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2. Gather Up the Fragments: Prospering by Saving the Crumbs

Alistair Huong
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Alistair Huong

Executive Director of AudioVerse



  • December 31, 2015
    10:00 AM
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This message was presented to the Jew I see twenty shows a brother resources like this visit us online at W W W W Y C web. Father in heaven we are we're so thankful that you have given us another opportunity to consider practical ways to manage your money. There you have entrusted to us. Give us wisdom. The session. We ask in Jesus' name amen. So sure to gather up the fragments. Prospering by saving the crumbs. All right. A little bit of a in information. Some of you are asking so let me just reiterate this. My wife and I we have a blog where we write about personal finance and we've written about a lot of subjects. I'm just really scratching the surface in the six hours we have together here. So give it a saving the crumbs I come to get more detail on things that we've written already. Also the handouts. All of the slides. They're already available on the G Y C app. So it is there you can get them. Just don't look ahead and get spoiled. And also they will be available to download later on when the audio recordings and everything are are ready to go. So. Saving the Graham dot com and outs. Recordings. You can get that information. Even if you missed it the first time around. So gather up the fragments. Where does that phrase come from. If you remember. Feeding of the five thousand. That's exactly right. And this is what the just has to say about it. Page three sixty eight. And you remember the story. Jesus for the five thousand. With the loaves and fishes. There were leftovers and here is a man who can create food out of basically thin air. And he says. Go pick up the leftovers. Just think about that he could have made more. But he said go pick them up. What is the lesson to be learned here. But he who had all the resources of infinite power at his command said Gather up the fragments that remain. That nothing be lost. These words meant more than putting bread into baskets. The principle to be learned is nothing is to be wasted. We are to let slip know. Temporal advantage. The lesson of the feeling of the five thousand and gather the fragments. Is simply less waste less waste. Save the fragments. Take advantage of the things that we might feel like are unnecessary. But no temporal advantage should be allowed to slip away. And to not be able to be used for God's work. All right. Benjamin Franklin put it this way. Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Wise man. So I mentioned earlier my wife and I we named our blog saving the crumbs and half of the reason why we named it that is really in in honor of the parable of the feeding of the five thousand gather the fragments. It's basically the same thing as saving the crumbs. But there's a specific story that happened early on in our marriage that helped us. Come up with this name. When we were first married my wife wanted to see big bread for our home and we had a bread maker and she was trying out different recipes and. They didn't work. Ideally at first. And so half the little for bread a seam that's an exaggeration. A lot of crumbs. Ended up on the cutting board when we sliced our bread. And so what's the normal response when you have crumbs on a cutting board. You sort of wipe it off in the garbage disposal in the trash whatever and you keep going on with life. Well my wife being the enterprising and crime saving woman that she was she saved those crumbs. Literally save them in a tub or containers put in the freezer. And you know we were we were pumping out a lot of loaves of bread because we were trying to experiment with this thing and trying to figure it out. And before long the crumbs. Were enough for us to actually use in some other recipe we made onion rings or bread okra or something. Right. So this is the principle. You save the crumbs. And the crumbs can amount to something else that is useful that you can apply to something else. So the lesson from Jesus Christ let no waste or let nothing go to waste. The temporal advantages that is given to us we need to seize them and take advantage of of them. And so I have a very simple objective. In this hour. If you walk away from this with one. Remembering this one thing. And you commit to do it is sort of two things but you'll see. One thing. Then I would have succeeded. And that is I am here to convince you to spend less and to see more. OK. And I'm going to try my best to make the compelling case. So when I was in high school. I got my first job. I got my first job. I was a teacher's assistant for a junior high. Computer Lab. I was a freshman in high school. And I wanted to ask wash use. Why did I want basketball shoes do you suppose. All my friends want to basketball shoes. Doesn't matter that I can play basketball. I don't even watch basketball. But I wanted. Basketball shoes. True story. So I made five dollars twenty five cents an hour. Which was you know when I got my first paycheck I'm like I have never seen this much money before in my life. I schooled kid and I realized. Paris nickers fifty dollars or so I would have to work ten hours. To earn. This pair of sneakers. So when I got that paycheck. I don't remember it might of been a week of work two hours a day or something. I got my check fifty two dollars and fifty cents how much of it do you suppose I spent on those shoes. Every penny. Every penny. And so what do you suppose I started thinking next. I was a gamer back then. Not anymore. A recovered. Video game addict. And I was looking at the next game I wanted. OK so it's like an eighty dollars game. All right so. I need to work another sixteen hours. And so how much of my paycheck do you suppose I spend on that. When the time came every penny. And then you know the story. All my friends got cool thing glasses I got to get signed with. All my friends have fancy cameras. I got to get a camera. I'm in high school I'm about to drive soon so mom and dad get ready because I need a car. And not just any car I was in love with the S.U.V.s and all that kind of stuff. And so as a high school kid. I had a very narrow view of the use of money. Money was good for one thing and one thing only and that is to buy stuff that I wanted. And wouldn't you. Would you when you agree that this sort of become the definition now the American dream. You come here you live life in America you work hard you can buy whatever you want. Well that's the life that I had. And so it was very clear I added all this up while that's an expensive car. The camera. Very expensive even sunglasses all the stuff. It adds up so that I came to one conclusion. The one conclusion is that in order for me to be happy. I need more money. Isn't this the motto of