Biblical Financial Lessons

Plan Before You Start – Luke 14:28-30

This is a series that appears on a regular basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

Luke 14:28-30

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

There are several key financial lessons we can learn from this parable that Jesus told.

  1. It is important to plan when preparing for a large task  In this parable, an attempt to build a tower is referenced. Your great task will be different, but it will still require appropriate planning. You might want to build a business, an office building, or a home, but to attempt it without a plan will lead to disaster.
  2. Money is an important part of the planning process  “Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”  It can’t be any clearer than that! It is essential and necessary to have a financial plan to support the major work you are setting out to accomplish!
  3. It is clear to others when we attempt to accomplish something large without planning first  Have you ever seen a building project that was stopped in its tracks because the money ran out? I have seen literally thousands of these examples across the United States when the economy came to a screeching halt in 2008 and banks pulled their financing and individuals ran out of cash.

Most people wrestle with this issue. We want to move right away and start accomplishing the goal! The idea of stopping to prepare a plan seems to be too cumbersome and time-consuming. After all, we can make these decisions “on the fly.” Planning ahead seems too abstract, and it seems to hurt the brain too much to consider all of the potential issues and plan for them ahead of time.

But it is the planning process that differentiates good from great, bland from phenomenal, and uninspiring to life-changing. It is a cornerstone of financial freedom – “There must be a plan!”

QUESTIONS

  1. Have you ever attempted something great without a plan? If so, what was the result? What lessons did you learn that you would be willing to share with everyone?
  2. How should you go about preparing a plan for a future project?

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Seed Costs Money – Mark 4:26

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

Seed Costs Money – Mark 4:26-29

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Most financially broken people fail to recognize the fundamental fact that in order to have a harvest, one must first sow seed.  No matter how much you pray, seek God, call down fire from the heavens, or plead with God to bring you a tremendous harvest, one will have no harvest if seed is not sown.  This is so clear to me because I grew up on a farm.  If we did not invest the time and energy to plant seed in the Spring, there would be no harvest in the Fall.

People get fired up about the idea of a huge harvest, but then they realize that seed costs tremendous money.  For example, special hybrid seed can cost 20 to 30 times what the harvested seed will sell for!

Think about an author who dreamed of having a published book, but no publisher would print it for them.  Without being willing to spend money to self-publish the book, the author would just be standing around hoping for her dream of having a real-life printed book become reality.  BUT if she were willing to spend money to self-publish the book (sowing the seed), the author would be positioned to reap a harvest as the book was sold around the world.

MAIN POINT: Most people remain broke without ever reaping a tremendous harvest because they lust for the harvest, but are unwilling to spend the money necessary to acquire, plant, and cultivate the seed.

Application Questions

  1. Have you saved up money to be able to purchase seed?
  2. Are you actively sowing seed?

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Why Do I NOT Do The Things I Know I Should Do? Romans 7:15

Romans 7:15 – 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Paul shares his thoughts on his struggle with not doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing.

This is a problem everyone faces – especially in the following areas of personal finances.

  • Budgeting  We know that we should prepare a monthly written Give/Save/Invest/Spend plan, but for some reason we don’t allocate the time and effort required to make it happen.
  • Giving  We know that we should give, but we fail to do so when it comes time to write the checks or pay the bills on-line for the month.
  • Saving  We know that we should be saving money.  After all, the children are growing like weeds, and it seems like they will be headed to college tomorrow!  The car has special “rattling” sounds, yet we have not saved any money to repair or replace it.
  • Investing  We know that we should be investing to fund our big-time dreams and prepare for retirement.  After all, our bodies are creaking, and it seems to take much longer to get rolling each morning.  Yet, we choose to invest little to no money to cover our living expenses and live life to the fullest during our retirement years.
  • Wills/Estate Plan  We know that we will die someday, but we choose to ignore that reality by failing to have a written will and estate plan.
  • Insurance  We know that we are going to get sick one day.  Yet, we choose to not have health insurance.  We know that law requires us to carry insurance for our cars and that we will probably be in a wreck someday, yet some still choose to drive without auto insurance.
  • Debt  We know that substantial debt can delay or completely prevent the funding of our future plans, hopes, and dreams, yet we choose to “sign the line” anyway.

