Christian LivingThe Message - Sermon

Money-Financial Wellness

Money- Root of Financial Wellness

Money, money, more money. Money can buy food, clothing and shelter.

Thinking about money? How to make money, how to save and spend it?  Work for money or let your money work for you. We give money for tithes in church, or we are tight on money. Money can give us happiness but can also give us stress. We are lying if we say that money is just something that you can live without.  Money is absolutely necessary to live on this planet. We work because we want to earn money to sustain our living; buy the things we want, go to places we want. We also save money for unexpected necessities. 

We put our money in the bank to earn interest or if we feel it is safer than keeping it under the bed. We use the bank to safeguard our money and at the same time earn a little interest. What does the Bible say about savings? Do we save because of fear that we might need it in the future? Yes, we do!  Savings are encouraged in the Bible.  It is wise to put something aside for rainy days, not for fear or hoarding but as what the Bible said in Proverbs 21:20 (NLT) “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” fools waste what they have but the wise have precious treasure kept.

We cannot deny that we have a relationship with money. Money cannot buy everything but it can buy many things. The influence of money is very powerful.  It corrupts our minds, the government officials, and even the church leadership. The temptations that money can bring to people have a big impact not only on our flesh but also on our spirituality. Just imagine agricultural lands being converted to subdivisions, high rise business buildings, illegal logging, illegal drugs, human trafficking, prostitution, gambling, and many more. It is all about making money.

It is not only because we want money to survive.  Maybe we are in love with money and surpasses more than our needs. This shows that money already controls the human mind and it becomes more than a necessity but possession that cannot just be brushed aside. We should be mindful of our hard-earned money since it is being a part of our daily lives.  We should be mindful of the way we spend it, the purpose why we are saving it or investing it.

Just imagine, as soon as we wake in the morning, we are already spending money that we have never earned yet. For example, turning the lights on, using water for washing our face, brushing teeth, cooking breakfast, brewing coffee, toasting bread, filling up the gas tank, and many more that we can think of. We must avoid adoring money. Though money is working for us, we are also working for money. I saw people kissing their money in the gambling place and witnessed others kissing the money goodbye and then said “you have to come back” “see you soon.”

Money also earns respect for people. Respect can also mean love.  We respect God because we love Him and we do not want to offend Him by doing ungodly work. When it comes to respecting money, it doesn’t sound right but the love of money does. Love of money is the root of all evil. Whoever loves money already surrendered the chance of loving something else and whoever desires to have more money, it will never be enough and would want more until ends up being a seeker for money instead of seeking the face of God and His blessings. Always submit to God and He will guide us of our choices.

Money can leave us anytime.  It can give us trouble and cannot give us eternal happiness. John warned us in 1John 2— “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.’ ‘For everything in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.’ ‘The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15–17(NIV).

To help manage money really well, it should not be about us.  It should be about how God will manage it for us and being a partaker of His divine nature we have access to His wisdom. We have to show love and obedience to His purpose and will, to love Him first before anything else. As a steward of God, He will equip us with knowledge and understanding that eventually groom us to become wise. Remember God gives wisdom to the wise. God’s ways is so organize that He wants us to be like Him.

Money can control us if we submit to its power.  It can give us happiness and it can also give us trouble.  Money can only give temporary satisfaction and can only be extended for a period of time depending on how deep our pocket will be. When we fall for money and fully in love with it, then we are not a perfect candidate for the stewardship of God. We cannot worship money, fight for possessions with growing greed and selflessness, and coming to God to ask for money is an insult. We have to be faithful because God is faithful and He is a jealous God. Money doesn’t grow on trees.  We have to work to earn it.

Money can be a lifesaver. It can change someone’s life. Money attracts more friends and relatives to get closer to us and can make us famous.

Money was invented and first used by China in place of coins and was widely used in the 17th century in Europe. Before money was invented, people exchanged goods and services for other goods and services. We called this system a bartering or barter system. Currency or Barter system makes no difference. The ultimate source came from God. Since the source is from God it should be intended to be of good use. We should be aware that money can make our life enjoyable and can also be miserable.

There are few things that we should be reminded what money can bring:

1. Money can be used to influence people to do things bad or good. It can be used as a tool to change the behavior of a person.

2. Love of money is the root of all evilness; idolizing money is a bad thing but if we use it for godly work it could avoid the pitfall that will bring to one’s destruction and devastation.

3. Through honesty and hard work in earning money, it will give honor and integrity to a person. Unlawfulness in getting money is a disgrace to all humanity.

