Points Covered: Financial Management. Love of Money. How to use your money. Break free from Financial Bondage.
Last week I started a series on ‘A believer and his finance’ and we looked at: The right to possess money, the reason you don’t have money, and the way to possess money. Today we are going to continue to look at: The pitfalls of loving money and the way to use money.
How is our attitude to money? Well, let me tell you the wrong attitude toward it, and that is to love it. Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. You see, money’s the root of all evil, it says the…love of money. And you can have a lot of it and not love it, and you can have none of it and love it. It’s the love of money, not money. We deal with money every day and it is very important that we have the right attitude toward it.
IV. Pitfalls of loving money.
1. Loving money leads people to forget God.
The Proverbs were written by Solomon, but the 30th chapter of Proverbs was written by a man named Agur. Agur watched Solomon, and Solomon was rich beyond belief. Solomon got trapped in his riches and he wanted more and more, so he kept marrying these foreign wives to bring in more and more treasure. And he brought Israel into idolatry and fouled up everything and ruined his life. Agur looked at him, watched him, and this is what he said: Proverbs 30:8-9 8Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Love of money can lead us to forget God.
Deuteronomy 8:12-14 12Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
2. Loving money stops people from trusting God.
You know, one of the great dangers in having money is you begin to trust in it, right? You say, “Everything’s great in my life. I’ve got my bank account built up. I’m not worried about anything.
Job 31:24-26 24“If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’ 25if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, 26if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon moving in splendor.
Job 31:28 then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
Proverbs 11:28 TLV Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree.
1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Don’t trust in your riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
3. Loving money can cause people to be deceived.
When we love money, Satan really uses that to deceive us. We know the parable of the sower and listen to what it says how money effects a person: Mark 4:18-19 18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
4. Loving money can compromise Biblical values.
Somebody said when money speaks, the truth is silent. Let me give you an illustration. Some people would sell out for position. There are some people on the job who, if they could get a promotion, would lie, and they’re Christians. Some people would sell out for popularity. Some people mute the testimony of Jesus, so they won’t be unpopular. That’s selling out. What’s your price? Have you ever analyzed it? Because, listen, beloved, whatever your price is, be sure, Satan’s gonna get there, and he’s gonna make you an offer at that price. So be ready. What’s your price? I hope you don’t compromise the testimony of Jesus Christ to gain a promotion.
5. Love of money can make people proud.
Proverbs 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit. Conceit means excessive pride in oneself.
6. Love of money can cause people to rob God.
When God blesses someone with his money and people want it for themselves, they steal God. Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. (“Oh,” you say, “I’d never do that. I would never steal anything from God. How would I ever get into His treasure house?” You want to know something? Look in your income. That’s His treasure if you’re a Christian. “Will a man rob God? Yet you’ve robbed Me.”) But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
7. Love of money cause people to rob others.
1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
1 Timothy 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
So you see, the whole issue with money is attitude. And the wrong attitude is to love it. It was the love of money that Achan brought defeat upon Israel. It was the love of money that Delilah betrayed Samson. It was the love of money that Ananias and Sapphira were killed. It was the love of money that Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
V. The way to use money.
Money can be a blessing or a curse the way you use it. You always hear people say, “Well, if I had 10 lalks, I’d do this.” No, the question is not what you’d do with 10 Lakhs. The question is what are you doing with the ten Rupees in your pocket?
Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 10Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. 11As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?
The more you have, the more stores you go to, the more you buy. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look at it? One translation says, “The only advantage in having money is to watch it slip through your fingers.” No, it is not a question of having more and doing more with it. It is just a question of what you’re doing with what you have.
Now in a person’s lifetime, God entrusts him a lot of money. If you calculate your earnings until now, brother and sister it is just a lot of money. Was it used purposefully? Purposefully to meet your needs, purposefully for God’s work?
1. Recognize it is a stewardship.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
This mindset or attitude will change our behavior and handling of money. It will result in a more careful and appropriate use of the money that we have received from God. We tend to be wiser and more cautious in using those things that do not belong to us.
Illustration: If I borrow someone else’s car, I tend to drive more carefully and work harder to keep it clean because it does not belong to me and I know that I will be held accountable for how I use it. It is the same with money. When we recognize that money does not belong to us and that will be held accountable for its use, will be less inclined to use it selfishly or carelessly.
2. Invest for eternity.
Jesus emphasized the temporary nature of money. One day it will be gone, either through our own deaths, economic downturns, or foolish expenditures, so it is wiser to use it in a way in which the benefits are everlasting.
