If there's one area people are struggling with right now, it's money. What does God say about money? I mean, I'm not talking about the giving side. I'm talking about just money in general.
How do you handle it? How do you work your money in such a way where your life works? That's today. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry motivating Christians to live like Christians.
Well, we're in the middle of our series leading a legacy that lasts forever. Last time, Chip talked about the practice of stewardship and how adopting that mentality can radically change our approach to finances. So in this program, he's going to focus on the practical ways parents, grandparents, and mentors can impart this wisdom to the young people in their lives. But before we get going, a quick reminder, if you miss a portion of this message, let me encourage you to catch up through the Chip Ingram app. It's a great way to listen to Living on the Edge anytime. Okay, let's join Chip now for the remainder of his talk, Teach Them to Manage Their Wealth Wisely.
Let me give you a picture and then I'm going to give you practical ways to pass this on. The two pictures are, one, if you ever want to read about a man, one of my most favorite characters is Nehemiah in the Old Testament and Barnabas in the New. And the story of Nehemiah, very briefly, is he's the right-hand man to the most powerful man in the world. Israel has sinned against God, so he promised he would disperse them across the end of the world, and he did. And so you have Jews in all these different places, and now Persia is the ruling empire.
And Nehemiah opens with this place called Susa, which is up in the mountains, so it's cool because it's very hot in Persia, or Iran in the summer. And so the king has this right-hand man named Nehemiah, and he's called a cupbearer, but the cupbearer's job was more than, you know, tasting the wine or the food to make sure it wasn't poisoned. He became a confidant, and so basically Nehemiah has the hottest chariot, the greatest clothes, the most money, the best food. He is a person of great influence and affluence. He's filthy rich, and he lives in a palace. He drives a Lexus chariot and doesn't feel guilty about it.
He's got a Rolex sundial. God deposited that in Nehemiah for a window of opportunity, and he wasn't a prophet, and he wasn't a pastor. And if you studied all of God's agenda for his people, you would find out that man was the linchpin between all of God's prophecy going in the tubes and Israel being restored. He sent Ezra back.
It didn't work. He sent Zerubb back to rebuild. It wasn't until Nehemiah, the business guy, the guy with position, the guy with power, the guy with leadership gift who could mobilize everyone to turn everything around. Stewardship isn't feeling guilty for having money and position and power and brains.
Stewardship is understanding it's not yours. All you get is a verse that's hard to live with. To them, much given, much is required. And so when you make a lot of money and say, I tithe, God is not impressed nor is anyone else. I mean, how hard is it to tithe when you're six figures or seven figures or beyond? The most generous people in the world right now are the poor.
And when things go down, the people who stopped giving first by all the research is us rich. And Nehemiah, he's this model of what it looks like to be godly and to be wealthy and to be generous. In fact, he decided no personal expenses for me. Barnabas is another one, very wealthy man. He owned property on Cyprus. He was the key. We would have never heard of the Apostle Paul if it wasn't for Barnabas. Barnabas was the one who had the courage to say, hey, he's legit, guys. I mean, he really is a Christian. I know he's been killing all the Christians, but I've seen him. I've met him.
He's legit. And he introduces Paul to the 12. And then when Christianity launches into the Gentile world, they say Barnabas is the leader in the church. Barnabas, why don't you go down there and disciple those new Gentiles? And the text says in Acts, so he went down to Paul's hometown, gets Paul, and says, hey, let's partner on this thing.
The first missionary journey, read the text. It's not Paul and Barnabas. It's Barnabas and Paul.
Until you keep reading, and then it's Paul and Barnabas. He was a wealthy man who had leadership gift who God used. It's a stewardship. It's a stewardship. God has given you what he wants you to have, and he wants you to manage your money as a steward.
Biggest lesson I learned all this, and it's a picture, and it'll help the rest play out. I was a young pastor and 28 years old, had no idea what I was doing. I'd been through the parachurch, so I knew how to make disciples, and I was learning how to teach. And after a couple years, the chairman of our board, he owned a CPA firm in downtown Dallas. And he said, you know something?
We're out in a rural area. You're connected to all these hurting people, and I have a heart for the poor, and I have a heart for people with needs. You have opportunity.
