Financial Freedom Resource
Financial Peace is Here!
We will begin the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class starting Sunday, February 9th through April 6th from 6:30-8:00PM at the Pickett Road building. Through video teaching, and small group discussion, this class will present biblical, practical steps to solid financial management. The fee for families or individuals to register for this class is $100.
Please contact Mike Messina for any additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org 757-377-1280.
Click here to register.
The Hampton Roads Church is getting serious about stewardship. Please review the lessons from Greg Garcia below. To help you better honor God with your resources, we're providing some help:
- Financial Coaches: Each region of Hampton Roads Church has designated at least ten Financial Coaches to help get you started on a family budget. These coaches are not just financially sound, they are biblically sound! Check out this slide deck for more scriptural coaching on our finances.
- Sample Spreadsheet: Feel free to download the attached Excel Model Budget. A free software option is Mint.com that many have recommended.
- Optional Dave Ramsey course during our Midweek meetings (ask your region evangelist for the details - the Ramsey program requires a significant fee so it remains only an option)
- Progress Reports from a sample of families that have volunteered to track their Total Debt, Discretionary Spending, and Charitable Giving. Their progress should help motivate the rest of us on the same path.
- Debt Free Declarations! Whenever a family becomes debt free, they will share their story at our midweek meetings.
- Community. Sometimes we really need a workout partner to stay on track. Here are two suggested questions to ask as you get humble and get help from a friend in our fellowship:
- "Now that I've taken my head out of the sand, will you be my surrogate Cuban mother (see lesson two below if you don't recognize the reference)?"
- "Will you commit to reviewing my budget with me (in person) every month by the tenth of that month?"
- Follow Up Financial Workshop. On May 17th, we plan to have a Saturday workshop with Greg Garcia (let's bring him to tears with progress!)
Recent lessons by Greg Garcia launched this initiative to help our fellowship pursue financial freedom. Be sure to check out Greg's three lessons (1. First Fruits—Honoring the Lord 2. Freedom From Slavery—Getting out of Debt and 3. Generosity—the Privilege of Sharing) in both video and audio formats. His notes are also available below.
The Three Foundations of Financial Freedom by Greg Garcia
I. FIRST FRUITS - HONOR THE LORD
Hampton Roads - November 17, 2013
- How I stumbled upon the blessing and convictions of honoring God
with the ﬁrst fruits
- The ﬁrst 10 years I was a Christian I gave very little. What little I gave I
didn't do very cheerfully. I had grown up in a church that passed the
plate 2 or 3 times a service.
- Then, something happened to me when I went into private practice of
law in Athens, Georgia in the summer of 1982
- There is great debate in our churches over the concept of the tithe.
- Is it required of us today?
- How much should we give?
- Should we give 10% of our gross or our net?
Does the Bible command us to tithe?
- Col 2:13 -14 - "When you were dead in your sins and in the
uncircumcision of your sinfui nature, God made you alive with Christ He
forgave us ail our sins, having canceled the written code, with its
regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it
away, nailing it to the cross/'
- The Law and all its regulations weren't given to make God's
peoples' lives difﬁcult. It wasn't some obstacle course to test God's
- Gal 3:14 - "The Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ " The Law
couldn't save us, but it did provide God's people with guidelines for
- Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Not being under the Law
means that we are free now to give cheerfully what we have decided in
our hearts to give, whether a little or a lot, not out of compulsion or a
sense of duty but out of a sense of gratitude and humility.
2. Prov 3:9 - "Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the ﬁrst
produce of your entire harvest; then, your barns will be completely ﬁlled,
and your vats will overﬂow with new wine."
- What are the "ﬁrst fruits"?
- In the OT the ﬁrst fruits offering included the ﬁrst of everything you
received, regardless of how it came into your possession.
- The contribution is about honoring the Lord, not about sacriﬁce.
Giving God our ﬁrst fruits is a reminder of God's ownership, that God is
the source of all life and blessing;
- that God is the source of our security;
- that He js our security.
- It is an honoring of God that says, "We trust you, God, to help us
harvest the rest."
- The nature of the ﬁrst fruits in the Old Testament was both ﬁrst and
best - taken off the top, not stored up and hoarded.
- It's not a tip thrown mindlessly down on a table after a good meal.
Even a tip is at least 15%.
- It's a meaningful expression of dependence on God and gratitude
3. The Tithe
Lev 27:30 - "A tithe of everything belongs to the Lord; It is holy to the
Before it was in the Law Abraham gave a tenth of everything to
Melchizedek (Gen 14:17-20)
Honoring God with our ﬁrst fruits is a principle that should not be
ignored by us.
- Tithing requires calculation. It causes us to assess God's goodness to us
and literally count our blessings, thanking Him for His generosity.
