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The First Word to Your Financial Turnaround

The First Word to Your Financial Turnaround

There are four simple words that are the keys to a financial turnaround in your life.  You need these words and they will work!

A survey of people in 16 countries found that their top source of stress was money.  Anxiety over money can can cause health issues, marital problems, loss of sleep, and an overall miserable life.  The Bible says it like this:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV)

Are you tired of the pangs of money being your greatest concern?  If so, then this week I am going to give you the four words you need for peace of mind when it comes to your money.  Each day I am going to give you a new word to add to the equation to relieve the stress and make progress towards greater financial success.  _____ + _____ + _____ + _____ = a financial turnaround in your life.  Are you ready?

Word #1 - Budget - 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-21

You either make a decision for a dollar or a dollar will make the decision for you.   Budgeting is making decisions for your dollars.

Budgeting is simple.  Spend less than you make.  

The problem is that most people have some idea of how much they make, but have no idea of how much they spend.  

It is a proven fact that people who budget have better financial success for one simple reason, they know where their money is going.  Because they know where their money goes, they are able to eliminate frivolous spending.  People who budget don’t buy on impulse, they buy on plan.

Impulse buyers spend what they have.  Budget buyers are better able to make controlled decisions because they know what’s in front of them may not be as important as what’s coming next week, or even next month.  

Budgeting helps us practice self-control and learn contentment (Philippians 4:12).

Budgeting will go a long way in helping you to eliminate the stress of always coming up short.

There are many great tools and apps that can help you budget.  I use the Mint money manager (https://www.mint.com/).  If you need motivation, training, and accountability to start budgeting, I would recommend finding a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class in your area.  The class costs $93 and many people object to paying almost 100 bucks for a class on finances, but I would tell you its worth every penny.  Why?  Because 1)  you won’t do what you don’t invest in.  You do better when it costs you something.  2)  We have hosted the class 3 times at our church and have seen on average a $3,000+ financial turnaround in 90 days with every faithful participant.  Why would you not invest $93 in something that could not only pay for itself, but may help you put $3,000 in your pocket in 90 days - and even more over the course of your life?  DO IT!

So there’s the first word, BUDGET.  Tomorrow I will give you the next word to add to the equation.  BUDGET + ______ + ______ + _______ = your turnaround!


Until then, what budgeting tools work for you?  If you’ve budgeted before how did it go.  What works and doesn’t work in your spending plan?  Please scroll to the bottom of the page and leave a comment.  I want to hear from you!

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Your Biggest Money Mistake

Spending is a character choice, not a dollar amount.

">Your Biggest Money Mistake from Brian Branam on Vimeo.
Spending is a character choice, not a dollar amount.
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The Worship of Work (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Is it possible that our office could be a sanctuary where our work becomes worship before God? The Bible shows us that our God is a god of work and therefore teaches us to be good stewards in our jobs. However, temptations exist that cause us to give less than our best such as laziness, dishonesty, and superficiality. We need to return work to its rightful place as an act of worship and seek to glorify God with every task and make our work a witness.

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The Edge of the Budget (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

In God’s plan for our finances, He provides for those in need through our excess and overage. He commands that we not spend and use up everything we have on ourselves, but rather reserve a portion of our budget to provide for those in need.  God told His people to leave the edges when they harvested their fields so the poor could glean from the leftovers. They were not to be greedy and selfish, but by their generosity they would be known as the children of God. What does your checkbook say about you, greedy or giving?

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Statistics: World Hunger and Missions

Here are the statistics I shared yesterday about world hunger and missions in the sermon "A Budget for the Edges."  Most of the data was gathered from IMB.org and worldhunger.org

There are 1 billion 32 million undernourished people in the world right now.
There are 1 billion 160 million overweight people in the world right now.
  • 1.02 billion people in the world do not have enough to eat. This means one sixth of humanity is undernourished.
  • Hunger and malnutrition are still the number one risks to health worldwide.
  • Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes - that's one child every 5 seconds.
  • In 2008, nearly 3 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday due directly or indirectly to hunger and malnutrition.
  • It is estimated that 684,000 child deaths worldwide could be prevented by increasing access to vitamin A and zinc.
  •  An estimated 35% of poor families in the U.S. are forced to choose between buying food and paying their rent or mortgage.
  • Nearly half of all families headed by a single mother are food insecure.
  • In our nation's cities, 1 in every 4 people in a soup kitchen line is a child.
$4 – buys a Bible in native languages for the people of North Africa

$8 – pays for a trip from a missionary in Lesotho, Africa to visit a village in a truck named “Miss Lottie” that was purchased with Lottie Moon Christmas offering funds. Almost every visit results in someone coming to know Christ.

