Summary: How we handle money is an indicator of our spiritual maturity. Have you learned the spiritual disciples of Trusting, Tithing, Saving, Repaying and Enjoying.
GROWING THROUGH GIVING
There is a story about a church in the American South with a small but vocal “Amen Corner.” Especially vocal was Deacon Jones, who led the corner. One day the pastor began his sermon with the words, “If this church is going to serve God then it needs to learn how to walk” Deacon Jones and the corner shouted in response, “Amen pastor! Let the church walk!” The pastor continued “and once it has learned how to walk this church has to learn how to run!” Deacon Jones followed along with “Amen pastor! Let the church run!” The pastor got even more wound up and exclaimed, “and once this church has learned how to run it must learn to fly!” Deacon Jones almost jumped out of his pew crying “Amen pastor! Let the church fly!” And then the pastor looked at them earnestly and said, “And if the church is going to fly, it will mean we have to reach deep down into our pockets and learn how to give!” After a pause Deacon Jones replied, “Let the church walk pastor, let it walk!”
One of the greatest indicators of spiritual maturity in your life is how you handle your finances. If you’re going to grow spiritually you have to know how to manage your money. You may not realize this but money management is a spiritual discipline. It has a profound effect on your spiritual growth.
1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
The Bible tells us that money is a tool to be used for good. It also says that money is a test. It tests our character, faith and priorities. Ultimately how we use money is an indicator of our spiritual maturity. God is watching us to see if we are being faithful with what we have been entrusted with. One day we will stand before God and give an account for what we did with what we were given.
If you’re discouraged about your finances you’ve picked a good day to come to church. By the time we finish I hope that you will have a better handle on how you can get control of your money. Let’s look at 5 spiritual disciplines that will help you can manage your money more effectively:
Trusting means recognizing that God is your provider every day. He is the source of all blessings. He may use certain channels like a company or corporation or person but ultimately everything we have comes from Him. God is the source and supplier of my needs. No matter what happens with the economy or stock market, God is able to meet all your needs.
Phil 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus
That is a promise and you must either believe it or else you believe that God is a liar. That is why I’m saying that money management is a spiritual discipline. It’s all about faith.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it
Everything belongs to God. You didn’t bring a single penny into this world and you are not taking a single penny out of it. Every person, every company, every stock and bond, everything on this planet belongs to God. You don’t really own anything. God just loans it to you for a season.
You had nothing with you when you were born and you can take nothing with you when you die.
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him. An angel heard his plea and appeared to him. “Sorry, but you can’t take your wealth with you.” The man begged the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules. The man continued to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappeared and informed the man that God had decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathered his largest suitcase and filled it with pure gold bars and placed it beside his bed. Soon afterward, he died and showed up at the gates of heaven to greet St. Peter. St. Peter, seeing the suitcase, said, “Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!”. The man explained to St. Peter that he had permission and asked him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checked it out, came back and said, “You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check its contents before letting it through.”. St. Peter opened the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaimed, “Of all the things you could have brought with you … you brought pavement?”