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God’s Master Plan: Five keys to your finances

Via Flickr, by user Local Louisville. Used under Create Commons License.

It’s almost inescapable — everywhere you go, everything you read, every conversation that you have… the world is trying to tell you how to spend your money.

Don’t believe me? Try walking through an airport terminal, watching a sporting event on TV, or even just reading a magazine. Advertisements abound in all these media, and the advertisers invariably want to sell us something. They tell us that to live a rewarding life, we need to eat X Food, drive Y Car and and vacation in Z Islands. If you’re part of a sophisticated audience, you may be pitched by certain stock brokerage or financial planning companies. They use a lot of great sounding words, like “retirement,” “future,” and “confidence.”

What’s the problem with all this? Well, there’s nothing wrong with advertisement. But taken together, the world we occupy, and the inhabitants thereof, have given us some pretty crappy financial advice.

It’s easy to find evidence of how the world’s financial thinking can lead to greed, poverty, debt and slavery. So what’s the alternative? Well, God has a plan for your finances. And it’s not as complicated as you might think; in fact, many of these things make sense once you give them some thought.

Here, in brief, is God’s Master Plan for Your Money. It’s a plan that comes from Scripture, and outlines the key things that God intends for us to do with money. Some of these elements don’t fit in very well with a worldly financial outlook. But remember, this isn’t really your money. It’s God’s money. He’s given it to you to manage, and to use to further His purposes on Earth.

God’s Master Plan for Your Money

1. Providing for ourselves and our families.This is at the top of the list, because God says that a person that doesn’t provide for his family is “worse than an unbeliever.” This is the most fundamental duty that we must perform with our money. If we don’t use the resources that God gives to provide for the people that depend on us, we’ve veered off course from the beginning.

2. Tithing to support the local church and build the Kingdom of God. Sadly, this is a practice that has fallen out of use today; even many evangelical Christians don’t even give the 10% tithe of their income that God requires. It’s a shame, too, because our churches depend on tithe money to continue their work in our communities, not to mention foreign missions and other ministries. How can we expect to see effective work in the Kingdom if God’s people aren’t willing to fund His work with the money that He gave them to manage?

3. Giving to the poor, helping our neighbors and being a blessing. We live in the most financially blessed society in the history of the world, but many of us are quick to squander the blessings on ourselves. That’s not God’s plan, though; the New Testament makes it clear that we are blessed to be a blessing, to give to the poor, and to” be generous on every occasion.” Out of our bounty, we’re supposed to make the world a better place, and glorify God in the process.

4. Building an inheritance for future generations. There’s nothing wrong with accumulating wealth, and passing it on to your children. In fact, the more financial security and power you give them, the more effective they can be in continuing the work of the Kingdom. And God says that a large inheritance is a legacy of a righteous life.

5. Enjoying life. Yep, that’s right, I said that God wants you to enjoy your money. I say it because He said that He “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” But notice that this is the last part of the plan, and not the first. If we’ve provided, tithed, blessed and built, then it’s okay to enjoy. Getting this out of order, though, can wreck your whole financial life.

So there it is, God’s Master Plan for Your Money in a nutshell.  Upcoming articles will examine each of these areas in detail.

Up next: Provision starts with Work
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  10. […] believe that God has a master plan for your financial success, and that tithing is part of that plan. God says that the tithe belongs […]

  11. […]  supporter who wrote that check was walking out the third step in God’s Master Plan for our money: Generous giving. God gives us everything we have, and He has specific things that He […]

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  13. […] that we have in life comes from God, and He has a plan for how He would like us to handle the resources that He has allocated to us. God’s plan […]

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  16. […] to have total authority over our finances, and for us to use the funds at our disposal according to His financial plan. That means providing for our families, tithing to our  local church, giving to the poor and […]

  17. […] of the pillars of God’s Master Plan for our finances is for us to build a financial inheritance that will continue to work for His good […]

