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1. Neither Poverty Nor Riches: Redefining Wealth & Prosperity

Alistair Huong
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Alistair Huong

Executive Director of AudioVerse

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  • December 31, 2015
    8:45 AM
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This message was presented to the Jew I see twenty fifty. Chosen for other resources like this visit us online at W W W. Let me begin by introducing myself just very briefly before we get officially started. And are you. Sol and. Are you the recorder. You know. OK. I assume it's going and the recording should be online. Later. But my name is Alice strong. Some of you probably know me from my work with audio verse. That's generally what I do when I'm in conferences like this is talk about audio verse which is much closely. Closer related to the mission of things of that nature but a couple years ago my wife and I started writing about a strange. Hobby. Of ours. You might call us. Personal finance enthusiasm. And yes that means that we're nerds. But as you know nerds and geeks. It's actually a compliment these days it's not so much of a derogatory statement so I I don't mind being a nerd. And so as a result we were writing about our personal experiences. Saving money. Managing our finances. Biblical principles and things of that nature and lo and behold. I see asked that I share some of my experiences and what I've learned here this conference so that's why I'm here I am not a professional. But hopefully through my experience as a lay person just like you dealing with a regular every day. Money issues. I can share some things that might be practical and helpful for you. So with that let's let's officially get started here with the word of prayer and then we'll we'll get we'll get going. Gracious only father we're so faint full that you give us an opportunity right here at the beginning. The end of one year the beginning of the next. Focused on things above. And as we begin this particular seminar thinking about some practical things about how we can be better managers of the assets you have bestowed upon us may we be faithful. And maybe learn how to live by faith a faith that doesn't just talk and wish and hope. But a face that works. Faith that works according to your review principles and so I ask that you will guide us and teach us and help us to learn something useful Today we pray in Jesus' name amen. Welcome once again our. The title of our seminar. Is beyond the tie. Practical lessons on personal finance and the reason why it's called Beyond the tide is as. When we think about stewardship. That's the general term we use in the church. I think that term comes with some baggage. It's unfortunate because I don't think that's the case but now stewardship has been sort of relegated to. When the pastor ask you to pay your tie faithfully. I mean that's pretty much how we associate the word. Stewardship. Give more to God. And by the way. We are going to talk about giving to God. But there's so much more to stewardship and so I actually shy away from the term. Stewardship. Just because of the connotation even though it's a fine term. And just stick with the words. Personal Finance and we want to be practical this weekend. And this seminar we're going to look at the principles. And we could have whole studies about just what the Bible has to say about money and we'll deal a little bit with that but we're actually going to be spending more time on the nuts and bolts hopefully that. You know we can actually apply. Principles are important and you can actually check on audio verse we have messages on there by other individuals that deal with a lot of good principles. So beyond the tie that hopefully gives us the picture. It's not just about paying a faithful tie than offerings our money. All of it belongs to God. And when you think in a holistic way. So session over one here the title is neither poverty nor riches and I want you to think carefully because all of not just this title but all of the titles of all successions are directly lifted from inspiration. And if you think carefully about it it's actually there the key points. And so keep that in mind and see if you can identify where is it. In the Bible or the spirit prophecy that this name comes from and how does it apply to the main point today. All right. Redefining wealth and prosperity so this is a general session. It's going to give you some broad principles that we're going to build on the next few sessions. And also give you an overview an outline of what the other sessions are going to be and what we're going to talk about so this is sort of an introduction. But also will. Will give you some principles as well. So this is an important question. Why should you listen to me. I am not a finance professional I don't work in the finance industry. I am not a certified public accountant. I am not a certified financial planner. I am not giving you legal advice. I need to make that clear up front disclaimer. I'm just a regular old person like you. I work for a ministry. I have a family. You know. We have a house and we have to pay bills and I have a feeling. You do too. And so. I'm not a professional but if it matters to you. I do have a degree in business. But actually Vakil of occasion is less important than the next one which is I know how to do math. OK. And you're going to find out personal finance. If you know some basic basic arithmetic. That's all you really need a little bit of common sense. Know how to do basic arithmetic and. You'll probably be just fine. You don't need a business degree. But in case you care. I do have one. I graduated from mass with a master's degree from Southern Avonex University. That's not the part that matters is that last part that matters. Debt free. OK And I'm going to share a little bit about that when we talk about student loans and things of session before this afternoon. And we have. We bought a house and paid it off in two years. Most people think that's pretty remarkable. But the fact is there's really no secret the secret is that there's no secret and. I'll tell you all about it later on this afternoon as well. So been in twenty fourteen. We spent twenty three percent of our take home pay. We gave away twenty two percent and we say fifty five percent. So just as a framework of how we have managed our money. And then twenty fifteen. We had a baby. And you know. Babies a heart of a budget. At least that's what we're told. But guess what she was born in August she was four months old she's here if you're lucky you'll see her around twenty fifteen we spent twenty four percent So yes it did. It did raise the budget. We gave twenty two percent and it's really more like