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Finance Lesson #15

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Bible Perspectives
FINANCIAL TRUTHS FROM THE BIBLE
Lesson #15
CONTENTMENT

  • Memory verse: Phi 4:11-12

 

  • We have come to the end of our course. You have discovered many of God’s truths regarding money and God’s means of blessing His children.

 

    • We have examined man’s responsibilities in God’s kingdom balanced with God’s responsibilities. When all of these principles and truths are balanced in the hearts and lives of Christians, they will have discovered the key to contentment. However, there are some dangers you need to know.

 

  • The Dangers of Wealth : Damage to relationships

 

  • Wealth has a danger of dividing families, separating family members, and causing great conflict for generations.
    • Read Gen 13:2, 5-7
      • Wealth causes greed to raise its head so that family members fight over inheritance.
  • Wealth causes people to turn away from God.
    • Read Deu 31:20
      • Why does wealth cause people to fall away from the Lord?
      • How are the following characteristics involved in causing wealthy people to fall away from God?
        • Pride
          • Read Mat 19:23
          • Read Eze 28:5
        • Self-sufficiency
          • Read 1Tim 6:17
        • Spiritual blindness
          • Read Mat 13:22
        • Covetousness and Greed
          • Read Eph 5:3,5
        • Lust
        • Ambition
  • Cultures place certain values on wealth and determine how that wealth is displayed.
    • For example a certain tribe of people in Africa has determined that a successful man will display the evidence of his success by providing his wife with all kinds of gold jewelry. The woman that wore the most gold jewelry was the wife of the most successful business man in that culture even if they lived in the poorest and most inadequate house.
    • An Indian tribe that lived on the northern West coast of the United States had an unusual way of displaying wealth. Periodically the wealthiest family in the community would hold a great feast for all the tribe. During the feast, the family would burn great amounts of their possessions to prove to their neighbors that they were so wealthy that the burning possessions had no importance for them. The more they burned, the more wealth they claimed to have. What was the final result over generations of this practice? Extreme poverty.
    • How does our society determine the level of success in life? What are the elements that display wealth in our society?
  • The desire, the focus, and the pursuit to display wealth in your life remove contentment from your heart.
    • Read 1Tim 6:8
      • The word contentment is mentioned 7 times in the Bible and 6 times it is used in relation to wealth.
  • Paul learned contentment.
  • Read Phi 4:11-13
    • How does the Christian learn contentment?
      • Know what God requires of the believer as a steward.
        • Earlier in this course we learned man’s responsibilities in God’s financial system.
      • Know how to handle your money and possessions.
        • This has been the focus over much of this course.
      • Fulfill what God expects of you as a faithful steward.
        • Knowing is not enough. You must put into practice what you have learned in this course.
      • Trust God to fulfill His responsibilities toward you.
  • Biblical contentment is to know where God wants you to be, to know what God wants you to do, being in that place and doing those things, then trusting Him completely to fill in all the details.
    • Faithfulness in doing God’s will brings contentment in knowing you are in His will.
    • The result is an inner peace that accepts what God has chosen for your life including the economic level of His provision for you.
    • Read Heb 13:5

 

  • Lifestyle

 

  • Because God’s people represent all levels of economic life and a broad variety of professions, the Christian needs to understand some principles regarding the style of life.
  • =1= The Christian needs to develop an eternal perspective in his thinking.
    • Life is but a moment in full perspective of time. However, the Christian can have a powerful impact on eternity by the style of his life, his personal testimony, and his use of money.
      • Read Heb 11:24-26
    • The Christian’s degree of eternal perspective will determine his degree of contentment.
    • The quickest way to defeat contentment in your life is to begin to build an economic empire in this earthly life.
      • Read Mar 8:36
  • =2= The Christian needs to take advantage of the opportunity at hand and in that moment.
    • When the Christian sees the importance of every moment as an opportunity for God, he recognizes that he is living in God’s time
    • In this way, we will not excuse our failures and missed opportunities as God’s fault because God did not give us more resources.
  • =3= Wasted possessions means that God will remove us as stewards.
    • Read Luk 16:1-2
    • Waste and misuse of God’s blessings and possessions will definitely affect the Christian’s lifestyle.
  • =4= The Christian should not determine his lifestyle by comparing himself with others.
    • A conservative lifestyle will enable the Christian to use more of his wealth for the Lord.
    • Therefore, the Christian should not live the maximum kind of lifestyle that he can afford.
  • =5= Never make any purchase without prayer and seeking God’s will.
    • Read 1Tim 4:4
  • =6= Never permit your lifestyle to harm or cause another to stumble.
    • Read Rom 14:13
  • =7= The Christian should ask himself continually, “How much is enough?”
    • It is important to maintain a balance between saving and giving, between saving and hoarding. You can only maintain this balance by asking this question, “How much is enough?”
  • =8= Simplify your life.
    • Every possession requires care, time, money, and effort to maintain it.
    • Always consider the amount required to maintain a possession before you buy it, for possessions can draw your attention away from the Lord.
    • Read 1The 4:11-12
    • Read 2Tim 2:3-4
  • -=9= There should be an equality of needs met in the body of Christ, not necessarily an equality of lifestyle.
    • Read 2Cor 8:13-15

 

  • The Perpetual Question: Why do the Wicked Prosper? (Psa 73:1-19)

 

  • Read Jer 12:1
  • While the Bible never answers this age-old question, the Bible continuously encourages the believer not to worry over this question but to maintain an eternal value system, for the wicked will eventually reap what they sow.

