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YOUR FINANCES AND GOD'S PROVISION

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					                       YOUR FINANCES AND GOD'S PROVISION
                          Stewardship Messages - Part 9 of 9
                                  Philippians 4:19
                                    Rick Warren



                                    GOD'S GUARANTEE:

"God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19



                            THE CONDITIONS:
             GOD HAS PROMISED TO MEET ALL MY FINANCIAL NEED


1. IF I _____________________________________________

    "You do not have, because you do not ask God." James 4:2

    "Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for
    you." Matt. 7:7 (NCV)

    "You have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy
    will be the fullest possible joy." John 16:24 (NCV)




2. If I _____________________________________________

    "There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into
    the world and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Tim. 6:6-7 (NRSV)

        Contentment means:

    "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of
    contentment in every situation." Phil. 4:12 (LB)
3. IF I PRACTICE _____________________________________________

   "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows
   generously will also reap generously. Each one should give what he has decided in his
   heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God
   is able to make ALL grace abound to you so that in ALL things at ALL times, HAVING ALL
   THAT YOU NEED, you will abound in EVERY good work." 2 Cor. 9:6-8 (NIV)

   "Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your
   barns..." Prov. 3:9-10 (LB)



4. IF I _____________________________________________

   "The Lord demands fairness in every business deal." Pr. 16:11 (LB)

   "Better be poor and honest than rich and dishonest." Pr. 19:1

   "The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it." Pr. 10:22 (NIV)



5. IF I _____________________________________________

   "Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well what you need... and he will give it to
   you IF you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to." Matt 6:33 (LB)

   "(Don't)... put your hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put your hope in God, who
   richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." 1 Tim. 6:17

    "He gives food to those who trust him; he never forgets his promises." Ps. 111:5 (LB)




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                           Stewardship Messages - Part 9 of 9
                                   Philippians 4:19
                                     Rick Warren


The recession has finally caught up with Hollywood. I caught this news brief this week entitled
"It's the Money, Honey!" It said, "Sylvester Stallone's wedding has been put on hold. The
Sylvester Stallone-Janice Dickinson wedding is said to be stalled over a pre nuptial agreement."
He's offering her a million bucks a year for each year she sticks it out in marriage up to the first
five years plus $250,000 a year in walk-around money [You can walk around a lot with a quarter
of a million bucks!] after which a new deal would be negotiated. The catch is this: She's holding
out for two million a year plus a million a year in walk around money and a million for having
his child born in February.

What could you do with a million a year in walk around money? Every husband turn to your wife
and apologize!

When I read that what it said to me was it doesn't matter how much money you make, everybody
has financial fears. We all fear that we're not going to have enough. You don't have to be poor
to get anxious about money. You don't have to be on welfare to have financial fears. We live in
one of the most affluent areas of the most affluent counties of the most affluent nation of the
world. Yet when we took the survey and I asked What's your greatest fear, number three on the
list was financial fears. In fact, the more you have the more you have to worry about. The more
you have to maintain, to insure, to protect, to worry about loosing. You probably make payments
on things that many people in the world have never even heard of. It has its own responsibility.

Today we're going to look at "Your Finances and God's Provision". One of the most amazing,
incredible, all encompassing promises in the Bible is Philippians 4:19. This is God's guarantee
regarding your finances. "God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in
Christ Jesus." This verse is so packed! I want you to circle several words.

First it says, "God will..." circle "will". It doesn't say, "He might meet your needs" it says "He
will". It's a fact. He's staking His character, His reputation on it. "I will meet your needs."

Then it says, "God will meet all..." Circle "all". It doesn't say "I'll meet some of your needs" He
says all. Does that include car payments? Yes. Braces? Yes. Homes? Yes. All your needs.
Circle "needs" It doesn't say "I'll meet all your greeds." There's a difference between needs and
wants. As a parent, do you give your kids everything they want? I hope you don't. Because you
love them. And your heavenly Father loves you. He's not going to give you everything you
want; you'd be spoiled to death.

