How Much Should We Give?

Giving is something know we all want to do more of, but I also know it is a learned behavior.   In my family growing up I had watched both my parents and my brothers practice giving to my local church.  10% first to God’s work, no questions asked.  It was just what we did, and man am I thankful my family taught me the foundations of a lifestyle of giving.  I think most ALL of us reading this post would agree that we should all be GIVERS.  I mean c’mon!  Especially if you claim to follow the teachings of Jesus there is almost no possible way to claim the lifestyle of a disciple and not be a financial giver.  Now let me be clear.  I am not just talking about giving to a local church.  But for anyone who wants to fully follow Jesus, the money under your care MUST point to a acknowledgement and dependance on Jesus.  How you handle money is a way you prove your faith in God.

money 2-6

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

There have been so many incredible stories I have experienced of people listening to God and giving.  They are too numerous to list here.  Last year over 400 family units gave a financial gift to our church.  Easily, that is over 5,000 acts of worship through financial giving.  This is the church in action fulfilling the vision!  Your giving and your handling of the money God has entrusted you with IS a spiritual issue.  But many of us have lived with guilt, frustration and even abstaining from talking about giving habits because of pain, debt, mistrust and let’s be honest, a hard heart.  If this is you the enemy is ripping you off!  So what should you do?

How MUCH Should I Give?

1.  Start Somewhere – Maybe the one “thing” holding back your faith is a reliance on things.  Once you think you rely on things and more of them, your trust in God goes down.  Giving proves you aren’t self sufficient.  If you have never made a gift or it has been a very long time, it is time to take the first step and make and offering to God.  Ask him to bless it, use it.  be bold and ask God to show you more fully his plan for His money, remember it’s not really yours, you cant take it with you.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20   

WHAT YOU GIVE THE ENEMY CAN’T STEAL.

2.  What God Tells You – What?  Am I going to hear the audible voice of God?  Maybe, but for most of us, it won’t happen that way.  The above verse frees us from guilt and compulsion motivations.  Does this mean if someone is tithing it’s wrong?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What matters is the heart of the giver, not the percentage of the gift.  Our motivation should be to give AS MUCH AS WE POSSIBLY CAN!  Now, that’s probably not something you have prayed lately.  Once we reduce giving to a check box or a legalistic matter, our heart will become corrupted.  We may even think we are better than someone else because we give and they don’t. Be careful though, comparison is NEVER the pathway to spiritual maturity.  Also, don’t let this one be an excuse to rationalize giving less and don’t let the enemy sneak into your budget and steal your blessings with material things!  

WHEN YOU GIVE THERE IS GREAT JOY AND ANTICIPATION.

3.  In Rhythm  –  Often giving in rhythm helps you determine the amount to give.  Did you get paid this week?  There is your answer.  Now, talk to God, your wife, your kids,  Give first.  Is 10% your percentage?  I would suggest you are never going to go wrong with that. In Malachi 3 God says “test me.” However often you get paid there should be a moment of reverence when you set aside your gift before the Lord to acknowledge his provision in your life.  You see, every time you get paid is an opportunity for spiritual growth.  Give by cash, Give by check, Give online, Give by text, It really doesn’t matter how, but give in rhythm.  Give as a BOLD declaration of your trust in God to give you more.  You should love getting paid because it means you can NOW give!

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

WHEN YOUR GIVING IS CONSISTENT, IT IS A SOURCE OF CLARITY IN YOUR LIFE.

4.  In Faith – Some of us have been tithing for a very long time.  This is a very commendable thing.  Continue to excel in this discipline! Keep going!  It’s incredible what you have done by faith.  Over $4.5 Million over the life of 217church in the past 7 years!  Now, I have heard of Christ followers upset at others for not “doing their part.” You may even feel this way in your heart.  Never make your giving based on what others have given.  Tithing 10% is like training wheels on a bike.  It’s there to teach us the discipline and we weren’t meant to stop there but simply start there.  Once you ride on training wheels you will want to take them off and ride like a big boy, of course!  So let me ask you a question…Who feels like Barnabas today?  

Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Acts 4:36-37  

I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a tithe but a gift of faith.  When you give, something wonderful happens, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

DON’T JUST GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS GIVEN, BUT GIVE WHAT CHALLENGES YOUR FAITH.

