It’s My Money – You Can Have Some of It

Matt Dawson

How many of you (that are parents) hesitate to give your kids money because of how you assume they will spend it? How frustrated are you when you give them $20 and expect change, and your children think (for whatever reason) that the money is now their money?


I’ve met many parents who share in this frustration of trying to teach their kids the VALUE of money and the WISDOM needed to properly manage it. Whether it’s by an allowance that you give them, or when they start earning money on their own…we struggle sometimes because of the decisions they make.

The reason I believe GOD CARES MORE ABOUT YOUR MONEY THAN YOU DO (our current series) is because as our Heavenly Father, he wants us to understand the VALUE of being good stewards of what He’s provided for us and the WISDOM to leverage it as a tool for the Kingdom of God.

First, we need to learn is that EVERYTHING BELONGS TO HIM!

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Most of the time, we immediately assume that the money we get, we make, we earn – is MY MONEY that I DESERVE. We first and foremost need to understand that we are STEWARDS of everything that God gives us – this includes the jobs and opportunities we have to earn money.

In Matthew 25 “Parable of the Talents” Jesus makes it clear that HE is the Master that entrusts his servants (US) with a certain amount of talents (think skill set, gifts, capacity, talents) which in our world = MONEY. Jesus is going to eventually CALL INTO ACCOUNT what we did with what He’s given us, and we will either be like the 2 servants who understood stewardship and used it to increase their responsibilities, or we will be the steward who buried his talent and had nothing to show for what was given to him. IT WENT TO WASTE in the ground.

Second, we need to learn how to USE MONEY as a TOOL/SERVANT for the Kingdom of God.

One great resource that we offer at Journey is called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. Not only does Dave teach how to view and understand our role as a steward of God’s resources, but he also teaches how to manage that money and use it wisely.

We are starting a new FPU group on April 1st at Journey on Monday nights at 6:30pm. It is a 9 week group that will walk through the FPU curriculum and will cost $109. You can register under the GROUPS section on TheInfo.Bar. We encourage EVERYONE at Journey who has not taken this course to do so…it is the most helpful resource we offer.

I hope you will join us at Journey as we continue our series “God Cares MORE about Your MONEY than YOU DO.”

God Cares More About Your Money Than You Do

SERIES PREVIEW: God Cares More About Your Money Than You Do.

By Matt Dawson

First thought – I doubt it!
Second thought – Why does He care?
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he expresses the heart of why God cares so deeply about how we view and understand money.
“Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (MSG)
God’s ultimate desire for us is “LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE.” True life! Our current western culture makes many promises about life based on how much money we have & spend. However, our obsession with money, resources, wealth, and comfort actually keeps us from experiencing the life that God desires for us.
Did you know Jesus reference money more than He reference Heaven or Hell?
Did you know 40% of the Parables Jesus taught referenced how we view, understand, and use money?
Did you know in all of recorded scripture, there are over 500 verses that reference PRAYER & FAITH… but there are over 2,000 that reference money?
God DOES care MORE about your MONEY than you do.
Over the next several weeks at Journey, we’re going to discuss WHY He cares more about our money than we do.
  • We’re going to dive into Jesus teaching on why money is the chief competitor for our hearts (not Satan).
  • We’re going to break down the traditional views of tithes and offerings, financial blessing and curses, and if there is any truth to the prosperity teachings found in most American churches.
  • We’re going to discuss why money is a TOOL that brings freedom, or a TRAP that keeps us slave to fear!
There will be no special offerings, financial campaigns, or guilt trips given over money during this series. Our end goal is for you to better understand why “God cares MORE about your money than you do” and fully experience the “LIFE THAT IS TRULY LIFE” promised in His Word!

It’s Better to Give than To Receive…Really?

By Matt Dawson

Jesus said (Acts 20:35) that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I remember hearing this as a kid and not only disagreeing with the statement, but I struggled to understand WHY anyone would fall for such nonsense.

You might experience some “good feels” when giving a gift, but the reality is that most of us ENJOY the receiving of gifts just a bit more!

As a follow up to this idea we talked about Sunday, I really want to stress the fundamental difference between a lifestyle of giving versus the transaction of a gift.