But it says, I will meet all your needs according to His wealth, His riches. It's not based on my
assets, thank God. It's based on what God has and He doesn't run out of resources.

He says "... for you in Christ Jesus." This is a promise only for believers. This is not a promise
for everybody. God has not promised to meet everybody's needs. God has not promised to meet
the needs of people who reject His Son. This is only for believers, for those who are in Christ
YOUR FINANCES AND GOD'S PROVISION
Stewardship Messages - Part 9 of 9

Jesus. But He says, "If you're one of My children, in My family, I promise to meet all your
needs."

Then how come you have financial needs. How come I know people who are believers who have
financial needs? Did God fail? Did He lie? Exaggerate? No.

With every promise there is a premise. There are conditions, requirements. There are things
God says, "I'll do my part and you do your part." God has laid out financial principles in His
word. There are many financial principles -- more than we can go into this morning. Principles
of saving, principles of spending, principles of giving, principles of investing, principles of using
your resources. They are all through the Bible. We have a ministry here at Saddleback called the
Financial Development Center Ministry. If you'd like to study these principles, these people can
help you out. This helps people understand the many different principles.

There are some conditions we can look at this morning. I want to look specifically at five. God
says "If you meet these conditions then I guarantee that I will meet all your financial needs."
That's a pretty big promise. The guarantee is you do these things and you'll never have to worry
about finances again. That's exactly what God says.

God has promised to meet all my financial needs....

    1.   If I ask for His help.
    2.   If I learn to be content.
    3.   If I practice giving in faith.
    4.   If I maintain my integrity. Financial integrity. Being honest.
    5.   If I trust Him with my life. If I trust Him completely with my life.

God's promised to meet all my financial needs...


1. IF I ASK FOR HIS HELP

James 4:2 "You do not have because you do not ask God." That's pretty clear. God is waiting for
you to ask. God never shuts His storehouse until you shut your mouth. He wants to help. But
the problem is, you don't ever ask. Last time you needed a car did you ask God for it or did you
just go out and buy it? My guess is you probably didn't ask for it. You probably didn't pray.
You just went out and bought it.

"Jesus says, `Ask and it will be given you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will
open for you.'" Circle the first letter of those three words -- Ask, Search, Knock -- what does that
spell? ASK. God's saying it three ways. Get the message! Over twenty times in the New
Testament God says, "Ask! I want you to ask!" One of the reasons why you never see miracles
in your life is you never ask for it. Would you like to see God work in your life more? Start
asking.



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Law: Before you pay for it, pray for it. Stop and ask God. Give God a chance to give it to you
before you go out and charge it. You probably depend more on your charge card than you do
Jesus Christ. You're going to live within your income even if you have to charge it! God says,
"Ask, I want you to ask Me for things." Before you pay for it, stop and pray for it.

Why does God want me to ask? Because He's a loving father. Loving fathers love to bestow gifts
on their kids. I love to give my kids things and I'm a loving father.

John 16:24 Jesus is talking, "You've not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will
receive so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy." Why does God want me to ask? So He
can give. Why does He want to give? So I can receive. Why does He want me to receive? So
I'll be full of joy. Why does He want me to be full of joy? It's a great advertisement for Jesus
Christ. Joyful Christians are a positive testimony. Sour puss Christians, sucking on pickles, are a
bad testimony. They're baptized in vinegar or something.

First point: If you pray as much about your finances as you worry about them you'd have a lot
less to worry about. God says Ask, I'm waiting for you to ask Me.


2. IF YOU'LL LEARN TO BE CONTENT

Why? Because God's far more interested in your character than He is your comfort. He wants
you to grow up, mature, be like Jesus. He's not just interested in making life easy so He watches
your attitude. If I bought into the system that I think having more will make me more happy or if
I just intend to use all the wealth selfishly or if I tend to think about things more than I think
about God why in the world should He aid my addiction? He's watching your attitude. Have I
learned to be content?

