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Finances Rule 4 - Savings
Publication: Banner of Love, 02/2014

Author: Don Richards
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Rule #4:  A Savings Plan is Wise     

Elder Don Richards, Editor of Banner of Love


While the world strongly encourages each of us to plan for retirement with an aggressive “retirement” portfolio; the Bible appears to provide conflicting advice on whether we are to aggressively “save”.      We are instructed to place ourselves in the hands of the Lord and not to worry about the problems of tomorrow, for God will provide all our needs.  We have already discussed the problem when we allow greed to take a priority position in our lives. And we are told that we are to give our almsgiving liberally (i.e. cast your bread upon the waters . . .  Eccles. 11:1).  We also are told that  the man who focuses too heavily on laying away for the future is foolish.      Conflicting advice?  No.  The proper focus is, as the Apostle Paul would say, is on moderation.  It is our attitude about “saving” that is important.  If we lay aside because we love money and greed is actually our motivation, then we are in the wrong.  But if we lay aside to take care of our requirements to the Lord and our family, then we will be blessed in our savings. Save to meet our financial obligations to the church     First, the advice of Scripture is clear in that we are to “lay aside” our financial assets for certain specific matters.  First and foremost, is for our requirements to support the church.     When the Apostle Paul was instructing the church at Corinth prior to his visit, he instructed the church members to set aside “upon the first day of the week” funds for the support of the church. (I Corinth. 16:6).  The Apostle Paul understood the thinking of man.        For example, if we wait until Sunday morning to determine what our financial gift is for the church, then our gift to the church is based upon what is left on our checkbook balance.  Paul tells us we ought to plan ahead with our savings for a gift to the church, so that we give the proper amount to the church “as God hath prospered” us.      I do not have problems figuring out how I can afford a new largescreen TV, or a new model car; but my planning ahead for how much I will give the church doesn’t seem to have the priority that Paul tells me I should have.     We should save, (i.e. set aside) a budgeted amount at the first of the week that we know we are to give appropriately (cheerfully and not grudgingly) to the church at week’s end.  Saving to give to the church is a high priority, and we will be blessed when we save for that purpose. Save to provide to those in need     We also have the corresponding duty to save so that we can financially provide to those in need. Paul tells us at Ephesians 4:28 that part of our duty to work and save is so that we can provide for those individuals who are in financial need. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”       Next, we are to save when circumstances dictate that we may be facing a financial drought in our lives that might jeopardize our ability to care for our families.   The Lord tells us not to be like the foolish rich man that built numerous barns so that he could hoard his grain.  Luke 12:20).  His action was motivated by greed and covetousness --   “so is he that layeth up treasures for himself, and is not rich toward God”.

 Follow the example of the ant      “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the  summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”  Prov. 16:6-8.      Solomon here advises us to follow the example of the ant, who uses common sense (without a boss or parent demanding performance) to save in times when we prosper, so that we can get our families through troubling times.       Solomon also advises us that savings, obtained little by little by hard work, is better than trying to accumulate quickly and heavily for the sake of being rich.  “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished; but he that gathereth by labor shall increase.”  Prov. 13:11        Solomon tells us a few verses later at 13:22 that a man is a “good man”  who saves enough to leave an inheritance for his family. Joseph’s example of reason for saving       In the good years when we are prosperous, our primary motivation too often is to spend extra on ourselves and, as the world encourages us, to “live a little high on the hog”.  One of the best lessons in the bible on reasons to save when times are good is given to us by Joseph at Genesis 41:47-49.         Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, but the Lord turned the situation into a blessing for Joseph in Egypt.  We learn that Joseph became a trusted top aide of the Pharaoh, in charge of the crop production off the lands of Egypt.      “And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the  food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; the food of every field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.”   Joseph gather up corn and other crops and saved it by filling every storehouse and barn  in every city in Egypt.  Then  the seven years of plenty passed, and there came seven years of famine (41:54).   The people of Egypt panicked, but the Pharaoh knew the savings plan of  Joseph and sent the people to him.         “And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.”   (Gen 41:56-57). Save to provide for your family       The apostle Paul also encourages a reasonable savings plan to insure we can provide for our families.  As such, when we work during our working years, we are to save back a portion of our labors to provide in later years for our spouses, and our children.       “[I]f any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”  (I Timothy 5:8).       A reasonable savings plan is wise.  We should have one to insure we meet our needs for the church, for the needy, and for ourselves and our families in troubling times.  Savings cannot be our god,  and we must always recognize that our security is always  in the Lord, not in our money.   --  Don R. Richards

larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)