- In Mai 3:8-12 God gives us a divine invitation to test His promise to
"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
In tithes and offerings.
You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because you are
robbing me. Bring the whole tithe Into the storehouse, that there may be food In
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 you will not have
room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines
in your ﬁelds will not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty.
Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful
land, says the Lord Almighty."
- Robbing God is robbing yourself of God's blessing and, worse than that,
it becomes a bitter root that weakens our faith and commitment to Him, often
resulting in our leaving God.
- The hardest thing for people to turn over to the Lordship of Christ is
their money and, it is the ﬁrst thing they take back when they start to slip in
On the wall of President Lyndon Johnson's White House ofﬁce hung a
framed letter written by General Sam Houston to Johnson's great grandfather,
George W. Baines, more than 100 years earlier.
- Baines had studied the Bible with Gen. Houston
- When Gen Houston was baptized, without any provocation, he
offered to pay half the local minister's salary.
When asked why, he said "My pocketbook was baptized too."
4. It's a principle of life: You receive in accordance with what you give.
If you give of yourself to others, others will give of themselves to you
(not necessarily the same "others").
If you're generous generosity will be bestowed on you.
If you're cheap the world will be cheap with you.
We get what we expect, not what we want.
2 Cor 9:6-11 -
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and
whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that
o In all things
o At all times
o Having all that you need
o You will abound in every good work."
It is God who "supplies and increases our store of seed and enlarges
the harvest of our righteousness."
- We are "made rich in every way so that:
o We can be generous on every occasion, and
o Through us our generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
2 Cor 8:1-7- We give in response to the grace of God that is
extended to us.
- Out of the most severe trial
- their overﬂowing joy
- and extreme poverty
- welled up into rich generosity
- For I testify that they gave as much as they were able
- and even beyond their ability
• Entirely on their own,
- they urgently pleaded with us
-for the privilege of sharing
- in this service to the saints.
-bring to completion this act of grace
-excel in this grace of giving.
Luke 21:1-4 - The Widow's Offering
- This poor widow gave what she couldn't logically afford to give.
- Jesus reserved his praise for those who gave extravagantly.
- The Bible never applauds an Accumulator.
- Over and over again God's praise is reserved for the Giver.
Jesus chose Judas to be treasurer. There's a message there.
In Matt 6:19-21 Jesus tells us not to collect for ourselves treasures on
earth for where your treasure is there your heart will be also. By the same
token, where our treasure isn't shows where our hearts aren't.
Where is your heart?
Is Jesus Lord of your money?
Did your pocketbook get baptized when you did?
Do you really want to run the risk of robbing God?
II. FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY - GETTING OUT OF DEBT
Prov 22:7 - "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower Is a slave to the lender."
We live in a debtor society. Our economy is based on debt.
But we presume upon the future whenever we borrow money.
Compounding Interest or Dividends:
o Works for us with savings, but works against us even worse with
o Depending on the interest rate, it takes anywhere from 19 - 22
years to pay down half the principal on a 30 year mortgage.
o Adding 5% to your payment every month knocks off almost 4 years.
Most credit problems are related to poor money management, not
o My mother taught me most of what I know about staying out of
debt and she never got past the 3rd grade!
o It doesn't matter what you make; anyone can be out of debt and in
good shape ﬁnancially if they manage their money well.
o Have you always earned what you earn now? Live as if you earned
What is debt?
Why do we go into debt?
o Enjoy now and pay for it later
o Easy monthly payments
o We assume we'll always earn at least as much as we earn when we
borrow the money; or we assume the asset collateralizing the debt
will always be worth at least the amount of the debt and that you
can always sell it.
o Limits our choices later in life
o "Everybody borrows for that "
"Good debt" vs "Bad debt"
o Investment property debt
o Home mortgages
o Business debt
o Consumer debt
o Credit card debt
o Student loan debt
In my way of looking at things, there is no "good debt". That doesn't
mean you should never be in debt. Some debt is necessary and wise to
incur so long as the reasonably expected return on investment outweighs
Ps 37:21 - "The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous is
gracious and giving."
Prov 21:17 - "He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves
wine and oil will never be rich."
"Live Within Your Means": What does that mean?
o Ability to afford the payments?
o To able to pay in full?
o What are "your means"?
o How do you know what you can afford?
1. Getting out of Debt
- Where and how do you begin to tackle your debt?
o You have to be honest with yourself.
■ Be accountable.
■ Take full responsibility.
■ Decide how serious you are about getting out of debt.
