Hall Powell Asks, “Why is Money Important to God?” is a veteran minister and expert fundraiser’s take on the significant role finances play in a Christian’s life. Here’s what Hall has to share:
The Purpose of Money
The Holy Spirit, the author of the Bible, devotes twice as many verses to money (about 2,350 of them) than to faith and prayer combined.
Why would Jesus say more about money that heaven or hell? 15% of His recorded words were spent on this one subject.
- I suggest that He wants us to understand that wealth presents a barrier to genuine spiritual birth and growth.
- A timeless spiritual principle: There is a direct relationship between our true spiritual condition and our attitude and actions concerning money and possessions.
- Zacchaeus (Luke.19): – Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor… Jesus gauged his true spiritual condition by his willingness to part with his money
- The rich young ruler (Matthew19:16) –If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven…he went away sad: Jesus gauged his spiritual condition by his unwillingness to part with his money.
- The depth of transformation in the lives of the early church was evidenced by their willingness to share their assets to meet each other’s needs.
Hall Powell Asks, “Why is Money Important to God?”
Help Us Grow Spiritually:
- Our beliefs about money are not only radically different from God’s but diametrically opposed to them.
- Our handling of money is a litmus test for our true character and an index of our spiritual lives.
- The stewardship of our money and possessions becomes the story of our lives.
- Isn’t it interesting that in the account of the poor widow (Mark 12:41-44) that Jesus watched the people putting money into the temple treasury? He was interested enough in what was going on to use it as an object lesson for His disciples.
- Our money is God’s business. Why?
- Can we truly say that we have died to self, taken up our crosses, putting Jesus first in our lives with no apparent effect on what we do with our money and possessions?
- We are told to give him the first fruits for the work of the Kingdom; we are promised if we do that, He will bless us abundantly (Mal.3).
Two Kingdoms: Heaven & Earth: – He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliott
- Matthew 6:19-24 (read). In this discourse, Jesus tells us the proper relationship to money and possessions.
- Luke 12: 13-21 – The parable of the rich fool: This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich towards God.
- Jesus always had two kingdoms in mind: Heaven and earth.
- Jesus is appealing to what we do value: temporary, earthly treasure – in order to make an analogy about what we should value: eternal, heavenly treasure.
- When money is spent on earthly treasures, it is ultimately consumed, stolen, wears out, or is destroyed.
- But, when money is spent on heavenly treasures: God, His Word, and people, the results change drastically: we pay it forward.
- Earthly treasures don’t last. Heavenly ones do. Earthly treasures leave us one way or another: they are either lost or we die and leave them behind.
- As a Christian, you should know that Jesus will return to this earth (as promised)) and there will be a world-wide upheaval, with everything destroyed, and earth’s currency will be of no value. But those who transfer their treasures to heaven will have an eternal investment waiting for them.
- What are the treasures in heaven? Power (Luke 19:17-19) Well done, my good servant…because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities; Possessions (Matt.19:21) If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and Pleasure (Ps.16:11) You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
- Jesus promises that those who sacrifice on earth will receive 100 times as much in heaven (Matt.19:29).
- Jesus Himself is our ultimate treasure, heaven is next, and our treasures are last.
- Who are you living for? What place are you living for? What treasures are you living for?
Well, we have already covered much of this. In Mal.3:10-12 we read that if we give the tithe to the Lord He will return to us more than we can take in. In the N.T. we see the same promise in Luke 6:38 and 2 Corinthians 9: 8-11.
- The Message (Mal): Bring your full tithe into the Temple treasury so that there will be ample provisions in My Temple. Test Me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.
- The Message (Luke): Giving, not getting is the way. Generosity begets generosity.
- The Message (2 Cor.): God loves it when the giver delights in the giving…. God can pour out blessings in astonishing ways so that you are ready for anything and everything…
- Remember, the more you give, the more God gives back to you (Luke 6:38), Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you.
Randy Alcorn is his book The Treasure Principle, says this: “When it comes to giving, churches operate under a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy.’ We lack communication, accountability, and modeling. Its as if we have an unspoken agreement: ‘I won’t talk about it if you won’t, so we can go right on living as we are. Think about it. How does a young Christian in the church learn to give? Where can he or she go to see what giving looks like in the life of a believer captivated by Christ?”
- What a testimony, especially in these days, to tell of God’s faithfulness.
- God owns everything, we are His money managers.
How To Give:
Remember that the Bible tells us that the tithe belongs to the Lord (Lev.27:30).
- We first give to God.
- 2 Cor.9:7 – Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
- It’s sad that 4 out of 10 church attendees give nothing, and another 2 or 3 out of 10 give next to nothing.
- The act of giving is a vivid reminder that our life is all about God, and not about us.
- Giving is a joyful surrender to a great Person and a great agenda.
- Giving affirms Christ’s lordship.
- We should give: generously, regularly, sacrificially, cheerfully, worshipfully, and with excellence: 2 Cor.8:7 – See that you also excel in this grace of giving.
- We give because God first gave to us. Giving is worship as much as singing or praying.
- Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Cor.9:15).
- What are you holding onto that is robbing you of present joy and future rewards?
- Are you treating God as the Lord of your assets or only as a financial consultant to Whom you give a tip from time-to-time?
- Has money become your idol?
- Can you trust God to meet all of your needs, or should you hold back just in case He doesn’t come through?
- Five minutes after I die, what will I wish that I had given away while I had the opportunity?
Hall Powell Asks, “Why is Money Important to God?” was first posted at PAX Global.
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Hall Powell is Senior Vice-President of Development Systems International and an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.