STEWARD: Build His Kingdom

STEWARD: Build His Kingdom

– All right, dudes, Pastor Mark here welcoming you to join me for Real Men Wednesday nights live here at Trinity Church in Scottsdale or online at We’ll try and post it elsewhere, but they’re gonna ban me because I’m in the middle of a special sermon series called Act Like a Man. If you are offended by that, you need to watch it twice because you need a lot of work. In each sermon, I’ll go through the reasons why God made men, why it’s good to be a man, and how to be a man that is a blessing to women and children like Jesus Christ, the Godman, who is our perfect example. This is gonna be a fun time. It’s gonna be super theological, super practical, and as always, you’ll get a bit of comedy. So dudes, grab a Bible, grab a notebook, put your belt on, show up, get it together, see you on Wednesday. Happy Wednesday night, amen. Welcome to Real Men. So glad to have you guys. Hey, and if you are a new guy, we’re so glad to have you. This is the best place to be on Wednesday night, amen. It’s the one guy’s night out your wife’s not gonna get angry about. And if she does, we’ll pray for your wife, she’s got a problem. Hey, we’re here to build men up to bless women and children. My name’s Pastor Mark, on behalf of the leadership team and the pastors here, we’re so glad to have you. And for those joining us online, it’s an honor to have you as well. So we’re doing a little series, Act like a Man, and this week I wanna talk a little bit about stewardship. Let me start with a scripture from Proverbs 22:3. It says that, “A wise man sees trouble coming and he pivots and changes his course and a fool just keeps marching ahead right into devastation and pain.” We call that America. That’s where we find ourselves right now. How many of you looking down the road, looking into the future, looking at the economy, realize it’s not looking great? Amen. It’s not looking great, and if it’s looking great, we’ll drug test you at the end of the night, you’re not in a sober place. As we look into what is ahead of us in the forthcoming months and few years, it’s not looking good, economy is in a recession. I don’t care what they say. In addition, supply chain is broken, things are not going to turn around soon. We’re looking at potential food shortages and fuel shortages headed into the winter. It’s my opinion that they are sort of duct taping together the economy to maybe get us through the midterms just to sort of fake it till you make it and then we’re gonna break it. That’s where we find ourselves. The question is there any hope? No, so we’re gonna pray and go to the bar. There is, and that is that God’s men have gotta learn how to be good stewards. You’ve gotta look at reality and what is coming for you and/or your family, ’cause right now here we find ourselves in the valley, We’re in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona. Highest inflation in America is right here. Congratulations, we’re number one. We’re the highest inflation in the United States of America. And if you’re looking at the economy, and I always like to say we believe in Jesus and math, and if you’re doing the math, it looks really concerning. And the big questions are how bad, how long? How bad, how long is the head storm that we’re heading into economically? And so what we wanna understand as God’s men is we can’t control all that is happening in a global supply chain. We can’t control the Fed and interest rates. we can’t control the supply chain. But we can control our finances, our family, our wealth, and our responsibility, and try to steward it as best as we possibly can. So that’s what I want to talk to you about. How many of you, you’re feeling this, just personally in your own life, your own budget, you’re feeling it, taking care of your family, you’re feeling it. How many of you in your business, looking at cash flow, looking at employees, looking at benefits, looking at trying to forecast what is coming up next year? That’s we’re doing right here at the church,

putting together our budget, our planning, our forecasting, and I’m like, oh my gosh, I don’t really want to do revelation, but apparently that’s the plan. It’s coming, so how do you prepare for it? So I wanna talk about stewardship and here’s where we’ll start. What is a steward? It’s two things. This is the Christian’s view of life and possessions and wealth. Number one, God is the owner. Number two, I am the manager. Says this in Haggai, chapter two, verse eight. God says, “The silver is mine, the gold is mine, declares the Lord.” So everything belongs to God. God made the heavens and the earth, God made us, God made everyone, God made everything. So ultimately, as creator, God is also owner. Number two, I am the manager. 