Study 15: Money Matters
Money is a subject that we are all aware of and, when we look at the Bible, we find it is a subject that God has said a lot about. He wants us to be like Him. He is a giver. He gave the best He had: His Son Jesus Christ. Some of the advice in His word we may rather not hear and we will have to change our old habits and learn to use money more wisely. (Mark 10:29-30)
1 Chronicles 29:8-9 clearly states what our attitudes should be regarding our financial situation: “Any who had… gave… the people rejoiced… they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.” We should give freely and without compulsion (no wrong pressure). The underlying factor is that God knows our hearts and giving to God should always be a heart response.
Men and women of faith give to please God and from a heart full of love. We give where and how the Holy Spirit leads. If He directs us to sow our talents, time, money, resources, energy and even life itself, we will do just that. The principle of reaping and sowing is the key to laying the foundation for a very successful life in the future. (Mark 4:13).
Success regarding money is not by the world’s standard but we believe the promises of God. He will give back to believers who give with faith and love. We get a fantastic return on what we have planted into good soil. This is not to be our main motive but our concern is for the increase of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you”. We will not be disappointed; our Father’s promises are eternal. After all, how else is the gospel going to be preached to every nation unless Christians are successful and give for God’s work?
Jesus said: “Give to all who ask.” Luke 6:30.
“As you received freely, give freely.” Matthew 10:8.
“Give the people good to eat.” Luke 9:13.
“Give – and it shall be given unto you.” Luke 6:38.
“Give to the poor.” Mark 14:7; Proverbs 19:17
Jesus gave His life so we could have eternal life.
- Give abundantly. 2 Corinthians 9:6.
- Give joyfully. 2 Corinthians 9:7.
- Give according to what you have. 2 Corinthians 8:12; Mark 12:43-44.
- Giving will spread the Gospel. Romans 10:14-15; Proverbs 17:8.
- Giving results in receiving. Luke 6:38; Galatians 6:7.
- Giving is a blessing from God with a large return. Luke 6:38; Romans 8:32.
- Giving will bring you before godly men. Proverbs 18:16.
- Giving is just like our Father. Matthew 7:11; John 14:27.
- Giving will bring friends. Proverbs 19:6.
- Giving opens the door for God to work. Malachi 3:10.
How to give?
Giving is like planting seed. When the seed is sown in the right conditions it grows… always. God’s economy always works perfectly every time. If you sow into good soil – good seed with good water and light – you’re going to have good growth and a good return. So give cheerfully in faith and surround it with praise and worship and say: “Lord I bring my gift to You and I give myself to You body, soul and spirit as a living sacrifice”. Then pray over your specific seed reminding God of His word regarding your situation. Fill it with faith then plant it in the place of HIS choosing, guaranteed that it will grow and warm the heart of the Father, be a blessing to the receiver, and give you an abundant harvest. Apple seeds give an apple harvest; finance seeds give a financial harvest and love seeds give a love harvest. All our giving is an act of worship to God, because all we have is God’s anyway. Giving shows Him who is Lord in our lives and how we are living by His word as a priority. You cannot “out-give” God.
Actually, if Jesus is the Lord of our life, then everything we have is His anyway. God our Father is as interested in what we keep as what we give!
There are five scriptural areas regarding giving to our Father God.
Our time 1 Corinthians 10:31
Our bodies Romans 12:1
Our possessions Luke 16:1-13
Our natural and spiritual gifts 1 Peter 4:10
Our finances 2 Corinthians 9:6
1. Our time. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Using our time to the best effect is very important if we are to understand the urgent days in which we live. Lost time cannot be regained. Lost time cannot be repeated. We need to use our time to the glory of God and to the extension of His Kingdom. It is spiritually beneficial to set yourself goals in your daily walk with God regarding:-
2. Our bodies. (Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:16)
God wants us to give Him a healthy life where there are no excesses, Mark 6:31. This means that anything that gets in the way of achieving a healthy lifestyle must go. Over-eating, worrying, smoking, drinking, no exercise, all could have an effect on our bodies that means we are not as available to do God’s will as effectively. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16. So there is no room for any excesses.
Bible reading time
Daily quiet time
Setting aside and achieving quality time every day to listen to God.
Putting yourself in a position to receive God’s Word, confirmation of His will etc.
3. Our Possessions. (Luke 16:1-13)
Our possessions are our homes, cars, material wealth, or any other article that we might own. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” 2 Peter 1:3. So we should make every effort to live according to God’s economy and use our worldly wealth to bring glory to Him for the extension of His Kingdom, 1 Timothy 6:17 LB. Our homes in particular should be open and used by God, (3 John:8) “We ought, therefore, to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.”
4. Natural and Spiritual Gifts (1 Peter 4:10)
Every good gift comes from God (James 1:17) whether it be a natural gifting e.g. singing, playing a musical instrument, etc. or spiritual gifting, i.e. helps, healing, prophecy, tongues, pastor, teacher. All these gifts, whether natural or spiritual, need to come under the lordship of Jesus to enhance His word and the extension of His kingdom. We must not take any glory for ourselves.
5. Finances (2 Corinthians 9:6)
The Bible teaches us to give to God’s work. (See Malachi 3:7-12.) When we give on a regular basis to God’s work, He works out His plans and His purposes. We must understand the unique relationship between giving and receiving, remembering that we cannot out-give God. Giving to the work of God is a practical way of showing our love for Jesus (1 Corinthians 13:3) and remembering that it is more blessed to give than to receive. (See Acts 20:35.)
In Matthew 6:19-21, it clearly shows us that where our heart is, our treasure will also be. If God has our heart, He also has our finances. Any investment we make in God is eternal (1 Timothy 6:17-19). We live in a world system where money counts and many Christians have discovered that there is a different biblical principle that needs to be revealed and acted upon. (2 Corinthians 9:6; Luke 6:38).
We are to give to God:
- With a cheerful heart, freely (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- In proportion to our income and regularly (1 Corinthians 16:2)
- Obediently (2 Corinthians 9:13)
- With a willing heart, not under any compulsion. (1 Chronicles 29:3-9)
- Sacrificially (Hebrews 13:16)
The biblical principle of giving is that we must give to God first.
Old Testament Biblical tithing is giving a tenth of all that we receive. This is not a donation but a recognition of what God has given to us. It is an act of worship. Everything we have belongs to the Lord and He has entrusted us with ninety percent of it. The New Testament comments on tithing clearly state that our giving must be in the light of Jesus’ giving. It cost Him everything. It was sacrificial. He offered up everything, even His life to God for us.
Not to tithe (give to God) is to rob God and to deprive ourselves of God’s blessing. Read Malachi 3:8-12; Proverbs 3:9-10. We are accountable to God for everything we do with what God has given us. (Luke 12:48) The more resources, talents, and understanding we have, the more we are responsible to use them effectively. Some of us are not in a position to tithe money to a church, but God’s word says very clearly: “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so there may be food in my body. ‘Test me in this matter’, says the Lord who rules over all, ‘to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.'” The “storehouse” is where we are fed spiritually and built up in our relationship with the Lord. Sad to say: a few churches are not feeding their people and are not good soil in which to plant our financial seed. So, we can give freely into the place the Holy Spirit lays on our heart and trust Him that He will use it to further His kingdom.
Jesus encourages us to ask our Father in heaven for the things we require here on earth. (Luke 11:9-13) He is the best Father and is interested in every facet of our lives. It is not a matter of asking for our own self-interest or gain or self-indulgence. (See James 4:2-3.) It is simply a matter of having all we need for the work that He requires of us – to bring about His will on this earth.
“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11)
Giving can be one of the most exciting parts of the Christian life as we plant seeds into God’s work in someone else’s life. We see wonderful results in souls saved and people being blessed. We then realise that our own finances have increased – often from unexpected quarters – and we know that God is also blessing us.
15: Living with Jesus – Challenge Questions
1. What did you gain most from the previous study?
Read the notes on ‘Why give?’ and ‘How to give?’
2. What point did you find most challenging? Explain.
3. Why do you feel you want to give?
4. What is giving likened to in the notes? How does it work out in practice?
5. Out of the five areas which do you find easiest to give to God, and which do you find hardest? Explain.
6. What attitude should you have when giving to God? Do you find this challenging? Why?
7. Can you see from the New Testament that tithing is a good guideline, but not law? Could you explain giving in your own words to a new Christian?
8. Bearing in mind that we are accountable to God for everything we have, have you been challenged to change anything in your life regarding giving?
9. Review this whole module and sum up in one sentence what really spoke to you.
10. Answer the following question with “True” or “False”. If you have a scripture from the study, please add this.