Friday, February 5, 2010

It's All About The Big "A"

1And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4“for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”--- Luke 21:1-4(NKJV)

"There goes that preacher again!!" " All They ever want in the church is my Money." "Money, Money, Money!!" I know as a pastor, and simply as a believer in Christ, that nothing seems to invoke such strong emotion as the topic of money. However, the truth is that the Bible talks about money... ALOT! In fact, there are approximately 800 verses in the scripture concerning money.

There are Scriptures about how to spend money, how to give money, how to save money, the dangers of loving money, the proper place for money in our lives, and exhortations not to worry when it seems we don't have enough money. No matter how much some would like to avoid the subject of money and finances, it is impossible to do with even a quick skim through the Bible.

And let me get this out of the way before I go on. There is good reason that many of those who are not believers in Christ, and to be honest many in the church, have a skeptical view of the financial side of the church. A quick scan through the channels of most "Christian" T.V. programs will find "Ministers" begging for money, and making ridiculous claims and promises about what will happen if you give to THEIR ministry.

"If you will just sow a seed of 23 dollars in response to Psalm 23, then their will be a hundred fold return to you in 23 hours. Pick up that phone and dial right now." This kind of fraudulent and manipulative garbage has caused more than a few people to say, "Forget it, I'm not giving at all." Many will use the false teaching, false premises, and lack of financial accountability in the church and Christian world to not be obedient to God in the area of finances. BUT!!!

The Disobedience of others does not mitigate our responsibility to be faithful to God and the Scripture in every area, including financially.

Herein lies the problem, The Bible gives us 800 scriptures about money to teach us one main thing. Money is not the point at all!!! WHAT! How could 800 scriptures about money tell us that money is not the point?

It's like this. Money is a tool. Money can neither be good or bad. Money is not righteous or evil. It is simply paper and metal.

The key to understanding God's desire for us in the area of finances is not about how much or how little, or even how we spend our money. The key to understanding is in the attitude. Luke tells this story of a widow who throws a couple of pennies in the offering plate and Jesus says she gave more than those who were putting money in by the hundreds. How can that be?

The answer is not in the amount given but in the attitude with which we give. The widow gave more because out of her poverty she desired to give to God because He deserved it, and He was the source of it anyway.

Everything we have, every penny, every blessing, our homes, cars, food, provision, it all comes from God.

The false idea that many have about money and possessions is that they belong to me. It's my money, my house, my car, my stuff. That makes it very difficult to have a good attitude in giving because we are sacrificing my stuff. "I don't want to give MY money." "I don't trust those people with my stuff." As I said this is a false and hurtful philosophy. The truth is without God You and I would have nothing. Not even breath and a heart beat.

The correct attitude is not that it is my stuff, but that everything I have, down to the breath I breathe, belongs to God, and it is my privilege to give to Him. That was the attitude of the widow in Luke. I only have two pennies, but they were given to me by God and I choose to give back to Him. In Gratitude for what He has provided, and in faith that He will continue to provide.

So the question is, How is your attitude when it comes to the area of finances. Do you give and trust, or do you hold back and live in faithless denial of God's promise and provision? It's up to us to choose how we will live. What are you going to do?