1 Peter 4:10. He says, Use whatever gift, that could be, financial, spiritual gift, talent, ability, inheritance, estate, portfolio, resources, you have received to serve others as faithful stewards, there’s the big idea, of God’s grace in its various forms. So here’s the big idea, a steward says everything is owned by God and managed by me. Whatever I have is a gift. So if I receive an inheritance, if I have a job, let’s say I own some land, I have some capital assets, I have some stocks and investments, all of those are gifts from God, He is the owner, I am the manager. And so what we need to then begin with is, well, what does the owner want me to do with his resources and assets? How many of you guys, you’re an investment broker. How many of you, you’re in insurance or you’re in sales, or maybe you’re a portfolio manager for someone else, they’re the owner, you’re the manager. If you’re the manager of the portfolio for the owner, the most important thing is to figure out what does the owner want done with their assets? If you don’t, you go to jail and you find yourself dealing with the consequences of making decisions against the will of the owner. So to be a good manager, you’ve gotta manage according to the desires of the owner. And so within this, as a Christian, we’ve gotta just start with this assumption, it belongs to God, it’s entrusted to me. I need to ask Him what he wants me to do with what He has entrusted to me. And the goal is to invest in his kingdom. And what most men do, they think that I am the owner, not God, and I am the manager, therefore, I don’t need to invest in God’s kingdom, I’m going to build my own little kingdom. This is the fatal flaw for men. Oftentimes we see ourselves as owners and our kingdom as our ultimate objective. My hope, prayer and goal for us all, God is the owner, we’re the manager. And we’re asking the owner how he wants us to manage His resources to better invest in His kingdom, not just build our little kingdom that is in competition with His. Now that being said, you start your stewardship by making your priorities. Your priorities will set for you as a man, the decisions that you make. Imagine if our country had no constitution and you’re just making decisions and legal verdicts, you need some sort of constitution to establish the basic framework. For us as Christians, our priorities, it’s like our constitution, it’s our basic framework. Well, if God is the owner and I am the manager, I probably should steward my time, my talent, my treasure, my resources, my relationships, according to my God-given priorities. And so for some of you, this will be a very simple revision. For some of you it’s brand new. For some of you guys, stewarding your time and your money and your resources, it’s something that comes naturally to you. For some of you men, you never learned this. I mean, it’s just crazy, we live in a day. You can graduate from high school, get nothing in accounting, time management, planning, budgeting. I mean you have 12 to 13 years of genital exploration and nothing about how to balance cash flow, it’s insane. You can go to college and the first thing they’ll do is give you a credit card and then a school loan, but no class on compounded debt and interest. You can grow up in a family where your parents make money

and spend money, but they never really talk about it, and so you don’t really learn about it. For those of you guys who know less about stewardship, don’t feel bad, just be honest, we call this real men, not fake men. If you’re a guy, you’re like, I need some help in this. There are in this room, guys who are financial planners, guys who are investment brokers, guys who are CPAs and CFOs, and accountants, and we’re the guys that are here to help. And I think what we’re gonna need to do as well, coming up shortly, is probably an intensive budgeting and finance training class for the men, just to get some practical skills. But it starts with our God-given priorities. And I wanna share those with you. This is something that came outta my living room. We were in one of the most difficult, arduous, contentious seasons of our entire life. My family and I was undergoing a lot. And we called a family meeting. And a pastor friend of mine flew in, a godly man, and he was in on our family dinner, and we had a family meeting afterward and he asked this question, he’s like, well, what do you want? And I got a big piece of paper and I wrote these words on it in my living room eight years ago, eight years ago this month, this is what I wrote on a sheet of paper, on the wall, in my living room, in my family meeting. First thing I want to be, a healthy Christian. If I’m connected to the Lord, I’ll get all the resources I need to be connected to other people. If I know God’s forgiveness, then I can forgive others. If I know God’s love, then I can love others. If I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, then the presence of God can flow through me to bless others. Second, healthy spouse. I’ll let you guys down a little secret, I really like my wife. I’ve been married to her 30 years, She’s my favorite person. I totally adore her and I want to have a good marriage. I want to come home and see her smile. And I would like to smile too, amen. And then maybe something else. So