Saturday, January 28, 2012

Financial Joy

At Calvary we are big on Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace program. It's a nice word picture - the ability to have a less stressed view of your finances, by applying solid (and biblical) principles for handling the money He has entrusted to our care. For most people, financial peace is a result of external circumstances - your monetary ducks all being in a row. But how do you find Financial Joy?

You might think that Financial Joy is an upgrade to Financial Peace. You're not just peace with the state of your finances, but you're thrilled about it. If so, the pathway is more money, right?

That's not what the Bible has to say about the pathway to Financial Joy. Almost the opposite. In the Bible, Financial Joy comes from excelling in the grace of giving, and is completely independent of the state of your checkbook. Check out this passage from Colossians as Paul describes some amazing brothers and sisters..
"And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving." (II Cor 8:1-7, NIV)
Did you catch that? Severe trial -> overflowing joy. Extreme poverty -> rich generosity. It gets better. These very poor and very persecuted Christians were literally begging Paul for the privilege of being allowed to donate money towards some people in Jerusalem going through a terrible famine. It couldn't be any different from those who think joy comes from having more stuff.

Financial Joy comes when you Excel in the Grace of Giving. 

To learn a lot more on this, please listen to my sermon delivered on Jan 8th, 2012 at Calvary Baptist Church

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