1 Timothy 6 "There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment, for we brought
nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it." If you've ever seen a baby born you
know they don't come into the world with a whole lot. They're not holding on to cigars and cars
and stuff. I've been there. They don't come into the world with anything, just a little umbilical
cord and that gets cut real quick. At the funeral you don't take anything out. So the things here
on earth or just to use 80 or so years that you're here. He says, learn to be content.

Don't sweat it. Don't make it the most important thing in your life. The most important things in
life aren't things. Learn to be content.

What is contentment? Contentment is not, not having any goals. Contentment is not, not having
ambition. Contentment is not even, not having financial goals. Financial goals are fine.
Contentment means my happiness is not dependent upon circumstances. Most people get caught
into "when" and "then" thinking -- "When I get such and such, then I'll be happy." "When I get to
a certain level economically... When I get a certain job ... When I can retire ... then I'll be happy.
When I get the house paid off... When I get the bills paid off... then!" God says "No, once you get
there you'll always want something else. You always want more." Somebody asked Howard
Hughes, "How much does it take to make a man happy?" He said, "Just a little more."

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God says I want you to learn contentment. It's not, not having goals. It's saying, My happiness is
dependant upon the Lord not on my circumstances in life.

Paul learned contentment. Philippians 4:12 "I know how to live on almost nothing or with
everything. I've learned the secret of contentment in every situation." Circle "learned".
Contentment is something you have to learn. It's not something that comes naturally. It's not
natural for us to be content. I, by my nature, am naturally discontent. And so are you. By your
nature, you're naturally discontent. It's something you have to learn.

How do you learn to be content? This is the second requirement for God working in your life.
You learn contentment by stopping doing what causes discontent. Comparing causes discontent.
God says it's stupid to compare yourself. You compare houses, clothes, cars. I bought a
computer a couple of weeks ago and I was so excited about it. Then I opened a magazine and
they've got a newer model! Have you ever bought a new car and you're happy with it and then a
new model comes out and it's got a wingding on it! And then you've got to have one of those
wingdings! Life isn't worth living without a wingding! And all the advertisements are telling me
that. And you aren't worth zip unless you have a wingding! So we're constantly comparing.
And comparing causes discontent and because of discontent God says, You can't handle what I
want to give you because you're putting too much priority on it in your life. Can God trust you
with wealth? Have you learned to be content? God says He wants you to learn contentment.

I don't know why but God has chosen money to be the acid test of our faith. We spend our entire
lives trying to make it, earn it, save it, spend it, use it, we think about it. So God chooses to use
finances as the acid test of how much you trust Him. He wants us to ask when we have a need
and learn to be content, that our happiness isn't dependent on how much or how little we've got.
If you don't learn contentment, you'll never be happy. You never will because you'll always want
more.


3. IF YOU PRACTICE GIVING IN FAITH

This is called the Law of the Harvest. 2 Corinthians 9 "Remember this, whoever sows sparingly
will also reap sparingly. And whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each one
should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for
God loves a cheerful giver." If ever you feel pressured to give, don't. God says don't give under
pressure. You should only give when you want to give cheerfully. You don't get any credit for
giving under pressure, giving out of guilt. If you ever get a fund raiser letter or an appeal letter or
somebody comes to your door asking you to give something and you feel guilty about you can
say, "My pastor told me not to give" because you don't give under compulsion. God says it
doesn't count. I'm not just looking at the amount, says the Lord, I'm looking at your attitude.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all thing at all times having all that
you need you will abound in every good work."

Notice the promises there. This is the principle of Sowing and Reaping. This principle is the
law of the universe and it applies to every area of your life. If I sow criticism, I'm going to reap

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criticism. If I sow kindness, I'm going to reap kindness. If I sow generosity, it's going to come
back to me and I'm going to reap generosity. If I sow energy, I'm going to reap energy. It's
amazing but if you go to a club and work out you'll feel tired, but the next day you'll have more
energy, because by expending energy you produce more energy. It's like giving blood: You give
blood and it just reproduces itself. It multiplies. Whatever you need more of, you give away.