I have money. He said, I want you to come down, and let's eat lunch together. So I end up, you know, in this high-rise, beautiful place, you know, really nervous, going up to the something-something floor. We have a great lunch, and then he pulls out a little brown checkbook, and he puts it, and he says, Chip, this is for you. I said, what is it? He says, I'd like you to be my money manager. So what do you mean? He said, well, you're a pastor. You know, where the church is at, there's a lot of hurting people, poor people, runaway teens, all kind of struggles.
I've put $5,000 in that account, and it says, pastors discretionary fund. Now here's what I want you to do. Once a quarter, at least, you know, three times a year, I'm gonna bring you here, and we're gonna have lunch together. But I want you to take this, and I want you to stick it in your back pocket. And I want you to just think, John Saville is in my back pocket. But Chip Ingram has the eyes, and Chip Ingram is meeting with people, so every day, I want you to get up, and as you get up, you might see someone that has a need, or someone needs a bus ticket, or someone's electricity needs to be put on, and I just want you to pray, and whatever you think God would have you do with this money, in my name, will you take care of it?
I mean, he's chairman of the board, yes. I'm thinking, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm thinking, this may not be a good deal. I'm gonna mess up, and so anyway, I take it, and I'm real nervous, and like, so about, I lost my keys, like 5,000 times, until I was 29, and I, then it took me 29 years, and I decided, right when I stand in the door, my keys, my wallet, and everything, in one little pile, okay? It's this amazing thing that I learned. And then I started putting a checkbook with it. So every day, everywhere I went, John, John, John, what would John want to do? So this lady, they're turning off her thing, and I qualified it, and it was a real need, and I write a check, and I pay her electricity, and then there's this kid's run away from home, from Oklahoma, and he's been on drugs, and I know I'm not gonna give him money, so I buy him a ticket for the bus, and I do some counseling with him, and I get a Bible on his hands, and so then, you know, four months later, John says, Chip, let's have lunch, and so John is very quiet introvert, but with the gift of evangelism. So he says, tell me what happened, and so I said, well, here's your checkbook, and so there was about four entries, and I've written four checks.
Tell me about this one. I tell him a story, and I mean, this is exclusive restaurant, top, you know, level, real, you know, I'm very intimidated, and so I tell him the story, praise the Lord. I'm going, oh, John, oh, man, you, dude, you are killing me. I mean, this is not, you know, you know, tell me another story. So I would tell him these stories, and he would say, praise the Lord, in very loud words, and so we did this, and we did this for like seven years, and then I would give it away, and then I would get, then I would notice I'd get my bank slip, and oh, I guess someone put another $5,000 in. No matter how much I gave away, and as I told stories, the money just kept, as I gave, it kept being put in.
Now here's, there's a number of lessons here. One, John and I became really close friends. I brought unbelievable joy to his heart. I got to help people in ways I never dreamed I'd get to. In fact, it got from this burden to, you know, it's kind of, here's my keys, here's my wallet. John, wonder what we're gonna do today, baby, you know. I mean, just kind of, whoa, you know, you know, you just wonder who you're gonna bless.
I felt like Santa Claus sometimes, you know. Now I knew I was gonna give an account for it, and I'm not real detail oriented, so I'm keeping his checkbook better than mine. Why? Because I'm gonna go talk to him, right?
And I can't, it can't, first of nothing can bounce, but the other is I actually need to add it up right. Why? Because it's his money, not mine. I'm his steward. I brought joy to his heart. Our hearts connected because I managed his resources, and I wasn't asking who do I think I should help. I was asking, I wonder, I mean, I, you know, I'm not stupid. If I gotta really praise the Lord, and that was a really great one, I'm giving more money to that stuff, and if it's, oh, that's nice, Chip, I'm not gonna give as much money to that stuff, right?
Because it's his money. You are God's money manager, and one of the most powerful, important gifts that you will pass on to those you love the most, those first in your home kids, those you disciple, later grandkids for some of you, fellow church members, is to help them manage their wealth wisely. Now, I want to shift gears and say, how?
What would that look like specifically? Now, there's, you know, Dave Ramsey, Crown Ministry, lots of people that go in depth on these areas and can give you 10 times what I'm gonna give you. I'm gonna give you the mountain peak summary of what I think you need to pass on, and then there's tons of great resources to get you there. How are you managing your wealth currently? If God gave you a report card on how you're presently managing your wealth in light of what you've heard from his word, would you get an A, a B, a C, a D, or an F? Because you can't pass on what you don't have in you. You can't ask those people you're helping to do what we're gonna talk about if it's not true of you, and even if you never talk to them about it, if you actually do it, they'll catch tons of it from you.