When Jesus talked about giving of oneself, he would often use the same greek word used in John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that he GAVE…). Translated best it means “he did not reserve for himself.” The base understanding is that when we give, it’s a sacrifice because we could always just reserve it for ourselves – but instead we GIVE it to someone else.

Paul uses this same word several times in the latter part of Acts 20 as he expressed the “giving of his life” and the “example that He gave” to the church as an imitator of Christ. Giving is simply God’s nature and therefore a life of giving is a life imitating God.

Don’t miss this important distinction about this set of verses. Paul is describing a lifestyle of GIVING that was given to us by Jesus Christ.

TO GIVE is a selfless act of not reserving for oneself.
A GIFT is a transaction based on the value of what is being exchanged.

When we use the statement “It is better to give than to receive” and we are referring to a GIFT, then we only have the value of the gift to dictate our joy. If I give you a sandwich, I might feel good….but it’s just a sandwich. If I give you a car – there would be a significant increase in emotion because the gift is of such a high value.

But the joy of giving a gift wears off quickly. The experience of a gift exchange is short-lived (as we all experience around December 29th).

When we understand the context of this verse in Acts as a LIFE OF GIVING OUR LIVES – we see that the JOY we experience from giving has almost NOTHING to do with the value of a gift. It has EVERYTHING to do with the JOY that God is giving us as we are imitators of HIM!

The more I function and live like Jesus, the more Joy and Satisfaction I experience from Jesus in my life!

We mentioned in this series that Generosity is the Key to joy-filled, fully satisfied life! True JOY is not defined by the value of the gift that you are giving, but by the selfless act of the giver wanting to be more like Jesus.

So this Christmas season, don’t allow that verse (It’s more blessed to give than to receive) to run through your mind as you shop for presents and attribute it to a gift exchange. Allow yourself to start experiencing the JOY that comes from a GENEROUS LIFE and give yourself away to those in your circle of family and friends. Give your time, money, talents, and all that God has blessed you with to those in need around you. I PROMISE, regardless of the outcomes, you will begin to experience that self sustaining, joyful satisfaction that can only come as JESUS blesses your heart of Generosity!

Weekend Preview | First Things First: Part 3

By Matt Dawson

How Can My Priorities Make A Difference?

“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” – Bob Goff

After two weeks of discussing the major elements (Time & Money) that make up the framework of priorities in our lives, many have asked me – “so what can I practically do to change my priorities?”

This is a great question.

At the heart of it, no matter what we place first in our lives, we all want to have maximum impact. No one ever strives to be average! There is something wired in all of us that wants our lives to matter… to make a difference in our world.

Meet Johnny.

Johnny had some major things going against him in life, but he made an intentional choice to do ONE THING everyday to have an impact and make a difference to someone else.

Johnny’s story is remarkable, not because he simply wanted to do something remarkable, but because he consistently did one small thing everyday to help make someone else’s day a bit better.

Join us as we finish our series “First Things First: Prioritize Your Life” this Sunday and learn how we can also have a larger impact with our lives through small intentional choices that align with our priorities.

Money, Money, Money!

By Don Gentry

Did you know that I can make a very compelling argument that the Bible talks about money more than any other topic? Did you know that Jesus talked more about money than any other topic? Did you know that 11 of Jesus’ 39 parables are about money? Did you know that the number one way to offend people in church is to talk about money?

I don’t feel like I know much about money, but one thing that I am convinced of is that we must talk about money and learn to get control over it in our lives. Why? There is a very simple truth, If you don’t control your money, your money will control you!

There seems to be a universal feeling that no matter how much we have, it is never really enough. Though I have gotten much better with age, I used to never be content. I was always striving for “something more.” I joined every multi-level marketing company known to man. Some of them were completely legitimate business models, and some were questionable. My reason for this constant pursuit was because my money had me, I didn’t have my money!

The scriptures say,
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” I Timothy 6:10

If I am honest with myself, there have been seasons in my life where I have genuinely loved money. I didn’t wander from my faith, but I definitely pierced myself with unnecessary troubles.

Jesus also says,
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

He goes on to say,

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:19-21,24

Christians don’t like talking about money because it often reveals who is their true master and savior. This is a problem and is the reason why we must learn to be honest with ourselves and prioritize our money.

