Introduction


Welcome to the Crown Money Map® Companion Guide!

If you do not have a paper copy of the Crown Money Map, then please click the Money Map image below to access and download a digital version of the map:

Crown Money Map

If you want a paper copy of the map, please contact Crown at 1-800-722-1976 or email clientservices@crown.org.

When you have your Crown Money Map® in hand and have probably familiarized yourself with the various destinations. So how are you feeling? Excited and motivated, or confused and overwhelmed? Regardless of where you find yourself, my hope is that this Companion Guide will serve as a reference and encouragement for you along your journey.

Throughout the sections that follow, you will hear testimonies of others who have faced similar circumstances. You will have the chance to dig into Scripture, keep a journal, set goals, and learn more about God’s principles for becoming His faithful steward as you make progress towards your goal of true financial freedom. You will also find practical tips and resource recommendations for each destination.

This Companion Guide is organized by destination. Keep the book nearby, and after you have celebrated completing a destination, grab this guide and recharge for your next destination. Or, if you find yourself stuck or discouraged in the middle of a destination, spend some time reading through testimonies, studying the scriptures listed in the back, or journaling your specific prayers to God. Most of all, our hope and prayer is that the Lord will give you hope, determination, and encouragement to complete this journey and your financial goals.

The financial principles given throughout God’s Word are not there to see if we’re strong enough to live by them—they’re given because God knows that they are the best for us. God’s principles of finances are not an arbitrary set of rules by which to govern us—they are a loving Father’s wisdom to those who will listen and trust Him.

It surprises many Christians to learn that approximately two- thirds of the parables that Christ used in His teaching deal specifically with finances. The reason for that is very simple— He chose a topic with which everyone could identify. A parable is a form of teaching using story to magnify a spiritual truth. Christ was describing a spiritual kingdom that is actually more real than this material kingdom, so in order to communicate it, He often used a common worldly tool—money.

Christ never said money or material things were evil. He said that they are often symptoms of the real root problems. He constantly warned us to guard our hearts against greed, covetousness, ego, and pride, because those are the tools that Satan uses to control and manipulate this world. Christ warned us a great deal about the sin of materialism.

But He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard
against every form of greed; for not even when one has an
abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”


Luke 12:15 NASB

In fact, in the parable about salvation in Matthew 13:18-23, “the deceitfulness of riches” is given as a cause for unfruitfulness.

Satan desires to take the very riches provided by God to enhance our lives and bring others to salvation and cause us to become greedy and use them only on our own selfish needs and pleasures.

So what is true financial freedom and how do you know when you’ve arrived? Is it just a final destination or is it more like a journey? Based on the title of this Companion Guide, you know we believe it is a journey. It is possible to be completely

debt free, tithing, saving—even wealthy—and not experience the true financial freedom God intends for His people. On the other hand, it is also possible to experience true financial freedom very early in your journey. True financial freedom is based largely on the condition of our heart and attitude, not just the condition of our finances.

Let’s look at an example in Scripture. In Mark 10:

17 As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell
on his knees before Him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must
I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is
good—except God alone.

19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder,
you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal,
you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud,
honor your father and mother.’”

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since
I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,”
He said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because
he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is
for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said again,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each
other, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home
or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields
for me and the gospel

30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age:
homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — along
with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first”

NIV

This rich young ruler was financially independent. We can probably assume he had no debt, plenty of savings in the bank and no financial worries. However, as the story continues, we see that he was not truly financially free in Christ. His response to Jesus reveals he was living in bondage to his wealth. It was more important for him to keep his money than to receive the true riches Jesus was offering him.

The majority of warnings in Christ’s messages were addressed to the rich, those whose hearts were dependent upon money

for their identity and security. Among the wealthy, anxieties and worries are not related to the lack of things but rather to the loss of things. Many people fear the loss of the material goods they have acquired. Therefore, they compromise God’s best for their lives to hang on to what they fear they will lose, just as the rich young ruler did. Surrendering to the Lord does not necessarily mean surrendering the assets. It means placing our complete identity and security in Christ.

Just a couple of chapters later in Mark 12 we meet a poor widow.

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were
put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.
Many rich people threw in large amounts.

42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,
worth only a few cents.

43 Calling His disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor
widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty,
put in everything—all she had to live on”.

NIV

This widow, declared poor by Jesus himself, gave out of her poverty. She demonstrated true financial freedom in her willingness to respond to God’s call on her life. She expressed absolute trust in God to provide for her needs. She had no back up plan. She is known for all time as an example of extreme trust in Christ, for which she was commended.

When compared to the rich young ruler, the widow had much more financial freedom. She also demonstrated her contentment was not dependent on her bank account.

Crown’s founder, Larry Burkett, defined contentment as knowing God’s plan for your life, having the conviction to live it, and believing that God’s peace is greater than the world’s problems.

Often we get so involved in the day-to-day activities that we forget our real purpose: to serve God. Consequently trivial problems such as buying a new car or attaining a higher position begin to crowd our hearts, and God’s plan is no longer our priority or focus.

God wants us to understand that money is a tool to use in accomplishing His plan through us. He wants us to be living stewards of everything He entrusts to us: our time, talents, and resources. But, this requires contentment. If we are to find true contentment, we must establish some basic guidelines:

  1. Establish a reasonable standard of living.
  2. Establish a habit of giving.
  3. Establish priorities.
  4. Develop a thankful attitude.
  5. Reject a fearful spirit.
  6. Seek God’s will for your life.
  7. Stand up to the fear.
  8. Trust God’s promises.

Next step

On the back of your Money Map, you will see a declaration of your role as a steward—one entrusted with the property of God. These five statements are intended to keep you focused on placing your trust in God, finding contentment, and ultimately becoming His good and faithful steward. Say these aloud, even now:

  • God owns it all.
  • God’s way is always better than my way, so I give Him control. I am content with what God has provided.
  • I am God’s wise manager.
  • I am free to fulfill God’s plans for my life and advance His kingdom.

In the days ahead, I hope you’ll return to these truths and hide them in your heart. Look up and memorize the verses that go with each. Allow the principles to become rooted deep within your heart.

As you begin your journey, I want to remind you of Paul’s words in Philippians 4:11b-12 (NIV): “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Paul claims he’s learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. So what is it? In verse 13 he goes on to reveal his secret: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Now, commit your journey to the Lord and always depend upon Him, especially when you become discouraged along the way.

We recommend that you use the Destinations in the Money Map to begin your journey one step at a time. While you may have partially completed a number of different steps within each Destination, it is best to fully complete the requirements of each one. For instance, if you have not begun to give God the first portion of your income or you have yet to save $1,000, accomplishing these steps will give you great joy and encouragement to make the next steps.

As you begin, remember we are here to serve you. Feel free to reach out to us at any time to assist you. Now, may God give you the desires of your heart according to His promise in Psalm 37:4.


“Like any journey sometimes you'll take two steps forward and one step back. Don't be discouraged. Just jump back on the path wherever you are.”


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