Harmony Christian Church
Harmony Christian Church
The Finance Dance
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What causes the biggest fights in your relationship?  Statistics would say that money is a big one!  Getting aligned on your finances can make a huge difference, we want to help.  Tune in today to be encouraged and inspired!  Help us advance the Kingdom, support our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give).  Got kids?  Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly)  https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/! 
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION:A few months ago we went up to Natural Bridge with Dean & his family.  Dean waits till we get up there to let me know about this thing called, Fat Mans Squeeze.  Do you know about this?  It’s where you have hiked up this mountain, almost going straight up it, I mean, I’m dying.  And you get up there and there is this passage that you have to squeeze through one at a time.  This is me on my way up through it, note that my body is wider than this thing I’m about to walk into…

Piper, my daughter was making fun of me because it looked like I was going to get stuck, all my kids were like, “Look at me dad, we can just walk through…”
ME:I wish I could say that my life didn’t have pinch points like Fat Mans Squeeze, but the truth is, I’ve got the same kind of squeezes all the time when it comes to my relationships…
One of the biggest squeezes that Jenni and I have faced is with finances.
Finances can put the squeeze on a relationship like almost nothing else.
WE:-Maybe you know what I’m talking about – your hours got cut in half and now you are fighting all the time about money-You keep your money separate, your spouse doesn’t know it, but you are jealous because after all the bills are paid, they have all kinds of money and you feel like you have nothing-You are the saver in the family and your spouse is the spender.  There is a constant tension between the two of you and your difference in how you handle money
There was a study done that found that 36% of couples were stressed about money at any given time.  -the numbers went up the younger the couple was…that means that over 1/3 of the couples in this room and online are stressed about money RIGHT now.-My guess is the numbers are even higher with Covid.
Money and finances can put the squeeze on you.
Today, I want to suggest to you a biblical mindset when it comes to dealing with money and then share some practical things you can do to put yourself in a better position relationally when it comes to finances.
Gaining a Biblical Mindset When it Comes to Finances: Jesus tells a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 25 using money and resources as an example.
Mt 25:14-3014 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
ILLUSTRATION: When I was a kid, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to get a job, so they convinced this couple to let me babysit their kids when I was like 11.  This was a bad idea…  I only lasted a couple days.  One day we took booby trap fireworks and booby trapped the whole house, my thought was, what parent doesn’t want the excitement of random doors exploding when they open them, and the kids thought it was a blast.  I think the final straw was when I had the kids in the garage throwing darts into the ceiling.  The youngest kid walked under one of the darts at the exact perfect moment, I watched in utter delight as the dart fell out of the ceiling, turned to point downwards and stick straight up in this kids head.  Ha, it was awesome!  he turned an looked at me and started screaming.  I just pulled the dart out and told him not to tell his parents…
Ha, ho takes the most precious thing in the world and gives the stewardship of it to a goober?
You know what stewardship is, right? Stewardship is managing someone else’s property or resources
Jesus is saying the Kingdom of Heaven is a stewardship responsibility B Jesus’ question is, will you invest your life for the Kingdom or just burry it? B If you are a follower of Christ, your time, your treasure, your talents – have ALL been given to you by God for one purpose, to Advance the Kingdom of God. b But most of us see ourselves as more of a bucket than a funnel.
Get this, God has entrusted you with the resources you have, whether it’s a lot or a little, and His expectation is that you will use it for the Kingdom, not just sit on it.
He doesn’t see you as a goober, He sees you as an integral part of his Plan of salvation.  b I guess the question is do you see yourself that way?
Getting a biblical perspective of stewardship with your finances will completely overhaul the issues you have with money in your relationship.-all of the sudden, you won’t be fighting over who spent what, you’ll be talking about how much you should give to a single mom-you will see your money as an overflow from the King, so, when you give, you know that He can give more-you will see increases in your financial resources as greater opportunities to give and advance the Kingdom-You will unite around the Kingdom rather than dividing over trying to build your own personal kingdom

So, what are some practicals to get there?
You will never be able to be generous in an ongoing manner till you develop a strategy for handling your resources. b Here is an easy strategy to help you get to your goal of using your resources for the Kingdom: Give. If you don’t give first, then there will always be something else to take it’s place.  In our family, we give 10% to the church and then give above and beyond that to some other endeavors.  So, if 90% becomes my new 100%, guess what, I will always have enough, but if I try and give that 10% at the end of the month.  I will never have it.  It’s really a question of priority, for me, I’ve learned that I can’t out generous God.
Save. You need to be wise in this department as well.  Savings is not just about being able to have money for yourself in desperate times, it’s also a means to be more generous.  We were recently faced with an opportunity to help a family and were able to help in a way more significant way than we would have if we didn’t have savings built up.
Spend. The rest is for you to spend on yourself and your needs and wants.  
God is not opposed to Christians having things, He’s opposed to those things becoming what we treasure.
The best way to get to this point, is to develop a budget.  b If you’ve never done this before, you take what you make, and what you expect to spend, and work out where each and every dollar will go.-We’ve put a budget together that you can download and work through on our website to get started. I will post a link on FB for you to access it-We are also starting a Financial Peace University course, YOU NEED TO GET INTO IT, if you have never done anything like this.
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: If you aren’t a Christian, you are probably like, these Christians are crazy… why would you give up your money, why would you give up what you have like that?
It’s crazy till you realize what we already know was given to us.  God, became flesh, made His dwelling among us.  God, who had everything, came down to give to give it away to those who had nothing, so we could experience everything.  
Christians aren’t crazy, we are just already full! If you aren’t full yet, let me invite you to a relationship with Jesus.  Get your perspective changed in a  proper way…