August 13, 2017
Stress is Bad
Good morning everyone and welcome to our second week of “All In.” For this message series we are asking everyone to get involved in a “Go Group,” which is a small group of 8-20 people who get together to pray, study the Bible, and serve others. All our groups our studying this series we are going through. The good part about being part of a Go Group is it helps you become a better person. You can take what you hear today, you might do it, you might not with little consequence. But when you study it with a group of people that accountability of taking it deeper together, helps you become more like Jesus, which is our whole goal here at C3. When you study together and learn together it’s just a lot more fun. It’s not too late to get into a group. All you need to do is sign-up using the connection card portion of the handout you received and put it in the offering box- then we’ll get with you for the details- or you can talk to me after the service.
Last week, Adam kicked off this series about downsizing, less is more. We live in a world where we think more is better. More money, more investments, more house, more guns, more shoes. The truth is we need less- less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does matter. Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil chasing after the wind.” This week the theme is Stress is Bad. Next week we are talking about how Giving is Good. Giving is good, I really like that. In the fourth week, we will close with Tomorrow Matters.
So what are we talking about in this series, Less is More, Stress is Bad, Giving is Good, Tomorrow Matters. Forgive me for being annoying but these four weeks is less is more, stress is bad, giving is good, and tomorrow matters.
Today: Stress is bad. Here is the idea. Financial Stress is bad. Financial stress can cause fights in your marriage- even divorce. I never heard a married couple say we never fight because we are in debt. Financial stress can take away your joy. I never heard anyone say getting into debt saved their love life. I never heard anyone say paying off my credit bill of $2000 over 20 years helped me get rich. I never heard someone say financial stress made me love life more. I never heard someone say impulse buying helped pay my kids way to college. I never heard someone say being financially upside down helped me feel closer to Jesus. I never heard anyone say every night when I go to bed I thank God for my debt. I never heard anyone say I’m so happy now that I have all these payment plans.
I’ve heard people say this though, I wish I could give more to help people in need, I’m just not able to do that right now. I wish one of us could stay home with the kids, but that’s not an option. I wish we didn’t have this stress all the time. I wish we could travel. We can’t even consider it because we have financial stress. How do you handle that stress? Don’t even think about it. Play the lottery and hope. Complain a lot. Do something unhealthy?
Financial stress is something we can take seriously. It has caused too many fights, too many ulcers, and too much of feeling overwhelmed.
What do you think it would like for you not have any financial stress? Think about it. What if you paid for your car- with cash? Not payments, cash. Wouldn’t that be something? You walk on the lot, see the car you want, offer 5000 below and say, I’ll pay cash right now. What if someone around you was in need, no problem. You have the cash to do that. What if something significant breaks down on your car, or your home? What if you didn’t freak out. You just paid for it? What if you had a week off from vacation and the only problem you had was choosing where you want to go? The mountains or the beach?
A lot of times we think, if I just had more money. More money doesn’t mean you will be more organized with your resources. It just means you have more to be disorganized with. More money doesn’t stop you from comparing yourself to others. There is always someone with more than you. More money will not unite your relationship. Couples in financial stress are not in need of more money, but more oneness. More money doesn’t make you more generous. If you are not generous now doesn’t mean you will be generous with much. Having more money doesn’t solve financial stress. Many times, it causes more tension.
Financial stress is bad. It causes guilt, shame, stress, fights, tension. If you are financially stressed out when someone starts talking about it, like now, you feel like you are on trial. Why is that? Proverbs 22:7 might give us a clue, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” (NKJV) The reason why you feel stress financially is when you borrow and have all kinds of payments then you are in bondage. You are in bondage for five years, 20 years, whatever the life of your loan is. Bondage puts on your decisions on trial. Did I do the right thing?
How do you get out of financial stress? Sign-up for my $600 seminar on debt free living, starting next week. We take all credit cards. Nooo.. haha. What I want to give you the most powerful force on earth, and it’s offered to you for free. What you need to is pray. You start by praying. Sit with your spouse, in your closet, with a friend, and start praying. Not… God I pray you get me out of this mess! God can get you out of the mess, but you must follow him. Let me give you three prayers this morning you can say that will allow God to help you get rid of financial stress.
Prayer #1: God, give me self-control. Proverbs 25:28 says, “A person without self-control
is like a city with broken-down walls.” In ancient days a city without a wall around it was defenseless, vulnerable to attack. Think walls of Jericho when they fell and the Israelites rushed in won the city. When you spend your money without a budget, or self-discipline, you leave yourself vulnerable, when that medical bill comes up, when your car needs new tires, when braces come up, or a storm damages your house. Suddenly, you are vulnerable on one count because you have a need, and two counts because you don’t have the means to take care of it.
We’ve all seen this. Some of you want this now. You ever see a 2 year old kid at the grocery store, or some other store, and they are crying and they are whining and they say, “I want it now!” I want it now! Inside us adults is that two-year-old kid. I want it now. Say, God help me discipline that two year old kid. I need to put him or her in timeout.
But how often do we impulse buy? Let’s get honest. Ladies when you go by the clearance rack, I’m meddling now, I know, but you need to say to that two-year-old kid, get in the corner. Get in the corner. Then when you get home I know you try to convince someone you saved money because you got the little trinket on sale, and you needed the outfit to match. You can nickel and dime, nickel and dime, and you sink the ship.
Men you are not like that. You just blow the ship up all at once. I bought a boat. I bought a boat. I got a new trailer for the boat, with twin Sea-Doos, and I needed a new truck to pull the boat. Now I need is a house by the water. Right? God give me self-control. My life does not consist of the abundance of stuff.