So where are you at? Well, what I know is, since in the quote born-again evangelical community, the average believer gives 2.5% of their income to the Lord's work. That's saying to God, I don't really believe your word. I don't trust you for the future. I think it's my money, and I'm gonna do with my money what I think, and what I think God would say if he could speak through Dr. Phil.
So how's that working for you? I mean, people are upside down. There's huge debt.
They live above their means. See, when you give God the first portion, as we'll talk about in the middle, it just causes a domino effect of, wow, what are we gonna do with the rest, and how do we do it? And there is there is a correlation of God blessing, okay? There's been some real missed teaching, and some bad teaching, and some heretical teaching about, you know, sort of how money and God and those things go together.
There is no give to get mentality, but I will tell you this. When your priorities are in line, and God can find what I think some people wisely have called a stream instead of a dam, then he will keep placing resources and people whose hearts are tender to spread it and give it to the places that he wants it. You who water others will yourself be watered according to Scripture, and when our finances are in order, you know, read Habakkuk chapter 1, the first 10 verses. He'll put a hole in your purse. He'll blow on your business deals. I mean, until God uses money to align our hearts with him, and when our priorities are out of whack, I will tell you, he will, you know, you keep working harder, but it seems to come to nothing, he says. He will allow your financial situation to get you to a point of dependency where you say, you know something, I better I better get this aligned correctly, and then there's just very often the correlation as you do that. He chooses to bless in that area as well as others.
Well, personal application. Now let's talk about how to help those to pass it on. One, help them recognize the three purposes of money are giving, saving, and spending, and if there's, you know, I don't know if you ever memorize Scripture, and if you don't, I encourage you to, but if there's ever a little passage, singular, if you could only pass one passage on money, I would memorize 1st Timothy 6, 17 through 19, and it says, it says, encourage those that are rich in this present world not to be conceited or fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches.
They're uncertain, aren't they? And so it's a protection. God's not down on money. Encourage those that are rich in this present world, that's us, not to fix your hope on the uncertainty of riches.
Oh, we're gonna do this when this happens, but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. So there's three things you do with money. You can give it, you can save it, you can spend it. If you grew up in my home, there were three jars on your dresser, and on one jar it said giving, another said spending, another said saving, and since yes, there's proportional giving, and we'll learn all about that later, but you get ten dimes. One dime goes into the giving jar, one dime goes into the saving jar, and eight of them go into the spending jar, and you can dream and think and pray about what you want to do to spend with that, and remember that all ten of those dimes are God's, right? Because we give it to that one first, and by the way, you need to be smart, so make sure you save. Americans don't save, and Americans don't give, and I think I don't even need to talk about where we're at financially as a country.
We've modeled it from the home through the federal government, and we're in a mess. You can't violate God's principles with a lot of pain, so that's a big one. Second, encourage them to commit to honor God with the first fruits of every paycheck to remind them that it's God's money and not their own. Proverbs chapter 3 verses 9 and 10 says, honor the Lord with your first fruits. Give God the very first portion, and then the promise is then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats, where they would create kind of the wine and a picture of overflow, will be overflowing, and so you want to teach them early on, and not so much the rule, the rigidity. This is not like, okay, you've got to pay your bills. Bill, bill, bill, bill, God, 10%, you know?
No, no, no, no. You want to teach them the heart behind it and your love for God, and I think when they get older, you want to teach them, how do you give over and above that? How do you become a generous person? You know, the word miserable comes from a root word.
Do you know what the root word is? Miser. I mean, I've done a lot of work. We did a series on the genius of generosity. I did a lot of work and research on just generous people. Forget Christians, just generous people. Generous people live longer. Generous people are happier. Generous people have better relationships. Generous people are liked by other people. Generous people have an emotional altitude that's better than the rest of us. The most generous being in the entire universe is God.
He gave his son. So you want to be generous. You want to be winsomely generous. Miserly people, stingy people, the scrooges of the world don't have as many friends. They're always worried about someone taking their stuff. They have higher levels of anxiety. They're not very happy campers, and they try and control everything. Giving breaks the power of greed, and all of us in our flesh are greedy people.
