Scripture Text: Genesis 39:2-6; 41:47-54
Memory Verse: “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.” Proverbs 18:20
Lesson Aim: To provide biblical principles for maintaining financial health.
The last three lessons have given us a great introduction to God’s divine provision, giving His way, and defeating debt. Becoming and staying financially healthy will be an ongoing challenge, but it is achievable and sustainable.
Here are 10 principles that should guide us:
- Principle 1—Give everything back to God. It all belongs to Him. Daily surrender everything that God entrusted to you back to Him.
- Principle 2—Give faithfully, honestly, and cheerfully to God’s work. You cannot out give God.
- Principle 3—Develop a budget and live by it. Budgeting controls expenses. It enables you to handle money objectively.
- Principle 4—Avoid borrowing, use credit wisely, get out and stay out of debt.
- Principle 5—Save. Saving is a vital part of wise biblical stewardship. Save, but don’t hoard.
- Principle 6—Learn to be content. “Contentment is an inner confidence, based on knowing the perfect character of God and trusting in his wise provision.”1
- Principle 7—Guard against envy, greed, and materialism. Envy is the opposite of contentment and is destructive. Greed denies the adequacy of God’s provision. Materialism has become the norm, “thing-worship”.
- Principle 8—Have the right motives. The two healthy motives for wanting to live by biblical financial principles are love and accountability. Because we love God, we want to live the way that pleases Him. Our love for Him should motivate us to manage His resources wisely. Accountability is important when we consider eternity. What will we say when God asks us to account for what he has given us, the gifts of time, resources, and responsibility?
- Principle 9—Plan. Have short-term (one year), medium-term (two to five years), and long-term plans (over five years), whether it’s spending or saving (the two go together). If you don’t take the time to calculate the cost of goals, you will have no idea how to prepare for them.
- Principle 10—Ask for guidance. People and plans fail for lack of counsel (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22).
Be mindful that it takes time, effort and diligent application of these principles to achieve and remain financially healthy. God will honor our sacrifice and commitment. He is faithful.
Another very important factor that may be more powerful than any one of these principles alone is understanding the power of what we say. You must take authority over your finances. Jesus has given us the authority to use His Name. It is a process, but you can speak to your finances and command them to come in line with God’s Word in Jesus’ Name! You can declare that all “your” finances belong to God. You can declare that you are content. You can command yourself to save and spend wisely. Claim the promises! If you match your actions with your declarations, you can achieve and maintain financial health.
Interact with God’s Word:
- Joseph is an excellent example of good stewardship. and prosperity. Discuss the qualities that made Joseph prosperous. Genesis 39:2-6
- Summarize the application of Principles 1-4 based on the discussions from Lessons 3 through 5. Job 41:11; Luke 6:38; Proverbs 27:23-24; 22:7
- Consider Principles 5 and 9. Discuss the examples in Scripture that affirm saving and planning? Genesis 41:46-57; Proverbs 6:6-8; Luke 14:28-32; Proverbs 3:5-6
- Read 1 Timothy 6:6-11. How does this Scripture address Principles 6-8?
- Although application of these 10 principles is practical and good, discuss the necessity and benefit of taking authority over financial issues, by speaking and declaring God’s will according to Scripture. Romans 4:17