the Americans. You know American motto. Need more money. Give me money. We need more money and the reason why I want to more money was because I wanted to buy more stuff. So why do I want to buy more stuff. That's because that's what everybody does. What else am I supposed to do with my money. All of my friends around the water cooler. Proverbially every paycheck. Literally. I know there are people who schedule their work. To take pay day off. They get paid every every other Friday or something. They try to schedule the work. So that they don't have to work on that day so they can go spend the paycheck that they just received that morning. That is that is literally real thing. And so everybody is just doing it so yeah that's what I had to do. Everybody's got a student loan so you can't get an education a student loan. Everyone's got a credit card. Whoever pays off their house. It's good for your taxes you know. We're going to deal with that myth. This afternoon. But the American narrative. On wealth. This is sort of how it goes. You deserve to buy more stuff. Because that's what everybody does. And so you run on the rat race. The wheel. Because we think that happiness. Equals consumption and consumption. Equals the American dream. And that's what everybody does. You know the American dream really if I want to put it more more distinctly is having lots of stuff. Even if you don't have to pay for it. If you have the illusion of having lots of stuff doesn't matter if it's all on the credit card and you old Lots of interest on it doesn't matter you're living the American dream so go and apply for another car. And so you know. We have this. We have this sort of sick fog I think that we are immersed in. And don't even get me started on social media. The Pinterest lifestyle. You realize right. When you look at people's pictures on Instagram. On Facebook on interest. You know you realize that's not real life. You know who is going to post a picture of the bad day they had to work where their hair was for Izzy. And they spilled. You know their hot chocolate all over their dress I mean nobody is going to post that picture they're going to post. The fancy vacation. The awesome food they had. And if your agent more food than anything else. And so when we look at life on Facebook. We assume. We assume that's what everybody's life is like think any of the fancy Japanese restaurant. I don't care if it's fifty dollars a plate. I need to eat there. Does that make sense. This is the narrative of of wealth that we are living in. And the easy debt that easy debt that we live in that we have access to just feeds the fire. Just feeds this fire and so here are some of the things that we hear. I'll be happy once I take a vacation or once I buy that car. Once I eat at that fancy restaurant. I should buy stuff. Because you know. Consumer spending is the secret of a strong economy. You heard that on the news right. So who cares you don't have money. Just spend other people's money. It's good for the economy. Someone else's economy not your economy. The cost of living is so high. It's tough to just scrape by earning one hundred thousand dollars or whatever dollar amount. It's not enough to be rich. I have read literal real articles I'm not making this up. There are articles I say earning one hundred thousand dollars a year or more is no longer adequate for a comfortable middle class life. These are all true statements that are being stated. There are stagnant wages. I have to work until I'm eighty. It's impossible to save for retirement. If the economy's fall. Is the president's fault. It's Republicans fault. Is Donald Trump's fault. So one percent's fault isn't this the story we hear. But all of this is saying life is so hard. Someone's got their thumb on you. Your a victim. Poor you. You deserve the buy more stuff. You need to have more stuff. And guess what someone comes around a credit card. Merchant A says and guess what you can have all that stuff. Here's a car sign on dotted line. Don't worry that's twenty five percent compound interest. You can have your cake and eat it too. That's the message that we're getting here in the American dream. Just do what everyone else does everyone spends all their money buying stuff they don't need and. Life is so hard you deserve more than this. But here's the truth. OK you ready for the truth. The truth is that our lives for most of us here. Obviously there are people there are people in financial difficulty. I do not want to relegate them and say. It's all your fault that's not my point for most people that I believe is my audience here do you want to see people can actually afford to pay registration and common things like that. Our lives and this is the picture I want you to have in your mind. Our lives are exploding. Volcanoes. Of waste. The problem is not we don't have enough money. The problem is too much of it goes down the drain. And we waste so much of it. We need a change in perspective. OK So let me try to let me try to illustrate it on pretty much any given night of the week. Maybe even tonight. Some of us were going to go out on the town. And we will have the options of dining. That kings and queens just a hundred years ago could could have even dreamed of. We could eat cuisine from any country in the world. You want typhoon we got your Indian food. It's OK. Next can food. Absolutely. Chinese food. Korean food Japanese food. How come I'm just talking about Asian food. I know that's your opinion OK you got one of we can eat any kind of cuisine we want. We walk into a restaurant and there are all means of people waiting to to serve us. Competing for our business. And so we go in there. We sit down. We say this food tastes bad. So what do we do we throw it away. Kings and Queens of just a few hundred years ago. Did not even have the luxury. Imagine that that's not all. When we're getting ready to go. We hop in our gas guzzling S.U.V.. That we paid off or we're paying off with interest. With a sixteen month loan. Which by the way has depreciated fifty percent of it's a value already. And we're sitting in the car running it. Burning that precious fuel that we were complaining. At the at the gas pump about how expensive it is. Well recently. Gas with their cheaper. But you understand my point and were I doing the car. On sitting on seats. Made from the skins of dead animals. And we are probably some of us are thinking how old this car is. And I wish I had a better one. And then we say hey we just had a mediocre meal let's go get some deserve. So we pull out these little devices we have in our pockets. Little supercomputers to have more power in it than the space shuttle that went to the moon. That communicates with satellites hundreds of miles in space. To guide us. Around the corner to the lead to the nearest frozen yogurt place. And then we say this phone is too out of date. I need and. I need a new one. So every year. We plunk