an rounding error. But we still say fifty five percent so even with a baby. OK And we haven't gotten our tax return for the baby and all that kind of good stuff and. Once we had our baby. My wife has stayed home. She doesn't work anymore. And I work for a ministry. A ministry salary is code right. You know what the code stands for. I don't need to explain then and. We have no secret windfall. Now I will qualify. We have godly parents who believe that. Both my wife and I who believe it was their responsibility to give us an education. And so I and my wife both had our undergraduate studies paid for which is a huge blessing. HUGE blessing and I praise God for that. But with my master's degree. Buying a house. All the rest. We don't have a secret stash. OK weed we're not trust fund babies. We don't have some. We don't win the lottery. We don't play the lottery don't recommend it. So that's sort of a picture of why. Perhaps I have something to share. So my wife and I we write a blog a personal finance blog it's called Saving the chrome So this is the website you can check it out saving the Chromes dot com and. I also want to mention that all of the slides that I have here. Are in digital handout form. Already. So if you have an app. You can check it out you can download it later. And also eventually when it gets on audio versatile be there too. And those in the handouts. Not only are all my slides there there are links. OK resource links to articles that I have already written about in more detail in more depth on the topics that we're discussing in each session. So one hour Believe it or not is just not enough time to go through a lot of this stuff for six hours even over the whole course of the weekend. So I recommend. Get those handouts. And if you want more information just follow the links. And I have written about a lot of these topics. Already. And if you business even the drums are calm you can subscribe. All of our new posts would just get sent to you automatically to email if you want to keep up that way. So saving the crumbs. So enough of an advertisement about saving the crumbs and myself and all that. We're going to get right to it I'm going to start with a quiz. About that. Don't worry you won't be graded. But it might affect your wallet a little bit. And this quiz is going to become the the framework. OK this is the framework of our presentation and then we have a few tidbits at the end where we're going to show you sort of the outline of the six segments. Things that you can look forward to that we're going to talk about. OK so this quiz. Ten questions. All true and false. OK so I'm just ask you how do you think true or false on the questions that question of or want a star with a give me a question. We shouldn't talk about money because it is the root of all evil. Who hoed. Does anybody think that's true. Nobody dares right after that response. Well that's an easy question right because why. What this the Bible say first of the six ten. It is the love of money that's the root of all evil and. Here's the problem. Money is viewed as synonymous with greed. Frequently and greed is bad that's the love of money. Covetousness and be all these things. But if we don't talk about how we deal with that very human tendency are we setting ourselves up to not know how to deal with the problem. Right. So the love of money is the issue. But there's more to it. Just think with me every time you go to a gas station to fill up your car. You have to slide your credit card to go to the. You know the little stand to pay. It cost money. Transportation costs money. Your smart phone. Not only to have to pay to buy it. You have to pay for the data plan which. You know how expensive it is. And then you've got to charge it. Yeah the paper the electricity and then you break the screen you got to pay for that to you better goes dead. Is money flowing through the wireless network of your i Phone and money even when you get sick. When you're sick it's intended will but there's the lost revenue from your income. You pay to see the doctor. You pay for your medicines. Even if it's natural remedies. You've got to pay for your charcoal. Right. And this is a big one. Relationships. How many relationships and I'm not just about husband and wife. Male female. Family relationships friendships up and rob shirt over money you borrow money or friend bars money from you. And then it's like why are they going on that vacation when they owe me a hundred bucks. You understand what I'm saying. Money. Infuses. All of our aspects of our lives and education education and free. Everybody knows that. And this is a big one. There's a picture from G Y C Right obviously G.S.T. cost money the lights the chairs the screen. The booklet our lanyards everything costs money here. But think about this. All of the young people coming up to the stage. Dedicating their lives to service. I'm going to go be a missionary for God be a bible worker for God and then they go home. And then they say. Not everyone obviously but frequently. Oh wait I've got a fifty thousand dollars student loan. I guess I can't work for got any more. Does that makes us what I'm saying. Money. Affects all aspects of our lives. The love of money is dangerous yes and we need to learn how to control it but the reality is we can't live without money is going to be a factor somewhere it's not the main thing. It's shouldn't be the main thing but it is a thing. And we've got to recognise that and this one. It's hard for us to talk about sometimes. But money is frequently the cause of not just businesses but ministries closing. And we can say. We live by faith. Yes we live by faith but faith by itself doesn't necessarily pay the bills. Sometimes it really and I need to take that back. Faith that works. Should pay the bills. But a presumptious faith. That is a false faith isn't really the way that God intends us to operate and so it's money. It in It infuses all aspects of our lives so we should talk about money. The Bible has over two thousand texts on money more than almost any other subject. I have a feeling God wants us to know something about this topic right. Question of or to to save money is to be faithless in God's ability to provide for us because by the way we're Adventists and Jesus is coming soon. False how many of you think that's true. Anyone believe it or not this is actually one of the most common. Statements that I hear. Saving money. Planning for the future where average as we believe Jesus is coming soon that is not being a faithful steward we need to give it all away. And God will provide. Right that's the line. God will provide. And guess what God does provide. So let's take a look. Matthew chapter six thirty one to thirty four is therefore take a thought saying What shall we eat what