Next Steps: Week 4

Next Steps: Week 4 Day 4

Video Transcript

I am going to ask you a series of questions and just decide if these statements are true or false for you. Ready? True or false?

  • I have wasted money on stupid stuff at least once in my life. Think about your last garage sale or the stuff that occupies your garage.
  • I have gone to the computer to check my bank accounts and credit card accounts and have been shocked at the amount of money I have spent and still owe.
  • I have written a check that I hoped wouldn't bounce.
  • I have wished that I was more generous.

Someone once said the average American drives his bank-financed car over a bond-financed highway on credit card gas to open a charge account at a department store so he can fill his financed home with installment plan furniture.

The great news I have for you today is God wants to help us with the money that He has entrusted to our care. How do we do a better job with money? If we're going to be a better manager of the funds God has entrusted to our care, the first thing we have to do is:


Have you ever said, "I have no idea where all the money goes?" People say that money talks. It doesn't. It leaves quietly and usually leaves nothing to show for where it has been.

Here is your first assignment, if you choose to accept it. Get on the computer and check your credit card statements and your debit card statements. With that information, I want you to make categories and charts to see where the money is going. Make a category for the store, for clothes, for eating out, for giving to the church. Make a category for where the money is going, and then ask yourself this all-important question:

Is this where God wants His money to go?

Now Todd, don't you mean is this where I want my money to go? I worked hard for the money. Don't I get to determine how I spend my money? When you gave your life to Christ, you gave all of your life over to Him, and that includes the financial aspects of your life.

The Bible teaches that everything we have, even our very life, is a gift from God, and we are to be a great manager of our life and the finances that He has entrusted for us to manage for Him.

In 1 Chronicles 29, David leads the children of Israel into an offering to build God a temple. He stands before the people and proclaims:

"…everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name."

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand."

1 Chronicles 29:11-14

David understood that all this stuff that he had wasn't his stuff. You see, all that money that comes through our hands, God has entrusted to our care. We are supposed to be great managers of God's monies.

First assignment: How are you spending God's money?

Next assignment:


Proverbs 21:5 says, "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty."

Proverbs 21:20 says, "Stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it."

What is the Bible saying here? The Bible is warning us against impulse buying. The way to stop buyer's remorse is to put ourselves on a budget. Think about this. A budget tells your money where you want it to go, rather than wondering where it went. When you work on a budget, the first thing you should do is:

  1. Pray. Ask God for wisdom on how to spend His money.
  2. If you are married, prepare the budget with your spouse. This should be a mutual decision. When you said, "I do" to your spouse, you and your spouse became one. Not just one in name, but one in every aspect of your life. Never, never, never make a financial decision in isolation from your spouse. If you are not married, get with someone who handles money well and ask for their help in putting a budget together.
  3. Plan goals for spending, saving, and giving.

Here is a budget worksheet that you can use. There is a column for how you are currently spending your money, and there is a column for your new plan. When you are thinking about your new plan, ask yourself:

  • Where does God want us to be financially a year from now?
  • Is there a debt or two we should try to eliminate?
  • How much money do you want in your savings account a year from now?
  • Will you need to buy a car or make another significant purchase in the next year? What is the plan to save for that purchase?


Before you head to the mall, before you book your next vacation to Disneyland, before you buy whatever it is, the goal of every paycheck should be to set aside 10% of your income into your retirement account. (401K, 403B)

This is so important. Proverbs 13:11 says, "he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."

Here is what is interesting. We don't have to make a lot of money to accumulate a lot of money over time. If a 25-year-old set out to save $2.75 a day and he invested that money in a retirement plan, when he turned 65, he would have over 1 million dollars.

The opposite is true as well. If a person has $8,000 in credit card debt, and the average American does, and they pay the minimum amount each month, and the credit card has a 19% interest rate, it will take a person 779 months to pay that card off. That's 65 years. They will end up paying $31,000 in interest plus the $8,000 in principle. But that's not all. They also missed out on the opportunity to save that money, thus costing them millions of dollars in their retirement years.

