(UK International Conference)

Bringing Financial Education to the Church

Depending on the type of church one is brought up in, these types of beliefs are conditioned into the mindset of the congregation, thus understanding wealth, much less maintaining it, can prove much harder for the Christian than the average person.

Our beliefs are what shape our outcome in life. If you want to become wealthy and prosperous you first have to change the way you think about money. To see it for what it is, a tool! A means to an end! And understand that God wants us to not only be wealthy but abundantly wealthy! In all things: love, health and wealth! He wants to bless us richly with his treasures, but first we have to give him something to work with. What do I mean by this? Well read the following text – a viral email that was sent out at Christmas, to understand.

Luck of the Draw

A man found himself in terrible financial difficulties. He is so desperate that for the first time in his life he gets down on his knees and prays to God for help. ‘Dear God, I desperately need your help. I have no money to spend on Christmas presents for my family. Could you possibly arrange it so that I win the Lottery?’ The lottery draw is held, but he wins nothing. He sends another prayer to God. ‘My business has gone bust and if I don’t get some money soon I’ll lose my car and my Christmas will be will be very difficult. Please fix things so I win the lottery.’ Lottery night comes, but he’s unlucky. So he prays to God again. ‘Please God, I’ve lost my car and now they’re trying to take my house. Please help me to win the Lottery or our Christmas will be ruined.’ Come lottery night, he again fails to win anything. ‘Undeterred, be prays to God again. ‘I am now a bankrupt, my house has been repossessed by the finance company and so has my car. We are now living on the street, but all I need to get my life back together and perhaps enjoy some kind of Christmas is to win the lottery.’ Suddenly there’s a flash of brilliant life as the heavens open and the man is confronted by the very voice of God himself. ‘Hey, do me a favour will you, buy a ticket.’

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” Matthew 6, 24.

Now, there is no question here what Jesus said was correct because you cannot serve two masters, but what I do question is how this passage has been contextualised and portrayed. We all know we need money and that we must work to earn it. God likes a diligent worker as stated in Proverbs, 13,4, but there is a difference between working smart and working hard! The wealthy work smart rather than hard, which is why they are wealthy! They make their money work hard for them rather than they work hard for it. By being poor or choosing to have a ‘poverty’ mindset, and it is a choice; does not mean we are not serving money. Because in spite of everything we say and do, the importance we place on our monthly or weekly wage dictates how we spend our time, our thoughts and our action. We basically schedule our whole life around our wage, and by doing so, are we not serving money?

God made us in his image for a reason, and is he not a King with abundant riches? He gave us dominion over the earth and in Galatians 3, 29 it reads “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” But unlike God’s love, which is unconditional, his promise is not. It has to be earned! The soil must be toiled and seeds planted, because 0 x0 = 0. Therefore, we need to give God an investment to multiply; the story of the 10 minas (Luke 19: 11-27) is a perfect example of this. Not only does it touch on the subject of investing but planning also, financial planning!

Finally, God wants us and our children to prosper, because just as He bestowed this earth to us as our inheritance, the scriptures state “a good man should also leave an inheritance for his children, so that they can prosper.” (Proverbs, 13:22

We can leave a prospering inheritance to our children by creating wealth and you do this by building and diversifying assets over a long period of time, so as to achieve an income stream, or even multiple income streams, which will ensure a high quality of life before and after retirement.

One can create a number of different and multiple income streams, be it from a job, property, investments, internet marketing, a business, etc, etc. In this day and age it is about being resourceful! Do you have the internet at home, broadband? Then start utilizing it to bring in a second income! Do you sew? What skills do you have? Now is not the time to be shy or complacent about your situation. Because, again, just like the stories of the 10 minas God helps those who help themselves!

Start from the beginning, because creating wealth is a journey of learning, making your mistakes and moving on from them towards bigger and better things! Thus, the first place you should start is by asking yourself –

1. Where are you financially? Do I have a plan to get from A – B?

2. Educate yourself financially, so that you can make better choices with your money. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know!

3. Change your mindset to one of abundance rather than poverty. Many of us are guilty of being complacent to our financial situation, and because we have been broke for so long, we act broke and so are broke. Proverbs 23, 7 puts it simply ‘For as he thinks in his heart, so is he’.

4. Take hold of faith (God) rather than fear (Devil), and take proactive action to change your financial future.

5. And finally, don’t pray for money or lottery tickets, but the creativity and inspiration to create your wealth, and the sustenance, persistency and patience to achieve it.

For information on products and services that can help YOU to become more financially savvy with your finances please go to http://mountzion7thday.wordpress.com/

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Mount Zion 7th Day Church of God 333a Sydenham Road, Croydon, Surrey, CRO 2EL Tel/Fax: 0208 684 7052

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