Got Money?

We’ve talked about giving money to the church, but is there anything else we should be doing with our money?  I found several ways in the Bible that we should be using our money.

The first way is not necessarily the most important thing I learned during my study of money in the Bible, but it is the most surprising thing I found.  Jesus told us to use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves.  Yup, we are encouraged to buy our friends.  People have a hard time believing Jesus said that, but look at it for yourself in Luke 16:9.  I think he is trying to tell us that relationships are important, and buying someone a lunch may be the start of a friendship that could have eternal consequences in a good way.

It is not surprising to hear that we should provide for our relatives, especially our own household in 1 Timothy 5:8.  However, it is bit shocking that the verse tells us that we have denied the faith and are worse than a non-believer if we don’t.  Worse than a non-believer!  Don’t ignore the financial needs of your relatives.

1 John 3:16-18 questions if the love of God can be in someone who has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them.  The verse in Timothy was talking about our relatives, but notice that these verses are referring to our brothers and sisters in Christ, our church family.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 goes a step further by telling the Israelites that they should give generously to fellow Israelites who are poor.  This opened the giving beyond the church family to any poor people in their community.  In verse 9 it warns them that if they show ill will toward the needy and give them nothing, they will be found guilty of sin.  It’s not just a good thing to give to the poor, it is a sin if you don’t.

Along those same lines, Proverbs 21:13 states that whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.  Ouch.

Acts 4:32-35 is not a commandment for us to follow, but it is an interesting way that believers took care of each other.  No one claimed that any of their possessions were their own and they shared everything they had so there were no needy people among them.  They went so far as to sell their land or houses and give the money from the sales to the apostles so they could distribute it to anyone in need.  It mentioned that God’s grace was powerfully at work in them all.  Would you be willing to sell your house for a brother or sister in need?

I hope the verses we covered today were enlightening or a good reminder if you had heard them before.  I think Proverbs 3:9-10 sums up pretty well what we should be doing with our money.  It says to honor the Lord with your wealth.  I would feel pretty good about honoring the Lord, but wait, there’s more.  It says your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine if you honor God with your wealth.  And I think it is safe to say that some really nice blessings would be headed your way even if you don’t have a barn or a vat.

Got money?  Honor the Lord with it.

-Rick McClain

Today’s Bible reading plan passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Isaiah 57-58 and 2 Timothy 4

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