 

  • Taxes

 

  • One area of a lack of contentment is the payment of taxes. The Christian should pay his taxes without resentment or dishonesty.
  • Read Luk 20:22-25
  • Read Rom 13:1, 6-7

 

  • Financial Perspective

 

  • In the Christian community you will hear teachers teach two extremes:
  • Some will say that the believer that has sufficient faith will never suffer a financial lack, and that a financial lack is a lack of faith.
  • Others will say that the believer should live a life of poverty to be really spiritual.
  • Read Psa 35:27
  • Both of these extremes are not Biblical. The Bible does not teach the necessity of poverty nor perpetual prosperity. Usually life brings some of both.
    • Remember that money and possessions are morally neutral. It is man that determines his use of these things whether for good or for bad.
    • In the Old Testament during a period of Law, prosperity was directly conditional on obedience to the covenant of Law given to Moses. (Deu 30:15-16)
    • In an Old Testament period of Grace with Abraham, prosperity was by God’s grace. Both Abraham and Job are the examples.
    • In the New Testament period of Grace, God uses these things to test and teach the believer to be a faithful steward.
      • Read 3Joh 2
    • The prime examples in Scripture are the lives of Joseph in the Old Testament and Paul in the New Testament.
      • At times Joseph prospered and at times he was financially at the bottom.
      • At times Paul had abundance in his life and at other times he had nothing.
        • Read Phi 4:12
  • You can determine your financial perspective from the following:
    • With regards to possessions:
      • If you believe in poverty, possessions are evil.
      • If you believe in prosperity, possessions are a right that you deserve.
      • If you have an attitude of stewardship, possessions are a responsibility.
    • With regards to work:
      • If you believe in poverty, work meets your basic needs.
      • If you believe in prosperity, work enables you to become rich.
      • If you have an attitude of stewardship, work means you are serving Christ.
    • With regards to spirituality:
      • If you believe in poverty, godly people should be poor.
      • If you believe in prosperity, godly people should be rich.
      • If you believe in stewardship, spirituality means you are faithful.
    • With regards to the wicked:
      • If you believe in poverty, the wicked are wealthy.
      • If you believe in prosperity, the wicked are poor.
      • If you believe in stewardship, the wicked are unfaithful.
    • With regards to giving:
      • If you believe in poverty, you give because you must.
      • If you believe in prosperity, you give to get wealth from God.
      • If you believe in stewardship, you give because you love God.
    • With regards to spending money:
      • If you believe in poverty, you spend money without gratitude to God.
      • If you believe in prosperity, you spend money carelessly and without thought.
      • If you believe in stewardship, you spend money prayerfully and responsibly.
  • Read Jos 1:8
  • In this scripture, we gain a good perspective on life.
    • The more you read and know scripture, the more you will follow the principles of scripture and thus place yourself in the way of God’s blessings and prosperity. Is it guaranteed? No.
  • In this course we have examined all the principles, attitudes, and actions by which God’s financial system works. The violation of any one principle, attitude, or action can affect your financial life.
    • Therefore, when suffering financial problems, consider the following reasons:
      • =1= The violation of any one or more of the financial principles.
      • =2= The neglect of any one area of man’s responsibility.
      • =3= The violation of any one or more of appropriate financial attitudes.
      • =4= Consider the value of building Godly character.
        • We learn more in adversity than we do in abundance.
      • =5= Consider the value of God’s chastisement for sin. (Heb 12:6, 10)
      • =6= Consider your need for learning dependence on God.
      • =7= Consider the mystery of God’s sovereignty.
      • =8= Consider God’s perspective of prosperity.
        • Read Rev 2:9
        • Read Rev 3:17
          • Spiritual riches are more important than earthly riches.
  • Review:
  • God wants faithful stewards of all believers. Faithful stewardship consists of:
    • Avoiding debt.
    • Seeking wise financial counsel.
    • Practicing honesty.
    • Giving generously to God and to the poor.
    • Spending money wisely.
    • Working hard.
    • Saving consistently.
    • Training children in the use of money.
  • May God help you put into practice what you have learned about your finances and make of you a faithful steward.

THE END

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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