 

There is a little known verse in Proverbs that may be the best wisdom on giving you will ever here.  Try praying this and let me know how this changes you.  You won’t be the same if you implement this…

“give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God.”  Proverbs 30:8-9

Josh

MFB graphic

Our Financial Breakthru Series continues Sunday at 217church.  Come explore 4 words that lead to financial break thru:

February 26 – Work / With all your Strength – WATCH THE MESSAGE HERE

March 5 – Give / Give up control

March 12 – Save / Plan for the future

March 19 – Live / With NO regrets

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

 

Land Your DREAM Job!

I remember my first day of working a job.  I was 14 years old, nervous as can be but excited to step up and start being a man and getting a pay check.  I bussed tables at a local restaurant. I’ll never forget the rush of putting on the uniform getting trained, and getting some stuff done!  (Did I say getting a paycheck too?) Unfortunately, in our culture unhealthy work habits have created all kinds of problems.  People are stressed out, burned out, overworked, entitled, and some of us may complain a little too much.  But the truth is our work is a blessing. I loved working!

Work has been turned from a curse to a blessing, all because of Jesus.  #Provision

 

dream job graphic

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  Colossians 3:23

Now, I fully understand you may not be working in your so called #dreamjob right now, you may be feeling stress, and you may be wishing you were paid more money, but Having a J-O-B is what grown ups do.  It is a blessing from God.  Work is the provision of the simple things.  Maybe you aren’t ready for that #dreamjob yet.  Maybe it isn’t ready for you!  Honor God with where you are and remember, HARD WORK ALWAYS pays off and shows in your character first.

5 Characteristics of a Dream Job –

1.  It Gives Us Relationships –  Think of all the people at work who are your friends and have been your friends.  (Now if you don’t have any friends at work, that may be saying something about you)  These people are there so you can build relationship with them.  You are not there on accident.  You are there to serve them, get to know them, and serve them. #Dreamjob

2.  It Provides for Our Needs – Did you eat this morning?  Do you live under a roof?  It’s simple really.  The person who started the business you work for is providing for your needs.  You ate today because of them.  This is something to be grateful for.  When we the last time you thanked your co-workers and your employer for the opportunity to have a paycheck?   #Dreamjob

3.  It Is Our Opportunity to Serve and Love People – One thing that will build your character is being a part of a team where you get to serve people and have a positive impact.  By the way, I know what some of you are thinking…”As soon as I get another job, I am OUTTA HERE.”  That’s nice, but God has you there for a reason!  What if you were the person at your work who cared about people?  The people you work with need to know Jesus, period.  #Dreamjob

4.  It Keeps Us Busy – Since when has being busy been a bad thing?  Whenever you ask someone, “how are you?”  and they say with exasperation, “BUSY!”  say, “good, being busy keeps you from doing stupid things!”  Having a job keeps you out of trouble!  And please, can we all find a new answer to this question besides “busy”?  Now,  Excessive work is evil, and if you are in a job where emotional and stress levels are unhealthy, take appropriate action.  BUT – I’ve never understood people who don’t want to work at all, especially those who are out of work and are waiting for the “perfect job”.  Redefine your #Dreamjob.

5.  It Teaches Us to Rest – God worked for six days and on the 7th he rested.  There you go.  You have permission, take a sabbath.  If you are always tired and stressed out, you need to learn how to simply take a day off.  If you can’t take a day off you are on a dangerous road to emotional, physical, and mental collapse.  #Dreamjob

In short work is amazing!  Treat your current job like your #dreamjob and watch what happens. Honest, hard work is amazing!

Josh

MFB graphic

Our Financial Breakthru Series starts Sunday at 217church.  Come explore 4 words that lead to financial break thru:

February 26Work / God is our provider

March 5Give / Give up control

March 12Save / Plan for the future

March 19Live / With NO regrets

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

Work Is Good – Period

I’ve never understood people who don’t want to work at all.  I remember my first day of working a job.  I was 14 years old, nervous as can be but excited to step up and start being a man, getting a pay check.  I bussed tables at a local restaurant. I’ll never forget the rush of putting on the uniform getting trained, and getting some stuff done!  (Did I say getting a paycheck?)