4. Control and abuse of possessions is a big thing for evil deeds that God sees, and there’s no escape on judgment day.

5. Too much focus on money develops selfishness, self-esteem, and arrogance and is evil continually.  We have to refrain from that attitude to pleased God.

6. If we are not aware of the mounting debt, the bible is very clear that the borrower becomes the servant of the lender. Proverb 22:7; in Luke 14:28 says  “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” This will avoid being buried in debt or incomplete projects.

7. We must be a blessing to others in return for the fortune that God gave us. Mismanagement of our finances can lead to bankruptcy and lost the trust of the worldly environment.

8. A decision is a big factor in managing finance wellness and also needs the right people and right advice.  God is the source and He will give us what we need; just ask. 

9. The rich have a greater problem than the poor. The rich have the fear to get poor while the poor do not need the fear to be poorer but a dream to be rich. When it comes to the problem it is equally the same it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. It can result in stress to both.

Money is a legal tender or a medium of exchange and only worth it when it can be used to buy goods and services, to pay the debt, rent, vacation expenses, and many more.  But the value is worth nothing if it will not be accepted.  Like I experienced when we are paying our community club membership they do not want to accept cash and instead they prefer either checks or credit cards.   As I was involved in business before, there is no reason for me not to understand; the power of Temptation and the weaknesses of men. “A saint without a halo is a saint without a shadow.”

Not all currency is acceptable to certain countries and not all the countries in the world accept other countries currency except their own. US dollar is widely accepted but not the currency of smaller countries. We can have all the money in the world to buy all things the world offers. However, there is one that we cannot buy- the Love of God. Jesus said the greatest among all the commandments is love and we agreed and it is not for sale.

Money can move the life of a person but it cannot move on its own.  It doesn’t have arm and legs and yet it travels.  It cannot act and react but can empower someone to do so.  It has life but it doesn’t breathe, can be used to do good deeds but doesn’t have a mind of its own.  It cannot commit wickedness by itself without the help of the wicked and cannot do good things of its own without godly doers.

Money is so powerful but apparently, it needs the help of something to survive.  It doesn’t matter if it will be used to do good or bad things; the survival depends in its users. There are ways to acquire money- the hard way and the easy way, one way or highways and the godly way or the wicked ways.  Money is not the root of all evil. But the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).

It is wrong to say that money doesn’t have power.  Money gives the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or change the course of events. If the concept of money is so simple why do we have to strive in having it in a simple and honest way?  If it simple, why do sweat and be stressed over money?  Why church leaders often bring the topic of money in the pulpit or in some special meetings?  Fundraising is one way to collect money and church does that too often.

Though Jesus talks about money and possessions in his parables,  the Gospel deals with it as well. Money and stewardship have been preached and some do not want to hear it over and over again. Many ask why money and possessions have more verses compared to faith and prayer combined. Money cannot buy our salvation! Forgiveness is not for sale!! Its a gift from God!!!

Money has been discussed in the Bible to give us warnings and teaches us how to handle our money and our faith. There are people that choose between a ministry and a business and most of the time, the business is chosen because of money.

Why did God allow money to be in circulation when our all-knowing God knows that money can cause temptation and bring destruction to our devotion?  Money can easily lure the lust, just by looking at it a person cannot resist owning it.  Just touching it there is already feeling the ownership to it and the smell is so enticing like an aroma that could put somebody under a spell. Why our nature does becomes so attach to money even we know that money cannot always bring happiness? Yet we still want to have it due to its spending power, maybe?

Money that lead us to sin when it  comes from evil hands and money that comes from good hands becomes the joy of our bones the structure that makes our faith unshaken and will not tremble. With strong faith and great hope, love will take care of the rest, for where our heart is.  There we will find the treasure that belongs to the greatest Creator, delivered to us by the mighty Master now under the guidance and protection of the Spirit that belongs to one True God.

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If it is not for God, what do we have? Isn’t it nothing? He is the source and we are God’s treasured possession and all the earth is God’s ownership. He made us His steward to manage the finances accumulated on his behalf and He gave it to us because He sees our heart. Whether the interpretation is Spiritual or acquisition, it is the essence of stewardship which made a thing a thing.

Let us pray –God it is your glory, everything from heaven above, and beneath is your ownership, our life that you gave is a treasure that should be taken care of. We thank you Father for your trust that everything will be okay just avoid the bad side of money. We need your guidance to go the right way and help us fight the temptation that attacks our weaknesses. In the name of Your Son our 2nd and last Adam and with the help of the Holy Spirit the glory is yours from here to eternity. Amen

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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