down the cold hard cash for a new Android phone or a new i Phone. Do you realize that thing is a super computer. And we treat it like a toy. And what do we do with it. We watch. Silly cat videos on You Tube with it. I mean you think you think like OK we're eating like kings and queens we're driving in like a car that is fit for monarchy. We have super computers. We must be like saving the world or or like curing cancer. Or like doing something. And this is what we do. And the reason why we want to new phone is because it doesn't load the cat videos fast enough so. Do you realize do you understand what I'm saying. Our lives are exploding volcanoes of waste. So do you know who this man is John D. Rockefeller you've ever heard of him. Oh yeah no big deal he just happens to be the richest American of all time. The first American billionaire ever and I'm not here to see if he's a good or bad man. But simply to make this point. He was the first American billionaire. With inflation calculated speedball estimate his net worth to be around three hundred forty billion dollars Bill Gates the richest man in the world I think he still the richest man in the world his net worth is somewhere in the seventy to eighty billion dollars over three hundred billion. And guess what you live a better life than him. He passed away in the early one nine hundred. And his life. He didn't have the ease of transportation that we have now. He can just go on to the internet tell me what does that go on the Internet on your smart phone book a ticket. And tonight hop on a plane and fly over to London or wherever you can do that even though he is the richest man in the world. He didn't have all the amenities in our homes a clean. You know toilet. Medical medical advances. Technology advances. Communication advances. We have a better life as a middle class standard. Ordinary everyday Americans or. If you're not from America in Western civilization generally speaking. We have a better life than he did. Exploding. Will Cain knows. Of waste. So this is my point. We are the wealthiest. Yet most wasteful generation that ever walked the earth. That is the truth. The American narrative on welfare says oh poor you your victim of the financial system. Someone else has you under the thumb. You deserve to have everything you want. You need to buy more stuff. All that throw it out the window. This is the truth. We have far more than we need. And if we can just be smart about capturing a small percentage of it even. We can do so much more. I love this quote from Dave Ramsey. We buy things we don't need. With money we don't have to impress people we don't like. Ladies and gentlemen. This is the true American dream. Keeping up with the Joneses. What are my neighbors going to think they got this they got that I got to have a two and so I don't have the money for it but I'm just going to borrow from my credit card so that I can impress my friends. So we need to bust this myth. So we need to stop accepting society's narrative about money when to stop associating happiness with consumption. To stop believing that we are the financial victim. When you stop living beyond our means. And when you stop worrying about what others people may think of us. And notice when you look at this. It's not a money issue. Primarily. It's the issue in here is the issue of looking ourselves in the mirror and saying look. My thinking is what needs to change is not that the dollars and cents are somehow running away from me. So we need to be the change. So how do we do that when you start taking ownership. Start taking ownership of our own financial issues. We'll start being intentional about where our money goes and to start gathering the fragments and saving the crumbs that's the biblical principle we're talking about this whole session. And we need to be do we need to dear to be peculiar and the fact is Adam does of all people. We should know how to be peculiar. You already go to church on Saturday. So is that any less weird than not going into debt. Might as well go all the way and be a totally frugal weirdo wire at it. Let's take a look at this passage Philippians four eleven through thirteen this is really interesting. Paul says not that I'm speaking of being in need or I have for I have learned in whatsoever situation I am to be content. And that's the point. Learn to be content with what we have and we read in the earlier session gone with contentment is great gain. He says I know how to be brought low. And I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty. And hunger. Abundance and need. Notice the context. Because what's the very next sentence. It says. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. How many times have we heard this last part of the passage. Can I overcome sin. Yes I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I need to overcome this addiction. Yes I can do it. And if we give this person. Yes I can do it. I need to be content with living on less. I need to be able to be happy with my life without buying that latest car. I don't know if I can do it. But guess what the context of this promise is in the context of being content. Whether we have bound or whether we have been brought low. So whenever we quote the verse. It is actually within the context of being content with having less than interesting. So in other words what we are saying is we need to spend less and see more. This is the one driving point today. So here's the question. So how much do I need to earn. In order to be rich. This is actually dealing with one of those issues the minute we mentioned earlier where people say oh I have to earn so much money now in order to be. You know live a comfortable middle middle class life and all that well. This is sort of a trick question. Because we talked about earlier. The first session. As a quick review for you who are here. The Bible define for us what it means to be prosperous. To be rich to be wealthy. It means having our needs met. Once we have enough. We have crossed the threshold into prosperity according to the Bible. And so this is a trick question because so how much do I need to earn. Well it's not based on the income is based on your needs. Right. But let's actually take a look at this in a more systematic way. How is wealth. Actually measured so when we actually talk about. While themis like we you know. We have the world's wealthiest man we talk about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and all these guys over there the wealthiest men. How is that measurement. Made by how do you define Well well well if you'll see is actually defined by assets minus liabilities. Becoming your net worth. So wealth is a measurement of net worth or measured by your net worth. As opposed to your net income. There's a big difference there. And so the figure your net worth you see all your assets and subtract from it all your liabilities. So what are assets and liabilities. The