We all are. So giving is a tool given by God not to take something from us, but to help us remember, look, hey, Chip, it's not your checkbook. It's not your money. That's John's.
Spend John's money or give John's money in a way that makes John happy. And by the way, you know, I didn't tell you this, but there was a time we were in a little small church, and they had the gift of not paying me much at all. In fact, I worked part-time in seminary and made more money than when I pastored the church. And there was a time where we really had a need. And John was asking me some questions at one of our lunch.
And I forget, it was a washer, a dryer, you know, some big thing that for us was like astronomical. And he was praising the Lord everything. And then he asked me about me. And I told him, he goes, give me that checkbook. So he takes his checkbook. He writes out a check to me. He goes, hey, you're the guy.
Sign this one. It's in your name. See, the whole deal is God doesn't want you. He's not trying to get your stuff. He loves you. He's for you. But he wants to free you.
And so pass on. Encourage him to honor God with the firstfruits. Three, make time with God their number one priority so they know how to invest their time, talent, and treasure that's entrusted to them. That bricklayer, I've had seminary professors. I got to learn three years of Greek and two years of Hebrew. And I've had business guys who know so much more. They've taken me under their wing.
The greatest gift God has ever given me in all my life that's paid the biggest dividends was from a bricklayer with a high school education who met me on Tuesday mornings when I was a Christian about three or four months old. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to go to church. And sometimes I pretended I was asleep. And he would knock on the door.
And I just got, I'm just, I'm just not getting up. But the next Tuesday, he'd knock on the door. And I was a reluctant learner. And I will tell you what that man did is that he would open the Bible and we would go into the little kitchenette on the floor and we would read the Bible together. And he taught me to meet with God.
He taught me no Bible, no breakfast. Not legalistically, but Chip, feed your soul before you feed your mouth. Chip, do you understand this is the living and abiding Word of God? Chip, do you understand the wisdom of God has been deposited here?
You can know what to do in any situation. Chip, do you understand? David said if his word had not been my delight, he would have perished in his affliction.
Chip, this is your anchor. God will speak to you. The God who made everything there is, there is power. It's a living and active and sharper than any twig and sword. It pierces as far as the division of soul and spirit. And it cuts through the division of right down to the core of who you are. It will reveal things to you. It'll show you how to do marriage, how to parent, how to live.
Chip, this is the most important thing. It is your life. And a little habit got started a couple days a week. And then finally I do it four or five days a week. And then after about four or five years, it became not just drudgery and duty, but gosh, God's speaking to me more often. And I didn't like to get up. I was a night owl. And years later, I remember just saying, God, this is, you just wake me up whenever.
And I stopped watching the 11 o'clock news. And God started waking me up earlier and earlier. And I didn't ever felt like if I missed my time, I didn't think God was mad at me.
I just knew that I made a great cup of coffee. And I got into a habit for about 25 years of meeting with God, getting out a journal, sharing my concerns, asking my biggest questions, reading his word, asking him for wisdom, sitting quietly and hearing answers. Mark 135 says, after recording the busiest day of Jesus' life, he was pressed. There was demands. I mean, some of you right now, and it's like, this is overwhelming, and there's money issues and wisdom issues, and what am I going to do here? And I've got this one son, and some of my kids are already grown, or I don't have any kids, and I'm trying to help this guy, or I'm in this women's group, and these three ladies are coming to my mind, and I'm not sure what to do with all of this.
Stop. And the greatest thing you can do is say, God, I want your discernment and your wisdom, and I'm going to meet with you first. And it says, after this demanding day of teaching and preaching and healing and casting out demons and everybody wanting a piece of Jesus, I mean, I think he felt like, I think his emotions were, if he were today, he opened up his computer, and there was 500 emails, and then he looked at his PDA, and there's 150 phone calls, and there's people knocking at the door, and the people closest to him said, by the way, by the way, by the way, we think you ought to do this. I think that's the emotion he felt.
And it says, a great while before dawn, he went to a lonely place to get alone with his father and pray. Sometimes we're asking people to solve stuff or a book to solve stuff. God wants to solve it. And if you will do that and model that, that's what you want to pass on. You want to pass that on to those you love the most. Life's message is, your life is a sacred stewardship.