Illustration: There’s a story about a wealthy Christian who somehow got obsessed with the idea of taking some of his wealth to heaven. Now he knew the Bible clearly teaches that you can’t take it with you. But so obsessed was he with this desire that he just prayed & prayed that God would give him permission to take some of his wealth to heaven with him. Finally, God spoke to him & said, “Okay, you can take one suitcase with you into heaven.”
Well, the story continues with the man deep in thought, “What do I take? What are the most valuable things that I can put into my suitcase?” Well, he finally decided, & filled his suitcase full. Then one day he died and he is slowly approaching the pearly gates dragging his suitcase behind him.
St. Peter met him there at the gate & said, “Wait a minute. What do you think you’re doing? You’re not allowed to take anything into heaven.” The man answered, “You don’t understand. I have special permission from God Himself to take this suitcase into heaven.” Peter rubbed his beard & said, “Well, that’s very unusual. I can’t imagine God letting you do that. Let me look inside your suitcase & see what’s there.” So the man dragged the suitcase over, & Peter opened it to see that it was filled with gold bars & gold bricks. Peter said, “Well, all right. If God said so, I suppose you can take that in if you want. But why in the world did you go to all this trouble just to bring more pavement to heaven?”
Money has no value in heaven, so the wisest thing you can do is invest in what will have value in heaven, which is using money for investment in heaven.
Illustration: It’s like when I came back from Brazil. I received some Brazilian reals for my expense there but I carried some coins back with me. Now those reals are useless here, I cannot even buy a pack of chewing gum with them. That currency is not accepted here but rather must be exchanged into an acceptable currency. It is the same in heaven. All the money we have acquired or spent on ourselves has no value. In heaven the only currency that counts is what you have invested for heaven while on earth.
Matthew 6:19-20 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
a. Give God first.
2 Corinthians 8:5 They gave themselves first of all to the Lord. That’s where it all begins. You give yourself first to the Lord, He’ll take care of the rest. Now, listen, giving is not God’s way of raising money. Giving is God’s way of raising children.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 7Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
You say, “Well, how do I do it?” 1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up.
In Acts of the Apostles, they brought their money to the apostle’s feet. In other words, bring it and give it to the church you are attending, and they will invest it for eternity. Now, there are other missions that you can invest other than the church but it all starts from church.
People always say, “Pastor, how much should I give?” I don’t know how much you should give. That’s between you and God. I’ll give you a hint. Zacchaeus, when he was saved, gave 50 percent for a starter….Hmmmmm. I don’t think that’s the norm. But I’ll tell you one thing. It sure shoots the 10 percent theory. I do not believe you’ll find tithing taught in the New Testament. Every time the New Testament has an opportunity where it could interject the 10 percent, it makes sure it never does…because this isn’t law. This is what? Grace.
Illustration: A trailer load of Tropicana Orange Juice was dropped off at the cafeteria of a Bible college every week. The students wondered how a low-cost Bible College could afford so much expensive juice. One morning in chapel, an older Italian man in broken English, gave his testimony. He said he had come to the US from Italy in the 20’s as a young teenager, with nothing but the clothes on his back. A Christian couple befriended him and through their love he came to know Christ as his Savior and Lord. One Sunday in church, he prayed: “Lord, if you give me an idea for a business, I will be faithful to give a portion of everything I make back to Your work.” That very morning, the idea of “Fresh squeezed orange juice” popped into his head – and the rest is history: Anthony Rossi founded the “Tropicana Co” and has been faithful to give God – not 10% of his income, as many faithful believers do, but 50% of his income, for the past 60 years! He also gave truckloads of FREE orange juice to Christian colleges throughout the country!
Now when you give:
i. Give responsibly. Nehemiah 10:32
ii. Give obediently. Nehemiah 10:32
iii. Give systematically. Nehemiah 10:34
1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up.
iv. Give Sacrificially.
David said: 2 Samuel 24:24 I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.
b. Help others in need.
1 Timothy 6:18-19 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
3. Use money to meet your needs.
Does stewardship mean that a Christian cannot spend any money on himself or herself? No. A manager in New Testament times was entitled to use some of the master’s money to meet his and his family’s needs. But his first priority was for further God’s purpose with his money.
So use your money to have a good life, save, without compromising on honoring God.
Proper handling of your finances is one of the areas to our fruitfulness.
Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Listen, if you don’t handle your ten right, you wouldn’t handle the lakh right. Is that right? Now, listen to the next verse: Luke 16:11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
Some people say, “I don’t know why I don’t have a ministry. I don’t know why I don’t see so much fruit in my life.” Listen, “If you aren’t faithful with money,” Jesus said, “do you think I’m gonna commit to you souls?”
Luke 16:12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? If you don’t handle finances correctly, God’ll never commit unto you a ministry. He won’t trust you with it.
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. Let’s Pray.