you we drink a wherewithal should we be clothed for all these things the gentiles do seek off we have the father knows that you have need of these things. But Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be out of them to you take therefore no fog for the morrow for the model should take thought for the things of itself sufficient unto the day is evil thereof. So and you know this is the same passage for Jesus says he first became a God and His righteousness. And all these things will be added unto you. Beautiful promise. So God does promise to provide for its people. Yes. Yes he does. But the is that all the Bible say about the subject. Let's keep reading Shall we write if we're people of the book we got to read the read all the council. So Proverbs six six the rate go to the end they'll sluggard consider ways and be wise. Which having no guide overseer ruler provided for me in the summer and gather with her food in the harvest. So how are we to be realized according to problems. When you look at the ant. And what characteristic makes the ant. Why they save for the future and guess what they say for the future. Without being told when so how does this line up with Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. I'll just summarize here this is the passage about Egypt. JOSEPH. Telling Pharaoh. You're going to seven plenteous years and seven lean years. My advice to you which comes from God not from me God's advice is you save up during the seven years of plenty for the seven lean years that sort of sounds like a good idea. But isn't that sort of going contrary to just believing they go provide. God provide the dream. God managed to save Joseph. Can he provided the lean years to. He sent the Ravens. To the Logica. OK Let's continue reading Prof problems twenty one and verse twenty These are two different versions of the same verse and I.V. says the wise. Store up. Choice food and all of oil before you go up there is down. King James says there is treasure to be desired and oil in the willing the wise but a foolish man spends it up. So it's very clear. The wise are the ones who say for the future the fool is the one who spends it up. Here's even a strong one first of the five or is it is but of any provide not for his own especially for those of his own house he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Those are strong words. And so when we think about it. We got a. We got to realize that faith without works is dead. And when we say says we seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be out of them to us. How do we see got for isn't a through studying his scriptures and applying the principles that he's given us. Because when I hear a lot of people say God who vide underneath that frequently. Not always frequently there is this idea of. That means. I don't have to try all just continue living my life spending money on what I want. And God will take care of it someday. And I'm just being faithful. That's the idea. Obviously not everyone's that way. But that's a tendency. But when we say. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God Take no thought for the morrow that means. If we are faithful to God's word and we are following his principles and his principles happen to be. We need to save and prepare for the future or we're worse than him but they will provide for our family's needs and those kinds of things. When we are faithful in doing our part. God makes up the lack. Amen. So we don't have the full burden of it but it's a cooperation God shows us as a struction in his word. We follow by faith. Faith is taking God. At his word it's not presumptious I just as God will more accurately provide for me with the Ravens. Because I'm just going to live my life to what I want. So what about this idea of oh Jesus is coming soon. We're going to talk about the end times. Very specifically on Saturday afternoon. Should we sell everything. What about the financial collapse. Some of these questions we're going to deal about deal on Saturday afternoon. But Sabbath afternoon. But lapses advances an interesting quote. Seventy six page seventy six paragraph for Christ declare that when he comes some of his waiting people will be in gauged in business transactions. That's fascinating. Some will be sowing in the field others reaping and gathering in the harvest and others grinding at the mill. It is not God's will that his election abandon lives of duties and responsibilities and give themselves up to idle contemplation living in a religious stream. Even though Jesus is coming soon it does not detract from the duties. Responsibilities which we just read one of them is to provide for our family. Right. Store up for a time of need those things are always responsibilities and. Yes there is a end time scenario and we are going to talk about that some of the afternoon. So. Just remember this. Just because God is coming soon. His will is occupied till I come. All right. Question of the three we got to keep moving here. Question With three God wants us to live a comfortable life true or false. Are you things true true true because some of your are. How do you think it's false. OK. I'm glad there is actually one that we have a split decision on. Because this is a tricky question right. It all hinges on what do you mean by a comfortable life. Right. Well let's see with a spirit Buffy has to say counsels us to fifty paragraph two had you and your wife. Understood it to be a duty there's that word again. That got enjoined upon you to deny your tastes and desires and may prove vision for the future. So she's in harmony with what we just read. Instead of living merely for the present you could now have had a competency for your family have had the comforts of life. How about that. Ella White says it's OK to have a comfortable life. Somebody should have said Amen. We saw to have this idea Ellen why it's like you need to dress in all black and eat oatmeal. Three meals a day and give everything to God. That's not alone why it's. If you've been to a house in elms haven. You will know that she lives by this principle. But here's the balance right. What does it mean to be a to live a comfortable life. But what's the was the balance Agnes home page three seventy nine says God desires or God does not require that people should have peroxide themselves. Of that which is really necessary for the health and comfort. Amen to that. But he does not approve a want to miss and extravagance and display. You see the Spirit of Prophecy. Balance. You can have the comforts of life. You don't have to sleep on the floor. You can have a mattress. Air conditioning running water and all that stuff. Washing machine you have to do by hand but wants an Essex traffic incidents way. Yes there are still some room for interpretation what