The LIE that we tell ourselves is this:  “Things will be okay.  After all, we have made it this far living this way.”

If that is you, let me ask you a few questions:

  • Are things REALLY okay?
  • Are your dreams fully funded?
  • Are you living the life you dreamed of when you were young?
  • When was the last time you really allowed yourself to dream?

What do you need to do?

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A Financial Miracle

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

A Financial Miracle – II Kings 4:1-7

II Kings 4:1-7  (You need to click HERE to read it)

I covered II Kings 4:1 previously and shared the fact that debt had jeopardized the very freedom of her children.  Wonderfully, the story does not end there.  In fact, a financial miracle takes place.

In verse 2, the prophet Elisha responds to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?

The woman responded, “Your servant has nothing there at all except a little oil.

Thought #1 – Have you noticed that when we are faced with an extremely difficult situation for which we can see no answer that we tend to minimize everything we DO have?  This lady said that she had nothing – except a little oil, but that was not the full truth!  She still had her sons at the moment.  She also apparently had good health (a tremendous blessing).  Moreover, she had access to the man of God!

In verses 3 and 4, Elisha responds to her with a command.  “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons.  Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

Thought #2 – When we seek God’s guidance, He will give it!  This lady went to the man of God, and received the word she needed.  We have direct access to God through prayer.  He hears our desperate prayers – even as we cry them out in despair!

In verse 5 and 6, the miracle takes place.  The lady left Elisha and did exactly as this man of God had instructed.  The oil flowed until the very last jar was full!

Thought #3 – We have to do our part.  What if this lady had refused to do as the man of God had instructed?  The miracle would not have happened, and she wouldn’t have been able to save her two sons from slavery!

In verse 7, the lady informed Elisha of the miracle, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts.  You and your sons can live on what is left.”

Thought #4 – God always provides overflow!  He provided enough to settle the debts and enough to live off of the rest! Simply amazing.

In summary, here’s what happened:

QUESTIONS:

  1. Do YOU believe that a financial miracle could really take place for you?
  2. What do YOU need to do?
  3. What is your desperate prayer?  Email it to me at joe@iwbnin.com and me and our team would be honored to pray for it with you!

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Are You Enslaving Your Children? – II Kings 4:1

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Debt Enslaving Children

II Kings 4:1  The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord.  But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

In this incredible story, a man has passed away while still having young boys in the house.  Apparently, this man had incurred substantial debts, and his untimely death placed the family into a financial tailspin.  The situation is so terrible that the creditor is going to take the two boys as slaves to repay the debt.

No one prepares to die before they grow old, but we see obituaries of young people all of the time.  It’s awful.  Without a plan, this situation can literally enslave the family just as is recorded in this story.

It’s time for you to ask yourself two questions.

1.  Has your debt situation become so bad that it has enslaved you and your family?

  • Are you BOUND to your job because you have to receive the paycheck?
  • Are you doing things at work that you are morally or ethically against, but your financial situation has prevented your standing up for what you believe?
  • Do you have a second job or demand overtime just to pay the bills?
  • Are your children paying a tremendous price because of your financial situation?

If so, it is time to calculate your Debt Freedom Date and start the journey toward freedom!  Being a slave to debt is a terrible way to live life!

2.  Would your family prosper even if you die prematurely?

  • Do you have substantial savings that would sustain the family over a two to three month period?
  • Do you have life insurance that is equal to 10-times your annual take-home pay?

I have met with families after the untimely loss of a spouse.  I have seen families that had no plan and were enslaved.  It was a terrible moment, as I watched the family move toward poverty overnight.  On the other hand, I have met with families that had planned appropriately, and they were able to focus solely on grieving.

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