Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Our Get Fit series has been all about what we can do to get in shape in a lot of ways. We’ve discussed getting fit spiritually, getting fit relationally, and last week, getting fit physically.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Today, we’re going to take some time talking about getting fit financially. There’s a great parable given in Matthew 25 that helps illustrate the idea of financial health and of putting Matthew 6 into practice.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip. 16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money. 19 After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ 21 The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 22 The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more. 23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 24 Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’ 26 But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ 28 Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
1. Recognize the importance
19a “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy”
– It is vital that we understand the Biblical imperative to handle our finances properly
– 1Cor. 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”
Pastor Chris Brown said, “Don’t worship the provision, worship the provider by stewarding the provision.”
2. Determine where you really are
Prov. 27:23 “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds; 24 For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations.”
– Be brutally honest
– Don’t make excuses in your own mind
– This is a healthy exercise, not a plan for depression
3. Decide where you want to be
Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Proverbs 22:27 “If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.”
– Be realistic
– Take baby steps
– Shoot for the moon
4. Plan out what it’s going to take to get there
Luke 14:28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it, 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
5. Put safeguards in place
Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
Proverbs 19:21 “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. 22 Loyalty makes a person attractive. It is better to be poor than dishonest. 23 Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.”
– Most important step
– Our natural desires and habits got us into trouble in the first place
6. Get help
– There really is strength in numbers
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Everything we have been talking about is really a condition of the heart. If our hearts aren’t in the right place with Him, we’ll never be in the right place with anything else.