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Ever notice how quiet it gets when people say anything about how much money they earn or how much they save or owe? Or, how quiet it gets when the pastor of your church speaks about member giving or about money needed for a building program? People get frustrated when it comes to their finances; therefore, they keep it all hush, hush. Almost everyone agrees that the Bible contains great advice about life—from improving your marriage to getting along with your boss at work. But, does the Bible really say much about money? Does it really give us advice we can apply to our own life in today's world? The Good News is YES! Absolutely!

Money in the Bible

The Bible is as relevant and helpful today as when it was written, and God has a lot to say about money.

1. Proverbs 13:22 -- "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s' children." This indicates God wants us to make a difference, financially, in our family tree.

2. Proverbs 21:20 -- "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has." This gives us an idea of how God wants us to save for a rainy day—to set something back for safekeeping.

3. Proverbs 22:7 -- "The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender." Really? The Bible discourages debt? Does God really want me to pay my debts off and avoid debt?

4. Luke 14:28 -- "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it." Does Jesus really want me to save up and pay for the things I buy?

5. Matt. 6:24 -- "You cannot serve both God and money.” Why do we want to let money, or the lack of it, control us instead of giving our time and talents to serving God?

There are more than 800 scriptures on money. It is one of the most discussed subjects in scripture, so God must be pretty serious about the subject. In fact, Jesus says in Luke 16:11, "So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" It appears from this verse that God uses money as a test of our management and stewardship skills before entrusting us with spiritual things.

Financial Statistics

And, it’s not just the Bible that considers personal finances to be a serious subject. A survey by National Payroll Week says 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. In another survey, 80% of American congregations reported that their finances had been impacted by the recent recession. A study at Utah State University found that couples who disagreed about money once a week were twice as likely to divorce as those who disagreed less than once a month. Thirty-seven percent (the highest rate) of marital problems derive from financial situations. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 70% of workers say they are not where they need to be with retirement savings. Nearly half of all Americans (46%) have less than $10,000 saved for their retirement. According to studies performed by Empty Tomb, church giving has not exceeded 3% as a portion of income in 40 years. Even people with surplus often don’t have a plan for managing their money. The average family would have to use a credit card to pay a $1,500 unexpected expense (ex: home or car repair) because they don’t have enough in savings. All of these frustrations and problems are because people haven’t learned and applied those 800 scriptures.

If money is this important to God, why are there so few Sunday school classes on this topic? Why don't we see lots of small group studies on "Managing Your Finances" or "Getting Out of Debt"? Why aren't there more sermons in this area? There are many reasons, but the top reason is that most people don't realize how much of a problem managing money is for the average family.

It is a problem that affects everyone, inside and outside the church. In fact, George Barna says that the fastest growing churches are teaching about marriage, child rearing, finances, and careers. Money is a serious subject, and God is serious about money, which is why we should study closely what he has to tell us.

First Baptist Church Wentzville has something to guide us—a study to take God's wisdom about money and help us apply it to our own lives. It is called Financial Peace University. Imagine what it would be like if people could live out their God-given dreams without money being their limiting factor? How different would our community be if everyone learned how to handle their finances according to the scriptures via the church? For our church members, what if our families were able to fund God’s work and the church had more to invest in missions and service ministries locally and abroad? What if we were able to grow the church completely debt free without building campaigns?

Financial Peace University will help MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Millions of people have gone through Financial Peace University and learned God’s ways of handling money. They’ve worked a plan, rewritten their stories, and changed their futures, all because of this course. On average, FPU graduates pay off $5,300 in debt and save $2,700 in only the first 90 days! As a result, their giving increases by 30%! This is not just a “get out of debt” course either. It also teaches about how save for retirement or college expenses, how to protect your assets, and what to look for in buying and selling homes. FPU consists of a nine-week video curriculum taught by financial expert Dave Ramsey, and it incorporates group discussions that help encourage accountability and discipleship. Groups meet once a week for 90-120 minutes, and the course is just as fun as it is practical!

If you think this is what you have been looking for, contact me at 636-327-8696 M-W, by email at , or go to https://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/classes/1016315/atid/l_ln and sign-up for the classes. The first class is free and childcare is available.

Gary Mills (with excerpts from Dave Ramsey)

 

Posted by Gary Mills with
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There is a universal language; we all know it, we all understand it. We can see it and hear it in every voice, every country, and every culture. This universal language binds our hearts together as a human race and runs even deeper with those of the family of God. On a recent medical mission trip to Puebla, Mexico I was daily reminded of this language that had the ability to tie two cultures together and make a week of unforgettable memories. This week brought the sight of couples holding hands, babies crying to be held, laughter and music, food and fireworks, worship and weariness. We’re not altogether very different from each other. We may be separated by manmade lines and feel the uneasiness of not understanding each other’s language, but we know life and we know happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, fear, and joy. We all know emotions – because we are all, everyone, created in the image of God. His image displays emotions – emotions that knit the people together even though our cultures are worlds apart.

To sum up this recent trip in a blog post is quite difficult – I just wish you could have been there!! On the statistics side of things our trip went incredibly smooth – barring the process through customs with the medical supplies. Our hotel was absolutely wonderful – hot water and a toilet – all a plus!! The food – delicious – but my family has had their fill of corn tortillas and my children are still asking for vegetables. The area was very safe and our group enjoyed the culture, outdoor markets and nightly fireworks – the loud kind!! We visited two villages during three days and were able to see and share the gospel with over 350 people. We worked along side a local church, Iglesia Bautista de Hananeel, to provide an outreach event to the community by offering access to medical care, eyeglasses, and pharmaceuticals. However our real motivation for the trip was to assist this church in establishing community with local villages and bringing them the gospel of Christ.

You know when you set out to be a blessing and when the task is all said and done you’ve been blessed in return? That’s the essence of this mission trip!! God pours blessings on each of us as we experience His Presence in other cultures. One of the trip highlights for many on our team was the Sunday worship. The church was full and their hearts were genuine. We were honored to experience a baby dedication of Pastor Estorio’s own grandchild. What a precious time of commitment we witnessed. Singing in Spanish is not something most are good at; but the tunes are recognizable and we sang along in English – Shout to the Lord All the Earth Let Us Sing – Power and Majesty Praise to our King! I’m singing it now, aren’t you?? Prayer time was personal – requests were patiently heard and as the Pastor led the congregation in prayer, everyone prayed – out loud!! Everyone lifted up his or her heart corporately in prayer, making their requests known to our God audibly. It was a unique, humbling, worshipful experience.

Glen Locklear, most affectionately known as Senór Glen, led our team. He was a fantastic leader, always striving to keep us fed, on task and safe. We couldn’t have experienced this successful mission without the proper planning of Glen and the team is grateful! Our team was made up of folks who truly knew what it meant to embrace flexibility and to serve God with their whole hearts. It was a blessing to serve alongside each one.

Mission trips take due diligence; not only on the part of the mission’s leader but individual diligence as well. If you are interested in sharing God’s love and the Gospel on a mission trip begin now! You will need to complete a six-week Mission’s Training Course. The next training session begins on Sunday, September 25th. You will of course need a passport. You will need money for the trip, but please don’t let that hinder you – there are scholarships available. You will need a desire to go and tell others about your faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. I encourage each of you to consider taking a trip to bring the Gospel and encouragement to other nations. I promise you will go expecting to serve and come home feeling refreshed and in awe of how God is everywhere.

 

Posted by Tracy Smith with

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