  18. […] generations. God designed things to be that way — building an inheritance is part of His master plan for our finances. But as we’ll learn, it’s a bad idea to hyper-focus on the monetary […]

  19. […] of inheritance that we build over our lifetimes. If we’re committed to building according to God’s Master Plan for our finances, and if we desire to leave a great inheritance, we’ll need to see to it that […]

  20. […] word gives us wisdom to break free from this slavery and live our financial lives according to His Master Plan. One of the things that God wants is for our money to be a blessing to our families. Unfortunately, […]

  21. […] like God has a master plan for your personal finances, He also has a master plan for your business. And here’s the exciting part: It’s the […]

  22. […] to build the church, support good causes or finance the work of the Kingdom (though we should be doing all of those things). We’re also laying a foundation for things that will happen in eternity. The things that we […]

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  30. […] God outlines his Master Plan for your money in scripture, and it goes like […]

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  32. […] is one of the most important things that we’re called to do in life. Generosity is part of God’s Master Plan for your finances, and it is a hallmark of God’s people. If we’re doing His work on […]

  33. […] a good thing — in fact, building an inheritance to leave for the next generation is part of God’s Master Plan for your finances. At the end of a long life of hard work, saving and wise investing, you’ll […]

  34. […] is an incredibly important part of a balanced financial life. In fact, it shows up twice in God’s Master Plan for your money — God wants us to tithe faithfully to our churches and to give generously to […]

  35. […] is always important: It’s one of the foundational principles in God’s Master Plan for your finances, and scripture emphasizes the importance of giving in numerous places. […]

  36. […] Giving is one of the most important things that we’re called to do — it’s part of God’s Master Plan for your money — and failing to give means failing with your […]

  37. […] more than a good thing: It’s a command from God, and one of the fundamental components of His Master Plan for our money. And if we’re practicing it correctly, giving isn’t just something we do […]

  38. […] enough, which is a shame, because building an inheritance  for the next generation is part of God’s Master Plan for your finances. And if you’re like most parents, you want to leave the best inheritance […]

  39. […] today, even in the church. The Bible teaches at length about financial principles, and God has a Master Plan for your money that will always lead to financial success. But when we choose to remain ignorant […]

  40. […] outlines His plan for financial success along with all of the other laws and principles that He gives us in the Bible. Societies that […]

  41. […] people that teach such things, but they’re wrong on many counts). I believe that God has a master plan for our money, and that plan includes a lot of important things like tithing, giving and providing for your […]

  42. […] nothing wrong with enjoying your money — in fact, having a little bit of fun is part of God’s Master Plan for your finances. After you’ve taken care of priorities like providing for your family, […]

  43. […] we follow God’s plan for our money, wealth can be a great blessing. If we allow our love of money to outgrow our love of […]

  44. […] nothing wrong with enjoying your money — in fact, it’s part of God’s Master Plan for your financial life. Once you’ve provided for your family’s needs, tithed, given […]

  45. […] God’s Master Plan for our money teaches that leaving an inheritance for future generations is important, but defined-benefit pensions get in the way of us doing that. The reason is a bit technical, but bear with me. […]

  46. […] has to say about money, you learn all sorts of wise, useful and challenging things. God gives us a Master Plan for how we should handle the finances that He has entrusted us with. And one of the key pillars of […]

  47. […] has a plan for your life, and He also has a plan for your finances. We call it God’s Master Plan for your money. He wants you to work to support your family, tithe to support your local church, […]

  48. […] is a principle of good financial management — and part of God’s Master Plan for your money — that goes hand-in-hand with other wise financial behaviors. Debt, on the […]

  49. […] fun with your spare cash. After all, God wants us to enjoy our money — it’s part of His Master Plan for our financial lives. But these things that we buy for pleasure must be kept in a certain […]

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Copyright Brian Jewell, 2011-2013

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All content on this site is given on a general basis and is intended for informational use only. The content does not reflect any professional legal, investing, accounting or tax advice, and should not be used as the sole basis for making financial decisions. Always consult a certified financial professional before investing.
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