Now that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Wacky Wednesday (I added that one myself) are over, maybe we can all begin to think clearly about Christmas, spending, riches, greed and everything that has to do with money, provision and our relationship with things. I have news for you… “The little numbers on your credit card DO NOT define you.”
Below is a scripture that changed my life so many years ago. It really isn’t about money, but it so closely relates to how we think about what will make us incomparably rich, Jesus! However, to think how you handle and spend money has NOTHING to do with your relationship with Jesus is pure foolishness. They are so closely related it is scary.
“…in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:7-8
If you let me look at your financial records for one year, I could see how much you trust God, what you place your value in and in most cases how close you are to Jesus. You might scoff at this at first, but it’s true. Most of the following things come from a deficit in your relationship with Jesus: worry, insecurity, debt, materialism, and worst of all, loneliness and isolation. All of these things affect our relationship with Jesus. The core issue is, we don’t think we have enough. Is Jesus enough for you? Here are a few ways to get rich…
9 Bits Of Wisdom…
1. Receive Grace (MOST IMPORTANT)- You have already been given the gift of eternal life you could not afford. This means we no longer need to have our identity in worldly wealth. If you want to apply the following 8 ideas, let JESUS change your heart. Without this #1, you are just dealing with symptoms. He will make you rich beyond what any man could give you. Eternal life, forgiveness, freedom, wisdom, peace, joy. These are all yours for the taking through the Holy Spirit. These things are not for sale, the are FREE!
2. Live on a Budget – Know what you owe, what you own and where it goes. Notice I didn’t just say “get a budget,” you actually have to implement it. If you aren’t living on a budget you are more than likely mismanaging the money God has entrusted to you. And on top of all this, no one ever got rich spending more than they had. Proverbs 16:3- “Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
3. Give First – Before you spend a dime, GIVE! The first item on my budget, Advancing God’s Kingdom. We do this out of love, not legalism. Start at 10%. Send it on ahead. Feed The Poor. Clothe The Unclothed. I know, it’s counter intuitive. But try it. God doesn’t do things your way anyway. Get over it. What if you took the first 10% of your income for the rest of your life and gave it away? Do you think Jesus would provide for your needs? Most of us give out of the leftovers, not the first fruits, there is a difference. Remember, there is no love without sacrifice. Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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 that there will not be room enough to store it.“
4. Don’t Compare – Comparison will ruin you, because you will never be satisfied. You don’t make what they make so why do you think you should have what they have? They probably can’t afford it anyway.
5. Work Diligently – This may seem like common sense, but you may need to get an additional job in order to make ends meet. I meet people all the time who are “too proud” to take a job “below them”. This is pride. You may need to move to a smaller apartment or sell your house, or the car. But work hard, especially if you have debt!
6. Drive the Ultimate Driving Machine – The ultimate driving machine is a car that is paid off no matter what it looks like or what chicks you are picking up with it. Leases are a waste of money and driving a brand new car is a colossal trap. When you drive the car off the lot, you flush $$ down the toilet.
7. Save As Much As You Can – Sometimes we can’t afford to save because we have debt. If this is you, then get on a plan and schedule to pay off ALL your debt as soon as possible. Live with no regrets.
8. Plastic MUST go – When you got that credit card, you never thought it would lead to this place. So often the only way out of “that place” is to get rid of the card. Maybe you just don’t have the discipline to have a credit card. It’s ok, admit it and start paying with a debit card and cash. SALE is another 4-letter word for DEBT.
9. People NOT things – This may seem obvious, but your kids, parents, cousins, wife, siblings, whomever, doesn’t need a bunch of stuff from you to know you love them. Jesus, my family, and my church family have all made me exceedingly rich.
Josh Conn is a 20 year ministry veteran, father of six, founding executive coach at activate coaching and 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.