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Lines are helpful.

They provide demarcation, identification and protection. Basketball won’t be as fun if there are no demarcation lines. Maps won’t be helpful if you can’t identify where you are and where you’re heading. They also provide protection for if you are in a construction zone, they will keep you from falling into a ditch.

But there are lines that you can afford to cross. However, there are those that will cost you everything.

Crossing the outside lines of a basketball can only cost you a turnover. But crossing enemy lines during war can cost you your life.

1 Timothy 6:6 says that “godliness with content is great gain.”
There is a fine line between contentment and greed.

Experts tell us that an average person thinks about money 50% of his or her waking time – how to keep it, save it, spend it, invest it, take care of it.

Money is not evil in and of itself. In fact, Proverbs 8:21 says, “Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries.”

Wealth is as neutral as a knife. Knives are helpful in the kitchen and in the jungle. But when used to hurt or inflict bodily harm, that’s when it becomes dangerous.

Wealth is not related to how much we have; it’s related to whether we are content with what we have.

Here are a few ways we can determine if we the love of money which is the root off all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10) is creeping in:

1. When we spend more time thinking of how to get more money than how to do a better job at work.

When we are more consumed with getting more of it than doing a better job at work to give glory to God, then we run into major bumps.

2. When we feel that we never have enough.

Buying and spending are legit. We need food on the table, clothes on our back and roofs over our heads. But when it reaches to a point when we are always dissatisfied and our desires become insatiable, the love of money may be creeping in.

3. When we flaunt it.

Love for money creeps in when we get joy out of wearing, driving, living, showing what we have.

4. When we resent giving it.

All that we have is by the grace of God. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Therefore, all that is in our hands are really not ours. He owns them all. Giving to God is not giving but giving back. Giving back communicates that what we have is really not ours in the first place.

5. When we sin to obtain it.

Being dishonest on our Income Tax, manipulating numbers in our expense account, logging in the wrong numbers and taking advantage of other people’s ignorance are some of the indicators that the love of money is creeping in.

Paul tells Timothy to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12). In effect, he is saying to not lose sight of the eternal perspective.

This life isn’t all that there is.

Jesus died on the cross to set us free from the world’s enslavement. Don’t go back there again. In fact, Paul reminds the church in Colossae to ‘set your hearts on things above not on earthly things’. Jesus has set us free. We are no longer bound by these.

In the beginning of November, we started a 4 week series on Biblical Stewardship in all our Victory Churches in Metro Manila. Today, Sunday, is our last installment of this series. I pray that those who followed us in this 4 week sermon series have been blessed, equipped and inspired.

In case some of you didn’t get to hear any of the messages, podcasts are available here.

For today, I am speaking at Victory Fort to end the series: 11am at Treston and 6pm at Every Nation Building, both in Bonifacio Global City.

For this particular post, I am uploading some of my slides today because I will be sharing a lot of Scriptures during my message. And for those who are obsessive compulsive note takers, I may go quite fast as I flash some of the verses on the screen. 🙂

So that you can have a copy of the verses I will be sharing, I just thought I’d post them on my blog. So, here they are.

 

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BIG DEAL WEEK 4

BIG DEAL WEEK 4

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Money has the potential to destroy both human and divine relationships.

I read an article last week about a research that says nearly 80% of couples in their 20’s divorce primarily because of money.

A few days after that, I read another article talking about a poll that was made that 1 out of 5 guys would rather have an iPhone 6 than a girlfriend.

Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) We don’t literally bow down before our resources, money and possessions but they do have the power to take the place of god in our lives.

Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24). It is interesting to note that He didn’t say “both God and the devil” or “both God and your boyfriend/girlfriend”. Somehow there’s an invisible string that connects our hearts to our wallets.

Right before entering the promised land, Moses reminds the people of God about 3 important things. Because we have a propensity to forget, reminders are critical especially before a major task.

1. REMEMBER HIS WORKS.

God fed His people with manna, protected them from their enemies, delivered them from the Egyptians, took care of their physical needs like clothing among many other things.

Provision is a non-issue to God. What is more of an issue is our faith. The Israelites could’ve arrived at the promised land in 2 weeks coming from Egypt. But because of unbelief and disobedience, it took them 40 years to get to the promised land.

God is faithful. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He provided then. And if that is so, He can surely provide today.

2. REMEMBER HIS WORDS.

God reminds His people through Moses to obey His commands. Obedience comes as a response to what God has done. It was clear that His love for His people was expressed through their deliverance from Egypt. As a result of this covenant of love, the people of God are called to respond in obedience.

We don’t obey to receive favor from God. We obey His commands because we already have been shown favor. Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf and because of that, we are empowered to respond in love by obeying His commands.

3. REMEMBER HIS WORTH.

Moses reminded that people to only worship the Lord their God and not other gods. Worship is Worth-ship. It is ascribing worth and honor to God. He is worthy to be worshipped, not just for what He has done but more so for who He is.

Attached below is a video to explain in length the 3 reminders Moses gave to the people of God… and to us as well.

Recently, we (Metro Manila pastors) had to prepare, review, revisit and recompute budgets for different ministry departments in the church for 2011.  We have a board that reviews, checks, evaluates and keeps everything in line to make sure we adhere to the highest standards of integrity and biblical stewardship.
As I’ve learned from our pastors and leaders through the years, here are a few guiding principles I work with regarding ministry budgeting.

1. PRINCIPLE OF OWNERSHIP.

God owns it all.  If everything is His, how much of it is ours?  Absolutely NONE.  We are merely stewards of what we have been entrusted with.  It is an awesome responsibility that is to be handled with ‘fear and trembling.’

2. PRINCIPLE OF GENEROSITY.


God blesses us to be a blessing.  This has resonated in my heart since I was a new Christian.  That is why in my personal budgeting, I have no qualms with ‘belt-tightening’ because that would result in many avenues to bless others.
Even as a church, we ‘tithe’, give offerings, bless and help others (individuals and ministries).


3. PRINCIPLE OF RESPONSIBILITY.


I remember Pastor Steve asked me this question one time when I was still in charge of Kids Ministry at Fort Bonifacio, “Will you spend what you’re spending on in this particular church activity if it was coming from your own wallet?”
We have a responsibility, not to forget an accountability, to steward the finances we’ve been entrusted with.
4. PRINCIPLE OF GRACE.

There’s absolutely nothing that we deserve.  We are here because of the grace of God.  We cannot start thinking that because I’ve been in this for a long time, then I deserve something in return.
You and I deserve HELL, PUNISHMENT and ETERNAL SEPARATION from God.  That’s what we deserve.
One of the things we need to watch out for is the attitude of entitlement.  You don’t want to go there.  You can’t afford to and you shouldn’t.

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Ryan, our 7 year old, had a few hundred pesos one time and wanted to buy several toys – from Bey Blade to Action Figures.  He realized he only had a limited budget and was wanting to have more.

My wife, Jenn, tried to explain to Ryan to guard his heart and be watchful because ‘the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.’ (1 Tim. 6:10)

To this Ryan answered, “That’s why want to spend it all!  I want to get rid of money.”

Kids are too smart these days…

P.S. Our OVERFLOW series has been amazing these past couple of weeks all over the Metro.  In case you missed last weekend’s message because you had an important “appointment” with Manny, you can log on Victory Fort’s Livestream or download podcasts from Victory Pastors Metro wide.