then number three, healthy, naughty, I was talking about praying together, you guys are sick minded. After we read Leviticus and fasted, what were you guys thinking about? All right, number three, healthy parent or grandparent. I got five kids, I wanna have a loving, healthy relationship with each of my kids. And then Lord willing, when grandkids come, I wanna do the same. How many of you are the grandpas? That’s awesome. And then healthy worker, I gotta go to work. And then a healthy church member. I wanna be connected to God’s people. The reason I put healthy first eight years ago, today, this month, rather you can be a Christian, a husband, a father, a worker and a minister, and still unhealthy. You can be angry, bitter, jaded, broken, burned out, frustrated. Or you can actually say, you know what? I’m enjoying my relationship with the Lord. I’m enjoying my relationship with my wife. I’m enjoying my relationship with my kids. I actually kinda like my job. And in that season of my life, I wasn’t healthy, I just wasn’t, I was overworked and burned out. I had not stewarded my time and energy well, I just hadn’t. Twice I had blown out my adrenal glands, twice I had intestinal ulcers. I just ate all of the energy in my body until there was nothing left. For a season, I was that guy drinking a lot of coffee and then energy drinks and then late afternoon crash, and then eat carbohydrates and then you’ve got a sugar rush and then you can’t go to bed at night. Or I’d wake up after I went to sleep, my mind is racing, I’m overextended and stressed, now I can’t get back to sleep. It’s like an avalanche of wellbeing. It just wasn’t good. I was like, I just wanna be healthy. With Jesus and grace and the kids, at my job and at my church, I just wanna be healthy. So we made a a pledge and a vow to the Lord eight years ago this month in my living room, and I’ve still got this sheet of paper. And we decided that we were going to architect our entire life so that we could steward our time and our talent and our treasure to follow our priorities. It caused us to move to Arizona. It resulted in

planting a church. I mean a lot of change happened. It was a big pivot for us. And what I realized at that time, we were in a home and that home had an architect and then it had a builder and the building was inspected. And I would’ve never moved my family into a home that didn’t have an architect, a builder, and an inspection, I would never. But I had moved my family into a life that I hadn’t well architected, that wasn’t well built, and it was time to inspect it. If I wouldn’t let my family live in a home that was unsafe, why was I allowing us to live in a life that was unplanned? And it was a hard reset. I was 45 years of age and I didn’t know what God would do. But here’s what I’ve seen. I’ve seen that when you try to do the right thing, God is eager to help, God has been exceedingly gracious, and generous to my family and I. And I will tell you that today, I am the happiest and the most joyful and the most grateful that I’ve ever been in my entire life. That from eight years to today, that’s great. Eight years ago was the worst season of my life. It’s now the best season of my life. I love the Lord, I’m closer to the Lord, happier than I’ve ever been. I love my wife, faithfully married 30 years. I adore her. I have a relationship that I enjoy with all five of my kids. I really love them and I’m proud of them. I really love my job, I really do. And thank you for coming to my job. I’m now at work today. And I really love our church and I love the people in our church. It’s the happiest, most blessed, most joyful, most hopeful season of my entire life, and I wasn’t there, so I don’t know where you are, but I was in this place that I realized I can’t continue this life, I’m not going to make it. I can’t be healthy, I’m gonna run outta energy, I’m gonna run outta joy, I’m gonna run outta time, I’m gonna run outta money, before I even become an older man, I would’ve been done in my middle years. So let me say a couple things about your priorities, two ways that men tend to mess up their priorities. One, we take wife and kids and we call it family. Your wife and your kids are two separate categories, not one. You had a wife, if you did it right, before you had kids. And once your kids leave, you should still have a wife. If you put it all together as family, what happens is you work a lot and then you get family time, but you’re not investing in the marriage, the kids grow up, they don’t need you as much. They get a driver’s license and a debit card and some friends and hobbies and then you just pray for them, okay? Because they’re gonna go make some decisions. And if you don’t invest in your marriage, then when your kids leave, your marriage breaks. Some of the guys that are in the room, that are around my age, mature and seasoned and wise, those men would tell you, that’s a joke, those men would tell you that if you don’t really work on your marriage but you’re just working on your family, when your