God says, this is the principle of sowing and reaping. Every farmer knows this. A farmer has
four sacks of seed in his barn and he looks at his barren field, no crop. He doesn't start gripping -
- "There's no crop! I wish there was a crop!" He just goes out and starts planting seed. Here's
the rule: When you have a need plant a seed. He goes out, plants seed; it reproduces and he gets
more than he had when he started. Do four sacks of seed produce four sacks of seed? No. Far
more than that. They multiply a hundredfold. No farmer in his right mind would say, "I can't
afford to plant, to sow. This is all the seed I've got, only four sacks of it. Therefore I'm just
going to hold on to the seed." The only way he's going to get anything out of it is by giving it
away. He's got to plant it. If he holds on to it, that's all he's got. But if he gives it away, it
multiplies.

That is true with your money. It's true with everything else in your life. It seems illogical that
when I have a need, I need to give. It is illogical. That's why it requires faith. God says "My
ways are not your ways."

Why did God set it up that way? Because God is a giver. He is the most generous giver in the
universe and God wants you to learn to be like Him. His number one characteristic is that He is a
giver. "God so loved the world that He gave..." God wants you to learn to be generous. If you
don't learn to be generous, if you don't learn to give, if you're stingy, miserly, always worrying
about what you've got rather than giving it away, you'll never be like Christ. When God set up
the universe, He said, "I'll reward My children when they're like Me." So every time you're
generous and give, God says, Give and it will be given to you. Luke 6:38 "Jesus said, `Give and
it will be given unto you. And the measure you use to give out will be the measure which God
uses to give back to you.'" God says, "Let's play a little game to see who can give the most."
God wants to build character in you. He wants you to learn to be a giver. He says, "Give and it
will be given unto you." The point is, when I hoard my money it's all I've got, but when I give it
away, God multiplies it.

We like to say, "Lord, when all my needs are met, then I'll give away." God says, "No, when you
give away, then all your needs will be met." God says, "You prime the pump." Why? It requires
faith.

One of the top executives in Orange County sat in my office a while back. He said, "You need to
tell business men that the best time to give is when their business is in the dumps, because they
need to give so that God can multiply it and bless it."

Circle all the "alls" in this verse: "God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all
things at all times having all that you need you will abound in every good work." If that verse is
really true, what does that leave to worry about? Not much. I think "all" includes everything. It
doesn't leave anything to worry about.

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Proverbs 3 "Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income and He will fill your
barns to overflow." This is the principle of tithing we teach in our classes. It's the principle that
every time I make $100, the first $10 goes back to God. If I make $1000, the first $100 goes
back to God. Tithing is not charity. Tithing is an act of worship. I don't give it to somebody
else, I give it to God. It's an act of worship that says, "All of it came from You in the first place
and if it weren't for You I wouldn't have anything." God says, "Put Me first in your life and
watch what I do. I'll bless you. Your barns will overflow." Why does He say, Give me the first
part. He doesn't say, Pay all your bills and then give. You won't have any then. When Kay and I
got married we decided if anybody got paid, God was going to get paid first. The first ten
percent of everything we've ever made goes back to the Lord. Because God needs it? No.
Because He wants what it represents -- your heart. The Bible says, "Where your treasure is your
heart is also." If you say Jesus is number one in your life, but He's not first in your finances and
your time, He's not first. Quit kidding yourself.

"Give and it will be given to you." Give the first part of the income to the Lord and watch Him
bless it. It's like when I give part of my day to the Lord in a quiet time, He made the rest of the
day expand so I can get more done. When I give the first part of my income to the Lord,
somehow He made that other 90% expand and I am able to pay more with that. Some of you
think you can't afford to tithe. But I honestly say, as your pastor, you can't afford not to. You
can't afford not to if you really want God's blessing in your life.


4. IF YOU MAINTAIN YOUR INTEGRITY

If I maintain my integrity, God says, "I will assume responsibility for all your financial needs."
God doesn't bless dishonesty. Proverbs 16:11 "The Lord demands fairness in every business
deal." That includes wages, sales, taxes. If you want God's blessing on your finance, you've got
to be honest. You can't rip people off.