Work has been turned from a curse to a blessing, all because of Jesus.  #Provision

bread work

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  Colossians 3:23

Now, I fully understand you may not be working in your dream job right now, you may be feeling stress, and you may be wishing you were paid more money, but Having a J-O-B is what grown ups do.  It is a blessing from God.  Work is the provision of the simple things.

4 Reasons Work is Good – Really Good

1.  Work Gives Us Relationships – 

Think of all the people at work who are your friends.  (Now if you don’t have any friends at work, that may be saying something about you)  Maybe it’s time to start trying to make friends.  These people were put there so you could build relationship with them.  You are not there on accident

2.  Work Provides For Our Needs – 

Did you eat this morning?  Do you live under a roof? It’s simple really.  The person who started the business you work for, is providing for your needs.  You ate today because of them.  That is something to be grateful for.  Excessive work is evil, just the right amount is perfect.

3.  Work Is Our Mission Field –

The people you work with, need to know Jesus, Period.  Start viewing your job as an opportunity to help others.  Look for a need and meet it.

4.  Work Keeps Us Busy –

Since when has being busy been a bad thing?  People complain about being busy all the time.  Having a job keeps you out of trouble!  And by the way, working hard helps us rest well.

So be thankful for your coworkers and your leader, honor him or her, thank them.  Remember you know who you work for.

Josh

(By The Way – if you don’t have a job and want one, we would love to pray for you in person this Sunday)

 

 

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.

How Much Should I Give?

I remember getting my first paycheck ever, man what a rush!  Then, sudden frustration towards a guy named FICA taking 7% of my paycheck!  I was a busboy at a local restaurant and at 14 years of age I felt like I was on top of the world.  Money changes you.  In my family growing up I had watched both my parents and my brother practice giving to my local church.  10% first to God’s work, no questions asked.  It was just what we did, and man am I thankful my family taught me the foundations of a lifestyle of giving.  I think most ALL of us reading this post would agree that we should all be GIVERS.  I mean c’mon!  Especially if you claim to follow the teachings of Jesus there is almost no possible way to claim the lifestyle of a disciple and not be a financial giver.  Now let me be clear.  I am not just talking about giving to a local church.  But for anyone who wants to fully follow Jesus, the money under your care MUST point to a acknowledgement and dependance on Jesus.  How you handle money is a way you prove your faith in God.

 

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

There have been so many incredible stories I have experienced both personally and church wide, of people listening to God and giving.  They are too numerous to list here.  Last year over 400 family units gave a financial gift to our church.  Easily, that is over 5,000 acts of worship through financial giving.  This is the church in action fulfilling the vision!  Your giving and your handling of the money God has entrusted you with IS a spiritual issue.  But many of us have lived with guilt, frustration and even abstaining from talking about giving habits because of pain, debt, mistrust and let’s be honest, a hard heart.  If this is you the enemy is ripping you off!  So what do I do?

How MUCH Should I Give?

1.  Start Somewhere – Maybe the one “thing” holding back your faith is a reliance on things.  Once you think you rely on things and more of them, your trust in God goes down.  Giving proves you aren’t self sufficient.  If you have never made a gift or it has been a very long time.  It is time to take the first step and make and offering to God.  Ask him to bless it, use it.  be bold and ask God to show you more fully his plan for His money, remember it’s not really yours, you cant take it with you.  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20  

WHAT YOU GIVE THE ENEMY CAN’T STEAL.

2.  What God Tells You – What?  Am I listening for the audible voice of God?  Maybe, but for most of us, it won’t happen that way.  The above verse frees us from guilt and compulsion motivations.  Does this mean if someone is tithing it’s wrong?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  What matters is the heart of the giver, not the percentage of the gift.  Our motivation should be to give AS MUCH AS WE POSSIBLY CAN!  Now, that’s probably not something you have prayed lately.  Once we reduce giving to a check box or a legalistic matter, our heart will become corrupted.  We may even think we are better than someone else because we give and they don’t. Be careful though, comparison is NEVER the pathway to spiritual maturity.  Also, don’t let this one be an excuse to rationalize giving less and don’t let the enemy sneak into your budget and steal your blessings with material things!  

WHEN YOU GIVE THERE IS GREAT JOY AND ANTICIPATION.