kids leave, your marriage breaks. So your marriage is your priority and then your kids, okay? And it’s both. The other mistake that men make is they think that their relationship with God and their service in ministry or at church are the same thing. So they make serving God higher than serving their family. That’s not how this works. Your relationship with God is your highest priority, but then serving your wife and your kids is the beginning of your ministry. If your ministry or your investment or involvement at church is overtaking your care of your wife and your kids, you have inverted priorities, ’cause church and God are two different things. God is God, church is church. You love God, have relationship with God, you serve at church. The best way to do this is to serve with your wife and your kids. That way you’re honoring God, you’re building a relationship with spouse and your kids and your church. But that being said, just put the list back up, how many of you guys, if we looked at your time, talent, and treasure, how many of you, this would be your order of priorities, like this is where your energy goes? So your feet hit the ground

in the morning, is it I need to pray, meet with the Lord, talk to the Lord? Or is it like, nope, I gotta go to work. When you get home, does your wife get the first and best of your energy? Are your kids getting the first and best? Do you have anything left for God and church or are you using church, this will be a little convicting, are you using church as a place to hide from your wife? See the honest, older guys chuckle out loud ’cause they can’t help themselves. But sometimes if your wife and you aren’t getting along, you’re like, if I go out, she’s gonna just give me grief, so I’m gonna go to church and I’ll hide there. Architect your life according to your priorities. Now everything in your life is important, and everyone in your life is important, but not equally important. And so your priorities need to determine your energy and your time and your money. Like you may be able to make more money, but what would it do to your relationship with God, your wife and your kids? If you make money more important than those things, then you’re making it your highest priority. And Jesus says you can’t serve God and money. Now you need to make money, but you can’t serve God and money. In addition, what I would submit to you as men is that our values are what we care about, but our priorities are what we do. So you may have a value for something, but if you look at your schedule and your budget and your time, that determines what your priorities are. And what happens is when our priorities are out of order, it triggers jealousy. Don’t say this out loud, ’cause I know the answer, but how many of you, when your wife had a kid, you got a little jealous of the kid. True? Is that just me? You’re like, look at that. I got a kid and I lost my wife, because all of a sudden the kid became the priority. I love my kids and for a season when they’re little and they have needs, they’re gonna cut in line. But at some point, jealousy happens when somebody’s in my place. The Bible says that God is a jealous God, that’s not a bad thing. What it means is God’s like I’m supposed to be here and you got me here, you’ve displaced me or you’ve replaced me, and that causes jealousy. You know that your priorities are out of order when you start hearing from your wife, from your kids, from your God, I miss you. I don’t feel like I’m a priority, you’re not present. I don’t feel like I matter. When you hear those things, somehow the jealousy has been triggered. Don’t get defensive, just listen and consider. I told Grace, we have five kids, I love ’em with all my heart and they’re great kids, but there were times in our marriage where I told Grace, I was like, honey, I love the kids, you’re a great mom, but I’m still your husband, like we need to have a relationship and we can’t wait 18 years and then hope to pick up there. We need to be building that relationship. And sometimes what can happen is our priorities get out of order, and/or, let me say this as well, if you don’t establish your priorities, the least healthy people in your life will. Is that true? If you don’t set your priorities, the least healthy people will. If you don’t control your budget, some really unhealthy family and friends are gonna help you get rid of your money. If you don’t architect your Thanksgiving and your Christmas, the craziest people with your last name, they’ll put it together for you. If you don’t decide what to do with your schedule, some really unhealthy people are gonna crash into your life and they’re gonna determine what your week looks like. If you don’t design and architect and sequence your life, somebody will. And here’s what I’ve learned, usually it’s the least healthy person that starts making the decisions. And many men get very frustrated then, and it triggers in them anger and jealousy and frustration. I’m working so hard but my wife isn’t there for me, or my kids aren’t responding to me, or no one thanks me. Or these people are cutting in line and taking time and energy that belongs to me. Once you start feeling frustrated or angry, it’s a warning that the law of jealousy has been triggered. Don’t