that means. But there is a balance in which she says. We don't want to go too far. And here's a funny quote from Leo Rostand I think his name is an American humorist money can't buy happiness but neither can poverty. That is so true that number four being in debt is a sin. True or false. True. OK. How about false. OK let's see what do you think about this one. Publishing ministry page to a nine. Aircraft for the five elements as I now ask of you to give or let me have the use of two thousand dollars to help me in bringing up books that people need. If I should fall in a coffee before the Lord's Prayer my sons would care for the work of circulating my books according to my plans when the expense of issue my books is lessened. The sales will soon pay up all my debts. Did you know that quote existed. Elo white borrowed money to print or books. So clearly it can't be on the sin category. Completely. However again the balance. Is that the Bible says the borrower is certain the lender problems twenty seven. And this the worst servant here is more a properly translated sleeve. And so indentured servants. Is how I call it. And she says be determined never to incur another debt deny yourself a thousand things rather than run in debt. This has been the curse of your life getting into debt of void as you would the smallpox. Smallpox is not soon. But you sure don't want it. Right. And so. Debt is not necessarily a sin in the clear black and white type away but it is not good not good. So debt. We're going to talk about it we have a session before it's called indentured servants. With smallpox. And that's actually where we get the name from here. OK so we'll deal more with that later. Number five. A budget is a cornerstone of sound personal finance. Is that true or false. And he wants us all. I know that. I mean who likes doing a budget. But element actually has something to say about this let's see what he says councils on stewardship pitched to ninety four Paragraph one in the study of figures the work should be made practical. That every youth and every child be taught not merely just all imaginary problems. But keep in accurate account of his own income and out goes let him learn the right use of money by using it. And why recommends all young people learn how to keep your own budget agonise home page three seventy four. All should learn how to keep accounts. Some The globe is work as non-essential but this is all wrong. All expenses should be accurately stated. So this afternoon session over three count. Counting the cost we're going to talk about how to do a budget. And the way we do it might be a little bit different than the way you've heard. But I think is more effective so you won't be back for that. Practical how to give you examples and all of that. All right number six. Giving it ten percent type is the extent of my financial obligation to got OK I'm glad I don't have to talk about this one too much. Because how much of our stuff does go down. He owns all of it. So the reality is we are managers. We are like this. Of our life. Write your name. Incorporated. Your the C.E.O.. God gives you the assets to manage. But he's the hundred percent shareholder. You are countable to him. And the ten percent is simply the dividends you pay your boss is just to show that you know. You're making good use of his assets but everything belongs in many ways so we're going to talk about this in more detail on on Sabbath. Will a man rob God yet you have robbed me but you say where have we Robbie in ties and offerings. Right. We're not supposed just give a tie the offerings are also required and the question often is How much are we supposed to give. Do you know that the spirit profit. Actually tells us how much. Offering. We should get like not just in general like a per cent. So I'm not a spoil it for you but come back Saturday afternoon. If you are glutton for punishment. Be ready. All right so number seven this is another interesting one. Investing is gambling. It's not Biblical and it's contrary to sound Christian principles. So in other words by saying false you're seeing that investing is not wrong. Is like is a right or wrong. Right or wrong. Well the answer is there's wrong investing and there is right investing. And that's really the bottom line here. L R Not always but Jesus Matthew twenty five. This to parable of the Talents. You ought to have invested my money. With the bankers and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. Of course is a parable and we've Red Cross object lessons were Ellen why applies the talents to all the good gifts of God give us. Influence strength health. Speech. Time all these things. You know what we seem to often forget the very thing that was the symbol. In that parable. Money is a talent. I mean the talents. What were literally money. But it also applies to our money. And when Jesus says you want to invest my money. And he should receive the interest on it. I think he means that. And so we're going to look on Friday tomorrow. At biblical principles on investing. And what is the pitfalls to avoid So that's Friday. Number eight. God wants us to prosper and to build wealth. Amusing that's true. How many of you think that's what's. You know really it comes down to how we define prosper. And how we define wealth. And that's really the whole point of the seminar so we come back to that definition. But I'm going to throw a few things out there at you to chew on. Deuteronomy eight verse eighteen is but that shelf remember the Lord thy God for it is he that give the power to get wealth. And by the way if we think about it. He gave us the power to get wealth that's how the whole lot like a talent. That should be improved if we're putting two and two together. Deuteronomy twenty eight eleven through twelve and the Lord shall make the plenteous in goods. The food of the body through the cattle for the ground. The land all these things and at the very end here he will bless all the work of one hand and lend unto many nations and the out shall not borrow. You know this is interesting putting two questions together. Lending is a form of investing. So God is actually saying the children of Israel not only will they have prosperous crops and cattle in their land. They will be in a position to profit financially. As a financier to other nations. Charge them interested even. And of course the interest. Ultimately belongs to Lord and that's the underlying principle in all this as a let's take a look at this one councils are paid one thirteen the followers of Christ. Are not to despise wealth. There to look upon wealth as the Lord's intrusted talent there we have a direct connection. Ellen White makes a very clear. Wealth is the talent to be improved by wise use of his gives They may all be eternally benefited