Sunday, April 1, 2012
The Crown Ministries material that we’ll be using is really excellent for people at all stages of life – from children just starting out with a regular allowance and I pray that our studies over the next several weeks serve to bring a new or deeper level of awareness of how God expects His people to use all the gifts they’ve been given to further His purposes and bring Him more glory.
There is a great deal of false service by many who profess to serve God but actually want God to serve them. They will give, but they always expect to be repaid. They will help the needy, but it's to keep God from allowing tragedies to befall them. The list could go on and on and would eventually touch every one of us. Why? Because so few of us really understand the function that finances play in our spiritual lives.
Christ taught about finances
It surprises many Christians to learn that approximately two-thirds of the parables that Christ used in teaching deal specifically with finances. Christ never said money or material things were problems. He said that they were symptoms of the real problems. He constantly warned us to guard our hearts against greed, covetousness, ego, and pride, because these are the tools that Satan uses to control and manipulate this world. "He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions’ " (Luke 12:15). Finances - our spiritual barometer A definition of "faith," according to Hebrews 11, is trusting God totally. It means trusting God for things you cannot see or manipulate into happening. Most of us truly desire to be able to exercise this faith, but the world around us tells us to do just the opposite. If you don’t have the money for what you "need," borrow to get it. If it’s too expensive for your income, so what? You deserve it; besides, you have to stretch yourself if you want to be successful in this world. God’s Word tells us to learn to be content and dedicate ourselves to serving God. In Hebrews 12:1 we are told, "Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."
Is it wrong to be rich? Rich is a very subjective term, but here it’s used in the context of having enough money to meet all of your reasonable needs and still having funds left over. Clearly, God’s Word teaches that many of His people will fit into this category. God’s plan is clearly stated in 2 Corinthians 8:14-15: our abundance at the present time will meet the needs of others, and later their abundance will meet our needs (a good alternative to welfare within the church). Christ warned those who are rich always to be on their guard (Luke 12:15-21). There is a great temptation to trust in the security that a surplus can provide. The greater the surplus, the greater the temptation. That’s why those who are rich (most of American Christianity) must guard their hearts and minds with the principles from God’s Word.
The greatest need in our generation is for God’s Word to be taught clearly and undiluted. The next greatest need is for Christians to demonstrate that it works.” I have given this study on Christian stewardship a great deal of prayer.
Please join me in seeking the Lord's blessing on our church family as we meet and study together on this biblical topic.
Yours in Christ, Pastor Robert Dickie