simple way to remember it is that. Assets are things that you own liabilities are things that you. Very simple. So assets are things that you're catching the bank your investments the properties. Your vehicles. If you have a business you have intellectual property if you own patents. Things of that nature. You own that. Liabilities are things that you owe. So your debts. Obligations. Student loans credit cards Karnos mortgages those are some of the common ones. So you just create assets. Liabilities. Add them up. Subtract liabilities from assets and that becomes a net worth. So the question we're dealing with is the here is how much do I have to earn in order to be rich. How do you determine who is wealthier. So let's take a look here we've got trade was a teacher and Don who's a doctor. All right teacher train here he earns forty thousand dollars a year he has a house that cost two hundred thousand dollars. And your other two thousand five hundred a Camry. Pretty standard. You know nothing's extraordinary. And we've got Dawn here is a doctor and these are all fictional characters I'm not. These are not real people here. One hundred fifty thousand dollars a year. He owns a house that cost. Or that is worth eight hundred thousand dollars a year and he drives the latest year twenty fifteen B.M.W. seven Series. So who's wealthier. Well the answer actually isn't so clear. The fact is this doesn't give us enough information. You know you assume that is going to be tray. Because of the way I'm setting this up. But. But if you just take the numbers are given to you this is actually not enough information. Because when you look at it Dawn could actually be very wealthy. Who knows because we don't see. We see a few of his assets. We don't see any of his live billets right. And the fact is he earned so much more the potential is much greater for Don. To be wealthier So income is the potential for wealth building. But doesn't equate with well. And so what do we need more of we need more information we need to know what the assets and liabilities look like for these two gentlemen. So this is where we rattle the mystery. So he earns forty thousand dollars a year and here is his balance statement or balance sheet. Assets. He's got twelve thousand five hundred dollars in the cash and cash in the bank his house is completely paid off two hundred thousand dollars. His car to get a Camry. From two thousand and five ten years old or six thousand dollars. That's actually pretty good place to be retirement. Three hundred forty thousand dollars he saved up a lot for retirement but look he doesn't owe anyone a dime. So what you see here is actually his actual network. He's worth over a half million dollars. But he only earns forty thousand dollars he's a teacher teachers are poor we all know that. But doctors are rich. Right. That's the assumption. And I know maybe some of your going to be going to the medical field. I hope to inspire you a little bit. And also hopefully dispel some of the missile people can go easy on you a little bit right. Once somebody becomes a doctor. Family friends come out of the woodwork with it looking for a handout because you're rich now. Well let's hold let's hold your horses not necessarily. So Dawn here he earns a lot more money but this is how much cash as in the bank five thousand is house is worth that much. Eight hundred thousand cars eighty thousand dollars I mean is current year. Seven series. So he's got nearly a million dollars or I'm sorry. Over eight hundred thousand dollars of assets but notice his liabilities he owes. Nearly a million dollars is his mortgage car loan. Student loans credit cards. So notices net worth is actually negative. So this is a fictional situation. But it is not outside the realm of possibility. OK. And so what I'm trying to say here. My point is that you can't judge people by their outward appearances is not a bit cool principle somewhere. And you know look at on the I would appear in the god look at the heart. Well in this particular situation. We're not necessarily King at the heart. Looking at the balance sheet. And what this does not equate their moral worth in God's eyes. Please be clear. Both men are equally valuable and worth the life of Jesus. But we're talking about the financial value in the form of net worth. So a trade here actually. As you have suspected from the beginning. Actually is far wealthier than done by the true definition of wealth which is a net worth. And so yes he earns a lot. He doesn't earn much. But he certainly has a lot more in his net worth. And what is the bottom line here what's the key riches wealth. It means having enough to meet your needs. Who do you think suppose here. Have greater financial freedom. Who do you suppose of these to have greater financial independence. Clearly it's him. Right. Because look who would you rather be Trigg A Yeah he's got a small house he drives a dinky car to get a camera. It doesn't get any more plain jane than that right. Don's got a big house B.M.W. Yeah. It's not I was OK. But Don got a negative net worth and the bank actually owns all this stuff. Whereas trade he owns all this stuff. If God calls. Both of these men to go work for him in the mission field. Who is in a better position to go. You have the answer. So who would we rather be in the scope of working for the Lord. So let's continue on this theme here this is one of the biggest unspoken sometimes but something that's becoming more and more explicit. The myth. Your income does not equal wealth. And your spending certainly does not equal wealth. OK there. They don't equal. Each other so this is a report that came out from the Federal Reserve. And I actually found in a Bloomberg magazine article is called Even the upper middle class struggle to save money. And here are some statistics of this these statistics apply to households with incomes of between seventy five one hundred thousand dollars which is upper middle class. Fifty five percent of this. Of these people in the nation. Save nothing. In two thousand and twelve. Over half of the upper middle class. Save nothing. Sixteen percent. Spent more than they are and went further into debt. And then twenty percent would go into months of debt if there was a four hundred dollars emergency. And let me tell you something. If only emergency came in the I smile chunks like four hundred dollars. If you've ever gone sick and gone to the hospital I have four hundred dollars is like a drink of water. You gotta understand. This is like a nothing burger. Four hundred dollars. And these are families I would go into months of indebtedness over four hundred bucks. What if it was four thousand or forty thousand. Can you imagine what happened. And guess what. These are people with what we would consider. Pretty good incomes and spendings certainly doesn't equal wealth because this is a report from Piper Jeffrey. Consumer report on consumer