New Hope Notes
It's Tme To Get A New Purse
Pastor Joe Sangl
I’m so excited to be back with you [from Georgia]! It’s incredible to be able to meet people year after year and hear the updates in your journeys through life—and to talk about your finances and everything with that, as well.
Today, we’ll be talking about purses and how important it is to get a new purse. It will be awesome and fun—so let’s dive into scripture and see what that means! In the Old Testament book of Haggai, we read his prophecy and see how we can use that to improve our finances (taking it to the next level), making sure they stay in alignment with His word!
Haggai 1:1-11 NIV says, “1In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest: 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’
3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’ 5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.’
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored’ says the Lord. 9 ‘You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.’”
Have you ever bought something and had high hopes for it, but it didn’t work as it had been advertised, or as you expected? That happened to me several times:
About four years ago, my wife and I decided to build our dream house; so, to save money, I decided that since our appliances had served us well for 17 years, we should use our old appliances in the new house! My wife voted against it, and I found myself at the appliance store.
Let me tell you, technology has happened to appliances over the last 17 years! I immediately went to the scratch and dent section (a.k.a.) the low price section of the store, and my bride stopped at the front of the store! So we ended up buying a new washer and dryer—they were unbelievable! You can hook them up to your Wi-Fi; and, check on them with your app! When the laundry is done, they sing or play a little song for you. There’s just one problem with the dryer: About three months after we bought it, it broken down and wouldn’t dry! We got it fixed, and it broke again! We were frustrated because the dryer had a lot of accolades and great consumer ratings—but it could not do the one thing that it was intended for!
That made me think about purses: Purses were made to hold stuff, but if it has holes in it and things fall out, I don’t care what label is on it, or how expensive it is, it has lost its primary purpose! For those who have purses with holes in it, I want to talk with you about how to fix it. For those whose purses are doing well, I want to talk with you about how to preserve it and keep it that way!
Pastor Jon Burgess said that in order to have a great 2019 in our faith, finances, and future, we must make sure that we are equipped to manage the resources that God has given us!
There are some key things mentioned in Haggai 1:5-7, NIV: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little…You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.’ 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. ”
I went to college without a financial plan; but they had a plan for me: They introduced me to Sallie Mae: I rang it up—a long?term relationship started right there! Then I bought a car, and graduated college. I was so excited. And I bought a new car and even financed the sales tax; then, because I'm a guy, I felt I needed a truck, so I bought a truck, financed it 100 percent—all these debts were bleeding my life every month! I was cutting more holes in the purse.
The Lord blessed me with more income, but it was just falling out the bottom because I made more brilliant decisions—credit cards, student loans, car and truck debts—then, we decided to buy a house! We scraped together the down payment, and had this monster payment due every month! And, we needed furniture, so we bought it on a 24?month?same?as?cash basis!
My actions led me to great financial stress; it cost me my sleep; it challenged my relationships in my marriage and with others; and the ability to seek God for the dreams for my life. All because when you're broke, you have no breathing room! It's difficult to seek God for the calling in your life, because when He tells you to start a business, you'll argue: “That's not possible!” It’s time you must...
1. CONSIDER YOUR ACTIONS
Haggai is saying, “Take a look at your actions. What are the results? What’s the effect? Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai says this twice—the cause and effect. He said that the reason the purse has holes is because the people were not prioritizing the Lord; that when you put God first in your life, it changes the way you approach life. So, when I looked at my actions, I realized that I could identify with what Haggai was saying: We planted much but harvested little; we earned wages but put them in a purse with holes in it!
After we have our actions in alignment and recognize that we have great challenges happening, I Peter 5:8 NIV says, “8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
We have an enemy, Satan, who would love to keep us broke and to divert us away from God. He does not want God to be first in our life. Satan tries to keep God out of our life through the little everyday actions. That’s the reason we must make the effort to keep God at the top of our priorities…
2. CONSIDER YOUR EFFORTS
Haggai 1:8 NIV says, “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.”
Many of us have the right intention, and we start moving in the right direction; but the effort behind it is diligence and persistence! Getting your finances in order takes a lot of effort in diligence and persistence.
It took my wife and me a year from the time we realized we needed to do something about our purse to the day we actually took our first action (a whole year) because I just was not ready. But the moment came that I was ready; the action showed up; it took effort!
Haggai is telling us that it doesn’t matter how good and brand new our purse looks, if it fails to function, it’s time to get a new purse!
Getting our financial house in order requires the right actions and a whole lot of effort! What is the effort? Putting God first in a written budget—that’s tithing. “I will trust God and give the first 10 percent to tithe; and trust that the other 90 percent will be sufficient to cover everything that I would have need of.” Tithing ultimately is two questions: Can I trust God; can God trust me? It takes effort.
Malachi 3:10 NIV says, “…Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
It's a promise! And many are saying, “Joe, I'm challenged. I want to start out 2019 right and live a fully funded life; to do exactly what God has called me to do; to devote my life to Him; my finances to Him—but I'm challenged! I'm not tithing yet because we can't make it on what we have at the house. If I give 10 percent tithe that leaves me 90 percent and if I can't make it on 100 percent, how will that work? That's exactly what Haggai was referencing.
It requires the Lord's blessing! Think about this: Right actions, right effort! Haggai was saying if you do all that stuff without the Lord's blessing, it could still all be for naught. I believe the reason I lived this way for a long time (even though I was trying to do the right things with effort) is that I had not asked the Lord what His plans, hopes, and dreams are for my life; and I had not wholly surrendered my entire life to Him for His greater plan for my life. This is important because Psalm 24:1 NIV says, “ The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”
It is all His anyhow! When we invite the Lord's blessing into our life, and put Him in first place, it positions us for the unbelievable, untold blessing of the Lord, and actually allows us to have the vision that we may not see otherwise.
3. PUT GOD FIRST!
Have you ever had a moment in your life when you chose to make your prayer a genuine cry of your heart? If you do, God will take you up on it and show your calling that will change your life forever!
A few months later, I was walking through a parking lot when I literally heard a voice saying, “You are to teach stewardship; it's time for you to do this now!” I looked around to see who it was, but there was no one within a hundred yards of me!
At that moment, I resigned my job and went into full?time ministry; negotiated a 50 percent pay cut! Get fired up—I’m laying up treasures in heaven! I have smiled in a way I have never smiled before because for the first time in my life, I had the Lord's full blessing on me!
Even though I had negotiated a 50 percent pay cut, I have prospered because my bride and I made a commitment to get rid of our debts! We broke up with our car, truck, student loan, and credit card debts—all except our house. This has enabled us to to do incredible things, such as, following God's calling!If you have the right actions and put your effort behind it, it will work; but it will require the Lord’s blessing.
The Lord says in Malachi 3:10, “…Test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”It’s a promise.
Most of us get excited about the blessing, but there’s a condition: If you put God first, you will see the floodgates of heaven. If you want 2019 to be the greatest year of your life, I challenge you to put God first place with your time, effort, energy, and yes, even with your finances!
We put together The Financial Learning Experience Foundations that teaches you the spiritual principles and practical ways to put them in place in your life.