What Does God Want Me to Do with My Money? (Part 2)
What does God want us to do with our money? What is his purpose for wealth in our lives? In part one of this blog, we learned that God wants us to be grateful and to be glad. He wants us to thank him for what we have, and to be content with what he has given us.
If you missed part one, you can read it, HERE!
Below are points 3 and 4 of what God wants us to do with our money:
3. God Wants Me To Be GENEROUS
God didn't bless us with what we've got just to spend on ourselves. He's watching to see how much of it we give away. God is testing our character.
Jesus told a story about it. There was a rich man who made so much profit that he said, "I'm going to build bigger barns." When he made such a tremendous profit, rather than giving some of it away he said, "I'll hoard it. I'll build bigger barns." It didn't even occur to him to be generous. Jesus said, God said to him, "You fool. You're living just for the here and now, and when you get to heaven what will you show for it?"
The Bible says that God is testing our character. He wants us to become like Him. If we want to become like God, we've got to become a giver. God is a giver, a generous, generous giver. The more generous we become, the more like God we become. The more miserly we are the less like God we are.
God put us on the earth to learn giving, to be like God, to be a generous person. Eternal rewards are going to be based on what we give away, not on how much we kept.
Eccl. 11:1 (MSG) Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.
It's inevitable. He says, "I'm watching you here on earth and you'll see it in heaven." When I see my kids share with each other, it melts my heart. It thrills me. When our heavenly Father sees us share with somebody else, it brings joy to God's heart. The Bible says, "God loves a cheerful giver." He's saying, "That's my boy, That's my daughter. They're being like me in that instance, doing what I do."
As your pastor, I pray for your financial success. Not so that you'll have more to spend on yourself, but so that you'll learn to be more generous. I want you to get those rewards up there in heaven.
I Timothy 6:17-19 Teach those who are rich…
(This includes everybody in this America. In relationship to the rest of the world, we're all rich. If we have a house we're in the top 3% of the world. If we own a car we're in the top 6%.)
...in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
He's talking here about materialism. We live in a materialistic world. How do we break the grip of materialism? How do we keep ourselves from becoming a materialistic person? There is only one antidote to materialism: GIVE.
How do we store up treasure in heaven? Two ways:
1) We begin using what we've got now for God's purposes.
2) We begin sharing generously when people have need. God is watching us.
4. God Wants Me To Be GODLY -- put God first in my life
Luke 16:13 No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
We've got to decide what's going to be first in our life. If we say to God, "I want You first in my life," He will test us. He will test our priorities. Count on it. The way He's going to test our priorities is, He's going to ask us to give something away to see what's really first in our life. It's a test of character.
If God told me to give something away right now and I said, "No, God, I could give anything away but that," and I couldn't give it away then I don't own it -- it owns me. We become possessed by our possession. We become consumed by the consumption of things. God will test what's really first in our life by asking us to give it away.
We cannot serve two masters -- God and money. We've got to decide. What demonstrates my decision? My giving demonstrates what's first place in my life.
If the Lord is the Lord of my life, He's going to be the Lord of my wallet too.
If we're a Christian and we know about tithing and we're not doing it, we really haven't settled this issue of what's first place in our life. Am I going to do what God says or what I think I can afford to do?
Regardless of what I say is first place, the way I spend my time and the way I spend my money really tells me what's first place in my life. Ultimately I must be confronted with two key choices: Who will be my master? and Where will I put my money? Eternity or here and now.
Matthew 6:20-21 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
We need to start building that nest egg for eternity. Every time we give away, we're building it. We cannot out give God. God doesn't need our money. He's not poor, He's not on welfare. He wants what it represents. It represents us, our heart.
Wherever our wealth goes, that's where our heart goes.