Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 2 Timothy 2:3-7

 
Someone who is a soldier for Christ is not entangled with the affairs of this life, and they must avoid becoming entangled in the financial affairs of this life. When a soldier goes to war, he must leave many cares of this life behind when in the military. They provide counselors who help soldiers keep their mind on the cause at hand. These also advise them concerning financial matters, because a soldier weighed down by debt will not make for a wholly devoted soldier. We must keep our finances in order, so we will not become entangled and become unfruitful soldiers in the work of God.
 

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Proverbs 23:4

 
We must labor to provide for our families, but there must be a priority to our decision making that puts the Lord and his work first. If we have an objective to become rich, it will eventually become our priority. We must cease from our own wisdom, and the wisdom of the world we live in. In First Timothy 6:10 it tells us that:
 
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10
 
What is the purpose behind what you are doing? We must be certain of that purpose because the devil wants to re-direct our way. If our purpose is right, it will keep us in the right way. What are we to be laboring for? It is not just for the things that we can buy. Our labor in everything is to be for the Lord. Is your labor about paying for things you didn’t wait for, but charged on the credit card? We will then be laboring unprofitably for the things that we are burdened down with. The devil didn’t present it that way at first, it was just a nice thing to have, that we couldn’t afford.

One of the best investments today is in your credit card – and the banks are holding on to that investment at your expense. It is important to know and understand what the banks know: how interest works. Albert Einstein said compound interest is the most powerful thing in the world. Of course we know that Christ is more powerful, but compounded interest earned on money can be a powerful thing. It can work powerfully for you, or against you, depending upon who is borrowing and who really owns the money.

If most of your debt is tied up in a credit card, get it out. Sometimes it is beneficial to use a credit card, like for an emergency car repair to keep yourself employed and to get your family around. But, as quickly as you can, get it paid off. It is amazing how much is tied up in credit card debt. Today many people are laboring to be rich – but are actually weighed down as a very poor person with the burden of dept. While others are content with what they have, and enjoy the freedom that comes from sound money management.

There are principles that are sound concerning the use of money. When saving for things, there are safe investments to put money aside for. It is good to save for a “rainy day fund” so that you have something for emergencies. The culture of our country is to borrow, while other countries and cultures save as much as 10% or 20% of their income on a regular basis.

One of the worst investment plans is to borrow, so you can invest. It may be the quick, fast path when things are going good, but it will not last. Everyone should have a savings plan. Sometimes people will act too quickly in some investment scheme. It is better to not move to a “wonderful opportunity” when you don’t fully understand what is going on. When it comes to financial opportunities: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true. Get advice and be sure that it is good advice coming from a trusted and experienced source.

Insurance policies are for insurance, and typically are not the best investment – and remember, insurance policies are not typically Federally insured.

Because of the unsure market, Federally insured savings and CD accounts are safest. Do you know when this down market will start up? If you do you are smarter that those on Wall Street. We must be realistic and base our decisions on sound practices and principles, and not on a hunch. How will you know where to put your investment? Certainly don’t put it all in “one basket”. A Mutual Fund is diverse, but that should not be your sole investment strategy, especially today. Don’t just let anyone invest it for you. Be sure that you can trust the advisor and you are comfortable with the strategy. And don’t settle in on a get rich quick strategy. It is good to have a Pastor who does not have a vested interest in making money off of your investment strategy. Therefore you can have confidence in the soundness and long-term stability of his advise.

 

If we set our course based on just about things that we want, and not the things of the Lord, what will be our investment and availability for the kingdom of God? Don’t allow all of your meditation to be in the things that you can accumulate. The things that we buy should be accompanied with the thought of what is this to be for? Has our car, home, and personal desires become the recipients of our first fruits – or is God? It is good to be in a clear, faithful, and submissive position with God, so as to be secure and faithful also when the downturns in the economy come.