Scriptural Principles of Prosperity – The Principle of Margins

Text – Proverbs 21:20
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,
but a foolish man devours all he has.

Proverbs 30:25
Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;


  1. Introduction
    1. We have been discussing 7 Biblical Principles of Prosperity
      1. #1 – It’s better to be blessed than to be wealthy
      2. #2 – Prosperity is Earned
      3. #3 – Trust: Depending upon God to supply your needs and meet your obligations
    2. The fourth principle is the principle of margins.
      1. In terms of finances it simply means spending less than you make. However, when we broaden the subject to prosperity, it is critical that we have margins emotionally, physically, spiritually and with our schedule.
      2. Let’s begin with a short discussion of stewardship.
    3. Stewardship
      1. As a disciple of Jesus Christ we declare that God owns all. He has placed time, talents, and treasure in our trust to be used in maintaining and expanding His kingdom. From this trust we are to meet the needs of our families, as well as take care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Furthermore, he intends for us to find pleasure and joy using what he has entrusted to us because as we prosper it contributes to kingdom health and growth.
        1. It is the idea that we are employed by him and that what we earn we use.
        2. The other concept is that of a financial manager, we have so much placed under our control and we are to use it to make a profit for the owner.
      2. What is rarely discussed is that what God has given us is limited and we are to manage within those limits. If we are to prosper we must live within those limits.
        1. “Margin is the space between our load and our limits” Dr. Richard A. Swenson
        2. Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”
        3. We are living in a time when people are living at such a fast pace they may be gaining the world, but they’ve lost their soul.
      3. Let’s discuss margins in the context of the three major areas of stewardship: time, talents, and treasure.
  2. Time
    1. Psalms 90:12
      Teach us to number our days aright,
      that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
    2. All of us have 24 hours in a day. That has been given to us by God to work, maintain our relationships and rest. Those are essentials.
    3. However, because of progress most Americans are sleeping three hours a day less than they were 50 years ago.
      1. The results are predictable:
        1. Irritable
        2. Unable to control emotions
        3. Depression
      2. God instituted the idea of Sabbath because he designed the human body with limits. If we are to prosper we must allow a proper amount of time for rest, recreation, and relationships.
        1. What good will it profit a man if he makes a million dollars and loses his wife and kids?
  3. Talents (Spiritual Gifts and abilities)
    1. Proverbs 22:29
      Do you see a man skilled (diligent) in his work?
      He will serve before kings;
      He will not serve before obscure men.
    2. The problem with being good at what you do is that everyone wants you to help them.
      1. Talents are related to time and we must learn our limits and learn to say “No.”
        1. g. Outstanding youth leader and high school teacher burned out because of over use.
  4. Treasure
    1. Proverbs 21:20
      In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,
      but a foolish man devours all he has.
      NLT: The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
    2. Proverbs 21:17
      He who loves pleasure will become poor;
      whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.
    3. The primary means of financial prosperity is to spend less than you make and save for a rainy day.
      1. The American economy is fueled by debt. accessed 9:15 AM, 2/5/2017

        Total owed by average U.S. household carrying this type of debt Total debt owed by U.S. consumers
        Credit cards $16,061 $747 billion
        Mortgages $172,806 $8.35 trillion
        Auto loans $28,535 $1.14 trillion
        Student loans $49,042 $1.28 trillion
        Any type of debt $132,529 $12.35 trillion
      2. Because we have exceeded our margins we have created a great deal of stress for ourselves.
      3. Proverbs 22:4
        The rich rule over the poor,
        and the borrower is servant to the lender.
  5. Conclusion
    1. Proverbs 30:7-9
      Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
      do not refuse me before I die:
      Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
      give me neither poverty nor riches,
      but give me only my daily bread.
      Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
      and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
      Or I may become poor and steal,
      and so dishonor the name of my God.