get angry and don’t respond out of anger, but use that as an opportunity to ask, are we living out according to our God-given priorities? And then secondly, with my wife, do we agree on what they are? So like you know, love your mother-in-law, but she doesn’t get to be first in line ’cause she’s the loudest, amen. All right, we’re ready to collect the offering now. Just because somebody at work keeps causing crisis and drama doesn’t mean that they get to be calling, texting and emailing at dinner time and day off. That ultimately, you’ve gotta be in charge of your own life. Let me skip the next one and let me talk quickly about, well actually, throw up whatever you got, I’ll teach whatever, okay, I’ll do this one then. You get what you pay for, this is a free event lower your expectations, all right. So as a man, as a steward, you gotta pray, plan and pivot. Let me explain this. We’re in the book of Nehemiah right now. Nehemiah is a classic case in a world class leader. Question, for those of you that have been with us and not sleeping through the sermons, does he ever pray? Nine times through the book, he keeps praying, he prays a lot. Does he plan? He’s got legal plans, financial plans, security plans, building plans, he’s got HR plans, he’s got church plans, he’s got plans. So he prays a lot and he plans a lot, does he ever pivot? Yes. There are two kinda leaders, there are process leaders and pivot leaders. Process leaders, once the plan is made, they can’t deviate from it. Pivot leaders know that occasionally, even if you pray and plan, things are gonna happen and you’re gonna need to pivot. That’s the language we use on my team here. Like, hey, we’re gonna pivot now. ‘Cause if you’re like, but we had a plan, the plan is to pivot. There you go, feel better about that. So Nehemiah is building the wall and then some guys tell ’em, hey, we’re gonna come and kill you and we’re gonna kill the people. Well now we gotta pivot, we gotta get security. Well now they’ve said you’re committing treason and you’re gonna have a militia, and you’re gonna up rise and you’re gonna destroy the king. Well now we need to pivot. We need to send out a PR statement saying that’s a lie. So you need to pray. And the most important thing as a man is to get time to hear from God. You can’t tell other people what you’re supposed to do until God’s told you what you’re supposed to do. Pray, then make your plan, your budget, your schedule, and then pivot, as things come up, you’re like, okay, we’re pregnant, we weren’t planning on having a kid, but we’re pregnant. Now, we gotta pivot. We’re like, oh, they’re twins, okay, well pivot, pivot. Okay, I got sick, I got laid off, right? Okay, okay. Our parents got sick and they need our, okay, pivot, pivot, pivot. And life is gonna have some pivots. And for those of you guys who are process leaders, you’re gonna get very frustrated and have a difficulty pivoting from your plan. For those of you who have a lot of pivoting, you’re gonna use that as an excuse to not have any plans. You need both. You need to pray, you need to plan, and then as things happen, you need to pivot. And this is particularly true on your budgets. Let me talk budget and let me talk schedule. So let’s talk briefly, this is the quickest budget summary of all time. If you wanna know more, find a guy named Dave Ramsey, or something called Crown Financial Ministries. First and foremost, you give to God and government. Now you’re supposed to give to God first, but the government doesn’t allow that. The government takes it first. But your tithe is giving to the Lord, Proverbs 3:9, “Honor the Lord with your wealth the first fruits of all your crops.” So let me ask this, as far as priorities go, first priority, God, God. And what I would say is this, if you give to God first, number one, it’s going to set all of your priorities in order. Number two, what you’re telling God is you’re the owner, I’m the manager, as the steward, this belongs to you. And if I do a good job with what is entrusted to me, I’m trusting you to multiply what I have. One of my favorite stories

