Debt Free Legacy

Is My Biblical Giving Proportionate to My Income?

Is My Biblical Giving Proportionate to My Income?

by Kristi LaMontagne

When we stop and think about it, God owns everything in the natural world and we are merely stewards or managers of what He has entrusted us to take care of. (Ps.24:1, Deut. 8:18). God makes it clear that everything we manage for Him comes from Him. As good stewards, God expects us to wisely manage the three sources that He gives all of us: our Time, Talent, and Treasure.

In Mal.3: 8-12, God instructs us to give back to Him a tenth of what he has given to us. This is the basic amount He asks of us. The Lord also wants us to give freewill offerings to advance His Kingdom and alms (charity) to the poor.

Our tithe is not derived from our net income, after taxes, but from our gross income before taxes! Many people are unaware of this biblical truth. For example, before my husband and I learned this principle, the enemy was vexing us in the area of our finances. By failing to give God the entire tithe, we put ourselves under a curse. (Mal.3: 8-9). After learning this principle, we corrected this misconception and our finances began to get into line with God’s Word so that we were then able to hear how God wanted us to allocate His money. Within one short year, we were on our way to becoming completely debt free, except for our home mortgage…and we hope that soon follows.

Once we understand that the true tithe is what the Bible calls a first fruits obligation, and that it is 10% of our gross income, we see that as God increases our income we should be cheerful about paying a larger tithe in proportion to our income. Offerings and alms are the second and third components of a three part biblical giving plan. These are based on freewill decisions that should be prayerfully made. We certainly encourage you to increase freewill giving as God blesses you with more income.

Is the concept of giving on your “gross income” new to you? Is your response “I can’t afford to give that much”? As things appear right now, this may appear to be true, however according to Mal. 3:10-12, you will find that this is the only place in the bible that the Lord gives us the challenge to test Him. By being obedient and putting God in the middle of your finances, you give Him your permission to break the power of the enemy over your finances and that positions you to enter into the abundance of His blessings! (Jer.29:11) I’m sure glad that we did!

Biblical Giving in Your Family

Biblical Giving in Your Family

by Joyce Shoemaker

My parents never talked to me about tithing, giving, or the sowing of alms. I went to church only when my parents felt like taking me. My only example of biblical giving while growing up was when the offering plate came around; dad would reach in his wallet and drop in a $20 bill, since they only took me to church for Vacation Bible School, Christmas and Easter, I did not develop an understanding of responsible biblical giving. When I began to understand what God’s Word says about biblical giving, I fully realized it was my responsibility to pass on a legacy of financial principles to our children so that their children’s children would walk in the prosperity of God’s promises.

I like what The Message Bible says in Malachi 3:8-10 about being blessed or cursed when we tithe or don’t tithe. “Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. You ask, How have we robbed you? The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse —the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.”

When both of our children began to receive monies, we taught them the principle of the tithe. When they cheerfully gave of their tithe, they received blessings. When they withheld their tithe, they got dropped from their work schedule, or got their hours reduced. They quickly learned and lived the lessons of Malachi. Have you passed the torch of biblical giving to your children? What have you modeled in your generation that will carry on from generation to generation? 
The Message Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8:

“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”

As covenant-keeping Christians, it’s our responsibility to learn what God’s Word says about resources, tithing and giving beyond the tithe. God owns everything and He is our only source of resources. Our children will learn, live and do what we have modeled for them…let it be a godly legacy.

What are Assets?

What are Assets?

by Elaine Bechtel

Deuteronomy 8:18 (NAS) “But you shall remember the Lord your God for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

Proverbs 10:22 (NAS) “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.”

If you ask an accountant what assets are, they will tell you that assets are items of value; which is a true statement. To Christians it is much more. Assets include our time, talent and resources. Bill & Maureen Sitter, in their book Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus, define prosperity as “Having all the time, talent, and resources needed to accomplish what God has called us to do”. This broadens the scope of what assets are, and speaks to where your heart is. What will you classify as an asset in your life?