but we are to bear in fact in mind the fact that God is not given the riches. Us. Riches to use just as we should fancy to indulge our impulse to bestow withhold as we shall please. Ultimately the balance as always it belongs. All. To go. All right. So we're down the question number is nine and ten and questions nine and ten were shifting into some practical nuts and bolts. Issues now. So this one question true or false. Is it better or. It's better to say small amounts regularly while you're young. Than to save a lot later when we earn more. OK so how many of you think it's better to save a little bit regularly while you're young. OK. How many of you think it's better just save more once you earn more money later. Peer pressure guys come on you've got to you've got it. It's OK to disagree here. So let me give you an example we've got two ladies. Thrifty Tiffany and spend the Sally and they are the same age group in the same area same church and all the rest. Tiffany on on this side here. She saved two thousand dollars a year from age twenty to thirty. So for ten years. She invested eight percent rate of return. So she invested toll of twenty thousand dollars over ten years. That's the total amount of money she put in of her own money. Sally on the other hand she waits until she's thirty years old. So the year that Tiffany's stops investing and doesn't put in another dime. That year. Sally begins investing the same. Two thousand dollars a year from the age thirty to sixty five. OK so thirty five years. Also a percent rate of return she invests seventy thousand dollars of her own money. And she goes in for thirty five years. So who do you think has more money when they get ready to retire at sixty five. You probably know I'm sort of setting this up so I'll just tell you who has more sixty five. Tiffany had would have will have around five hundred thousand dollars where as. Sally will only have three hundred eighty thousand. So how does that work. How is this possible. Over here she saved for shorter period of time. And she saved less money. A lot less money. Over here she said much longer and she saved a lot more but yet she ended up with far less. The secret is compound interest and compound interest. Requires a secret ingredient. And it's time. Because what does compound interest this is where your math has to come back or you member back in high school algebra. Compound interest formula principal rates. Return. Length of time. Compound interest is the way the interest grows on itself so it's not if you have a hundred dollars. And you earn ten percent the next year. You don't just are in another ten percent on hundred dollars. You're in ten percent on your principal. Plus whatever your. So over time the amount of interest you earn starts. Earning interest on itself. It's like a snowball. And so here's a graph of Tiffany and Sally right so blue line here is Tiffany's. Rate of growth and Sally is the red. So what we see here is. It's not a straight line. You notice that. It's an exponential curve. And so. Imagine if she has another thirty years to grow this money without adding another Don This thing is going to be way off the charts. And the secret of compound interest. If you save a little bit early. It allows that interest to start compounding on a self and you can all. It's set and forget. You can walk away from it and your money. Will work for you. OK. This is a fundamental principle when it comes to how you manage your money. And the time value of money as well. But I will mention this. And that is. It's not just a matter of earning more. We're going to talk about the difference between just wanting to have more and more and more for the sake of having more versus saving for a goal. OK. So I don't want you to walk away with this test thinking that I'm telling you you just need to save a bunch of money so you can be a super rich wealthy person. But hold that thought will come back to it. So question over ten. The best way to reach financial independence is to earn more money. How does anyone think that's true. A few people that's OK. Because you know this one. I phrased in a way that's a little bit tricky. All right because what this financial independence really need. Different people have different definitions some people financial independence is just get out of debt. Financially Free. Other people pay off the house. Other people it's. When I'm ready to retire. And I don't have to work anymore. I'm financially independent. And also you know. To earn more money well one of the alternatives. What's the alternative that we're comparing against right so this was a little bit of a trick question. And I say that to make you guys feel better if you voted different ways. But. However you define it. Here. My point is is it better to see more money versus earn more money. OK so if we are comparing those two. Which is the better way. Save more or earn more. OK Let's take a look at another example so we're going to look a saver Sam in consumer car. So Sam earns fifty thousand dollars a year. He's a lives on twenty thousand dollars a year so he saves thirty thousand dollars a year. And that's sixty percent of his earnings. Carl on the other hand he earns three times as much. One hundred and fifty thousand. He spends one hundred twenty thousand Don't ask me how you spend that much money but he does. And he saved thirty thousand dollars which is twenty percent and by the way. Twenty percent savings rate by most financial gurus standard is excellent. You're saving like ten fifteen percent are doing good twenty percent. You're like a rock star. So he's doing actually pretty good but save or Sam here. Saves an equivalent of three times as much as a percentage of his income. But this is the same dollar amount so most people would be like of course I rather be Carl of course. But here's the thing. Look at it this way. Here's one way to look at it and we talk about being financially independent more financial freedom for every year the Sam works he can take over one year off from work. Carl has to work for years before he can take one year off. All of that changes the perspective a little bit doesn't it. Because look at this. He only needs twenty thousand dollars a year to live. Because he saves. And he spends less. So he can work one year and he can say it. C.L.A. her. I'm going to go spend the year volunteering somewhere. And guess what he has paid for it because he learned to manage his lifestyle. Whereas Carl. He's got his big house the big car student loans all that kind of stuff. Thirty thousand dollars a year he's got this wait four years before you take one year off and honestly. Is that really likely to happen when you've got a lifestyle of this size. You know. I think that's the realistic picture so. Financial independence