I could site scripture upon scripture about how we are to view our money, use our money, and invest our money. Instead, I want to end with the most valuable lesson on money I have discovered regardless of how much money I actually have. I have managed to make many foolish decisions with my money and had to learn some very difficult lessons, and I have also made some very good decisions as well. There is only one truth that has remained consistent. My most valuable lesson is found in the book of Philippians.

12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13

Many people quote verse 13 as their inspiration to be able to overcome anything, but Paul wrote verse 13 as the key to contentment and how he prioritizes his cash flow.

Money is a big deal but who we make our savior is a bigger deal. Do you look for Christ to guide and direct your every decision or does your quest for financial peace guide your decision? If you learn to prioritize, you can keep the order in alignment with God’s word.

See you this Sunday as we continue our quest for making first things first.

Why Is Money So Powerful?

By Ryan Weber

Author Oscar Wilde once said, “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”

Why is this? Why do the Lincolns and the Jacksons and the Franklins hold so much weight in our lives? To cut to the chase: More money puts us in the position to do God’s job. I don’t have to rely on His provision and sustenance at all when my bank account is padded with cash.

This human condition goes all the way back to the very beginning. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. When Satan tempted the two as they were frolicking naked in the Garden, without a care in the world, how did Satan frame his temptation to make it the juiciest and most enticing he could?

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” (Genesis 3:5, emphasis added)

We’ve wanted to be like God since the very start. And money is the most tangible way that we Americans feel like we can get there. With money, we have a highway to security, power, prestige, honor, comfort, stuff. These are all things that should be ascribed to God. Our security should come from our dependence and reliance on God; power, prestige and honor should be given to God, the Lord should be our source of comfort.

If you’ve been in church for any length of time, you understand and are aware of our need to cast our desire for independent success aside and fully rely on God for our existence. And if we’re honest with ourselves, this has the potential to suck. A lot.

When I was out of work for seven months, all I could think about was money. How the savings I had built up was evaporating before my eyes, I couldn’t go out to eat like I used to, whether I would be able to make next month’s rent payment, how to pay for the unexpected car issue at the wrong time. Money consumes you when you don’t have it because you want it to feel ok. Continue reading

Weekend Preview: “5 Things I Wish Jesus Never Said”- Statement 2

Let’s face it, when we read the Bible there are some passages we run across that cause us to stop and think to ourselves, “Really?” Many of those passages are in the “Red Letters” if you have one of those old school Bibles where Jesus’ words are all written in red ink. Many things that Jesus said were hard for people to hear in His day and time, and it is true for us today as well. The truth is that we are usually okay with Jesus condemning the hypocrites and correcting the sinners, but it all changes when He begins to speak to things we view as “ours.”

This series is about looking at some of the hard sayings of Jesus that we may sometimes gloss over and honestly ignore. Nowhere is this more real for us than when Jesus addresses money. Money is one of those things that we just really don’t want to think about sometimes through the lens of our faith. Jesus had more to say about money than almost anything else during His ministry on Earth. Here are just a few things to take note of in terms of money as you read through the New Testament:

  • Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined.
  • Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.
  • 11 of 39 parables talk about money.
  • 1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.

This reveals to me that maybe Jesus knew something about money that we could all learn from.

Last week we stated that if you want to know what Jesus meant by what He said, look at how he lived. It never appears that Jesus worried about money when you read the New Testament. From declaring that he had no home or place to lay His head in Matthew 8:20, to finding money to pay the Temple tax in the mouth of a fish with Peter in Matthew 17:24-27. Jesus never asked for money from those around Him and He never seemed to have a need that wasn’t met, but He does give us insight on how we should view money as it relates to following Him and living life. This week we will look at a passage in Matthew where Jesus basically says you can live for God or you can live for your stuff, but you can’t do both. I don’t know about you, but for me this is a tough one to follow. Why did Jesus have to say that? Let’s talk about it this week at Journey.

Message Follow Up | God’s: Part 2 – God’s Provision

By Zack DeBerry

One of the things that keeps us from being faithful stewards is the desire to be in control of everything we have.  This desire to be in control is driven by fear and it reveals that we think we know better than God how to use what we have.

The truth is that God gives us everything we have and calls us to manage it and enjoy it as we bless others.  But the reality is that we struggle to truly believe that God knows better than us how to use what we’ve been given.