3.  In Rhythm  –  Often giving in rhythm helps you determine the amount to give.  Did you get paid this week, there is your answer.  Now, talk to God, your wife, your kids,  Give first.  Is 10% your percentage?  I would suggest you are never going to go wrong with that. In Malachi 3 God says “test me.” However often you get paid there should be a moment of reverence when you set aside your gift before the Lord to acknowledge his provision in your life.  You see, every time you get paid is an opportunity for spiritual growth.  Give by cash, Give by check, Give online, Give by text, It really doesn’t matter how, but give in rhythm.  Give as a BOLD declaration of your trust in God to give you more.  You should love getting paid because it means you can NOW give!  “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

WHEN YOUR GIVING IS CONSISTENT IT IS A SOURCE OF CLARITY IN YOUR LIFE.

4.  In Faith – Some of us have been tithing for a very long time.  This is a very commendable thing.  Continue to excel in this discipline! Keep going!  It’s incredible what you have done by faith.  Over $3 Million over the life of 217church in the past 5 years!  Now, I have heard of Christ followers upset at others for not “doing their part” You may even feel this way in your heart.  Never make your giving based on what others have given.  Tithing 10% is like training wheels on a bike.  It’s there to teach us the discipline and we weren’t meant to stop there but simply start there.  Once you ride on training wheels you will want to take them off and ride like a big boy, of course!  So let me ask you a question…Who feels like Barnabas today? Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”  Acts 4:36-37  I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a tithe but a gift of faith.  When you give, something wonderful happens, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.  Maybe you have heard… ‘Mo money, mo problems.’

DON’T JUST GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS GIVEN, BUT GIVE WHAT CHALLENGES YOUR FAITH.

There is a little known verse in Proverbs that may be the best wisdom on giving you will ever here.  Try praying this and let me know how this changes you.  You won’t be the same if you implement this…

“give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God.”

Proverbs 30:8-9

 

Josh

This Sunday at 217church

February 8th – Joy & Generosity – Rediscovering Your JOY – Declaring your dependence deepens your Joy!

 

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 10:15.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

 

Getting Rid Of Materialism

Money IS NOT BAD.  I knew you would like that statement.  There, now that I have your attention, one of the most difficult things to learn in this life is how to be content with what we have.  Let’s face it, we all would enjoy a better job, a nicer car, a little bit more stuff and additional convenience.  As I was back to school shopping I caught what I call the “more bug”  We need more, more and more!  This is not true and this though has the power to absolutely RUIN us!  Why is it that so many of us are dissatisfied with our current circumstances?  Probably because we have been fed the lies that a materialistic culture saturated with marketing breeds.  We are the most marketed culture EVER!

SO NOW that we have established we have this dysfunctional disease called materialism, what do we do to get rid of it??

It’s not how much you have but what you do with what you have.

money 8-22-14

“…give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,”  Proverbs 30:8

5 Ways to Get Rid Of Materialism

#1 Stop Comparing: One of the foolish things we tend to do is compare our own standing financially with others.  This is as simple as visiting someone’s home and seeing they have “nicer stuff” than you. Their TV is flat screen, their refrigerator is stainless steel, their house has new carpet, and on and on the comparing goes.  What has God blessed you with? Do you feel it is enough? There will always be someone who has nicer things than you do.  It is not about what you have, but how satisfied are you with what you have.

#2 Give First: Try this for 30 days and see if it doesn’t reorient your financial life.  Ask God how much you should give and to whom and then obey.  When you give, you are saying to your money, “you don’t own me and I will not be mastered by you.”  After you give celebrate by telling NO ONE!  Just quietly develop the lifestyle of generosity without the approval of others.  Then you will ensure you are not doing it for man’s approval, but rather for God’s.

#3 Eliminate Entitlement:  You do not DESERVE a new <fill in the blank>.  Entitlement is destroying the financial future of the next generation. Work an honest wage for an honest job and learn to wait for what you want or think you need.  No one owes you anything.  God’s chief purpose for your life is not for you to be rich, but you were born to glorify God with all you have.  This means you must pray to God that he will rid you of thinking you are better than other people.

#4 Pray Continually: Beating materialism on your own is one of the most foolish things you can attempt to do, especially if it is something you have struggled with in the past.  God has to literally root this out of you.  You will have to plead with Him to beat down and subvert your fleshly desires for more things.  The SALE sign may be your worst enemy.

