How To Be Rich: Plan The Future (Bill Swartz)



Sermon by Bill Swartz / May 28, 2017 / Proverbs 13:22

May 28, 2017                   Proverbs 13:22


One of our biggest challenges to winning with money is debt. What would it look like w/o debt?

  • Dream with me for a minute ………. what is your ideal??
  • Had to make meaningful changes to get there

Today’s message is about how to change poor habits and cultivate a plan toward healthy habits and will cover our mindset toward money, how we take action, and the legacy we leave

# 1  We can change poor financial habits by transitioning from owners to stewards

Debt = owner mindset     Debt is buying things with money we don’t have – God’s timing?

  • Of American households w credit card debt avg amount Is $16,028 at avg rate 16.1%
  • Average household with auto loans owes $ 27,000
  • If you have student loans, average student loan debt at $ 48,000
  • Winning with money does not include debt – mindset & financial

Debt not forbidden in the Bible, never positively and never done in worshipping God – in fact :

Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

  • view of the borrower as a slave, very negative connotation – how would that manifest itself into everyday life?? (Examples)
  • marriage – a study published in the Family Relations journal looked at data for 4,574 couples. Researchers examined data related to what couples argue about – including  children, money, in-laws, and spending time together – and then looked at which of those couples were divorced four to five years later. According to the study,  financial disagreements were the strongest disagreement types to predict divorce for both men and women.

We don’t seek to be slaves, how do we end up this far in debt??

  • Nov 1987 “The Art of the Deal” was released

o   in an era where “Greed is good….”  – Michael Douglas won best actor in Wall Street opened December 1987

o   at 19, self-funding college, second Mustang

  • Proverbs 17:18 “One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor”

o   at 22 owned an apartment building                             – at 23 bought Rovers Movie Barn

o   at 25 – hundreds of thousands in debt, and baby #1 on the way

o   “I” because I ignored wise counsel                               – SLAVE TO THE LENDER / Bondage

  • Proverbs 12:15 “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice”

Slavery implies lender is the master, not a position we want to be in

  • Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.” 

o   first step for me was the humility to realize did not own anything and never would – at best I am a steward of blessings

  • Proverbs 22:4 “Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life” – move from humility to steward
  • in book “Doctrine :What Christians Should Believe” Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears give three facts that distinguish a steward:

o   A steward gladly acknowledges that he/she belongs to the Lord ……. resulting in deep humility

o   A steward recognizes that everything belongs to the Lord

  • Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it

o   Stewards seek to faithfully oversee all that God has entrusted to their oversight  ….. do not be guilty of robbing God by not managing his resources according to his wishes – judicious money management is consistent with being a good steward

  • over 800 verses and ¼ of gospels addressing topics from planning and budgeting to saving and investing to debt and tithing



# 2 We move toward financial health by creating a plan   

Being a good steward requires action and a plan ……… Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:14-30  “(14) Again, it will be like a man going on a journey who called his servants and entrusted his property to them (15) To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.  Then he went on his journey (16) The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more (17) so also, the one with the two talents gained two more (18) but the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his masters money (19) After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them (20) the man who had received five talents brought the other five.  Master, he said, you entrusted me with talents.  See I have gained five more.  (21) His master replied, well done good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  come and share your masters happiness!  (22) The man with the two talents also came.  Master, he said, you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.  (23) His master replied, well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, come and share your masters happiness!  (24) Then the man who received the one talent came.  Master, he said, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  (25) So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you.  (26) His master replied, you wicked lazy servant!  So you knew that I harvested where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?   (27) Well then you should have put my money on deposit with the banks so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.  (28) Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  (29) For everyone who has will be given more and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  (30) And throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth

  • Each servant has resources entrusted to them
  • Each servant is responsible to act wisely

o   An evaluation occurred and each had consequences

  • the servants who took action, put the resources that they were entrusted with to work, gained
  • notable that the one judged most harshly is the one who began with the least – unusual for Jesus
  • Previously hit on what a steward is, this gets to the heart of what a steward does – takes Godly action with the resources given
  • Again notable that no allowance for how much you have been entrusted with

o   Matt 25:29  “For everyone who has will be given more and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have even what he has will be taken from him” 

Examples of stewardship

  • Not a matter of how much – Mike Tyson made over $300 million in his boxing career, blew through it all, and declared bankruptcy in 2003 with a net worth of negative $27 million. Our own Johnny Unitas declared bankruptcy in 1991

o   According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress ….. can’t earn your way out of bad habits

  • Start with nothing like our own Annie Armstrong who began raising money to send a missionary to help Lottie Moon in China. She raised enough to send three and over the last 100+ years the Lottie Moon Christmas offering has raised over $2.6 Billion for foreign missions.  The Annie Armstrong Easter offering has raised over $1.1 Billion for North American missions
  • Understand that budgeting is wise (see FPU link)

o   Proverbs 21:5  “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”

o   Regardless of income

  • PD – at $ 33k a year we are top 1% worldwide, Severna Park more than 2x national average
  • How is the richest country in the world in debt??

o   How do I start?

