1. To learn as a disciple, to handle money in better way and develop a character of having good control over money.
2. Right attitude towards giving contribution and planning for it.
This lesson is not about how to become rich/Caropathi. But to get disciplined in the way we handle money. You may be a student (hardly getting money from parents) Or a Jobless person (traveling by lefts) Or good earning person (Purse filled with money) Or Just entered the kingdom with big load of debts. Poor people should get disciplined so that they may become rich. Rich people also should get disciplined so that they may not become poor.
I. FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE
If your expense is less than income, you are saving money every month, you have no debts to pay back and all your's/your family's basic daily needs were met, then you have done good job in handling finances this far. But if your telephone line was cut because of late payment, provision shop owner is not smiling at you because of payment pending, or borrowed money to come to church this morning, then its time to change.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with much grief.
Many fights are in our family, among relatives, at work, on the streets are all because of money. Most fights are in marriage are because of money. If you are not disciplined with money, you are setting yourself for life without peace.
Practicals: There are many who don't have money to come to meetings that is not right. Be disciplined, save money to come to meeting.
Advise: Don't borrow / lend from other disciples, without seeking advice from your sector leader even if it is a leader borrowing money from you, don't give without advice.
Your sector leader/full time staffs are not officially permitted to lend you money (otherwise you will miss meetings because you owe them money). So don't expect to borrow from them.
Business: Most cases, it is best not to join with other disciples to do business. If you need, seek advice.
There are number of pitfalls we can fall into when dealing with money and we need to recognize these so as to avoid being ensured. What are some of these pitfalls?
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.
Debt is the best way to burden your life. Never get into debts. Stay away from every comfort till you pay back the last rupee. You can't save money when you have debts. Pay of the high rated interest first. It is better to sell few things and pay back all your debt now. You can always buy latter.
If you have debts:
1.write down all the debts (Amount & Name)
2. Pray every day to God by keeping the list in your hand
3. Plan to pay back monthly.
4. Make a new list of debts every month.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
A rich and wise man said this. Try your level best not to borrow from your friends and make sure that borrowing wouldn't become your character. Planning ahead will avoid borrowing. If you take money or give money to others, immediately write down the name, date, reason, in a separate paper (keep it in your purse always).
People think this is a smart way to solve any urgent problem. It is better to sell than pawing. Why? Explain.
Borrowing money to pay the debt is swindling. By doing this your debts keep increasing and you become addict to borrowing.
If you plan ahead, you will have a happy life. Prepare a monthly budget. A model budget sheet has been attached. (You can modify according to your expenses).
Plan ahead yearly to buy costly things like houses, car, two wheeler and computer.
If you are in good control of monthly expenses, then this is not a bad idea. If you can save money and buy things, you can avoid the interest. That's the power of saving.
II. LESSON ON CONTRIBUTION
1. Regular Contribution
The principle of giving contribution rooted in the principle of tithing given in the Old Testament.
"'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
Even though we are not bound by that law, we make every effort to even surpass the righteousness prescribed by the law as expected by Jesus in
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
This tithe used to take care of the temple of God and the priests and Levites in the Old Testament times. However in the New Testament church is the body of Christ. The regular contribution in the church goes towards supporting the expenses incurred by the church such as renting facilities / equipment, salaries for the full-time staff, printing cards, organizing events etc.
Those who preach the gospel live in the contribution of the members.
1 Corinthians 9:7-14
7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?
8 Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same thing?
9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned?
10 Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.
11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?
12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?
14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
Contribution is also an expression of our obedience that comes from faith and an evidence of your thankfulness of God.
2 Corinthians 9:12-15
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
The way we need to give will be on all the first fruits of your life Salary, special income like over time, gifts in cash from friends or family. God does judge our attitude of giving because it reflects our faith, our gratefulness to God for our salvation. Jesus has redeemed us by paying the price of His own life.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
What we are willing to pay back to god, is reflection of our faith.
Do you believe what you are today is because of God? Then give to God what belongs to God.
24 "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"
25 "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
If you say Lord, Lord but do not do what he says, then you are building on sand.
If we hold back from God and not give contribution, it is equivalent to robbing God.
6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings.
9 You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty.
12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.
When you generously give out of your poverty God notices it.
1 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
3 "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
The Rich churches notice it and will be convicted that we give out of our poverty. It will encourage them and increase their faith.
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
5 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.
25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there.
26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
Your giving, whatever little, goes a long way in being a testimony of the genuineness of your faith.
We must give according to what we have and not what we do not have.
2 Corinthians 8:8-12
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.
11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
Give willingly according to your means. But you must give whatever little.
Best time to give contribution is to give soon as we receive salary, so that we don't give to God the leftovers.
Thinking through that entire God's word tells us, you must decide what you want to give. Once you decide, you must keep up to your decision. Give generously, cheerfully and not grudgingly.
2 Corinthians 9:5-11
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
The regular contribution is always to be given in the prescribed cover and given to the disciples appointed to collect it. You also will get a receipt.
2. Mission contribution
We also give mission contribution. This goes to help start and support new churches. For this we give three times our regular contribution. This is usually taken during the year-end. Such contributions are to be saves regularly throughout the year so that we are prepared.
1 Corinthians 16:1
Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.
We can give this every month as well.
We collect during communion, contribution to the poor. This goes to help the poor and needy in and out of the church. This you could do by giving 2 or 3% of your income or whatever your heart desires.
Never boast about what you gave.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
We can never give God more than what He would give us. So give and He will give us more.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
However giving contribution is no guarantee of your discipleship, you can't feel secure giving contribution and not be committed and not be a good disciple.
Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.