The Gateway Church
Preaching from The Gateway Church team and guests
Stewarding your money well
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Awesome couple of weeks – 3 people have become Christians in the last 3 weeks, four baptised on Easter Sunday and I think three or four more next Sunday. God is Good!
Offended so many with my intimation that Nandos is a symptom of hurry sickness! Will probably offend a few more this week because I’m going to talk about money.
There’s a lot of unhelpful imbalances on money. I’ve been to a conference with a big name US Faith Pentecostal where the pre offering talk was longer than the sermon!
There are teachers that talk about possessions being proof of your spirituality – so people get in debt to buy the biggest car to look spiritual. Yes really.
And there are other teachers that talk about being poor as a sign of spirituality. Lots of babies on both weird ends getting thrown with the bathwater.
The truth is the Bible talks a lot about being abundantly bless in whatever circumstances you are in. Paul knew what it was to be content in riches and in poverty in Phil 4:12-13. We are to abound wherever we are. When Joseph was in prison, abundance was being put over the other prisoners. It was training for reigning over a whole nation!
In 2 Cor 9 where Paul talks about the principle of sowing and reaping for generosity he says this…
v8 And God is able to make all grace ABOUND to you, so that having SUFFICIENCY in all things at all times, you may ABOUND in every good thing. As it is written He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor his righteousness endures forever.
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
It goes on to talk about being enriched to be generous, supply needs and overflow!
God wants us all to abound – so we have sufficient and overflow for others.
Notice God supplies us with seed and bread! but we have to sow and reap the right ones!
Lots of talks on money focus on giving and tithing, not so many on stewardship. The sentence about bread and seed speak to stewarding what you have.
Bread is for consuming, for eating, for enjoying. Our bread culture is pretty awful here. Many great things have come out of Chorleywood – including Abbie Brun! But the Chorleywood process to industrialise the making of bread into what I call flannel bread was one of the biggest culinary disasters of the 1960s! Bread is for enjoying – Look at this bread recipe book.
Seed is for investing for the future – you plant seed for a future harvest.
You don’t plant bread – that would be foolish.
You don’t eat seed – that also is foolish
The Lord gives us bread and seed and we need to exercise discernment as to which is which – is this for future harvest and needs investing or is it for enjoyment now.
I was able after 20 years of marriage to buy Janet an eternity ring – cost me loads and it was a delight to give it and a delight to see her to enjoy it. God delights to give us good things, because he is a good God.
Bread is for consumption – not selfish to eat it. But it is selfish to eat seed that was meant to be invested for the future – whether it’s giving or saving for a rainy day. That’s stewardship.
So Paul says if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. if we consume all our resources, there’s none for the earthly future or for eternity.
So before the Law came our model for faith Abraham gave a tenth of what He had by faith. Then the law came and enshrined it further as giving a tenth of the first fruits in faith the rest of the harvest will come. It’s a but trusting God. It’s about giving to God what is his. Superb news for the rich, who don’t even notice and a faith decision for the poor.
Trouble with the law is that it requires – heard a funny story about someone’s grandpa who was shaking salt on his food in a restaurant and it wasn’t coming out much – the guys said “It’s a tither – only gives what it has too!”
Law requires, grace enables. As we sow we get to reap more and more. God gives us more seed and bread for supplying, sufficiency and overflow.
Learned that my finances are in much better shape when I’m at least tithing first – test Him on it Malachi 3 says – I will open the windows of heaven God’s days. If you’re not under and open heaven of blessing, have a look at your giving!
Our struggles and offence at talking about money are about a poverty mindset that many of us live under.
Real poverty that dis-empowers choices and stops you doing things and there are many causes of that…
Oppression Isa 5:8
Gluttony Prov 23:21
Laziness Prov 24:33-34
Even Haste Prove 28:22
There is a poverty mindset that we can live under even if you have lots of money
We have talked about the battle for the mind a lot this year and the poverty mindset is one of the most powerful and deadly strongholds that Satan uses to keep the world in bondage. When we think of poverty we usually think of money but the poverty mindset of spirit of poverty is a stronghold to try and keep us from walking in the fullness of the victory gained for us by Jesus on at the cross, or the blessings of our inheritance in Christ. So anything from teh quality of your marriage to your anointing for ministry as well as resources to do the things you are called to do. Rick Joyner wrote the goal of the spirit of poverty is not just to keep things from us, but to keep us from the will of God. To do that Satan may give us great riches, but our lives will nevertheless be just as empty and full of worries as if we were destitute.
