“Money, Money, Money”, “She Works Hard For Her Money”, “9 to 5”, “Material Girl”, and “Money Makes The World Go ’Round” are just a few of the hundreds of hit songs about money and its allure and power.
In the hit movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, George Clooney talks two of his fellow-inmates to break out of prison with him, promising them a hidden treasure. Ocean’s Eleven is another hit movie about taking a do-or-die attitude about gaining monetary wealth.
Songs, movies, and books about amassing wealth are everywhere. They’re even in the Church, hiding under the mask of the “prosperity gospel”. And people are falling for them right and left. But the truth of the matter is that not one of those songs, movies or books has a clue about what it takes to be financially secure and blessed. And that includes the ones touting the “prosperity gospel”.
There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible about money. That tells us God has definite thoughts and opinions on the subject. And since his thoughts and opinions should be ours, it is only right that we should let God direct our finances (and everything else, too).
That being said, let’s look at five of the two-thousand-plus verses—the five that I feel best sum up God’s intent for money and our use of it.
1. Malachi 3:10
“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’”
Tithe. First. It’s not really even a tithe if you don’t give it first. Years ago one of my daughters had a little picture book that taught the importance of giving. I don’t know what happened to the book. I don’t even remember the name of the book. But I do remember one very important line in the book: “Sharing back with you is easy fun, God, because you give us so much.”
Sharing back with God—that’s what we are doing when we tithe. We are returning part of what is his to him. Think of it like this: If your friends offered to let you stay in their beach house for a week, you wouldn’t take things from the house with you when you left, thinking they were yours simply because you had been allowed to enjoy them for a few days. No way! You would leave things just as you found them so as not to ruin your friendship and so you would be welcome to use it again.
God wants to give us so much but he can’t if we are so preoccupied with holding on to what we already have that our hands are closed to the new gifts He wants to give us.
2. Luke 6:38
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
There really isn’t a lot of explaining to do on this one. Whether it be toward your family, friends, your job, or God, you get what you give.
3. Luke 12:15
“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’”
The world is dead-set on convincing us that money is power and that the things money can buy are the source of happiness, love, sex appeal, and success. If this were a red-letter edition blog entry, the part in quotations would be red because the ‘he’ that said these things is Jesus. Jesus is warning us to not get caught up in the lie that a well-lived life is one that is full of stuff.
4. 2 Corinthians 9:7
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Salvation is a gift we can choose to accept…or not. The same holds true for giving. We’ve been told to give back to him, but God doesn’t want us to do so begrudgingly, for attention, or out of a sense of tit-for-tat. He only wants what comes from a sincere heart.
5. Matthew 6:20-21
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It all boils down to priorities. When we know deep-down that our money and all it can buy is not the source of true wealth, then we will be truly happy. When we know deep-down that our money and all it can buy really belongs to God, we will be better able and willing to give it back to him in return for even greater blessings. When we know deep-down that money doesn’t buy happiness, we will be truly happy.
~ By Darla Noble
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