habits of teens. OK And this was very recent it was just this fall twenty fifteen. Whether an average income or upper income household teens spend about forty percent of their budget on fashion. You know when we see a teen and they're dressed all nice and they're wearing fancy clothes what's the first thing we think they've got rich parents. Well maybe maybe not but the teens themselves certainly don't earn much money I believe. Teens will make two trips to restaurant for every one trip they make to a gas station. Wow. If wealth is dependent on how much money you spend then I think teenagers have us all be. But we know that that is not the case. Because wealth is determined not by how much you earn or how much you spend but it is determined by how much. You keep. So a person with a big paycheck and a small net worth. Just like Dr Don. And then a person with a small paycheck and still have a high net worth. Just like Trey So this is another issue here and that is when we talk about millionaires and billionaires this is again. Part of this idea of the definition of wealthier. It is not based on their salaries. So we hear about the C.E.O.'s in the fat cats on Wall Street all this stuff and we say oh yeah those guys are the millionaires. Because they get multimillion dollar. Stock options and pay each year. And that's actually not the case millionaires are defined as a person with a net worth of a million dollars or more. So Trey is halfway there. He might never earn a single year of income that's a million dollars. He probably never will but he can still become a millionaire in the sense of. He has enough investments built up and is growing so that once it hits over a million dollars. He joins the ranks of the millionaire So that's just a definition of what a millionaire actually is. And so here is Warren Buffett. I think he's the third richest man in the world currently his salary is actually only one hundred thousand a year. I say only. But it's only when compared to dawn. Who we just talked about who earns. Fifty percent more than that but is not worth the sixty six billion dollars. So he's a billionaire. By virtue of his net worth. Not his salary. But what about these athletes. Athletes are the people that we have a mental picture of as they are the wealthy. They are the rich. I will never be like that therefore I'm not rich. Right that's and I'm not never going to be prosperous. Right. Of course when you have the Biblical definition of prosperity. But athletes you know some of them the earn over ten million dollars a year over however long their career might be. But was there would not worth like. I don't have to guess. There's this article from Sports Illustrated two thousand and nine is called How and why athletes go broke. It says by the time to have been retired for two years. To yours. And guess what. For most of N.F.L. players we're talking about most N.F.L. players when they return in two years. They're like late twenty's early thirty's. I mean if they play until the middle late thirty's they're like really old right. And so here we have so these guys are young. When they go broke is why I'm saying. When they have been retired for two years seventy percent a former N.F.L. players have gone bankrupt or under financial distress. Because of joblessness or divorce. The N.B.A.. Within five years the retirement estimate a sixty percent of former N.B.A. players are also broke. And what is the lifestyle that we see. When we see these guys aren't these the very paragons. These are the idols are lifted up in society say these are the people to emulate. Right. This is how you should be spending your money. You've got to have the car like them dress like them. You know the best washers I wanted. Right. It's all because of these guys but if you dig a little bit deeper. They have a big income they get a fat check. But within a very short time. It's all gone. And so how much you earn. And how much you spend. Doesn't not equal. Wealth. That's my point. So what is the secret to building wealth is the same point I've been talking about this whole hour. Is to spend less and to save more. How do you suppose teacher train managed to save up. Three hundred thousand dollars for his retirement. He saved a bunch of money. And he didn't spend it all. And I'll just make this point right now. And that is when we think about financial independence it with about saving for the future or seeing for retirement or whatever else. The savings rate is the most important thing. And the reason why is the one thing with the most control over. Interest rates returns. What's the best investment. All of these things. It's a lot of it is outside of our control. But what we can control is how much of our spending we control. And how much we save So that's why is the most important thing because it's what we can control. And it's something that has to do with our hearts. So it's a some questions are we need to ask here. Are we buying consumables that decrease in value or are we buying assets that increase in value these are practical questions just evaluate and again. Look at your expense sheet we talk about the last hour. The first step in all of the stuff we're talking about we've got to get a grasp of how much we're actually spending. And when we look at how much we're spending. Look at what we're buying. Are we buying things that we just use up. And they have to buy again. Or disposable things or they consumables a decrease in value. Or why asses that increase in value are we making investments that grow into the future. Are we spending in everything we make each month. Or are we saving and investing. Right that's what all those ballplayers did they spend everything. Do we have debt that cancels out our assets on our balance sheet. And the same question put another way do we owe more than we own. That was the problem of. Dr Don. He owed more money then what do you know. So in other words if the bank came after him they would liquidate everything that he own to pay off his loans. And he was still have to pay the back more. He can lose everything and still have to pay the back more that's how serious the situation is for him. So those are questions that we need to ask ourselves. But the Spirit of Prophecy actually confirms what I'm trying to say. Councils are stewardship issue forty nine paragraph force as I was shown that you. My brother and sister have much to learn. You have not lived within your means you have not learned to economize. And that word economize. If I can put another way it means you have not learned to gather up the fragments. You have not learned to see the crumbs. If you earn high wages. Think Dr Don here. You do not know how to make it go as far as possible. You consult taster appetite instead of prudence. At times you expend money for quality of food in with your brother and cannot afford to indulge. Dollar slip from your pocket. Very easily. I'll let you. Ruminate