Proverbs 19:1 "Better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest." Why? Because Jesus
said, "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loose his soul?"

"The blessing of the Lord brings wealth and He adds no trouble to it." Have you ever known
anybody who made money and it just brought trouble? Profit made dishonestly always brings
trouble. Always. You will always reap what you sow. If you are dishonest with others, it will be
returned to you. If you say "I haven't got caught!" -- the clock is still ticking. The game is still
playing, the judgment is still out. You do not mock God and get away with it. Whatever you
sow you will inevitably reap. Be honest. Be honest with your finances.

Sometimes the pressure to get ahead -- or just the pressure to keep up -- is so overwhelming that
we, even as believers, are often tempted to compromise our ethics. And maybe to do a little
shading of the truth in order to make a buck. Maybe we overvalue something or maybe we just
don't tell somebody what's wrong with it when we're selling it to them or maybe we take a
deduction on the taxes that really isn't there. Or maybe we just don't tell the truth in a situation.


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My guess is that everybody in this room has been there. Why? Because the draw to make a buck
is so intense in our lives that many times we forget.

God has said that He will meet your needs if I ask for his help, and I learn contentment, and I
give in faith, and I maintain my integrity. That decision to do what is right and trust God is not a
once for all decision. It is a daily, moment by moment, decision.

This morning I asked Phil to share his story about what God taught him through this situation.

Phil:

    I've always struggled with financial fears, but the beginning of some pretty serious ones
    came in early 1989. At the time I was regional manager for a Fortune 500 company. You
    might say I had it made. I had all the perks that went along with that. I had a good income,
    a company car, expense account, all the benefits that went along with that. But I was
    looking for more. With my wife's support we purchased a franchise in a totally different
    industry than I had been in. That must have been mistake number one. And I quit my job.
    About that same time we started to attend Saddleback church. This wasn't like any church I
    had ever been in before. It had a casual atmosphere. Rick's messages were relevant to my
    daily life. The music was uplifting. There weren't any Gregorian chants. During that year I
    began to attend a men's straight talk, prayer breakfast group and I began to grow spiritually.
    In December of that year, my wife Sue and I and our son David were baptized.

    Throughout the following year I struggled to get our business of the ground. Both Sue and I
    frequently worried, sometimes argued, about the financial security of our family and money.
    I was determined to make it work but I was trying to do it on my own. I did have this kind
    of funny, nagging feeling inside that I wasn't going about it quite the right way. In June of
    that same year, Pastor Rick challenged us to read through the Bible in a year. I decided that
    might help and maybe give me some answers. My wife and I also joined a small group for
    parents of teens that summer. That group has proved to be the greatest joy and blessing in
    our lives. After struggling with our business for two years things began to slowly improve.
    You might think I would begin to have a little happiness and a little joy at that time, but I
    was still worried. We had used up a large portion of our retirement savings over those two
    years and I still had this nagging fear of not having enough money for our family. At this
    time, I was reading through the book of Proverbs and came across two verses in chapter
    three that some of you might be familiar with. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and
    lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct
    your paths." I prayed for God to help me to do that in my life.

    Our financial situation began to slowly improve, as I mentioned, but in August the bottom
    fell out. My largest customer abruptly closed their doors and went out of business. I quickly
    sank into a state of panic. I cried out, "Lord, what is going on? How am I going to be able
    to recover from this?" I began searching my Bible for some answers and remembered
    reading in Matthew about worry. I can assure you I was definitely worried. I found what I
    was looking for in Matthew 6:25-34. Two of the verses really stuck with me. v. 27 says
    "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" v. 34 "Therefore do not worry

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   about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its
   own."