Need to say to our two-year-old, you say no to smaller things now so you can say yes to bigger things later. Say no to the smaller things now so you can say yes to bigger things later. Some of you might need to go onto a spending freeze so you can pay off your debt quicker. You pay the gas bill. You ate as little as possible. When you do eat out you get water and no dessert. Ramen noodles. You just pay for the necessities and pay off everything else. You pray to God. God, give me self-control. Nails done once a week? Gold twice a week? Does your 12 year old really need the latest iphone? Do you need the steam cooker from Amazon Prime Day? The brand new car that depreciate 20% in value? Pray, God give me self-control.
Prayer #2: God, give me understanding. Proverbs 10:21, “The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.” God give me understanding. Give me common sense. Here is how I understand this verse. I need to understand what I am doing with my money, not just what I am purchasing with my money. Often I focus on what I am getting with my money and not what I am doing with my money.
How much down? How much a month? How much is the real cost? The average credit card debt in America today is $16,000. What are you doing with your money?
If you pay $250 a month on $16,000 at 19%, it will take 40 years to pay it off, and you will pay $105,000 in interest. Just think, even if you didn’t invest it, and saved the money, with no interest, you’d have $105,000 in the bank. If you invest it at 12% you’d have 1.5 million dollars. If you added the $250 a month on your investment of $16,000 you get $4,000,000.
You need to ask, not what value am I getting with my money, but what am I doing with my money. The reason people often have a hard time giving is not asking, what am I doing with my money? Am I honoring God with my money? Am I using money to benefit me and my down the road? Am I prepared for an emergency?
We need to pray, God give me understanding. Give me insight about my resources. Give me wisdom.
The last prayer you can pray is, God, give me a plan. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” The plans of the diligent gains.. ehat? Profit. You get savings. You get ahead.
What is haste? In the Bible it means I felt sad and I went shopping. I’m just joking. It’s retail therapy. Not having a plan is what leads you into poverty.
Listen, listen. I heard this some time ago… you can wander into debt, but you won’t wander out. Isn’t that true? You can stumble your way into debt but you cannot stumble your way out. You can mistake your way out of debt but you cannot mistake your way out. This is why you need a plan.
Plans are scriptural. It is spiritual. The plans of the diligent lead to profit. So you need to follow a God given plan. God give me a plan. You might need to plan on an emergency fund. Do you have a plan for that fund? How are you going to plan to get that fund? One way I did it was my tax refund. Often, when you get your tax refund you plan on using it for vacation, maybe a car, making something better in the house. I set some of it back as an emergency fund. In life you can plan for unexpected expenses, are you planning financially for it. Every little bit counts.
How are you getting rid of your commercial debt? Credit cards, car payments. You can do the debt snowball. It’s where you pay off the the smallest debt first, while making the minimum payments on the other. And when you pay off the smallest debt you take that money and add it to the next smallest debt, and so on. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you pay off your debt and get to debt free. You can google it to see the details.
What is your plan for saving for the future? What kind of plan do you have for investing? There is all kinds of good resources out there to help you plan well. Dave Ramsey with Financial Peace University, Good Sense Ministries is another. Pray, God give me a plan.
Where do you start to get rid of financial stress? You start by praying. Be specific in your prayers. God, give me self-control. God, give me understanding. God give me a plan.
Less is more. Stress is bad. Giving is good. Tomorrow matters.
In your seats and bulleting I have a business card. On the card I have these three prayers. God give me self-control. God, give me understanding. God, give me a plan. I made it the size of a credit card on purpose.
This is a tool that help you pray your finances. Here is what you do. Take this card and put it with your debt card or credit card. Just put it right next to it. Then every time you make a purchase, pull out that card, you have these three prayers right there before you. Some of you it may not need to go next to your credit card, but near your phone or tablet when you make online purchases.
The idea is when you go to make your purchase, you are including God in the picture. Remember, God wants his best for you. God loves you more than any earthly father. You can trust him. So, go ahead, and use these three prayers, and leverage God’s goodness to remove the financial stress from your life.
God, give me self-control. God, give me understanding. God, give me a plan.
Today, I really pray and hope today that you really feel like you are going to make some faith filled and positive changes. You want the freedom that financial planning can give you. You don’t want to be in bondage anymore. It’s time to do something better. We want to honor God with what we have now believing he will trust us with even more. We want to bring honor to you.
We’ve been talking about debt today and there is one kind of debt we all share and that is our sin debt. If I could be honest with you. All of us have sinned. We have a sin debt we do not have the ability to repay. This is why the story of Jesus is important. In the Christian world we call it the good news or the Gospel. The Good News is this: God recognized our sin debt and sent his son and gave his son to pay the price for our debt. Jesus was without sin so he was the perfect payment/sacrifice for our sin. He died on a cross for our sin so our sin debt would be forgiven. You feel the weight of sin. You know you are not qualified to get into heaven.
But when you call on him, trust in him, and are baptized into his death and resurrection, he will forgive every sin you ever created. It’s why many of you are here today. You are here because you need to Jesus to pay your sin debt. Today may be the day when you have the sin lifted from your soul.
In a moment, we will have communion. This is a time when we remember and celebrate Jesus paying off our sin debt. The bread represents his body, that was broken as part of the payment. The juice represents the blood that was shed for the forgiveness of your sins.
The emblems have been prepared for you in the back and we invite all believers to take a moment and recall how Jesus paid off your sin-debt. Also, if you desire prayer, our prayer counselors are made available at this time. They will be standing near the Sound Board in the back. If you desire to know Jesus as your debt canceller, and accept the forgiveness of sins, please come t me up here at the front.
Pray for the communion.