on this to consider whether the you fall in that category. But that is the counsel from the Spirit of Prophecy we are to be mindful. To learn how the condom lies and gather up the fragments. So this leads us to a very important question. So what is the purpose of all the Saviour. So yeah some got the need to spend less and save more but why. What is the purpose. You know we mentioned earlier. It's not about getting hoarding of riches to become super wealthy it's not to compete with Warren Buffett or Bill Gates that's not the goal. We talked about last session three things that money is good for the safer future needs or to spend it right now. Suspend save it for future needs or to give it away. So if you've already spent it. The rest is basically for the other two columns of things. So for future needs some of the future needs might be a new car. College. Buying a house. Paying for a wedding. Retirement. A big purchase etc. It could be a lot of things. But why do we need to save up for future needs. Well. Because if there are a need by definition. It means we're going to have to spend money on it. Sooner or later. And if we come up to the time when we need it. And we haven't prepared for it. Guess what we're going to do borrow money. And then we're up a creek. Having to pay interest. So this is the whole reason and we're this afternoon we're talking about counting the cost in them the story Jesus says. Who build that tower with the first sitting down and counting the cost to see if he is. He has enough to finish. This is what we're doing. Future needs. And how do we make those plans. How does that factor into our budget. Next session. Session over three this afternoon we're going to get into the nuts and bolts of that. So after seeing for future needs we can also save money to give away. And you know I didn't actually included here but we want to make sure to include special projects if there's a special mission project. Special building project. Special missionary opportunity that you want to participate in save up. That's one excellent thing the save up for or if you want to go to training school. You know. Those are the types of things that we can plan ahead so we don't have to say oh Lord I can't go. Why can't you go. Because I don't have money or do you not have money. Or did you not manage your money so that you could go. You know stand the difference in the question. So to give away. Once we reach our savings goals. So all of these things that we have over here once we have those needs. Everything else should go to God because guess what we're prosperous. We have everything we need. So we have everything we need. Why do we need to keep more. Right so the answer is. Give it to God. It's all his anyway. So saving with no goal is hoarding like the ritual in Luke twelve one thousand building the barn the bigger barns. So what are we saving for these are the ten Jubal things. Actual needs that we're going to have in the future. So we don't have to go into debt. And then giving it away. But there is something far more significant I think that's intangible and that is we are saving up for freedom freedom. The borrower is always servant to the lender. And what does a say here freedom to serve to shear and to give. And you see there's a term that I learned recently is called wage slave. Have you heard of that term before a wage slave. See if you can resonate with this kind of scenario. Individual he might be a mom or dad family to take care of mortgage to pay for or rent car payments student loans to pay off. And someone says Hey. I would love for you to come work with me in this ministry. We can pay you much. But we love for you to dedicate your skills to the Lord and this person has a heart for God wants a sort of Lord of response an appeal here G Y C. And they go home and they realize. I can't pay the bills. So what happens. They become enslaved to the wage. They need to pay the bills. How about the students. God makes an appeal to you come forward. Give your life to missions one year two years seven years how many years. I can go because I have to earn money to pay off my student loans. That's wage slavery. There is a ball and chain between you and your cubicle. Or whatever your role of. You know wherever you work your chain their God says I want you to move on to the country so you can raise your children a better environment. I can move out of the country. I've got a job here. I can pay off my loans. If I'm on the country I can't get a job there. That earns enough to pay my debts. So this is what I'm talking about for freedom to save more money to spend less money to manage our finances in a way that we are actually in a position to not just give money to God. But to give ourselves to God. And so I want to share a story a little testimony here of of a friend of mine. He's a doctor. And you would assume old Dr Yeah. He's loaded. He doesn't earn a small paycheck. He does actually earn decent money. But you know what he does. He has his elderly. Told care grandmother live with him in his home. And he has six. Full time caretakers to take care of his grandmother and he takes care of her as well. And he's a doctor. And so he choses his schedule so he works the minimum amount of shifts per month just to meet the needs and primarily it's not his own needs. Is the needs of his grandmother who he's taking care of and the rest of his time. He travels around doing ministry. That's his life. That's the kind of freedom I'm talking about. And this gentleman. He's been to like. All you like a first responder like all of the natural disaster you've heard of recent years. Like Haiti earthquake. You know the tsunami in Japan. You know I don't know where else he went all the places. The one that he says he tells me the biggest regret he had last year was he wasn't able to make it to help with the Ebola. Breakout. This is the kind of guy he is. He's a doctor. He earns quote unquote. Lots of money. But he manages his money in a way that not only is he donating to minister is not only is he serving and helping his grandmother and meeting her needs. He is giving of himself to the work of God. And so when we say modern day ten making. Ladies and gentlemen. When we manage our money well the point is not just so we can give to God The point is when we manage our money well we can be there when God needs us to be there. Just imagine if you are able to fund yourself to the mission field. Because you've learned economize. And you're able to not require the huge donations and paying off my student loans and all this kind of stuff ladies and gentleman. This is the reason why we need to think of our finances in the broader scope of God's calling on us. And so this quote from P.T. Barnum money is a very excellent servant but a terrible master. And this is another way of mentioning what my point is today and that is if we allow the money to Master us we don't just rob ourselves