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As we continue our study series, the next area of life that we look at that tends to put people in bondage and steal their joy is finances. So many people are struggling with bills and money issues and there is help in the struggle.

In this study, we will look at what the Bible teaches about finances and provide practical and free help with how to move forward from today in new ways towards freedom! If you are struggling or just want a better understanding of God’s ways with the finances you have, we invite you to join in!

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Close up view of the income tax return

A friend of mine asked me if they should tithe off of their income tax return the other day. It’s a question I usually hear every year so here’s my quick thoughts in case you wondering….

If you tithe off of your “take home” salary, then yes. This is finances coming back to you that you have not tithed on yet.

If you are like me and pay off you gross salary, then you have already tithed off those funds. For us, we still like to take a predetermined amount of the return and offer it as an offering and find areas to do acts in the area of generosity. It keeps us giving with a joyful heart and helps combat the desire of selfishness to try to just do things for ourselves.

(We tithe off our gross pay because we want to pay God first instead of paying the government first and then God gets His cut off the left overs.)

Now, let’s back up to explain some things for those who may be reading this.

Tithing is a Biblical command of giving back to God 10% of what He gives to us. It is to honor Him, follow Him, and help keep us from putting our hope and confidence in money instead of the one who provides for us. Anything that we give above the 10% is called an offering which we do as God leads on top of the tithe.

Some believe tithing is an Old Testament practice that was fulfilled with Jesus and no longer applies. What does apply (in this view) is that we are to give as God leads as we seek Him instead of following the command of the tithe. I can see how some would view things this way and I don’t beat up that view. However, if this is your view, then the answer on your income tax would be to pray over your income tax (as you do all your income) on what God would have you to give instead of just running out to buy a flat screen TV you have had your eye on.

Both ways, we should be mindfully seeking God on how we should be stewards on our finances and what part we play in providing resources to the work of the Church.

Blessings,

Pastor Tom Hypes
tsflife.com

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In the fourth installment of our study on areas that block us from experiencing God the way He desires for us to, we are tackling one of the biggest challenges.

Few things overwhelm, distract and control us like the drive to control the perceived needs in our lives. It can bring bondage, fear and stress. When we can’t pay the bills, are looking for a relationship to complete us, or things just seem to be falling apart, it can be overwhelming.

Join us as we explore the promises of God and His instructions on how we can have freedom in the area of provision!

“When we look to God as provider, we are surrendering our independence and trusting someone else to meet our needs, over which we have no control. Letting go of our ‘dependence on independence’ and letting someone else take control goes against natural human instinct. We need to fight the urge to take over and just let God be God, because He can provide for us better than we can.”

― Corallie Buchanan, Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose

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One of the biggest struggles people have is how they handle their money. I hear about it all the time and it causes huge challenges in people’s lives.

I believe the biggest contributing factor to this avoidable stress is consumerism. In a Walmart era, we have moved into buying what we want, for as cheap as possible, and to live with a desire to hoard our money. I understand we are in a recession but I’m convinced some of that is our own fault.
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The third in the “Rise” series dealing with financial stewardship….

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”Amie Streater….delivers a powerful message of common sense and Biblical wisdom that today’s Churchgoers desperately need.” Dave Ramsey

As a financial guru, Dave Ramsey would know and after checking out this book, I would have to agree. Amie Streater speaks as someone who has authority to speak on the topic and for good reason. First, she is speaking as a minister of Jesus Christ but she is also talking from the perspective of one who has been there before.

As a pastor, I do get to meet many people who are struggling in the area of financial stewardship. That is not just having empty pockets which may or may not be within the control of the individual but not managing what they have already been entrusted with by God. This leads to bondage which is not what God has called us to subject ourselves to. He freed us for the sake of freedom.

As the author puts it “Our God is the Author and Creator of order and peace. It is not God’s will for any of His children to live in chaos, frustration, lack and debt…. If we get our heads and hearts right, we can line ourselves up with what He is doing, and our lives will mirror what God wants for us, in us, and through us.”

This is a great read with a great deal of instruction (some you have heard before, some you have not) but you should take a look. Then you should actually do something with it, it’s about time….

I got a copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

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I like Dave Ramsey.  I think once you get a jist of his message then it starts to get repetitive. I also think this is needed when it comes to money managment.

I have seen Mr. Ramsey speak a few times and read his book “Total Money Managment”. Now he has a new book (almost gift book sized) called “The Money Answer Book”. I like it too.

This book is in somewhat of a question/ answer format. While I don’t always like this format, I love that the questions are tough and everyday questions that real people ask with answers that are to the point and honest. If you are struggling with your finances and looking for real answers, this is a great way to get your feet wet.

This is practical advice on finances, debt, stewardship, automobiles, savings, and more. If you can make smart decisions today, you will save yourself years of struggle!

Also, I recommend giving this book as a graduation present or wedding present.

I recieved a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson for an honest review.

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