It's sacred. There is a creator who owns everything, and you are a creature. He is the master, and we are the servant. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and the message you just heard, Teach Them to Manage Their Wealth Wisely, is from our series, Leaving a Legacy That Lasts Forever.
Chip will be back to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. Throughout history, moms and dads have been responsible for guiding their kids spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. But as you look around today's society, the family unit is falling apart, and young people are more confused about life's purpose and morality than ever.
So how can we fix this problem? Well, in this 10-part series, Chip's going to help us re-establish a Christ-centered, joy-filled home by highlighting five biblical habits parents need to pass on to their sons and daughters. Learn the intentional ways you can build a Godly legacy in your family from generation to generation.
Now, if you've missed any part of this series, catch up through livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. Well, Chip's joined me in studio now, and Chip, what a thought-provoking talk about our call to steward what God has entrusted us with. And I've heard you say before that our attitude toward money is a genuine reflection of our faith.
Now, unpack that a little for us. Well, Dave, you know, I think we all long to believe that what we say and what we think really is who we are. And Jesus, in his day, talked so much and taught so much about money, not because he ever became rich, he was trying to get people's money, but our money is the mirror of our heart.
Or maybe think about it this way, it's the MRI of your heart to know what's really in there. What do I really worship? What are my values?
What are my true motives? And what I would say is Jesus' teaching says, your lips declare what you think matters, what your values are, and what you worship. That's what your lips declare. Your money reveals where they really are. And so that's why he talks so much about that, because really it's love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, your strength. And the competition for our heart is money.
It's the things that we think that can fill us up that money can buy, security, significance, impact, impressing others. And so, you know, it really has an impact here at Living on the Edge. When I think of the people who give to Living on the Edge, it's not just that they're giving us their money. We are so grateful. We are good stewards. We are using it in ways that really honor God and lives are being changed.
But to help people understand who God really is, and create resources around that, and reach the next generation, and to say that we really want to make a difference to help Christians live like Christians in a crazy world that we're living in. When people give to the ministry, what they're really saying is, that's on my heart too. I'm with you. We're partners. We're in it together. And so I just want to pause and I want to thank each and every one of you who are partners, who are on mission with us.
Not because you say you are, but because your money is the mirror. It's the MRI that reveals that we are in this together. And you know what? You're not only a part of making a difference, you will be a part of the reward as well. And so we want to pause today and say thank you.
Well if you're benefiting from Chip's teaching, now is a great time to join the team. You can partner with us to help others receive the same blessing you're enjoying. To send a gift, tap the donate button on livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. Or text donate to 74141.
That's the word donate to 74141. And we hope you know how much we appreciate your partnership. Well here again is Chip to share a few final words for us to think about. Have you ever heard the expression just follow the money? Well it's true.
I mean it's really true. If there's you know problems and struggles and organizational issues and relational issues, you just follow the money trail and you get down to what's really going on. And in today's broadcast we talked about three very specific things that you need to do to not just handle your money wisely but to handle your life in such a way where money becomes a tool that helps you draw closer to God, love people, and empowers you to enjoy his blessings instead of divide relationships and captivate your heart. Number one we said recognize the three purposes of money. We can give it, save it, or spend it. And what you'd have to do is get a handle on that. For the next 30 days write down everything you spend and it will reveal stuff to you that you never dreamed. It will really help you.
It's a pain but trust me it'll help you. Second commit to honor God with the first portion of your money. This will be scary. I mean I understand what it's like when you can't make it to the end of the month to honor God first but it draws a line in the sand where you're saying to God I want to be blessable. I want to know that this is yours. I'm gonna live by faith and he will honor that. You may, I'm not saying he's gonna give you a big check in the mail. You have to do some things with your lifestyle. You'll make some major major decisions if you make that first big decision but I will tell you you'll never regret it. And then third give God the first portion of your day.
Maybe it's 15 minutes. Open his word, talk to him honestly and you will find that he will change how you think, how you live, how you handle your money and as a result your life you will become a Christian that lives like a Christian and you will never regret it. Encouraging words Chip and in case you missed some of the points he just reviewed they're pulled straight from his message notes which is a tool available for every program. They include his outline, the scripture he references and fill-ins to help you remember what you're learning. They'll really help you get the most out of every program. Chip's message notes are a quick download at livingontheedge.org under the broadcasts tab. App listeners tap fill in notes. Well until next time this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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