and our future. We are robbing God. But if we are able to manage our funds in such a way we can become. We can use it. The money to help propel the work of God forward. So I want to spar you with the story of the teddy bear lady. And I am running out of time so let me move quickly here. The teddy bear lady. Her name is Gladys home. She died in one thousand nine hundred six I believe. And when she died she had a small funeral known surviving family and never married. She never made more than fifteen thousand dollars a year. She was a secretary for corporation a Chicago. And she got the nickname teddy bear lady because she would go to the children's hospital should she would visit the children there she loved to do that and every time she went she would give each child a teddy bear. And that's where she got a name. TEDDY BEAR lady. Fifteen thousand dollars out and. That was her Max Page. So she was started much lower and worked up to fifteen thousand dollars annual salary. Amazing. And so after she does her. A state attorney came to the president of the Children's Hospital said Mrs Home. Left something in her will for the hospital. How much do you think it was. And I want to venture a guess how much. The teddy bear lady. Fifty thousand. Is what is it. One hundred fifty thousand and one of millions of ones it three hundred thousand. Eighteen million dollars left to the Children's Memorial Hospital Chicago. And not only that the story goes that the. You know the president. Fell out of the seat. And he said. You've got to be. You've got to be kidding me. This is not right. And the lawyers a no no it is true. That is what she left you. And in fact they went and they realized what had happened there were number of children. That would anonymously have all their hospital bills paid for. And so what was going on was the teddy bear lady would be doing espionage. Going in helping the children and she was evaluating who were the truly needy cases. And she was sent an anonymous check to the hospital and pay for all of their care. So she gave a whole lot more than eighteen million is my point. So the question everyone's asking is how does she do it right. She never made more than fifteen thousand dollars a year. And so she didn't accept the narrative that she was so poor or that she needs to buy lots of junk to be happy. And the testimony of her friends who survives or said that she was a fun loving lady. She was unlike some screwed up in life. Get off my steps you know. Not like that at all. She was a fun loving via vicious lady. They said that she loved to wear red dresses. As you it shows you the type of personality that she had. But she has small regular effort over a long period of time. You and big results she just kept saving every little bit and her paycheck. And she saved for the purpose of giving right. And also the small income. Did not equate with her net worth. At all. So the story is that she was a secretary for her boss. And her boss said You really need to start investing Junia's start saving up and she said OK I'll just do what you do. If you invest. A thousand dollars. I'll invest ten. If you invest two thousand and twenty. So she just learned from her employer. And through her long career she just put aside a little bit every month in her paycheck. Investing as she learned from her boss I don't know why she invested in by the time she passed away. Eight hundred million dollars. So put another way. She learned to spend less and to save more. That's the lesson of this. THIS HOUR. So isn't frugal living deprivation. Right to spend less a more you're asking me to give up my life. Right I want to enjoy life. That's what people see so let me just mention this. If we are thinking in this way. If we're saying these things. It shows that we have been by we have drunk the Kool-Aid of the American narrative on wealth. Because we're associating living a good life. With spending lots of money. You understand that. But what does the Bible say. I can do all things through Christ right. I can be content. Whether I abound in plenty or whether I am brought low and have nothing. So frugal living is a deprivation. Well. The fact is we read this earlier Ellen White is evidence home says we should not the pride of ourselves of that which is necessary for health and comfort but just don't go to extreme a want to miss extravagances play so it's OK to have the comforts of life. Yes that's the balance. Just don't go to the extremes. We cannot make the harp you are holier by closing the body of sackcloth. Praise the Lord or depriving the home of all that minister is a comfort to convenience. Yes. Convenience. It's OK to have a dishwasher and you know how these things. So yes it is OK to have those things frugal living does not mean you have that the pride of yourself. The does mean you need to be thinking. Prudently with how you spend your funds. So let me just share a little bit of my life. So what does the frugal life look like in my experience. Right now we have no mortgage. Our house is paid off. And guess what if I ever regret not having a mortgage. I can get another one. We actually have a rental unit. So we've saved up enough we've invested in real estate. It's actually a little guest house in the back of our house we rented out it gives us income. We have free electricity was solar panels. So how do I do it is because I saved up so I can install solar panels. Is not the rocket science but you save more. So you invest in it. And the solar panels in fact it's not just free. The power company pays me each month. Because not only have We economized in our budgeting we've economize in our energy usage. So the amount of power there solar panels generate each month is more or over the year is more than what we use. And so the excess. The power company pays me back. So I get paid for my electric bill. How about that. Frugal Living it's. It has its perks right. We do have i Phones You know I sort of made fun of i Phones I have an i Phone. My wife has an i Phone. We have data plans on it. Yes we do. But we pay twenty dollars a month for everything. Unlimited data. Four G. L.T.E. text. Everything is not that you have to go with out right. It's spending wisely. That's my point. We have a garage full of stuff. We're actually just cleaning out a bunch of stuff. Just the other day I have a fancy zero turn mower. I'm actually sort of proud of that. It's cost as much as a nice car. We have a freezer full of food I just bought my wife a new chest freezer it's already full of stuff. We have pairs of shoes more than I'll ever finish wearing wearing out more clothes and I mean I don't even need to ask. Are you know the answer if you have that problem. We have a small garden with plenty to spare we have food to give it to all our neighbours every year. We have travel internationally almost every year my wife and I and not because enough of vacation necessarily but some of this for