  • Pray …. it may require a change of heart, from owner to steward
  • Educate yourself, identify best practices
  • some things are just bad ideas – no millionaires got there with credit card points

o   16% return??  cut up some credit cards

  • plenty of books (Millionaire Next Door) including the Bible – SPBC offers FPU, next class Sep 8
  • separate needs from wants

o   houses / cars can go from blessing to curse quickly if overextended

  • no money down is telling you that you are not ready

o   consumerism – buying things for what they say about you rather than need

  • cars to coffee, Starbucks
  • Change expectations, be weird – may need new friends
  • Americans now spend more eating out than they do eating at home

o   much more expensive and been shown that eating at home as a family is beneficial

  • Just stop : stop spending money you don’t have to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t know (FPU)

o   Budget with a spouse or accountability partner

  • Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed”
  • set a monthly meeting – tell your money where it is going that month, in advance
  • agree to it and put it on paper
  • stick to it – no impulse purchases
  • major cause of marital strife – have to get this right, regardless of income level

o   Budget with God

  • Proverbs 3:9 “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine”
  • God does not need your money – He needs your heart / story of Job
  • He owns it all, worship with money no longer the worship of money
  • so much focus on 10% tithe – the other 90% matters too
  • Challenge – write it all down, everything, for a week, then a month – what surprises would you find?

o   Zig Ziglar credited with saying “Show me your calendar and your checkbook, and I will tell you what is most important in your life.” – true for you??

o   If you are not happy with where you are, change it – do a budget and stick to it, regardless of income


  • Next step – understand that saving is wise

o   Proverbs 13:11 “…but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”     things we know are coming

  • Student Loan debt is now the biggest non-mortgage category of debt exceeding credit cards and auto loans
  • 44 million students are now over $ 1.3 TRILLION in debt
  • $ 4 / day in Starbucks is $ 1000 / year and $18k over 18 years (w no interest)
  • $ 10 / day for lunch is $2500 / year and $ 45k over 18 years (w no interest)


# 3 – No matter what we do, we will leave a legacy 

Your action or inaction is producing results, and just like the servants in Matthew 25, these results will be evaluated.  What do you want your legacy to be?

Proverbs 13:22  “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”

Proverbs 13 is instruction and results – 23 of 25 verses detail what a wise man does, BUT, what a foolish man has happen

  • v 1 – wise son heeds his father’s advice BUT a mocker does not listen to rebuke
  • v3 – he who guards his lips guards his life BUT he who speaks rashly will come to violence
  • v9 – the light of the righteous shines brightly BUT the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out
  • v13 – he who scorns instruction will pay for it BUT he who respects a command is rewarded
  • v 18 – he who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame BUT whoever heeds correction is honored
  • v 21 – misfortune pursues the sinner BUT prosperity is the reward of the righteous
  • v 22 – leaves an inheritance to his children’s children BUT a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous


Inheritance is absolutely tangible wealth

  • Good stewardship allows you to raise your children, put them through college, retire
  • Good stewardship will keep you on budget ….. “the borrower is slave to the lender”
  • Good stewardship allows you to “live like no one else so you can GIVE like no one else” (FPU)

Inheritance brings together so much more from Proverbs 13, not just tangible wealth

  • a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” ……
  • how you manage money can be a tool to
  • Share wisdom (v. 1) and instruction (v. 13) and discipline (v. 18) and righteousness (v. 21)
  • Change your family tree financially but also spiritually with intentionality
  • Proverbs 11:4 “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”

o   The inheritance you leave is so much more than just money

What will your legacy be?

Dream with me again – what would the world look like if God’s people managed money according to God’s principles??

  • Matthew 6:19-21 “(19) Do not store for yourself treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. (20) But store for yourselves treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.  (21)  For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
  • Money is just a tool but being a steward is worshipping with money and time where we are

o   planting seeds in Nicaragua that we may never see grow

  • Dress, 500k meals, gospel – where will it take her??
  • Dream for SPBC is a legacy of Godly stewardship in action

If God thought it was important enough to dedicate over 800 verses to how we interact with money, shouldn’t we make it a priority too??  It wasn’t taboo for God, shouldn’t be for you.  My challenge to you is to make a plan and stick to it ….. Pastor Dave, your deacons – we will pray with you, for you, maybe even help get you started



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