■ What sacrifices are you willing to make now to be in a much
better place ﬁnancially in the future?
o Must know how much you owe and to whom or what.
o List every debt:
■ Total Payoff
■ Interest Rate
■ Monthly Payment
■ Write it down where you can see it every day
o Learn to hate owing money
o Pray about paying it off
o Visualize having no debt
o Determine to be debt-free
o Imagine how great you will feel once it's paid off
o Develop a plan together with your spouse
"Hit List" of Debt
- Make a "hit list" of debts you want to pay off
- Tackle the smaller ones ﬁrst and cross them out as you pay them
- Decide to apply every extra dollar (after honoring God with the
"ﬁrst fruits of all that comes into your possession") to paying down
- Learn to enjoy paying off your debts more than you enjoy
spending money on anything
- Stop adding to your debt
-Apply all extra income to debt repayment before you spend the
- "Discretionary Income"
- Figure out how much discretionary income you have each month
to apply to debt reduction.
-Free up discretionary income to attack your debt
Easier to do than it sounds.
- Don't over-complicate it.
- This is basic, simple math.
- If poor, uneducated immigrants can do it anybody can.
o Attack debt with laser focus
o Stop adding to your debt
o Plug the leaks in your boat
o Stop using credit cards
o Think outside the box
o Consider selling stuff, downsizing, cutting out cable, etc
o Become very conscious of every expense. There are no "sacred
cows" except the Lord your God.
o Live like an immigrant in this country
o Examine all your spending and entertainment/dining out expenses
o Pay off debts in order: smallest ones ﬁrst/highest interest rates
o Get an accountability partner
o Use the envelope cash method if necessary
o You have to stop following the herd
o The goal is to have no ﬁxed monthly payments
Celebrate your victories
Do the "happy dance"
Do something special and fun
Don't go overboard
Remember that this is all short term and temporary. As Dave Ramsey
says, "Live like nobody else so that you can live like nobody else."
o Minimize student loan borrowing.
o Don't accept credit card applications.
o Honor God with whatever comes into your possession.
o You may not have taxable income but you still have discretionary
o Carry a little notebook with you and write down everything you
spend money on.
o Debit cards make it easier for us to spend without keeping track of
what we spend.
o Learn while you're young and have little or no money. It will serve
you very well when you graduate.
3. Recent Graduates
o Put God ﬁrst with your money.
o Don't buy a new car without lots of advice from qualiﬁed advisors.
o Get on a plan to pay off your student loans.
o Get lots of advice from qualiﬁed advisors before buying a home.
4. Newly Married
o Determine together to honor God ﬁrst with your money.
o Pay off consumer debt.
o Figure out which of you is better at managing money. Make that
person the "FDD" - Financial Designated Driver.
o Watch your lifestyle spending:
■ Eating out
■ New clothes
o Learn to be a smart shopper. Do your research.
5. For Everyone
o Don't save until all consumer debt is paid off.
o Pay ahead on all long term debts.
■ Guaranteed return on investment.
o Buy used cars.
o Don't fall for 0% ﬁnancing deals, or "x days, same as cash".
o Know what the interest rate is on all debts.
o Pay cash or pay off quickly.
o Learn to save up for what you want. You'll enjoy it better knowing
it's paid for.
o Don't make any investments or go into business without good,
competent advice for qualiﬁed advisors.
o Never borrow from other disciples.
o Don't go into business with disciples without lots of advice.
o Always pay your bills on time or ahead of time.
o Know what you put on your credit card and pay off in full each
■ It's the misuse of credit cards that's bad.
■ Credit cards can be a great convenience.
o Resist the peer pressure to spend.
■ Peer pressure in the church.
6. Financial Contentment:
o Looking back without regret
o Looking at the present without envy
o Looking at the future without fear
Phil 4:11 -12 - " .for I have learned to be content whatever the
o / know what it is to be In need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
o I have learned the secret of being content in any and every
situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in
III. GENEROSITY -THE PRIVILEGE OF SHARING
2 Cor 8:1-7
"And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overﬂowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord's people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves ﬁrst of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving."
"You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."
2 Cor 9:13
"Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else."
Are you a "Giver" or a 'Taker"?
- Giver/Taker Program Exercise
- Giving is a lifestyle, a way of living that enables you to hold all that
you own with an open, generous hand and without attachment.
- Giving makes no sense to the world.
Become known for your generosity with others
Prov 11:24 - One man gives freely, yet gains even more. A generous
man will prosper.
Luke 6:38 - Give and it will be given to you....
- Not just talking about the contribution.
God's generosity with us demands that we respond in kind
Be creative with your generosity
1 Tim 6:17 - "Command those who are rich in this present world:
- Not to be arrogant
- Nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain,
- But to put their hope in God,
- Who richly provides us with everything
- For our enjoyment"
1 Tim 6:18-19 - "Command them (the rich) to:
- Do good,
- To be rich in good deeds, and
- To be generous and willing to share.
- In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a ﬁrm foundation
for the coming age as a ﬁrm foundation for the coming age, so that they
may take hold of the life that is truly life."