in the Bible is the little boy with the fishes and the loaves. What he says is, well, I’ll give it to the Lord and see what He does. He does something supernatural, He multiplies it. The point is, God first in your schedule, God first in your priorities, God first in your budget. And if you will make God first, that will force you to consider what God wants for all the other spending. The second thing is taxes. And I’ll be honest, I’m more excited about the tithe than the taxes. I’ll be honest. I like people meeting Jesus, I’m not super government happy. Romans 13:7, “Give everyone what you owe him, if you owe taxes, pay taxes.” How many of you are not super excited about taxes? Right, right, even if you’re a non-Christian, you’re like finally a point I can agree with and get behind. The problem is Jesus comes to the earth and guess what he does? Pays his taxes. So guess what we’re gonna need to do? Pay our taxes. In every group like this, there’s always one guy who says, I did some internet research, taxes are not legal, we don’t need to pay them, it says here in the constitution, and I’ll just tell that guy, we’ll come visit you in prison, you’re not the first that has tried. And so you gotta pay your tithe and you gotta pay your taxes, you gotta pay God, you gotta pay government. And then what comes next in the basic budgeting framework is your expenses. Proverb 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” What it’s saying here is this, if you don’t set your budget right, what you’re gonna start doing is putting your expenses on debt and credit. Is this a cultural problem? It is a crisis. If our government would just believe this verse in the Bible, a lot of things would change. I don’t expect the Bible to be believed by the whole government, but this would be one great, if we got to pick one verse, this would be a good one. Don’t spend more than you have. I mean if you’re 25, you’re like, my brain exploded, what did he just say? We have now record credit card debt, record college debt, record automotive debt, interest rates are rising, inflation is rising. That means if two years ago you put something on credit, you are now paying for it multiple times. And so what he’s talking about here is figure out exactly what you need to live and live on less, knowing that in the fallen world, some things are going to happen and you’re gonna be short. These would include your housing, which is usually your biggest expense, about 25%. You older guys know this, many of you younger guys, you don’t know this. What do you think the number two expense is after housing? Your car. Some guys said food, those are the bigger guys, for the rest of us, it was a car, it was a car, it was a car. Because you think about it, between your car and your maintenance and your insurance and your gas, it’s usually your second largest expense. How many of you noticed cars have gone up? It’s crazy. And so it’s probably good to keep your car as long as you can. If you can pay cash, that’s fine, no judgment. But in addition, your expenses for your car are gonna go down, if it’s an older car, you can maintain it, you can insure it. And I would submit to you younger guys, don’t just go out and get a very expensive vehicle and make yourself house poor or vehicle poor. Instead, buy a vehicle, if at all possible, or financially you’re in a bit of a pinch, from family or friends, somebody you know. So at least you know what the history of the vehicle is. In addition, what do you think the third category? So housing, car, food, we’re back to the big guys, back to the food. True or false? Much of our spending on food is the most wasted and discretionary spending? Totally is. Because most men can’t cook, but they can eat. So you’re paying someone, is this true? So you’re paying someone else to feed you. We got used to the last few years, like DoorDash and GrubHub and literally you’re just sitting on the couch like, I want a pizza, pizza. I want chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets, I want a beer, beer, I want another beer, beer. And then if you

actually run the numbers, you’re like, man, I have diabetes and debt. I don’t feel like that worked for me. And so having a healthy diet, thinking through your lifestyle choices. Number four, the recommendation is debt elimination. If you are in debt, don’t just assume that someday you will die and your grandchildren will take care of it. The number one category of person to have high credit card debt is, what would you guess? A young woman in her 20s. Buying shoes, getting her hair done, hoping to find a man with a job. Okay, so just if you have a daughter, how many of you have daughters? And you gave her a credit card, it’s like demon possession. Now you’ve just lost all control. But at the end of the day, what we’re seeing is young people going into record debt and have nothing to show for it. And young women going into the highest record debt in the history of our nation. Now what this will do for you, let’s say you’re a guy who’s racked up a lot of debt, you meet a gal who’s racked up a lot of debt, you get married, who’s in charge? The lender and the debt is now the head of your household. You can’t say, well hey, let’s start a family, we can’t. Let’s buy a house, we can’t. Let’s have mom stay home with the kids, we can’t. Let’s change our lifestyle so that we can be healthy and have margin, we can’t. Let’s not take the job that requires us to travel far from home so we can actually be together, we can’t. If you get the debt decision wrong, you’ll be forced to make all the other decisions wrong. And you oftentimes as a single man, don’t think about this ’cause it’s just you and you’re selfish. You’re not thinking about a wife