meaning three don't. The freedom to make choices. Not tethered to your desk or your cubicle. It's better to save. Then to simply earn more. Because there's a double benefit so let me explain it this way. If you learn to live on less a lower percentage of your income you are able to save a greater percent of income. Immediately. And it's always viewed as a percentage of what you need. Percentage of your income. And your total amount of savings required. In the long run is permanently decreased in the future. Because if you spend more even if you're saving you have to save up longer in order to have the equivalent of freedom. If you were living on less. So that's question number ten and that does bring us to the end of our quiz. So we do have a bit of time. And so I'm going to transition now. To working through some of these principles some of these questions maybe that got raised through the quiz. A lot of those things were going to deal with in future sessions. But some of the last few points I think is a point for us to get right into right now. So fundamentally we need to ask the question What is the purpose of money. Because if we don't know the purpose of it. We may not use it properly and money is a tool with only three functions. It's helpful for us to summarize things. Parse it down so it's not a convoluted. Complex thing. It's not a spaghetti monster money is very simple. There are only three uses for. Number one. Money is a tool for us to spend on current needs or wants. And this is the one that needs no explanation. We all know how this works. If I want to go out to eat. If I want to buy a new car if I want to buy a house. Money. I can spend. You the other use for money is to save for future needs or wants. Third thing that money is good for is to give away. That's it. Every use of money that you can consider that you can think of falls into one of these three categories and you think about it that way. It becomes far easier to categorize how you're how your funds. Flow and how you use your money. And that's also if you noticed earlier that's how I view my financial situation. How much should I or. How much should I spend. How much should I give away. How much I say for the future. Just break it down in those buckets. And this is actually the fundamental one of the things we'll look at when we talk about how to do our budget. This afternoon. So tool with three functions and guess what it is confirmed by the Spirit of Prophecy. Cross object lessons page three fifty one paragraph three. Money has great value because you can do great good. But money is of no more value than sand. Only as it is put to use in and here's what money can be used for. It is not used for any of these things. It's no better than sand. OK. So these are the only good uses of money. Number one. Prove vibing for the necessities of life. OK So what does that mean providing for the necessaries of life. To spend right. On our current needs. And our current wants. And the necessities of life in the future saving for future needs. Right there and notice she makes that first spirit prophecy Ellen what she's very balanced she realizes you have needs. Your family have needs in this life. He God does not expect us to give at the expense of crippling. Our family. Kate praise the Lord for that balance. But in blessing others in advancing the cause of Christ is the next step. So you see. Providing for the Knesset is a life. The two items we talked about earlier. Spending and saving for future needs. Blessing others in advancing the cause of Christ. To give to give the money away. All right so three uses of money. And we mentioned earlier that it appears to be that the Bible and this your prophecy. Promotes God's people. Building wealth. God wants us to prosper. It says that in the Old Testament and the new and the Spirit of Prophecy. But that begs the question what does he mean by that. What does the. What does it mean to be prosperous. Or to be wealthy or to be rich. Because that is a definition that you ask a hundred people and you might get a hundred different answers. Because if you think with me this is probably the picture of wealth and riches right. Tropical exotic vacation and a fast car. I wouldn't mind having this car but we will talk about that some of the time. Having a nice big house private jets. The wealthy. This is the mental picture that we have. Because we live in a world saturated by the media. You know you go on C.N.N. And it's not just news anymore. It's become almost like a tabloid telling you about all the live the lives of the rich and famous. And it gives us this idea that prosperity means this kind of lifestyle. And so when we think oh I don't live like this I don't have a private jet. I don't go on tropical vacation like this. Therefore I'm not rich. And you'll this term. Being rich or wealthy or prosperous. It's a term that when you talk to people it's amazing I talk with I talk with a number of people. And some people I consider to be fairly well to do. And they all say the same thing. I'm not rich. I live a pretty modest life. And how do you think. What's the next word out of their mouth. I've got friends who have a more expensive car. They have a fancier set of golf clubs and I do. And they actually go on more vacations. So you know I'm really not that bridge. And you talk to those friends out there referring to and they'll say oh yeah I'm not Bill Gates a hope I'm not rich. There's always someone richer and therefore. I'm not rich. Right. But the Bible does say he wants us to prosper so clearly God must have some idea in mind of what is this ideal. What is this goal for us to strive for. When it comes to material. You know wealth and possessions and things of that nature. And of course. Underlying all of it is for the purpose of advancing his work. Ultimately not to aggrandise ourselves. And so this is the key verse of the day. All right. This is the verse that forms the foundation of everything we're talking about problems with thirty versus a through nine. Remove far from me falls within lying. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that is a need for for me. Lest I be full in the NY USA who is the Lord or lest I be poor and stealing profane the name of my God. Do you see the beautiful balance here. Scripture. Makes it very clear. What are we shooting for. We don't want. Poverty. We don't want to be the filthy rich. We just want what is a need for. And here. Of the proverb writer actually tells us why. If I am rich. I'll be full and deny us or who is the lower right you remember the rich fool. Build a barn. Filled it up build a bigger barns a take the easy all eat play be merry right will go to this town and have some business and God says. You fool. Tonight your soul be required of the he forgot God because he relied on his material possessions. That's a danger. But at the same time in poverty poverty is not the answer either because if I be poor. And I'm tempted to steal in profane the name of my God. Being poor is not a virtue. I want to understand that just because you're poor doesn't mean you're a bad person but the goal is not to strive to be poor. That makes sense. Holiness doesn't equal. You know having no money. There's no is not like a direct line. But it is true that wealth the love of money indeed. Can lead the soul away from the Lord so it's that balance and. You know that humorous that we read earlier roasting Roston. He didn't know it but he was actually reflecting the principles of scripture. Money doesn't buy happiness but neither does poverty. And that's actually not Scott's ideal poverty is not God's ideal And so what does it mean to be prosperous. To be wealthy A rich. The biblical definition. OK based on problems. What we just read. Is simply to have our needs met and to have enough. That's the goal. Once we have our needs met once we have enough. Anything extra pushes us into the realm of prosperity. And when we're prosperous. We can give more for the Lord. And we can rely less on debt. And the charity of others. So if that is true. OK if it is true that the Biblical definition of prosperity and wealth and riches. Is based on our need our level of need. What it means is that the last that I need. The easier it is for me to prosper. You know I like this quote because it reflects this thought. In the economy of words. Wealth consists not in having great possessions. But in having few wants. That is a powerful thought. And in fact. The Bible echoes it first some of the six six but godliness with contentment is great game. You know this. The seminars all on personal finance. And we often figure that it's the finances that's the problem. I need or more money. And you get out of debt. I need to do something. You know some trick. Teach me the you know. The tips on the tricks but you know what that's like twenty percent. If the personal side. That's that eighty percent. Because it is the personal side that we need to deal with to deal with the issue of mint with what we have the ability to trim. Our Needs to a more modest level. And to be willing to say. I can actually live. Just as happily without that the vets the problem. And if you want to take it to a spiritual level. That's what sanctification is all about. You know there are some powerful quotes I share with you said with afternoon. About the relationship of overcoming sin in managing your money. There is a very direct correlation. And you want to come back to to see hear more about that. But the point that I'm trying to make right now is simply this point and that is. Personal finance is not so much about what do I do with the money. It's more looking in the mirror and say. What is it about myself that I need to adjust. And as a result. The resulting change will affect our money. Personal finance eighty percent personal issues. Twenty percent financial issues. But yes we're going to talk about math and all those things. As well so this leads to the practical question. So if wealth and prosperity. According to God is defined by our level of need. How do I know how much I mean. Because if you sit down and just pull it out of thin air. We need a lot right. I need that vacation. I need that new outfit. Yes. I need it. We can convince ourselves of a lot of needs but how do we know. And this is where the math comes in we need a dollar amount. When we think about money. It's math. And we think about math. You can do math very easily. Without some objective data. You need some actual numbers. So this is where we transition from the principle to an application now in real life. All right to understand God. You want me not to be filthy rich so that I forget you you don't want me to be in poverty so I'm tempted to steal and be envious and and have a heart of greed and all this stuff. Yes. So how much do I need. This is how you figure it out. You want to track your living expenses. On a monthly level. OK. And this is actually fundamental to everything we're going to talk about this weekend. You've got to know where your money is going to look over how do you do that. OK how do you track your monthly expenses look over all your receipts. And if you're not in the habit of taking the receipt with you like you fill up your car with gas. You go to the story. Would you like to receive now don't need it. Take the receipt home. Keep it for a month. And if you have been keeping receipts look back to the previous month. Add everything up. Just take every purchase you made is going to be a little bit of work at first yes and create a report so you can have you received your bank credit card statements. Create a report of all of your spending. You just listed out. How much I spend in the month. What did I spend it on. And then you can categorize it so categorize your spending. It is a starting point for your budget. OK so you've got to do this first. Because you don't know how if you don't know how much you're spending it's like. I feel bad. But I don't know what sickness I have. And you need to account for every penny. There is a level of discipline that's required here because the reason why we need to account for every penny is because it's easy for us to fudge. Right is like oh that wasn't too much. It was just you know. Starbucks. Or you know just of any machine at work. It doesn't matter. It does matter. Because pennies add up to cents. You know. Quarters quarters out of the dollars and dollars add up to a lot more than that in the future. So this is the practical step how do I know how much money I actually need to live and survive on. Make monthly expense account. We read about this earlier spear prophecy. L.