   OK God, I think I'm beginning to understand but I need Your help. My wife and I prayed.
   We asked God what we should do. We decided that I would seek employment with a
   company that would provide a regular paycheck. So after three years of turmoil and struggle
   and spiritual growth, I went to Paradise. Not the one you're thinking about -- not heaven. I
   accepted a position with Paradise Printing and though that God had at last answered my
   prayers for financial stability. However, He wasn't answering the owner's prayers. After
   three months as a prelude to that company filing bankruptcy, a number of us were laid off.
   Now I was faced with what is perhaps one of the greatest fears most of us have faced in the
   last few years. In the middle of a deep recession I was unemployed. I'd never been in that
   position before. I was beginning to feel as though I had failed my family. Thank goodness,
   God has given me a loving and understanding wife and we had our small group who rallied
   around us, loved us, and prayed for us.

   After about four months of searching for a job a neighbor offered to help. He worked for a
   large telecommunications company and asked me to fax my resume to a contact that he had
   in their human resources department. The only experience I had in telecommunications was
   using the phone. But I did appreciate his offer to help and I did fax my resume. I went
   through two weeks of interviews, each step of the way I was surprised they were continuing
   to talk to me. Then at the end of that two weeks, they really shocked me and offered me a
   job.

   At this point you might be thinking that all was well but it wasn't. God was testing me. He
   wanted to know if I was going to trust Him completely or was I going to take things into my
   own hands as I had done before. My fear of providing for my family caused me to do
   exactly that. I took back my trust in God. Last week you may remember Pastor Rick saying
   that we'll never look as good as we look on our resume. I looked better than I should have
   on my resume. I lied. I lied about my educational background. I don't have a college
   degree, even though in past positions I had negotiated very successfully many business deals
   with individuals who had a bachelor's and master's degrees. I don't have one and I said I had.
   Everything else on my resume was 100% correct and accurate, but throughout this interview
   process, the fact that I had lied about that one thing, caused me to have great difficulty
   sleeping. That had to be major because one thing I do real well is sleep. I sought the counsel
   of Pastor Bryan Thatcher and we reviewed the situation in light of God's word and we
   prayed about it and then I did what I knew I had to do. I called the individual that was to
   have been my boss and told him what I had done. He said he would have to get back to me
   but he sounded like he still wanted me to work for them so I had some hope. The next day
   my contact from their human resources department called, told me they were withdrawing
   the job offer.

   What did I learn from this? Thankfully, I learned a lot. Just as Rick just said my decision to
   trust God is not a one time decision. It has to be a daily decision. Even though I knew that
   God promises to provide for me and my family I lost sight of that and took things into my
   own hands. I compromised my integrity in order to try to provide for my family on my own.

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    God will meet my family's needs and He has many, many times. But not if I lack integrity in
    my daily life. On our refrigerator door we have a quote from Hudson Taylor "God's work
    done God's way will never lack God's supply." I know now that is very, very true. Without
    the love and support of my wife and children and Saddleback church family, I never could
    have made it through these past four years. Our small group, the godly men I am privileged
    to call my friends, our pastoral staff, many, many others were invaluable to me during these
    difficult times. Rick Muchow was and he probably doesn't even know it. The Sunday after
    they withdrew that job offer one of the songs Rick chose for us to sing was "He who began a
    good work." My wife Sue and I sang that out loud, tears rolling down our cheeks, our arms
    around each other, confident that God would do as He promises and He would be faithful to
    complete that work that He has started in me.

    This isn't really the end of my testimony. God's not finished with me yet. I know there will
    be other tests. Thankfully, I serve a God who gives us make up exams. Within two weeks of
    failing that test I had another job opportunity and this time I did it God's way and I got the
    job. We're still living month to month financially and the fear of being able to provide for
    my family isn't totally gone, but I know that through God's grace and my seeking His daily
    provision for us I can deal with that fear. I'd like to leave you with one more thing from our
    refrigerator door. Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by
    prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God
    which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


5. IF I TRUST HIM WITH MY LIFE

Matthew 6:33 "Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well what you need and he will
give it to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to."