and kids, but if they’re coming, you need to consider them before they arrive. And a lot of young women are doing the same problem. And then you’ve got your insurance, medical, dental, rental, homeowners, disability, life, comprehensive and auto. Third category is savings. Bible talks a lot about savings, “Ants creatures of little strength, yet they store up food in the summer,” Proverbs chapter 30, verse 25. We are now in a stupid culture, and if you think economically like everyone else, you’re going to destroy yourself and your family. We hit a situation as a country, we’re like, let’s just shut down business and see what happens. Oh, people don’t have enough money, let’s give them money. Oh, debt is up and inflation is up, who could have expected? Well, anyone who’s sober could have expected how this plays itself out. And now you’ve got a whole generation that says, well we don’t have any more money. They’re waiting for the government to send more. They won’t even go to work. A whole generation of young men sitting on the couch, waiting for someone to send them money. It’s where we find ourselves. It is a cultural crisis. And what it revealed is that no one had any savings, no one. And now, once the money was distributed, what did many people do with the money? Luxury goods and spending. Not saving, not investing, not debt reduction. As we’re looking at the future, let me just say this right now, if you don’t have little cash reserves, you’ve got a crisis. So between now and the crisis, you better find some cash reserves. In a fallen world, you’re always gonna come up short, something’s always gonna break, something’s gonna happen. Nothing ever works according to plan. As soon as you get one debt paid off, something else breaks. And the savings is the margin between you being able to survive and the borrower being slave to the lender. Dave Ramsey recommends six months of savings. If you’re not there, you get started. And then investments. This is a crazy verse. I wish that just most men would believe this verse. Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves what an inheritance for his children.” So you know what that means? So let’s just flip it. So what does that mean a bad man leaves? A debt, a debt, a debt to his children’s children. What it’s talking about here is the inheritance that we leave our children, it is financial, but it’s more, it’s also spiritual. Like you

know, you love the Lord, you want your kids to love the Lord, you want your grandkids to love the Lord. You stay married, you hope your kids stay married, you hope your grandkids stay married. You serve others, you want your to kids serve others, you want your to grandkids to serve others. It’s part of your legacy. And part of it is financial, leaves an inheritance for your children’s children. For those of you who are investment brokers, how hard is it to get wealth multi-generational? ‘Cause the government wants to get in the waterfall and keep taking. So if you’re going to generate any revenue, you’ve gotta start thinking about, and let me say this to the younger men, the earlier you can start to think this way, the better off you’ll be. There’s some older men in the room that didn’t even start thinking about this until it was way later in life. Okay, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna invest? What can I leave to my kids? This can be real estate assets, this can be stocks, this can be an investment portfolio, this can be a family trust, this can be a college fund, this can be a cash gift, anything, but something helps. And what we’re doing as a generation of men, we are not giving our children blessing but cursing. And we’re not giving them inheritance, we’re giving them deficit. And let me say this, I said this to our kids growing up, I told this to my boys, well, to all our kids, number one, when you turn 16, if you love God, and you’re a dependable, responsible kid, I’m gonna help you get your first car. I’m gonna save up for that. Number two, when you go to college, do not go into college debt, right? Find a cheaper college. Here’s a crazy idea, work your way through college. Here’s a really crazy idea, work for a few years, save money, then go to college. So if you avoid car debt and you avoid college debt, and here’s what I tell all my kids, avoid credit card debt. If you look at the interest rates, it’s like mafia hard money. I mean you may as well be borrowing from the cartel. The margins are insane. And then what I tell ’em is, as soon as possible, let’s use the first time home buyer benefits for loans and let’s get you into a reasonable home, condo, town home so you can have that tax benefit, and also start building what? Equity. Because if you’re gonna live in it for at least five to seven years, even if the real estate market is in a difficult place, oftentimes historically it bounces back, you gotta pay somebody’s mortgage, you may as well pay your own. And there’s an opportunity for you to generate some wealth. I’ve trained my kids since they were