Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Money, it's between you and God
by Erik Momsen
Money is a contentious issue in many circles and especially the church. It was so difficult an issue that one church, in their attempts to raise funds, hid electrodes on the church pews. When the minister would ask for donations, one of the elders would push a button and the church members would receive a jolt of electricity making them jump up. At the end of the first service three Scotsmen were found dead clinging to their seats!
The church really should not be involved in extorting money from its members. The church must however teach what God expects. The issue has nothing to do with what the church needs, but with what God wants you to do with your money. This issue of money is completely between you and God and He is very interested in how you respond.
YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS GOD & MONEY
Here you can measure your attitude towards God. Again I say, it has nothing to do with anyone else. It is between you and God. Paul, the writer of most of the New Testament, got his attitude right.
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what is it to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:12-14).
Paul’s aim was not money, but the things of God. When God’s aims are not your aims then something else will hold your focus and become an idol. God says of Himself "I am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:5). He demands our attention and worship. We dare not bow before money or make it our focus. We must regard money as belonging to God and at His disposal.
The secret to Paul’s contentment was in his relationship with Jesus. Jesus, his inner strength, helped Paul to overcome the outer struggles.
GIVING IN THE NAME OF GOD DOES THE FOLLOWING:
Brings blessing to those receiving:
"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that you at last have renewed your concern for me." v10
The bible is clear that we need to be generous towards fellow believers and the poor. Those who devote all their time to the work of God need to have their needs met. Many Christian workers, like Paul, still suffer because the rest of the church is not obedient in the area of giving.
Brings blessing to those giving:
Paul knew that it is good for them to give. It is a practical demonstration of their love for God, His work and for Paul their brother.
He says, "I am looking for what may be credited to you." (Philippians 4:17)
Paul knows that God blesses those who are generous and he wants the Philippians to be blessed. To the Corinthians he promises that "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and however sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6).
Paul assures the Philippians that "My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (4:19). Paul was living proof and, so are millions of others.
Brings blessing to God:
"They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God" (4:18). Their giving was a "sweet smell" before God and a sacrifice that He gladly receives. It is amazing that we can please God with a gift to others.
A sacrifice is a hard, costly and even seemingly foolish thing to do. What it does is that it take our attention away from ourselves and places it on God and others. A sacrifice liberates us from our attachment to money and ourselves.
SOME BASIC BIBLICAL PATTERNS OF GIVING
• Give first - "first fruits". (Leviticus 23:10,17 Exodus 23:19, etc.)
• Give to the storehouse i.e. church (Malachi 3:8 ) - bring God glory.
• Give generously.
• Give regularly - "first day of every week". (1 Corinthians 16:2).
• Give proportionally "In keeping with his income". (1 Corinthians 16:2; Malachi 3:8)
• Giving is like sowing - it will produce and increase vision.
Date Added: 2009-04-30
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