?
13. Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?
14. Where have all the flowers gone?
15. Who’ll stop the rain?
16. Have you ever seen the rain?
17. Should I stay or should Igo?
18. How can you mend a broken heart?
19. When will I be loved?
20. Where is the love?
21. Where did the love go?
22. Do you know where you’re going to?
23. Will you still love me tomorrow?
24. What’s going on?
25. And the best of all, “Who let the dogs out?”

Here’s a great question:
Do you have any regrets? Really, any regrets in life? Any do-overs for you?
• We’re dealing with money this month. So, do you have any financial regrets?
• It is amazing to me how many people will tell you that their biggest regret in life had to do with money.

As I said last week, this is why Jesus spent 16 of His 38 recorded parables talking about money. When you look at the Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark, and Luke – one sixth of the content deals with the subject of money.

Here’s what Jesus taught. The way we handle our money is a test of our faithfulness to God.

Text: Luke 16:10-12 NLT
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?”

Here’s the bottom line: God places a little or a lot of money in our hands and it serves as a test of how committed and faithful we are to God. Your ability to handle your money is really a barometer of your faithfulness in other areas of your life.

So, let’s look at some of those regrets we may have financially.

Financial Regret #1 – Not Saving More
Proverbs 10:5 NASB says:  He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

• A common regret that so many have about their finances is this: “I wish I had saved more money.”
The fact is, each of us is going to face at least three major financial needs at some time. First, if you are a parent, you will face educating your children in college. Second, you are going to face retirement, when you will likely have a reduced, fixed income. And third, you are going to face some kind of financial emergency, probably related to health care. Those are certainties.
Now, have you calculated how much those needs are going to cost? For example, the average cost for a four-year state college education is about $100,000. Or think about your retirement. How will you get by when you no longer have income from a job? Many people’s approach to long-term financial planning is just socking away what they can afford and hoping it all works out. That may be a strategy, but it is not a plan. Why do people fail to save adequately for these three major future needs?
Excuse number one: “Social Security and my pension will take care of my future needs.” Financial experts tell you not to count on Social Security if you are under age fifty and to expect a significant reduction in benefits if you are over age fifty. And what about your pension? Unfortunately, pension plans are becoming extinct in most companies.
Excuse number two: “One day I will have more discretionary income than I have right now.” For example, a single adult says, “When I marry, I will have more discretionary income.” Poor sap – if he only knew. Or young parents say, “When our kids get older, we will have more discretionary income.” But those of us with older kids know how hard it is to survive the teenage and college years without filing for bankruptcy. The fact is, you do not have enough time until retirement to save for these significant events.
Excuse number three: “I am trusting God to meet my future needs.” Yes, God does want to take care of your future needs. But exactly how does God go about taking care of your future needs?

In Proverbs 10:5, Solomon says, “He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.” The time to gather your resources is now, in the summertime, to prepare for the winter. (From Dr. Robert Jeffress)

How do we save money when we don’t have any left over after the bills?
1. Look at your bills.
2. What’s necessary? Food, clothes, shelter
3. What’s nice but may not be necessary?
• Cable – satellite TV
• Cell phone – if that’s your only phone, prepaid phone, or just a phone, not IPhone and Android – just a phone.
Believe it or not, you can survive without texting and Facebook, and Twitter and SnapChat and Instagram.
4. Do not eat out, and don’t buy groceries when hungry.
5. Drive the car you have. The cheapest car you’ll ever have is what you have now.
6. Monitor your lights, AC/heat.
7. Be the best at your job. You’re a Christian. How you work is your witness. Stay off the phone with personal calls. No social media during work. Doing your business while being paid to do another’s is stealing.
a. Go in early
b. Take shorter lunch
c. Work a few minutes after
d. Meet with employer – How can I make a difference for you and your business?

G. Every dollar saved adds up. The Bible says in Proverbs 21:20 NLT: The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.

H. Why am I preaching this? Let me close by sharing my heart.
Pauline and I have been here 34.5 years. I cannot tell you how many times we have sat with individuals who have made devastating life choices because of financial pressures.
From separation and divorce to embezzlement and tax evasion.
• Coming to Jesus is not a cure-all for your financial crisis. Even tithing and giving doesn’t erase years of poor management and failed stewardship. But you’ve got to start somewhere and sometime.
Now is the time and right here is the place.
• Making the decision today that you’re going to honor God with your life, your heart, and yes, your stewardship, will get you at least started on the right path. And then it’s doing the next right thing.
• God wants you to walk in His blessings. Does He desire that all His children should be wealthy?
Obviously not. But does He want us to “prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers,” as III John 2 says.
• Will you, right now, make Him your choice?

Resources
1. Book – “I Was Broke. Now I am Not.” Joseph Sandl, $16
2. Resources: App – YNAB (You Need a Budget)
3. Financial Peace University taught by Barbara Roman. Watch announcements.