THE CHRISTIAN, MONEY AND GIVING
Study Text: Mark 12:41-44
- Money is an issue about which many are sensitive and close mouthed. However, it is an issue about which the Bible has much to say.
- And, it is an issue that affects every person either as individual or as family.
- We depend upon money to provide homes, food, clothing, cars and other things we say are the necessities of life. If you do not have money in this society, then you are in serious trouble. We all agree on the fact that money is very important.
- Every Christian has the responsibility to use the resources which have been given to him by God to further God's kingdom upon the earth.
- When we invest our money in the kingdom of God, we also place our heart there. When we place our finances in the hands of the world, then we likewise tie our affections to things below and not things above - Matt. 6:19-24.
1. The Proper Use of Money: - 1 Cor. 10:31.
- When money is properly used to glorify the Lord, then the Lord is given the wonderful opportunity of proving His power to provide for His people, Mal. 3:8-12.
- When God is denied this opportunity, then the child of God has forfeited a great blessing and that becomes a sin before the Lord.
- Therefore, the primary use for our money is to use all that we have to bring glory to the Lord. This means that the primary use for money is for giving.
- When we give, we honor God, we advance His Kingdom, we demonstrate faith in His promises, we expose ourselves to His blessings and we do something in which everyone can participate.
2. The Principle for the Use of Money
- Jesus gives some principles that should govern the use of our money especially in the matter of our giving.
- Jesus was observing the people casting their money into the treasury. He was watching them as they gave. Notice how this verse is worded, "and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury..."
- The yardstick has always been what is called the "tithe." This is a word that simply means "the tenth." God desires that every person be actively involved in giving their tithe to the Lord.
- Nobody should give less than his tithe, but you can give more as the Lord blesses you in offerings and special donation to further support the work of the kingdom.
- There are 3 basic reasons why people do not tithe.
1. Many Have Never Been Taught To Tithe - Perhaps their mothers and fathers did not tithe. Perhaps their preachers have been silent about the matter of tithing. But, whatever the reason, some people simply do not understand the place tithing holds in the lives of believers.
2. Many Misunderstand The Place Of Tithing In The Lord's Kingdom - There are those who feel that tithing is not for us to do today. This comes from a lack of understanding about what tithing is and where the concept came from.
3. Many Simply Refuse To Obey The Lord - Many do not tithe even though they know that the Bible tells them to. Many refuse because they are willing to be rebellious to the Word of God instead of obedient. If you know that it is the Lord's will and you don't do it, then don't complain when you begin to pay a financial price for your rebellion - James 4:17.
- Too often, we get hung up on the tithe and forget that every penny we have to our names is the Lord's. All of our money, not just the tithe, is to be used as He leads and directs us. It isn't 10% that belongs to God, it is 100%! Are you living your life by this principle?
3. The Proportion for the use of Money
- As Jesus stood there that day watching the people give their offerings, He was watching not how they gave, but how much as well.
- When this little widow gave ALL she had, Jesus could no longer contain Himself, but used her giving as an example to all who were present that day.
- Her testimony still stands as one of the greatest examples of sacrifice in all of recorded human history.) With this in mind, notice a few principles from the bible concerning the measure of our giving.
A. We Are To Give Proportionally
- That is, everyone is expected to give the same amount. Not the same currency figure, but the same percentage.
- God's ideal starting point for giving is 10% for everyone. This principle of giving is called the tithe and it is the Lord's - Mal. 3:10; Lev. 27:30. Any other use of this money constitutes stealing from God and will result in the removal of His blessings!
- Tithing did not originate with the Law. Many years before the Law was given, Abraham offered the Lord a tithe of all his increase, Gen. 14:20. Even before that, Abel brought the Lord of the "firstfruits" of his flocks, Gen. 4:4.
- Regardless of who you are, your part is exactly the same as my part. We are all required to give to the Lord His tithe! Anything less is theft.
B. We Are To Give Properly
- There is a proper place that has been appointed by the Lord for us to give our tithes. Notice, Mal. 3:10, we are to bring our tithes into the storehouse, also called the "Lord's house."
- In our day, we call this place the church. God's plan is that ALL the tithe is to be brought into the church and from there, it is to be distributed as the Lord leads.
C. We Are To Give Perpetually
- According to 1 Cor. 16:2, we are to make our giving a regular part of our lives. Many give only when they have excess.
- Others do it when they are moved by conviction and guilt. When we refuse to give as the Lord has given to us, then we are telling God that He has no right to anything that belongs to us.
4. The Passion for the use of Money:
A. We Should Give Thankfully
- That is, we ought to do our giving in light of what the Lord has done for us. When we consider the fact that the Lord loved us and gave His life for us, then saved us by His grace when we simply asked, then the tithe seems awfully small. A thankful heart is a giving heart!
B. We Should Give Cheerfully
- According to the Bible, God loves a cheerful giver, 2 Cor. 9:7. We should give, not because we feel obligated to give, but because it delights our hearts to be able to give unto the Lord!
C. We Should Give Liberally
- This simply means that we are not to be stingy when it comes to giving to the Lord's work or His people.
- In truth, we can expect God to bless us in direct proportion to the level of our giving, Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6.
D. We Should Give Sacrificially
- In our text, Jesus was impressed, not by the amount of the widow's gift, but by the fact that she gave out of her need. The rich gave out of their surplus, she gave all she had.
- If you wait to start giving when you have plenty, you will face 2 problems. 1.) You'll never get to where you think you have plenty. 2.) When you do have extra, it will seem like too much to give.
Anyone who refuses to give the Lord what belongs to Him loves his money more that he loves God. What is God's word about your money? That your money belongs to Him and that you will give an account as to how you use His money.