God and Your Money
Jul 1, 2010 1257
‘Honour the Lord with your possessions …’ —(Prov. 3:9 NKJV)
To live by the principles of God’s Word and be financially blessed, you must keep three things in mind.
First, remember that God owns everything. Your name may be on the account, but don’t get any wrong ideas: ‘…all things come from you, and out of your own [hand] we have given you’ (1 Chron. 29:14 AMP). The truth is, you’re the executor of God’s will. So when he tells you to give a certain amount don’t say, ‘I’ll think about it and get back to you.’ And don’t try to bargain, for on the other end of every act of obedience there is a blessing waiting. ‘If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land’ (Isa. 1:19 NIV).
Second, remember that God is your source. You don’t have a thing he didn’t give you: ‘Every good gift … is from above, and comes down from the Father’ (James. 1:17 NKJV). It’s okay to enjoy your money, invest your money and share your money, as long as you trust only in ‘the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy’ (1 Tim. 6:17 NKJV).
Third, remember that every spending decision is a spiritual decision. Your cheque book will reflect your priorities. So what does yours say? When it came to giving, the Macedonian Christians did it right: ‘They gave not only what they could afford, but far more … their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do’(2 Cor. 8:3-5 NLT). When you give God your heart, you’ll have no trouble giving him anything else.
‘A FOOLISH MAN DEVOURS ALL HE HAS’ —(Prov. 21:20 NIV).
If you want to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to you, do these four things:
First, reduce the debt you carry. Be guided by wisdom, not impulse. Spending less than you earn is the key to financial security. When you’re in debt over your head it pre-commits you and dictates what you can do down the road. What you do today is the only influence you have over tomorrow.
Second, remember, cash is king! Don’t worry about sophisticated investment strategies until you’ve got at least three to six months living expenses in the bank. That way you’re prepared when emergencies arise—and they will. The Bible says, ‘In the house of the wise are stores … but a foolish man devours all he has’ (Prov. 21:20 NIV).
Third, have a long-term financial goal and refer to it regularly. Lion tamers use a stool for control. Why? Because the lion will try to focus on all four legs, and end up confused. Focus on your long-term goal!
Finally, don’t just save, sow: ‘Whoever sows generously will also reap generously’ (2 Cor. 9:6 NIV). True financial freedom comes when giving no longer threatens your sense of security, because you’ve learned that consecutive sowing into God’s kingdom always generates consecutive reaping. The truth is: there’s no better way to live!
‘WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO’—(Matt. 6:21 NIV).
The Bible says. ‘Jesus … watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury …’ (Mark 12:41 NIV). Try to answer this question honestly: ‘Would my giving change if Jesus was passing the offering plate and watching me?’ Actually, He does. Each time God asks you to give He observes your obedience, your consistency, and your generosity or the lack of it. He doesn’t measure you by how much you give, but what you have, and what you keep. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’
Now, since every human enterprise is destined to go up in smoke but of God’s kingdom ‘there shall be no end’ (Isa. 9:7 KJV), it’s not hard to figure out where you should invest, right? Yet who among us hasn’t been more excited about a dream home here on earth than an eternal home in heaven? That’s why Jesus keeps challenging our priorities and values. Ever notice how many people rush to endow God’s work on the eve of their departure? Perhaps that’s because we get great perspective from a hearse! ‘Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven’ (Matt. 6:20 NIV). What Jesus is saying to us is, ‘You can’t take it with you: but you can send it on ahead’.
Thank God for benevolent bequests, but don’t you think it would be wiser to ‘do your giving while you’re living’ and experience the double blessing of having your money spread his kingdom while you’re still around to enjoy it? Bottom line, if you want to know what’s really important to you, observe what you do with your money.