How much money are you currently saving, and what is your plan for the future?


You saw this one coming, right? Now friends here's something I've noticed without exception: every tither (a tither is a person who gives 10% of what God has blessed them with back to the church) that I've ever met says, "God has blessed me so much;" and every non-tither I've ever met always says, "I can't afford to tithe."

Now just think about that for a minute. This person who gives 10% back to God says God has blessed him so much, and the other person says he cannot afford to tithe. Hmm. That's interesting. 2 + 2 is 4, B comes after A, and C comes after B, and blessings come after tithing.

Deuteronomy 14:23 says, "The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives."

Jesus said in Luke 6:38, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Another way to put it is that if you are faithful to God in the little things, He will entrust you even greater things.

Now I want to be clear about something. God's return blessing into your life can come in many different ways. He might protect your health. He might give you extra income. He might give you a new car. He might sustain that old car to run another 50,000 miles and keep it from needing costly repairs.

At Sagebrush, we have a 90-day money-back guarantee. After 90 days of giving God 10% to fund His Kingdom, if God isn't faithful to you, we will refund all your money back to you, no questions asked.

Before I move on, let me answer a question I get a lot from people about giving. Should I tithe if I can't pay my bills? Well, I would make it your goal to become free of your consumer debt as soon as possible, but I would also encourage you to take an honest look at everything else and ask if it is really impossible to honor God with your tithe.

If you can't give God 10%, but you have a cell phone, high-speed Internet, a health club membership, weekly manicures, a boat, and you go to the movies and eat out frequently, maybe you need to re-evaluate your priorities and make some adjustments.

And that leads me to my last point about money and possessions. When it comes to money, WE NEED TO LEARN TO BE CONTENT WITH WHAT WE HAVE.

I'm going to say something that might shock some of you, but you are a rich person. You have more than most people have on the face of the earth.

Andy Stanley points out in one of his books that we observe a five-day workweek in our Western culture. Think about what that means. Most people have to work only five days to have seven days' worth of food, shelter, clothing, and health care. We take it for granted. But that's unique to our little window in history. And it's still not the case everywhere.

What's more, there are households of three, four, or more people that send only one person out into the workplace to earn money. And with that one person's earnings, the entire family can amass enough money in five days to give them food and shelter for seven days. In many cultures, that's inconceivable. Outside of work, that leaves at least fifty hours per week for nothing but leisure. Most people in the world can only imagine such luxuries.

A few years ago, I shared with you that if a person earns more than $37,000 a year, that person is in the top 4% of wage earners in the world! Congratulations! You are in the 4 percent club. You are rich! God has blessed you.

On the world's scale, you should have no problems at all, other than a handful of rich-person problems. Problems that the majority of folks on this planet would love to have.

  • Bad cell phone coverage? That's a rich-people problem.
  • Can't decide where to go on vacation? Rich-people problem.
  • Computer crashed? Slow Internet? Car trouble? Flight delays?
  • Amazon doesn't have your size? All rich-people problems.

Next time there's a watering ban in your neighborhood, just remember that many people, mostly women, carry jugs on their heads for hundreds of yards just so they can have water for cooking and drinking. They can't imagine a place where there's so much extra water that house after house just sprays it all over the ground.

Feeling guilty? I hope not. That's not my purpose, and do you know why? Because guilt rarely leads to gratitude. We should be grateful for all that God has blessed us with, and when you become a grateful person, you will also become a generous person.

What is your next step financially?

  • Maybe it's time to stop the bleeding financially.
  • Maybe it's time for a little plastic surgery and cut those plastic credit cards up.
  • Maybe it's time to get on a budget and start saving for the future.
  • Maybe it's time to start tithing.

Think about this. If we really trust God with our eternity, shouldn't we trust Him with our finances today? 

Download Budget Planner PDF