Radcliff United Methodist Church
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November 24, 2013 - Enough to Financial Stress

Saturday, November 30, 2013 View Comments Comments (0)
             ENOUGH TO FINANCIAL STRESS!

                                1st John 3:1

    **I would just love to be able to see someone needing something and have the money to get it for them**

 

   Those were the words of a lady I know, as she shared about her and her family’s financial struggles. Her husband has a job, and they have a home, but like most people in America, they are living pay check to pay check, and just barely making ends meet. There were late notices in the mail… calls from different bill collectors….. Arguments over what was just a “want” and what is a “need”. She had some sleepless nights and hidden tears when the kids wanted something they couldn’t have. The stress was high!!!!!! On top of that, she is a generous and giving person, and so her prayer… “I would love to be able to see someone needing something… and give it to them”.

  Her real cry….. ENOUGH TO FINANCIAL STRESS!

Is that your cry? your prayer?

  The Love our God has for us is described using a term of extreme generosity. The Word says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us…”  He doesn’t just love us… He “lavishes” love on us… He goes “Overboard”, to the “extreme” to the “outer –bounds of generosity”. Our God is a lavish giver and the incredible thing is….. WE ARE LIKE HIM. We have the “mind of Christ”. We are filled with His Spirit. We are “created in His image”. God has lavish plans for His children to be lavish givers.

He says ENOUGH to our financial stress!

 

       ** ENOUGH TO WORRY ABOUT FINANCES!**

 Underline the word “worry”. The real issue is not “financial problems” ( we are all going to have those)… but rather the “Stress” caused by those problems. How do we respond to the  “stress” those problems can cause? Many of us worry.. And worry up the stress!    More than anything else, “worry” is a control/trust issue.

  As one who is prone to “worry”, I can say that. Worry, in its rawest form is a failure to trust in God’s ability, God’s resources, and God’s desire to take care of His people. When we worry, we are trying to take some sort of control over the problem at hand. We are putting ourselves in God’s place and saying, “ Lord, I’m not sure if you are going to provide, so I had better handle this.” Worry doubts the lavish generosity of God… and worry adds to the stress. ENOUGH!

  Jesus tells us a better way in **Matthew 6:25-26. “ Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”**

Jesus is saying, “ TRUST ME”, “I GOT THIS”, I CAN HANDLE IT!”  Enough to worrying about finance!

     John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement said, “ I could no more worry than I could curse or swear”.    Paula’s grandmother (a Godly woman) once said to me “ Darren, don’t you know that worrying is a sin?”.

What were they saying? We have to TRUST!  

My parents are now at the age, and in the physical health where their memories are starting to fail them. I am now at the point where we are intervening and they are having to sign power of attorneys so that if emergencies should happen, or if they get to where they can’t handle the finances and business themselves…They entrust it to me. They trust me, to handle what they can’t.

  That’s exactly what we do when we trust God. Sign the spiritual power of attorney and hand that worry over!

 

  

          **ENOUGH TO SLAVERY TO FINANCES!**

   An unhealthy focus on gaining more and more money ( greed), or an ever increasing debt will both have the same consequence: SLAVERY! Money and finances can be a hard task-master and can take our thoughts, our actions, our lives, and our families and place them in chains. That’s why Jesus said:  “… You cannot serve both God and Money”. Notice the Word:  “serve”.  Money can become that which we serve… instead of being used by us, we become used! Money becomes the master, and we become the slaves! The Word of God says, “ The borrower is slave to the lender”. That’s exactly where many, many of us are living. Enslaved!   ENOUGH OF THAT!

    I was talking with a friend who just recently worked His way to freedom from debt using Biblical principals from Dave Ramsey. (A Christian financial teacher). It took a lot of work, and a lot of time. The solutions were not easy. Extra money didn’t just arrive in the mail. He had to make hard and tough choices and really work…. But he said, “ It was literally like being unchained!”

See, he was at the point of saying ENOUGH, to the slavery…. So he got a plan, a budget and slowly but surely got out of debt. He is a slave no longer… and neither do we have to be!   Enough!

 

       ** ENOUGH TO SELFISHNESS IN FINANCES!**

  The Lord provides what we need to make a living and to carry out the ministry He has for us. His plan for His people is NOT poverty or the stress of financial problems… but rather He created us to be generous givers, who use everything He has given us to enrich, and bless, and help, those who have various needs of various kinds. Our God is a lavish and generous giver and as those who are “created in His image”… are called to be generous givers as well. But then, that old “sinful nature” creeps in. We begin to see the things that God has provided to us… as “rightfully ours”. We start playing the : “My Money-My Car-My possessions” Game.

We start thinking in terms of MORE-MORE-MORE! We look at our “lack” rather than God’s abundance. Soon “selfishness” replaces “selflessness”. We “hoard instead of “give.   ENOUGH OF THAT!

Proverbs 11:24-25 says: “ One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A Generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

Enough of selfishness….. BE GENEROUS!

      I heard of a man who had dreamed all of his life of owning a corvette. He saved and worked and worked and saved and finally was able to buy the car he had always dreamed of. When he finally got it… a big fear came over him. What if he wrecked it? What if someone scratched it? What if the engine blew? He didn’t want anything happening to his car… so he just parked it in the garage. He never drove it, never took it out, and never used it. It just sat in that garage. Useless!    

That’s what many people and many churches do with the money that God has provided to us. God gives it to be used for His glory and for His mission…. But we get selfish!  ENOUGH OF THAT!

 

  Is the cry of your heart that same as the lady who just wanted to be able to give what people need? Are you ready to say ENOUGH to financial stress?

              GOD IS THE ANSWER TO THAT PRAYER!

                 He’s the answer to worry about finances!

                 He’s the answer to Slavery to finances!

                 He’s the answer to selfishness in finances!

                       OUR GOD IS ENOUGH!

 

 

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