#5 Get Accountability: You will almost always be better at this if you have someone walking along side you.  Is this a problem for you?  If you can’t submit to someone in your finances, you will have problems growing.  How bad do you want to beat this? Don’t justify and call a want a need, you know what that means.

Contentment isn’t easy, but it will only come from a close relationship and dependence on Jesus.

MFB graphic

Our Financial Breakthru Series continues Sunday at 217church.  Come explore 4 words that lead to financial break thru:

February 26 – Work / With all your Strength – WATCH THE MESSAGES HERE

March 5 – Give / Give up control

March 12 – Save / Plan for the future

March 19 – Live / With NO regrets

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here 

 

 

4 Things Mom Taught Me About Financial Health

Yesterday I was preparing my 2 younger kids for school and they asked if they could buy lunch.  I had 4 singles in my wallet so I said, “sure, why not”  Lunch is $2.50, so I figured I could scrounge up some change from somewhere not knowing where that extra dollar was coming from.  20 seconds later, I picked up some clothes off the bathroom floor that should have been in a laundry basket somewhere and what do you know, I heard the clanging of four quarters falling out of jeans from the pile of clothes.  Exactly what I needed.  Sure this wasn’t a life defining moment, but I immediately got a subtle reminder that God has all my financial stuff covered.

Are you holding on to your money, or is it holding on to you? 

Financial LD

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”   1 Timothy 6:9

Ok, let’s all get over the fact that finances are a sensitive subject.  Most of us want to be RICH.  Many of us are already!  But the bible says it’s harder to follow Jesus when you’re rich.  We are sick people. I have money, you have money, if you have access to this article you will have SOME money.  But it’s not how much you have but what you do with what you have.  So how should we handle money?  Here are the four things my mom taught me about financial health.  She’s not perfect, I’m not either, but here is what I learned.

Four Things Mom Taught Me About Financial Health –

#1 Work – with ALL your strength –  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)  Your job is from GOD and He owns Everything!  We didn’t grow up with much, but there was one thing mom taught us, How – To – Work.  It wasn’t like we grew up in a child labor camp but we did our own laundry, dishes, cleared our own plates, and learned the simple art of work.  We pulled our own weight around the house.  Heck there were even times when we did have jobs as teenagers and we contributed to the family finances.  And by the way, mom didn’t pay us to do chores, she empowered us to think of how we were contributing to the family.  The bible says if you don’t work, well then you don’t eat.  No job should be below you, if you choose to mooch off the government, family, friends or others instead of work, well, that’s not biblical.  If you want to be financially sound then learn how to WORK.  But remember your work does not define your worth. 

#2 Give – up your control – (10%)  “Bring the whole tithe…Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing.”  Every Sunday was an opportunity to thank God for the week’s provisions.  I remember times at church watching my mom write a check for $30.  YES THAT WAS A FULL 10% TITHE FOR US AT TIMES.  One thing my mom always did was tithe, and through it all we NEVER went hungry.  All us 4 boys now have cultivated giving hearts.  It’s not just about the 10%, but tithe is training wheels to your giving.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to be financially healthy and not give.  It just doesn’t add up.  ALWAYS GIVE First not off what is leftover.

#3 Save – for the future – (10%)  “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but the fool devours all he has.” (Proverbs 21:20)  Most of us are terrible at saving.  We save virtually nothing and spend everything we get AND then some.  The average house has $8K in credit card debt, not good.  The reason why is most of us want more.  I didn’t say hoard, but saveSAVE SOMETHING.

#4 Live – with no regrets – (80%)  “Put your hope in God who richly provides everything for our enjoyment”  (1 Timothy 6:17)  Did you catch that last part?  ENJOYMENT, not stress, worry, despair, all consuming planning, stock market investment obsession, but JOY.  There is NO JOY IN DEBT!  If you have debt you have a new mission in life, eliminate all of it as fast as you can.  STEP #1 is to CUT the CREDIT CARDS UP!  You cannot give, save, and live a financially healthy life in debt.  Next week I will be writing a post solely dedicated to this one topic.  Eat, drink, live, be content.

Looking for some financial wisdom?  Go pick up a pile of laundry, God has you covered.

Which one of these is hardest for you?  comment below and let’s start the conversation!