When I was a kid, anytime I had a need I'd go to my father and say "Dad, I need money for this...
Dad, I need money for that." Not once in an entire lifetime of growing up did I ever wonder or
worry about where he was going to find the money. It's his job. He's the father. I'm the kid.
Kids spend. Fathers make. It's a deal we have. Many of you act like spiritual orphans. You
forget that you've got a heavenly Father. It says your heavenly Father already knows what you
need. He's just waiting for you to ask. He will provide. Does God take care of little birds?
They don't worry. Nothing in all creation worries except human beings. Do those birds worry?
No. Does this plant worry? No. The only thing in all creation that worries are human beings.
Everything else trusts the heavenly Father and creator to care for their needs. The Bible says if
God takes care of the birds, don't you think He'll take care of you if you trust Him. That's the
issue. That's the bottom line there. How much do you trust God?

Worry is really just a form of atheism. Every time you worry you're acting like an atheist.
You're saying, "It all depends on me." If it's to be, it's up to me. That's just not in the Bible.
Your heavenly Father has a big hand in all of this. Worry is a warning light that you're doubting
the love of God and you always get in trouble when you doubt the love of God.



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I must trust Him with my life. It says, "If you give him first place." Why? Because as long as I
love anything more than God that thing or person or item will become a source of anxiety. If you
allow anything besides God to take first place in your life that item will become a source of
anxiety because you can loose it.

1 Timothy 6 "Don't put your hope in wealth which is so uncertain. But put your hope in God who
richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." No matter how much you make you can
still loose it all. It's uncertain thanks to lawsuits, thanks to long term illnesses, hospital bills,
disasters. There are many ways you can be wiped out in a matter of months no matter how much
you've got. You must always remind yourself, my security is not my bank account. No matter
how much I've got in it, my security is not my bank account. My security is in the Lord. Don't
hope in wealth. Hope in the Lord. If God turns off one faucet, He can turn on another. If He
turns off one job, He can turn on another. You must seek the Lord.

Psalm 111:5 "He gives food to those who trust Him. He never forgets His promises." The book
of Romans tells us that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for you to pay for your
salvation. If God loves you enough to send His own son to die for you, don't you think He loves
you enough to take care of your bills? Don't you realize that any other problem is minor by
comparison, that He solved your biggest problem when He saved you? The bottom line is really
this: Am I going to believe God to do what He says He will do? That He will provide for me.
Am I going to believe Him enough to do what He tells me to do as evidence of that faith?

The theme verse for this series is Psalm 34:4 "I sought the Lord and He heard me. He delivered
me from all my fears." The answer to your fears is a person, Jesus Christ. You need to hope in
the Lord. When you're afraid in any area, it's that you've forgotten what God is like, who He is,
and what He's promised to do. In this case in the area of finance. So every week we come back
to this. Seek the Lord. The answer to your fears is a person.

If you're serious about being set free from financial fears, it's your choice. But you must choose
to do what God has clearly told us to do. He's laid it out. He said, "I will do this -- the promise --
if you will obey the premise." I want to challenge you to solidify your commitment this morning.
Have you decided, "I'm going to start asking God more for help in my finances, not just going out
and charging it, but asking God for help. I'm going to start learning to be content with what I
have, stop comparing. I'm going to start tithing the first part of my income as God has
commanded and in faith that He's going to take care of my needs as an act of worship. I'm going
to live with integrity and be honest in your finances, not cheat. I'm trusting Jesus Christ
completely with every area of my life?

If you're not going to do any of the first four, don't kid yourself. You're not really doing number
five. Jesus said, "If you love me, you keep my commandments."

Prayer:

    Father, thank You that You are a heavenly Father and You've promised to meet all our
    needs. The ball's in our court. It's up to us to decide if we'll follow the conditions that
    You've laid out. Thank You, God, that you never fail a promise that You've made, that You

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Stewardship Messages - Part 9 of 9

   are trustworthy. I pray that, today, many will trust You and take these steps. In Jesus' name.
   Amen.




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Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma MS
About work for China Compulsory Certification. Some of the documents come from Internet, if you hold the copyright please contact me by huangcaijin@sohu.com