SAVING 20% FOR YOURSELF
Date: February 1
"At [harvest time when you reap] the increase, you shall give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own to use for seed for the field and as food for you and those of your households and for your little ones."
When Joseph was in Egypt, he installed a system about what the Egyptians ought to do with their harvest. He said that 20% of their increase should go to Pharaoh and 80% should stay with them as a seed and as food. I learned from this Bible verse that each one of us should first give the Lord the 10% that belongs to Him and then put 20% aside for ourselves.
I learned the same thing as I was reading about Solomon. I found it interesting to notice that it took him seven years to build the temple (1 Kings 6:38)and 13 years to build his palace (1 Kings 7:1). So it took almost double the time to build his palace than it did to build the temple. We should handle our income the same way. The first 10% goes to the Lord and double that amount should be put aside for ourselves, meaning we should save double the amount of what we give to the Lord.
That 20% is an investment for your future. You don't live off of that money. You live off of the remainder of your income. You have to learn to live within your means; don't spend more than what you make. If you spend the 10% that belongs to God, then you're robbing God (Malachi 3:8). If you spend the 20% that you're supposed to save for your future, then you are actually robbing from yourself.
Make that money that you have set aside work for you. Eventually that money will earn more money than you could ever earn yourself. But of course you have to work in order to earn money. Once you earn money, you have to learn to save money.
The mother of John Wesley, a great revival preacher from the 18th century, once said to her son, "Earn everything you can. Give everything you can. Save everything you can." That's the key rule. Make all the money that you can make. Give all the money that you can give, and save all the money that you can save. We should always have money to give and we should always have money to save.
Because Joseph stored up for seven years, he had enough for the seven years of famine. So if you should ever lose your job, you should still have enough of what you need for seven years. You might say that it's impossible for anyone to save up that much, but that's not true. Everyone can save that much if they just held back on unnecessary spending. You can always find ways to save money.
The main principle to be learned here is that you should always put aside 20% or more of your income for savings after you have already given God the first 10% that belongs to Him. That 20% is an investment for your future. Make that money work for you. That is truly one of the wisest things you can do for yourself financially.