In my reading this week I ran across an interesting story that I had never really paid attention to before.  In the Old Testament there is a guy named Naaman that had a disease and was in need of God’s help.  The story is found in 2 Kings 5.

As I read it, I became aware of the fact that God has given me the directions of how to use what I have, but I often think that I know better.

Naaman hears about a guy named Elisha and that his God has the power to heal him.  Naaman immediately got his posse together and headed to meet Elisha and have his need met.  When he arrived Elisha didn’t even come out to meet him, but he sent a servant and told him to go take a bath in the Jordan River.

Naaman had painted a picture in his mind of how this should all go down, and was immediately upset at what actually happened.  Naaman thought he knew better than God how to handle this situation.  2 Kings 5:11-12 give us Naaman’s response:

“11But Naaman got angry and left, saying, €œI was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and will wave his hand over the spot and cure the skin disease. 12Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?  So he turned and left in a rage.”

Isn’t this how we think sometimes?

We think we know how a need is going to be met only to see God do something totally different.  If we are truly honest, there are times when we just get plain angry like Naaman did.  We all struggle to truly trust that God knows better than us.

As the story continues Naaman is persuaded to do as God has commanded through Elisha.  Naaman bathes in the Jordan and finds his need is met.  Then we see Naaman get it.  In verse 15 Naaman comes back to Elisha and declares, I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel.”

The truth is that everything we have is God’s.

We have to truly believe that His ways are better than our ways.  God has given us everything we have to manage and enjoy, but ultimately to use as we bless others.  The next time you find yourself thinking you know better than God, remember Naaman’s story AND trust that God truly desires to meet your needs according to His plan and His unending resources.

Weekend Preview | God’s: Part 2 – God’s Provision

By Chris Denning

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Lets say you’re having a work event.  This is a pretty big deal that you’re inviting clients to and such, so it needs to be awesome.  Guess what, your boss put you in charge.  Yay.

Your boss gives you the rundown of what he wants, how the party needs to flow, but also the budget.  She just lays down a healthy chunk of change for you to use as needed to make the event happen as intended.

The event happens, its great, yada yada, not the point.  The point is, when it comes to the money that your boss gave you, the money that was the company’s or you could even consider hers, you’re accountable to her for how you spent it.

You need to be able to explain why you spent what you did and where every dollar went.  There needs to be an explanation for how you used and regarded these resources.

Do you feel that weight on your shoulders yet?  
That almost pit in your stomach called financial responsibility?

The nerds in the room are excited about this idea, because they LIVE for spreadsheets and responsibility and wise, fiscal planning.  However, the majority of people are probably sweating reading this because that kind of accountability and responsibility isn’t fun.

Now comes the real question:

If everything comes from God, including our resources, then why don’t we feel like this when it comes to his money?

Why don’t we feel the gravity and importance of spending God’s money the way God would want it spent?

Maybe its because we don’t really believe its ALL His.  Sure, my tithe is his and I’ll give to charity (to ease my tax burden at the end of the year), but the rest of that is mine. I EARNED it.

There’s the sticking point: Entitlement.  I worked hard, I busted my butt, therefore, I should get what I want and get to do with MY money what I want to do with it.

This weekend, we’re talking about God’s provision.  Provision is a word that implies reliance or needing something.  Provision means someone looking out for or providing for someone else.  It is in God’s nature as the great Provider to look out for His children.

But back to the entitlement thing.  Yes, you did work hard and you did earn the money by working hard.  However, you did not create that opportunity out of thin air.

And if you’re prideful enough to think you did, you DIDN’T create yourself with the giftings and talents you have that enabled you to get the job in the first place.

Our salaries are God’s provision.  Our cars are God’s provision. Our houses are God’s provision.  Our 401Ks are God’s provision.  Our HSA’s are God’s provision.  Our nest eggs are God’s provision.

Therefore, if everything we have is a provision from God, then good logic follows that we’re accountable to Him for how we use it.  He should dictate how it’s used, because it’s his anyways.

This weekend, I want to encourage you to come with an open mind about your stuff.  Even if you don’t believe what I just laid out, consider this:

What if I’m right?
What if everything really is God’s?
What does that mean for you?

Join us this weekend at 9 or 11am

(Click for Directions)

or Online at at 11am