Josh

 

Join us at 217church for our new series Live Differently…

May 4 – Financial Health

May 11- Family Health

May 18 – Physical Health

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Grace Rogers School in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.  Celebrate mother’s day with us Sunday May 11.

 

 

 

5 Ways To Get Financially Healthy

Handling money is an acquired skill that can bring great satisfaction or great destruction and pain throughout your life.  It’s not about how much money you have, but how you handle it that counts.  No doubt by now, you have heard about retirement.  Maybe you think are almost there, maybe it seems far, far away.  I woke up yesterday and realized my oldest daughter leaves for college in just about 3 years.  A sobering truth.  Here is the tension:  If you neglect to save anything, you burden others. You are a fool (Proverbs 21:20) If you accumulate too much you depend of money instead of God. You are a fool. (Luke 12:20)  Money can ruin your heart, even when you don’t think it is happening.

“…for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Luke 12:15

So how do we achieve this balance in this life?  Let me make one thing clear, THE GOAL IS NOT TO RETIRE!  The goal Jesus has for you is to be absolutely spent accomplishing his mission.  If you have breath, you are on mission.  If you die rich, you missed the boat.  If you die broke, you get it. Achieving financial health has more to do with your habits and less to do with “how much.”

How To Get Financially Healthy…

  • Get Rid of LazinessThe person who doesn’t want to work costs everyone else money.  Get a job!  It doesn’t matter what kind of job, just get one.  Then keep it for a while.  One of the most valuable things parents can give their kids is WORK ETHIC.  If your kids are mooching off you, STOP THE MOOCH!  This means you have to initiate tough love.  This means you are going to have to work hard.  I live in the Northeast next to the financial capital of the world, New York City.  I can promise you this:  If you don’t work hard you will not be financially prosperous.  Hard work may not make you incredibly rich, but it will make you credible!
  • Get Rid of Entitlement – No one owes you anything!  Not even your parents, especially if you are in college.  If you expect a handout, you have a problem.  I said nothing about helping those who are having trouble make ends meet, but when you expect a “freebie”, then you have a character problem.  If you enable this behavior, you have a character problem.  These first two ideas live and feed off each other. 
  • Get Rid of Greed –  The more money you get, the more you tend to spend, and the more you spend the more you want!  You can unsubscribe, delete, complain or get mad at that statement, but that is pretty much a basic human condition.  How do I know this?  The average American household has over $8,000 in unsecured credit card debt.  You want more and I know it!  So do I!  But I must work to battle against my own evil desire to have and accumulate more stuff.   There is hope to temper the sin of always wanting more possessions, but it will take a lot of hard work and a lifetime to control.  It is NEVER good for anyone to get everything they want, nor is it healthy.  This doesn’t mean you have to live in poverty, but if your identity is in a symbol on your car, your street address, or the size of your house you have a greed problem.  I don’t want greed to have any influence in your life.  You probably have “enough” already.
  • Get Rid of Credit – Credit card debt isn’t about your income, but how you manage your income!  Could you go thirty days without using a credit card?  What if by the beginning of 2018 we all paid off our credit card debt.  In order to have the confidence to stop using credit, you will need a BUDGET.  A budget is simply planned spending when you tell your money where to go, and how to work for you. borrowing from your future will cost your future.  The bank loves you because you are their slave.  Slavery exists today, and we have made it legal.  “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”  Proverbs 22:7
  • Get Rid of Some Stuff – The more you hold on to your money, the more it gets a grip on your heart. If you want to take a first step in getting financially healthy, you have to learn to GIVE.  Otherwise, you will be a prisoner to your money.  Still don’t believe me?  Want to take a BIG RISK in your heart management?  Take something you have had for a long time, that you value deeply, that has monetary value, and GIVE IT AWAY!  When you die, it won’t be yours anyway.  Don’t just give away your junk!  Don’t think about it too much. JUST GIVE.  IF you think you will give when you have more, you won’t.  The more you have, the more difficult it is to part with your money.

Exploring our heart connection with money is both difficult and character building. Our community of  217church is learning to be more giving to the mission of the church in the community and this week is all about SAVING.

Don’t miss this Sunday…

 

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Our Financial Breakthru Series continues Sunday at 217church.  Come explore 4 words that lead to financial break thru:

March 12 – Save / Plan for the future

March 19 – Live / With NO regrets

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 10:30am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here