I have written about this before, but it is a theme that should be talked about regularly in the Body of Christ. One is saying that most Christians are falling in three areas: money, power and sex. When one reads about known preachers and tragic stories from somewhere, it seems to be the truth. Sometimes they fall in only one area or in all three. We must therefore talk about these areas. If we avoid talking about them, the devil might increase his power. I prefer to put a spotlight on these problems and hopefully to reduce the enemy’s power.
We read in Matthew 6:24 that we cannot serve two masters. We would either hate the one and love the other. “You cannot serve God and mammon.” This verse has been used a lot to talk negatively about money and about rich people. How would the Body of Christ have looked like without money? How many people could have been reached with the Gospel without money? How many could have received humanitarian help without money? How could Christian television send the Gospel without money? How could one build churches without money? I could have continued to write a long list with questions. Somebody must have the money. Otherwise nothing would be done. The mere fact that so many people are giving and so much is accomplished within the Body, is a very good sign that people do not love their money and they do not keep them for themselves. Many Christians are called to be in business and many are called to be rich so the Lord could build His Kingdom here on the earth. Christian activity is seldom paid by the government. In Scandinavia we have a Lutheran Church and that was mostly paid by the government. Both pastors and buildings got support. The church is now more independent. It is always a danger to be under somebody else. That person, group or system might not be spiritual and one might come under a wrong influence.
God is not poor and He is not against money.
Money is very necessary for the Kingdom of God. We should in fact pray that more people will become rich and give to the Kingdom. I know of people giving ninety percent of their income to Christian work or humanitarian aid. We are not talking about tithing any more. Jesus said that the young, rich man should give everything he owed, but he was not willing. I do not know if Jesus tested him like God tested Abraham to offer Isaac. It became clear what was most important in their lives. Abraham feared the Lord more than anything else and the rich man was holding on to his money. I believe that my life belongs to the Lord and everything I am and own, belong to Him and His will. I do know that God is good and He wants the best for me. If He takes anything away from me, He will compensate it with something much better.
I want the Lord to govern my life, not what I own and what I earn.
God doesn’t want us to have a love for money that overshadows our love for God. He is supposed to come first in our life. We read in Matthew 6:33 that we first should seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then everything else will be added. I read in Philippians 4:19 that God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ. This verse is used in connection with the collection of gifts to the congregation. Paul is saying in some previous verses that he knew how to be abased and how to abound. He says that he has been hungry, but he has also been very satisfied. I do believe that there are times when we are tested to find out what we have on the inside. We have not been promised to go through green pasture all the time, but the Lord has promised to be with us every day. I want to recite 1.Timothy 6:17-20”Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, Storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Many are saying that those who are rich, love money, but I have experienced that those feeling that they lack money, might be more involved in money issues than those having more than enough. They might worry and it might lead to unfair business or trying to get money in ways that are not honest. Everybody might be tempted to do so if one hasn’t made Jesus as Lord. I know accountants that do not want to work for believers since they have seen so much of unrighteous behavior. I am not saying that this is general for Christians, but it was quite common in certain circles. People were lying and tried to cheat on taxes and Bible-school students said they lived in faith, but they didn’t pay their bills, but expected others to do so. That is not faith nor a Christ-like behavior. Some of it came from a misunderstood prosperity teaching. God wants everything good for us, but it is also written that we should be satisfied with what we have. (1.Tim.6:8) If we have food and clothing, we should be content. Right before that we can read that godliness with contentment is great gain. God doesn’t want people to be poor, but our joy should not be based on what we have or lack. Sometimes we are lacking things because we do not have the right understanding of God’s goodness and love.
Back to the thought of honesty. When we read the Acts 5, we read about Ananias and Sapphira. They lied to Peter and The Holy Spirit and the result was that they both died. I do know of people who have done the same without dying, but this story shows us that it is dangerous to lie.
Do not lie to neither God nor people!
I want to refer to act 4:32. We read there that the believers were of one heart and of one soul. They had all things in common. This is not seen much in the Body of Christ today. We have a very individualistic way of thinking in many countries. One is collecting things for oneself and maybe the closest family. In the beginning the Christians kept together and they gathered in the homes every day. I do believe that the Lord wants much more of this attitude back. We must understand that everybody who has received Jesus as his or her Savior, belong to the same family, born by the same Spirit. I am not talking about a false unity where all religions are the same or one doesn’t believe in Jesus as Savior, but believe that we are saved by good deeds. If we lived by Acts 4:32, no one in the Body should lack anything. Many are lonely. That should also be unnecessary if we understood that our time isn’t ours, but God’s. All of us has something to share.
If we believe that our money belongs to the Lord, we must be good stewards. I once and a while watch programs on television showing how people have misused their money and have ended up with great debts. I am not rich, but I always have enough to do the things God wants me to do. That means that I can’t live in luxury, but be content with what I have.
MONEY IS A BLESSING AND SHOULD BE USED AS A GIFT FROM GOD.