In the accounting realm assets come in two types: Liquid and Non-Liquid. Liquid assets are those that can be converted into cash in 1 year or less. A partial list of examples are:

  1. Cash in your wallet.
  2. Cash in your checking or savings accounts.
  3. Stocks or Bonds.
  4. Life insurance cash values.

These items when totaled equal your liquid assets. Non-Liquid assets are those that take longer than 1 year to convert to cash. A partial list of examples are:

  1. Market value of your home or land.
  2. Net worth of a business.
  3. Vehicles as in cars, RV’s, ATV’s, Jet skis, boats, etc.
  4. Furniture.
  5. Collections like stamps, coins, crystal etc.
  6. Retirement fund balances.
  7. Money due to you from others.

These would equal your Non-Liquid Assets.

Together, Liquid and Non-Liquid assets are your total assets. This information is used to determine your net worth, which will be discussed in another article.

If you have more assets than you need, consider selling any surplus or idle assets to reduce your debts, so you can achieve your financial goals.

The Unseen War

The Unseen War

by Jerry Lintz, Graduate of "Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus"

My name is Jerry Lintz. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a team member and graduate of the 7 week small group program. During the course, I found the most enlightening aspect of “7 weeks +” to be the extent to which the spirit world not only affects our financial situation, but also influences all aspects of our daily existence. And, since Bill Sitter and I have been searching for my role as a fellow servant in this wonderful ministry, I have decided to begin a series of articles on spiritual warfare.

For those of you who may be new to the concept of spiritual warfare, let me make something abundantly clear…IF YOU ARE NOT ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN BATTLING AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS, THEN YOU ARE LOSING A VERY IMPORTANT WAR!!!

Let there be no mistake. There IS a battle going on around us. We may not be able to see, smell, or touch it, but rest assured it is occurring even as you read this. And this fight is not only between God Almighty and the god of this world (Satan). Oh no, this battle involves each and every one of us: both those that are lost; and especially, those of us who belong to Christ.

How can I be so sure of this you ask? Well, the Bible is our primary source of intelligence information, or “intel” where Paul tells us in Eph_6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (KJV) Notice, Paul does not say we might, or we may wrestle. Also, please note Paul doesn’t say we will wrestle, or even we have wrestled. Paul’s phraseology erases any doubt concerning the nature and scope of this WARFARE. It is ongoing, it is personal, it occurs in the spiritual realm, and if you belong to Christ, it is aimed directly at YOU!!! So please don’t be deceived into thinking that just because you’re not actively engaged in ministry, or that because you’re saved the battle is over for you. Now, I believe that if we are going to be in a war, we should learn as much as we can about this war, train our hearts and minds to function in the face of fear, and equip ourselves to the extent possible in order to be the warriors our Captain and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ desires us to be.

Therefore, in future articles, it is my intent to use the Bible to first educate you about the identity, nature, and tactics of our enemy. Then, I plan to show how we can train our hearts and minds to recognize and counteract the “wiles of the enemy”. Finally, I will show how we can start each day by equipping ourselves with the whole “armor of God” and then “gird our loins” for battle so that we are constantly prepared for the attacks that will undoubtedly assail us as we go about our everyday lives.

So please join me next week as we learn about our enemies and prepare for battle in a war we cannot afford to lose. (If you’d like a hint as to our primary enemies’ identity, please see I Peter 5:8). In the meantime please use this prayer form the pages of “7 weeks +” to begin preparing for victory:

 “In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, and in accordance with God’s Word, we take authority over Satan and all his demonic forces that try to come against us. We are God’s children, protected by the blood of Jesus, and we declare that you – devil – were defeated at the cross and at the grave of Jesus and you remain defeated. Your weapons will not succeed or prosper. So we command you to take your hands off in Jesus’ Mighty name! And all God’s people said…Amen!”