leisure but we go on for ministry and things like that so we've seen a lot of the world. All this and we spend only about thirteen hundred dollars a month. So here's a little sneak peek. And if you want. Actual budget information check out our blog we break it all down. You'll find out how much we earn and everything. And some families larger families spend that much just on food every year. You know eating out and all the rest. So we have over twenty percent giving rate and over fifty percent savings rate. So this is what it's like for us. Living what. Quote unquote. A deprived life. OK. And the fact is I don't feel very deprived. I don't in fact. You know this is our house. That's our backyard we live out in a rural area. You know you've got understand. It is nice but you know pictures can be deceiving. But it is a nice place we enjoy living there it's quiet and. But there are differences right. What don't we do. We hardly ever you know. Eating out for us is like. We planned months in advance or like we could. You know it's like it's got to be a big occasion. Right. It's like the last time we ate out. My wife and I was like we paid off or mortgage or something. Unless we're out you know. I see your some conference where we have to do it. We don't have a T.V.. No internet or not we do have Internet. No entertainment subscriptions is what I mean you know even the Netflix everyone says you on Netflix is so cheap. Don't need it. You Tube is plenty destructing enough thank you very much. We have an old but reliable car. Right. Nothing the. Nothing the write home about Honda Accord. White. Everyone's got one. We don't take expensive family trip to Disneyland. You know. There are these things that are so seated with living the good life. We don't need it. It's not just we don't need it. We don't want it. We are content with the simple life. And so some people might look at this and say oh I can never do that is it really you can never do it or you're just not willing to do it right. Are you not willing to look in the mirror and say I need to shift much thinking. And I need to be willing to be content with less. And claim the promise. Philippines for thirteen I can do all things through Christ. And that is even going without my Netflix subscription. Somewhat issued a said Amen. All right. But what do what else do I have we talk about freedom earlier and this is the critical point. I have freedom from the stress of slavery to lenders. I own my house. The bank. They've got nothing on freedom for my wife to stay home with our baby. Actually she's right there in the back. Everyone can say hi. So you know she was working before but now she has to stay home. Now if I had lots of student loan debt. That probably would have been reality. Freedom to serve the Lord in ministry without worrying about pay. Like you know already I work for audio verse. As a self-supporting supporting Ministry of the church. We don't get paid like Dr Don. Or Warren Buffett. Or even teach it. OK so. Freedom to serve the Lord in ministry. Freedom to give generously to God's work. Freedom from society's expectations of how I ought to live my life. And of all people. Seventh Day Adventists. We should rather go in being different and peculiar and living according to the Word of God Amen. And even when it comes to our wallets. So I'm going to conclude here we're running running out of time. The narrow way is the vision the Ellen White saw the advent people journeying to the heavenly saint or have heavenly Jerusalem. And you know they start off with all the world possessions. Their wagons and their oxen and the horses and their packs. And they're trudging down this path and gotten narrower and narrower you remember the story. And pretty soon they had to leave the wagons behind the Had to throw the things off the mule. That the star throwing the packs off their back. They got steeper and steeper they pressed closer and closer to the cliff. And pretty soon they had to throw everything off. And then even other take off their shoes. And then they came to the edge of the cliff and all they had was a rope to swing across the chasm. Ladies and gentlemen. I think it's time we start lightening the load. If we are adamant people on the narrow way. Sooner or later we believe that this is going to happen to us. And so why start. Why go through the enlargement of our life right now where we can start the process and again. Within the balance of what's fair process says not to go into deprivation and and clothe yourself in sackcloth and deprive your family of comforts. You realize that balance. At the same time. Being smart. Trimming Arlette living being modest in how we spend. Saving money to that we can give and have freedom for God right. And so let's summarize. Jesus wants us to be resourceful that means. Let no temporal advantage go to waste. Don't don't gather up the fragments and save the crumbs right to save it not to waste. We need to ignore society's narrative about wealth. The put it's poisonous wealth is determined by not by what we keep not what we earn and certainly not what we spent got remember that. So. Don't compare yourselves with the Joneses. The Joneses are broke. Don't worry about it. It's possible to build wealth. Even with a small income. And I think that's important for us to have the hope. Because many of us probably. My guess is we're not with we're not with Dr Dawn an income generation. Now we're probably working ministry or students or. You know something of that nature. It's still worth it to save our savings rate is the single most important factor in wealth building wealth building for the purpose of filling our needs and giving to the Lord's work. We see for future needs in order to give more and. For more freedom. All right last page here. We need to dare to be peculiar with our money and frugal living does not mean depriving ourselves but it requires adjusting our taste. It means be smart with our money to provide for our necessities So in conclusion the one point I want you to remember. Spend less and save more. OK let's pray. Father in heaven we thank you for this hour together I pray that we have been inspired to do our part to be smart with the money that belongs to you anyway. So that we can operate our lives in such a way to not just give you a back the money that's already yours but they give you our lives. Our time our energy. So that when you call. We will be ready to go wherever that may be so guide us in the remainder of this conference and also bring us back safely this afternoon for the next two sessions of the seminar we prayed every body. This message was recorded at the G twenty fifteen conference. Supporting Ministry of a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Seeks to inspire young people to be bible based centered. Christian. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online web.


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