-Y. says Let everyone learn how to keep accounts. Their income. Their outflows. This is the practical step. So let me help you I was some free tools. OK. Mint dot com and personal capital dot com These are both services that I have used. I do still use personally. And what they do. Both of them work similarly they have slightly different emphasis. Both of them. And they help aggregate all your financial accounts. If you have student loan accounts. Mortgage your bank. Investment accounts. Credit cards. All of it you just go in. You just. It's is nice look interface you type in your log in credentials. And it logs in and the pools. All the of your data all into one. Nice like user interface and ILB run all the reports for you. And it will give you a report on a monthly basis you can set of your own budgets in there. And it'll show you exactly where every penny went over whatever span of time you want to analyze for little. You know for a geek like me this kind of stuff is pretty nice. Personal Capital is a little bit more emphasizing investments. And so if you do have investments. Investment portfolios and things of that nature personal capital will run. The analysis for you. Asset allocations. A lot of those kind of projections you can run. Monte Carlo simulations all that kind of fancy stuff. Both of them are free. Personal Capital they tried to. If you have a certain amount of assets. They'll call you to try to get you to be a paying customer for advice. And all that kind of stuff. You don't need to do that and mint. They get paid through advertising so there's advertising throughout their website. So as long as you don't think that the advertising is actually part of the plan. You'll be OK because the try to sell you credit cards and things like that so you want to stay away from those things. But these are some helpful free online tools. So you have no excuse. OK. No excuse to not be able to keep track of your expenses and was a so important is because having a clear grasp of your regular living expenses. Is essential to gaining control over your personal finances. You've got to diagnose the problem before. Working on a cure. And I am very serious about this. This is so fundamental. Nothing else in this seminar will matter. If this step is undone. If you do not have a picture it clear picture of your expenses. There's no sense having a budget because. Where is the money going. How much should I spend last month. I don't know how much should I spend this month. I don't know how much do I need. What is the necessity you know how much do I actually have to. You know allocate for my family needs to know how much can I give the go up no clue. Right. So everything we're talking about it's got to be based on knowing what the problem is and the problem. It may not be a problem in your case is how much am I spending. All right is that clear. Very good. So let's summarize what we talked about today. And we'll see how much time we've got after that. So session over one so God desires that his people or desires people to give sacrificially Yes but still build wealth and live a comfortable life. So that's the balance we discussed earlier. Yes. We should give. Yes we should live a modest life. However he doesn't want to just live in a cardboard box either. It is better to save a little early than a lot later. And this is all thanks to the power of compound interest and the secret ingredient of time. Chinese proverb says the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is right now. So compound interest investments. Same story. Twenty years ago was the best time well. I don't know some of you might not be even twenty years old but. Assuming you have a long time ago to begin. That would've been the best time. But the next best time is right now. It is better to live on less than to earn more and I'm going to. I know the some of you are going to hop off here and and join another seminar so let me just mention this. My next some men are is entirely on this point. Spending less. Saving more and. I believe there's a pretty compelling case for us to learn how to economize allies more. And so if you want to stay for that you might be surprised at some of the things that you will learn. The next point in a summary money is a tool that is good only to spend. To save or to give away. Three uses of money. That's it. And according to the Bible we are prosperous when we have enough to meet our needs. This is the fundamental point of this message. So the title of our some of our this particular session. Neither poverty nor riches. Redefining wealth and prosperity. There it is right in that sweet spot not having too much not having too little having just enough to meet our needs. And so how do we determine our needs. We must track our living expenses. How much do I spend. To live. What my bills cost. My student loans all of these things that are required from month to month expenses. And so that brings us to the end of this session. Let me see how much time we have we do have a few minutes so I can probably take a few questions. But let me. Let's do this. I'll conclude with prayer now. And if there are people with a few questions. We don't have a whole lot of time. But if those want to get a head start to get to your next seminar you're welcome to do so but if you have questions you can stick around for that. OK so let's power has for prayer right now. Father in heaven we are so grateful for the clarity of your word. And the practicality of your word. You have not left us wandering around in darkness wondering what to do with such essential and. And all pervasive topic is money. And you have given us. Sound warning to not love money. And at the same time not to assume that poverty is a rude to holiness. A pretty low or we might apply this principle that we have learned from your word ought to live shooting for your ideal for us neither poverty. Nor riches. We don't want to forget you. And we don't want to be greedy and to deny you. And the other extreme. Either. And so be with us as we continue on this weekend here G Y C help us to learn much. And we ask these things in Jesus name Amen. All right so we have a belt for minutes now for questions so of there any questions. I'll try to call on you and if not it's OK to yes question. That's a good question so the question is how realistic is an eight percent return. I hate to leave us a spends but we're going to talk about that on Friday afternoon. Or Friday morning. But the reality is that there are there is no investment that can guarantee you a return. But there are investments. That can earn far excessive. Of a percent. It is actually very possible so we'll talk more about that Friday. Or. Yahoo. Who was out again I didn't have a Rich Dad Poor Dad. You know I read that book. A long time ago. And I think. If I recall. His fundamental point is a different premise. From where we're starting his premises. You should be rich and. If you're not rich is because you're not smart. And his definition of rich is actually quite speculative. You borrow money and. You just leverage yourself upwards. Whereas I think the biblical has a biblical principles are far more conservative in how we ought to manage. And so I can't necessarily say if it's a thumbs up with EMS out I just don't remember that book. Yeah. Yeah. OK. I would agree with that. Yeah. All right so I was going to take a quick break here and we'll be back at ten o'clock right. Thanks everyone this message was recorded at the Jew I see two thousand and fifteen conference called shows and they fall in love with Kentucky. Q I see the supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so when Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web.

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