In today’s world, many are struggling financially and living paycheck to paycheck. There is economic decay all around us. Many have broken lives, broken dreams and caught in the clutches of poverty, feeling like there’s no way out. In a state of financial despair, some will look to financial experts, others will look to trusted family and friends, and some will struggle daily trying to figure it out on their own by doing the same thing expecting different results. Sadly, some will stick their head in the sand and just hope for the best. What we sometimes seem to forget or never realize is that God has a financial system already in place and that the Bible outlines the plan for operating in His system. The scriptures have much to say about how to properly use money. In fact, sixteen of the thirty-eight parables that Jesus gave in the New Testament are concerned with how to handle money and possessions.
God’s plan for your finances will help you identify the principles that govern God’s financial system. The Bible gives principles that will help you multiply the amount of money you have to manage as a steward. It also outlines these principles and delineates things you do that will bring supernatural increase. In Deuteronomy 28, the Bible teaches that the blessings of God will overtake the individual who obeys these laws as they relate to money.
Recently my church hosted Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a 9 lesson, biblically based money management course taught by one of America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. I co-facilitated the lessons with other members of our financial planning ministry and we walked participants through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future with homeownership, insurance, investing and much more. The excitement grew each week as I saw people save their first $1,000, cut up credit cards, open Roth IRAs and participate in pre-tax retirement plans outside of their employer-provided plans. Many participants were motivated to take control of their finances while some were inspired to learn how much more they could give to savings, investments and charitable giving.
Churches across the country have used this curriculum to teach the principles of stewardship to their congregations. Although I’m a fan of Dave Ramsey and his “Baby Steps” concept to becoming debt free, I’m more of a fan of God’s divine plan of financial freedom and how to apply His Word to my life daily to receive God’s supernatural increase. I have a personal desire to see the local churches become a strong economic force within the community that it serves. The principles outlined in God’s Word can break the spirit of poverty and change the entire economic direction of a community. As each church teaches its members the basic principles of biblical economics and train individuals within the church to teach these principles to others, it can begin to have a significant impact on the lives of its individual members. It is our responsibility as Christians to help meet the needs of those who are less fortunate than we are. We are merely vessels for God to use to bless others in need. It is only when we get our own financial houses in order, can we extend a helping hand to those around us.
Leading this group was rewarding and gratifying to say the least! If you have a heart to help others, this is a great way to do it by becoming a coordinator of Financial Peace University or being a financial mentor to someone who needs help getting their financial house in order. Anyone can lead a class…simply find a meeting place, set a date, invite church members, community members, family, friends and begin exploring God’s plan for your finances.
“The Lord your God gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant.” Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV