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God's Money and You: Part Three

By Pastor Philip Howle
web posted August 29, 2012

RELIGION – I enjoyed my three year old son Luke’s birthday party this past weekend. His little friends had a great time and he received some fun presents. My Aunt also gave my five-year old a present, a compound bow. He truthfully did need it for our upcoming Antioch Archery Tournament. If you would like more details on that please check out the FaceBook page.

Anyways, a compound bow is a great tool. It is very useful for hunting and sport shooting, but it is an awful toy. It is nothing to be played with. This is a hard lesson for an immature little boy who thinks he is Rambo, to keep in mind. So a good friend of mine gave him some lessons and we carefully restrict his use of the weapon.
Many things in life are like this. Take a surgeon’s scalpel. In the right hand lives are saved and amazing things done. In the hands of someone unskilled it is a great danger. As we continue to look at money we are going to see that money is a powerful tool for good, but it is not a toy to be wasted or simply played with. Martin Luther put it, “There are three conversions necessary in the Christian life: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse.” It is this conversion of the purse that comes last and usually painfully for most Christians.
Each of you reading this must now acknowledge that you have far more money than you realize. I mean it seems to me the poorest in our society now all possess Iphones. Some people will say Preacher, “you are talking about giving money and managing money, but I don’t have any to give.”  When I hear this I look at the lives of people. Many who say “I have nothing to give,” spend large amounts of income on cars, clothes, coffee, entertainment, phones, computers, and so on. They reason why they are broke and have no money to utilize to further God’s kingdom is that they have nothing to give when they’re done spending. But in reality the truth is that they are never done spending. Then when they run out of money, they think it’s because they didn’t have enough. The issue is not the amount of money, but the way the money is being managed.

In Luke 16, Jesus suggests that all of us are continually tested in our money management: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?” (Luke 16:10-11).

The words of Jesus debunk the excuses of why people don’t give. People will explain their greed with a bunch of “if onlys,” such as “If only I made more money, I’d help the poor,” or “If only I had a million dollars, then I’d give it to my church or missions.” The honest reality is that if you can’t faithfully manage a few dollars, then you cannot faithfully manage a million (Randy Alcorn).

Think about it, if you had an employee who could not manage a budget of a thousand dollars a year would you promote them to be the CFO of a major corporation?  So the issue is not what you would do with a million dollars if you had it, but what you are you doing right now with the hundred thousand, ten thousand, or ten dollars that you do have. The simple truth is that if you are not faithful with what God has already entrusted to you, why should He trust you with anymore?

I believe this is why many people live in hard-working brokenness. Many people are broke, but not for lack of trying, but from lack of seeking to faithfully manage and handle the money they have been given. Seek to get a grasp on your money by God’s principals and see if greater opportunities do not arise for you.

 Notice that Jesus  in Luke 16:10-11 also made a correlation between our present handling of earthly wealth and His future decision to entrust us to handle other matters of kingdom life as well. Think about it, if your child can’t be faithful to clean his room and do his chores, can he be trusted to take care of a new puppy. Your child’s faithfulness in a small matter is a good predictor of their ability to handle larger matters.

God pays a great deal of attention to the “little things.” He numbers the hairs on our heads, cares for the lilies of the field, and is concerned with the fall of a single sparrow (Luke 12:27-31; Matthew 10:29-30). Just as a good business owner pays attention to how employees handle the little things, God pays attention to us. Jamie Munson writes “What we do with a little time, a little talent, and a little money tells God a lot.  The little things are a major factor as he considers whether to commend and promote us—or reprimand and demote us—in his Kingdom operation.”

Praying that God’s People Faithfully Manage God’s Money and Find the Blessing of Financial Freedom! 

Pastor Phillip

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