little, no car debt, no college debt, no credit card debt. The hope, prayer and the goal is to be a homeowner as soon as possible, be patient, and wait for the market to start to generate some home equity. How many of you older men wish you would’ve done that in your 20s? Any of you guys honestly wish you would’ve done that in your 20s. So here’s what we’d say to all you young guys in your 20s and in your early 30s, do that. Avoid debt and invest and think strategically long term. Let me, running outta time, I always do. They put a clock in the back so I can ignore it, and I do. Let me just skip the last section and just say this, as men, I see it this way, there is a balance between freedom and lifestyle. You understand what I’m talking about? So if I want more freedom, let’s say I want a lot of freedom, I’m probably gonna make less money. That’s why the homeless guy right now, he doesn’t have a calendar, there’s nothing planned. If you want total freedom, you’re just not gonna generate much revenue. How many of you though have found, if you make as much revenue as possible, you give away your freedom? Any of you men felt that? So let’s just be honest for you guys that know this, what is the freedom you give away? Time with your family, energy, health, sanity, these are honest answers. He said it like this, sanity. And so as a man, here’s what I would tell you, most men either want freedom or income. And oftentimes they think they want one, and they get it and

they hate it. So they go for the other. So the guy who has total freedom, he’s like, you know what, I need to make money. So then he goes out to make money, but he gets rid of all of his freedom. The guy who’s working hard and long hours until he is pretty much fried and burned out, he reaches a point where he is like, that’s it, I quit. His wife’s like, we still have a fridge and we need to put something in it. My encouragement to you as men would be this, it is difficult, but it is desirable to have a balance between your income and your lifestyle and your freedom and your health. It’s a precarious, true or false, men, it’s a precarious balance. You’re like, well, I wanna make more money, but I’ll be less healthy and less free and have a worse marriage and worse kids. Is that worth it? There is a balance for every man and you’ve gotta figure out what that is for you. My lifestyle is good, I’m content, I’m glad, I could be a good steward, but I’m healthy, I love the Lord, I love my wife, I love my kids, I can do this, this is sustainable. I will tell you, I just turned 52, for the first time in my life, it’s balanced, it’s balanced. I am very content and I’m very happy. And I was reading this leadership book and it said that the real goal is this, to do what you love with the people you love, making a difference. Doing what you love with the people you love, making a difference, being adequately compensated and having time and energy to enjoy the rest of your life. That’s the balance. Doing what you love with the people you love, making a difference. Making enough money that you can live, but having enough margin that you can enjoy your life. And what I would encourage you men is just to be honest about where you’re at. Some of you are very wise with your energy and your budget and your diet and your schedule and you’re in a balanced state. Most of us men, we are working too much and living too little or we are living too much and working too little. And we’ve not found that balance between contentment in our life and a healthy lifestyle. Does this make sense? Let me pray for you and we’ll talk it out in groups. Father, thanks for a chance to teach and God, as men, we all just sense that tension. I need to make more money, but then I’m gonna have a worse life. Or I have a lot of freedom and not a lot of burdens, but I’m not making ends meet. God, we’re asking for the spirit of wisdom to lead and guide men. God, I pray that our decisions would be as stewards, that we would look at our money and say, okay, you’re the owner, I’m the manager, what do you want me to do? That we would look at our priorities and ask, is there anything out of order? ‘Cause Father, you wouldn’t bless something that was out of order. So we need to get things in order if we want you to bless them. God, for the men who are generating a lot of money, but they’re not living a good life, I pray for wisdom on how to pivot. God, for the men who have a lot of freedom, not a lot of responsibility, maybe they’ve delayed having a job, maybe they’ve delayed getting married, maybe they’ve delayed having children, maybe they’re about their hobbies and their travel and their leisure and their margin. And God, they’ve not worked hard and they’ve not generated revenue, and they’ve not taken on responsibility, I pray that they would pivot in the other way. And God help, us as men to help one another to find this balance and to living it in Jesus’ name, amen.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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