Money (part 1)
Greetings precious people, I hope that you are doing well and enjoying the Goodness of God. In todayís article I would like for us to look at a subject that is near and dear to most everyoneís heart, money. There are a lot of ideas and thoughts that people have concerning money. Most people are under the impression that money is the answer to all their problems, that if they just had a little more money they would be happy and able to live a carefree life. This is proven by the immense popularity of the lottery, casinos, and television shows like who wants to be a millionaire.
There are also a number of misconceptions concerning money and the place it has in a personís life. Some believe that money is the root of all evil. Money can not be evil, it is neutral. It can be neither good nor evil. The Bible, Godís Word, tells us what is evil in regards to money. In 1 Timothy 6:10, we read, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."
The Bible has much to say about money. There are over 2,350 verses dealing with money and possessions in the Bible. Before you begin to think, "Oh boy here comes another pitch for money by a money hungry preacher." Let me assure you that I do not want nor need your money or possessions. My only interest when it comes to your money and possessions is that you have the correct Biblical understanding of them so that you not be a slave to them and be in a place that God wants you to be. I know that there are some TV evangelists that are more than happy to relieve you of your hard earned money while promising you that God is obligated to bless you many times over for giving to "their" ministry.
Let me let you in on a little secret, God does not need your money, Heís not broke, He owns everything in this universe. Whenever a "ministry" makes a plea for our money, telling us that if we do not give the ministry will fail, I say, let it fail. God will always provide for any ministry that He is leading and guiding without the need to beg for money. If you are investing your money in what you think to be the work of God, be wise, and careful. Check the ministry or church out. Make sure that your contribution is going where your think is going. If there is the use of pressure tactics or the playing on your emotions then you should be especially leery. (Iíll address this more in a future article.)
Over the next few weeks I would like to cover a number of areas concerning money, possessions, and finances. Here at Calvary Chapel of Alpine, we are currently in the midst of an eight week class entitled " Discovering Godís way of handling money". I invite you to come and partake of it or wait until the next time it is offered. You may call or write for further information.
None of us were born with the understanding of how to handle money and possessions the way that God intended us to. It is something that we have to learn from His Word. Where else are we going to learn to handle our finances correctly? Should we look to our government? They are trillions of dollars in debt and growing. I canít even imagine how many "a trillion" dollars is, can you? Should we look to the various corporations in our country in order to learn how to handle our finances? Many of them are in great debt and considering filing for bankruptcy or have collapsed from within from fraudulent leaders.
Many of todayís problems have their beginnings in the mismanagement of oneís personal finances. Surveys reveal that over half the marital divorces are a result of financial tensions in the home. The vast majority of people are in debt today. Debt to finance companies, credit card debt, department stores, and the list goes on and on. It is an enormous problem and people are suffering greatly from this horrible form of bondage. Of course the current mindset of our day to buy, buy, buy and charge, charge, charge doesnít help. Corporate America encourages us to let go of all common sense and restraint, not to deny ourselves of any pleasure or possession.
There is only one place to look where we can be assured that we will not be taken advantage of or led a stray, it is Godís Word, the Bible. The Bible gives us a proper perspective on money, possessions, and finances. It gives instruction on how we are to use them and not to be used by them, how to let them serve us not become a slave to them. It addresses the issues of saving, investing, giving, debt, honesty, and work as well as a number of other areas.
Letís begin by establishing the fact of who owns everything. In 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all." Psalm 24:1, "The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness. The world and those who dwell therein." Acts 17:24, "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth." 1 Corinthians 10:26, "For "the earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness."
God created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is within them, therefore they are His. Many are under the misconception that when He created man that He relinquished all ownership to His creation. This is not correct, God made man a steward of His creation not owner to do as he pleases with it. This misconception has turned the world into the polluted mess that it is today. Man has been a poor steward of Godís property and will have to give an account for his mismanagement of it one day.
Letís understand what a steward is. A Steward is defined for us in the dictionary as: someone entrusted with the management of the household or estate or another; one employed to manage the domestic affairs of another; one who acts as a supervisor or administrator, as of finances and property, for another or others.
A good example of this can be seen in that of a banker. When you take your money and place it in your local bank, you are not relinquishing ownership of that money. Rather you are placing it in a safe place and allowing the bank to take that money and invest all or part of it so you can get a return on your money and so can the bank. When you come and make a request for money to be returned to you, the bank is obligated to give it back to you with interest that it has incurred over time. How would you feel if when you went to retrieve your money the banker told you that he went and spent it because he thought you had given it to him to do with it what he wanted? You wouldnít be too happy, in fact quite angry Iím sure and rightly so.
All that you and I have, our body, talents, abilities, home, family, job, etc. has been given to us by God. He did not give us these so we would foolishly or selfishly spend or waste them. And one day you and I will have to stand before Him and give an account of all that He has given us. How will you fare? Have you been faithful with all that God has given you? Are you now being faithful with that which God has entrusted you?
In next weekís article we will continue to explore what the Bible has to say about money, finances, and possessions. Until then may the Lord richly bless you beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine