© 2022 Jason Willock / Harvest City Church
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)>
We cannot deny the financial pressure that we are all currently experiencing as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The declining standard of living, due to rapidly rising bills married with stagnant wages, means we all have to make some difficult financial decisions. The world tells us during this time to keep every penny for ourselves; that this is not a time for generosity and giving but for stinginess and selfishness—a time all about me and mine. However, unlike the world, we as believers have a God who promises to take care of us.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)>
What should we do with our finances?
Money can bring great joy—and great problems! The fact that nearly one in every six verses in the New Testament deals with or makes reference to money shows us how important the topic is.
The question is, as believers, how should we handle our finances during these uncertain times?
Over the past 2,000 years, the human race has experienced countless wars, natural disasters, pandemics, financial crashes and many more life changing events. Our guide in these troubles has not changed and it should not change now: the Bible. This is where, regardless of what is occurring around us, we must look for truth and guidance.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10)
This instruction does not include a loophole where we only honour the Lord with our wealth when times are good. We need to determine if we believe in God to keep His promises or not. If we can’t trust God with our finances then how can we trust Him for our salvation? If our faith costs us nothing then it is worth nothing.
Our faith should be strong enough to take us through the dark times and come out stronger. To exercise faith does not mean we abandon all sound judgement. It is not anti-intelligence. Faith is not ignorance nor does it ignore understanding. We need to show the world that we serve an amazing, all-powerful God who is bigger than anything we can experience.
Giving is a true test of our faith.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:21)
What we do with our money is an indication of our priorities. What, where, when, why and how we give says something about the state of our commitment to God. We need to understand that God is the provider of all our needs and the owner of all that we have. He is due 100% because He owns 100%.
The local church is God’s pattern and purpose for reaching the world and is first and foremost where we should give. We should contribute first where we are fed.
The Bible teaches us that giving is an act of worship that we should not willingly neglect. God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. Until we can learn to be generous with our time, treasure, talent, and touch, we are not going to be more like Christ. There is no greater proof that we understand grace than generosity to others and to God.
How does giving strengthen our faith?
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Firstly, it teaches us to depend on God, not ourselves. It is easy for us to believe we can solve all of our problems. Nevertheless, we will all face a problem or get to a stage where all we can do is give our problems to God.
Secondly, it is important for us to grasp the concept that our work and our worth are two different things. Your work is not your identity. Your identity is who you are in Christ, not the label the world puts on you.
Thirdly, giving and faith go together. God does not need your money; He wants your heart. However, for many of us, our money and heart are tied together.
Our faith is shown in our giving. It is not unseen or invisible, it should be displayed in our bank accounts.
Consequences of focusing on money
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mark 8:36)
Money is not our provider, nor the answer to all our problems. When we focus all our attention on the acquisition of wealth it results in:
- Loss of trust in God (1 Timothy 6:17)
- Loss of contentment (1 Timothy 6:6)
- Loss of peace (1 Timothy 6:10)
- Loss of hope
Money does not bring satisfaction and it can become insatiable. Furthermore, it brings no guarantees. It leads us to gather more possessions and responsibilities, leaving us with less peace and less time for God.
Naked we came into the world and naked we will leave. No matter how much money you have, no matter what you have sacrificed to get it, you cannot take it with you. But when you focus on God, when you put Him first, when you sacrifice for Him, you will be rewarded with eternal life.
Results of focusing on God
The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)
When we focus on God, we come to understand that we can never outgive Him. We will never give generously without discovering afresh God’s ability to supply all our needs. God takes the initiative and gives with wonderful generosity.
Society says if you don’t receive, you won’t be able to give. God turns it on its head: if we don’t give it away, we will never have it to keep. The same God who wants to give us faith for finances also wants to give us wisdom with finances. Creating wealth is a gift from God, managing it is a virtue.
God can provide all of the satisfaction, security, possessions, peace, hope, joy and friendship that we need in life. When we have these things in God, we have everything that we need. Outside of God, the best that life has to offer is settled with the dust of death.
The whole Christian journey in receiving and giving, in caring and sharing, is grace from start to finish. Let’s resolve to show God what He means to us through our giving.