Here are 9 signs you may be in a poverty mindset rather than enjoying the abundance God has for you.
1) Chronic long term lack – we all have seasons where things are tight. Some successful businessmen have been bankrupt. But if there is chronic long term lack then there can be a spiritual root.
2) Thinking you have to give your work away – not charging enough. I occasionally do some webdesign in my spare time for people. I remember once fixing an issue with Richard Murphy’s website that took me about 5mins, but requires the expert knowledge I have. He asked for an invoice so I sent him one for £30 which somebody told me once that’s like your call out charge. He refused to pay it because it wasn’t enough and wanted it doubled. I felt falsely guilty but learnt a lesson.
3) Refusing to pay others for their labour – being tight.
Never paying for shareware software.
I use an Indian lady in the Newfrontiers church in Goa for graphic design work. Recently I asked her if she could help one of the local schools I did a website for by redrawing one of their graphics – I told the school I’d use her and it would cost £100. She then said she’d do it for 500rupees which works out as £6. I said no way – what she was doing was worth much more than that to me – so I charged the school an hour for my time and paid her £70 which blessed the socks off her.
4) Poverty mindset begrudges the tithe – because you don’t trust God for bread and seed.
5) You feel negatively about people who are prosperous, famous, or powerful.
Why? Probably because you are jealous of them, so you reduce them in your mind by building a case against them.
6) You always feel like something is about to go wrong. In fact, when you are having a good day, you feel like a bad day is coming. Why? You have probably invited a foreboding spirit into your life. (Foreboding means an impending sense of doom).
7) The poverty mindset criticises others’ spending – that they are wasting the bread when it could have been seed. Reality is you have no idea how much seeding they are sowing for a rainy day or eternity.
8) You are jealous of people who have more than you have. Why? You don’t understand that in God’s world there is always more than enough. Therefore, somebody else’s prosperity doesn’t reduce God’s ability to prosper you!
9) You find a problem with every opportunity and are terrified of taking risks. Why? You don’t know that God wants to bless you, or you don’t feel worthy of His abundance.
3 underlying roots of the poverty mentality or spirit.
If you grew up in poverty, that mindset can stick.
There’s a common phrase that evangelism is one beggar telling another how to get bread. No! We are no longer beggars, no longer slaves, Jesus lifts us out of that into adoption, sonship, a royal priesthood!
We are all slaves to something – sin, drink, money, people pleasing. Christianity changes the master – we have New master who is generous and sets us free!
Our identity is that we are blessed in every circumstance – in plenty or need.
Our identity means we can thrive where you are – Joseph in prison.
Many sincere Christians still have idolatry in their hearts in relation to money because they trust more in their jobs or bank accounts than they do in the Lord. Idolatry is one of the ultimate offenses against God. Money is one of the primary idols in the world today. An idol is not just something that people fear or worship, its what they put their trust in. Money in itself is not evil, but how we relate to it can be a factor that determines the entire course of our lives for good or evil.
Rick Joyner says The enemy uses fear to bind us just as the Lord uses faith to set us free
When you realise you are dead to the world and alive to Christ all the treasures of this world seem petty and insignificant because we have Him. When you realise we are already seated in the heavenly places with the King of Kings on his throne, what pull does earthly position have for us? What we do here entrusted to us by God and doing them well is worship.
Graham Cooke “For every fear that has gripped you, God’s love will overwhelm your heart as you learn to stand before Him as a much loved child.” Fear is about identity too – 1 John 4 tells us perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.
How do get free from poverty mentality to steward money and life well?
Trust Christ – need to come to Christ
Repent – change your thinking. Recognise where poverty thinking has crept in and change your thinking.
Grow in Biblical wisdom by learn to discern what is seed and what is bread
Be generous with your time, talents and treasure. Because sowing and reaping is a key principle in life under grace as well as under the Old covenant law.
Not going to let poverty thinking hold me back in any area of life anymore – it’s not just about money remember
Allow perfect love to drive out fear