$150 pays for one week of fuel in Chile as our missionaries help clean up from an earthquake.

In Zambia 5,500 people die every day from AIDS. $120 pays for a medical missions family from IMB to live there for a day.

In Bangladesh

• $0.50 will buy a songbook of indigenous hymns.

• $1 will provide a meal for one person attending a leadership meeting. Since these are rural farmers, if they don’t work, many don’t have money to eat.

• $1 will buy a complete Bible for a new believer. • $10 will cover the costs of a team taking the JESUS film to remote villages. LMCO gifts from last year bought a portable projector and generator for showing the film.

• $30 will send one village pastor to a week-long training event with seminary-educated and field-experienced instructors.

$850 a week supports a missionary on the field in Russia.

Sewing Classes

Widows and poor women with no work or literacy skills are learning to sew in order to sell goods at a local market and in turn provide food for their families. They're also taught reading and writing through Bible stories and proverbs. Since they are unable to work while taking the classes, the women are provided a small food stipend. Each woman who completes the training receives a sewing machine. Follow-up ensures the women are able to sustain their financial needs. According to project directors, about 50 women have come to faith through this ministry.

Example costs:

• $ .82 per day provides the food stipend for one woman

• $4 provides cloth for one woman

• $35 provides one sewing machine

Malaria Treatment Plants

Malaria is the number one cause of death in a very rural area of Africa. Sixty percent of the population have more than a half-day walk to the nearest clinic for treatment. A plant, Artemisia annua, has proved nearly 100 percent effective in treating malaria. Southern Baptist missionaries are distributing these plants to farmers and families, who are also taught how to grow the plant so they won't be dependent on others for treatment.

Example cost: 25 cents per plant

Education and Food Project

Impoverished children involved in tutoring sessions are provided one nutritious meal a day, five days a week. This project serves more than 200 children. The children have gained weight and teachers have noted improved health, ability to pay attention, study habits and grades. Children also are taught responsibility, and parents have reported that the children are taking on more responsibilities at home. The Gospel has been shared with more than 1,000 people, and a weekly house worship service has started. A nearby community with similar human needs has seen the results and is starting a similar program.

Example cost: 41 cents provides one meal per child per day

Agriculture Project

About 60,000 rural villagers cluster in one area of Europe. Despite the group’s size, their ethnicity blocks them from receiving government assistance. Villagers are being taught how to use sheep to support their families. Many villagers are opening their doors to allow field personnel to also teach them Bible stories.

Example cost: $122 provides one sheep

Water Wells

Clean drinking water is essential to overall community health. Most people think of digging a well, but other systems such as water tanks or rainwater catchment systems provide the same result - clean water.

Field personnel consider climate, local stability and resources, the depth needed to drill and other important factors to determine the most appropriate system for a particular area. These factors also determine the cost of a water system and vary widely from country to country. World Hunger Funds are providing clean water to many communities throughout the world. Here are a few examples:

Central Asia

In Central Asia World Hunger Funds provided for the drilling, completion and hand pump installation of 10 water wells in several villages. Field personnel developed good relationships with village elders, who shared additional water needs in nearby locations. These water projects have resulted in the Lord leading five men to profess their faith in Jesus.

Example cost: approximately $3,400 per well

Middle East

Three hundred water tanks are being provided in a Middle Eastern country affected by civil war. Field personnel work with local residents to install the tanks and are also welcomed into homes so that they may share the Gospel. Approximately 10,000 people are benefiting from the project.

Example cost: Approximately $150 per tank


Thirty water storage tanks with a capacity of 10,590 gallons each are being provided in an African country. Approximately 25,000 people will benefit with improved health for many years.

Example cost: Approximately $1,590 per tank
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Dealing with Debt (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Imagine a culture that is out of debt, loans that never go into default, and never last more than six years. Imagine loans, not welfare, that were created for charity not consumerism and an economic climate where the overall goal is to eliminate poverty. Debt will put you in bondage but God’s desire is for us to serve Him and Him alone. For this reason, He gave His people a plan for dealing with money and using it as an expression of love to others in need, as we express our love for Him.

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Financially Overwhelmed (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

Money can become such a big concern in our lives that we can not only lose sleep, lose our marriage, lose our minds...but when it comes to money, we can also easily lose God. In Matthew 6, Jesus shows us the way to change our attitude and outlook in such a way that we will not be overwhelmed with money and can focus on Him.

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