Summary: Jim Elliott, a famous missionary once wrote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
The following are guidelines for developing the kinds of attitudes the Lord wants us to have about possessions and money:
1. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven by giving to Christ’s cause rather than accumulating things on earth. Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:19,20)
Illustration: Jim Elliott, a famous missionary once wrote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
2. Realize that your motives are measured by where you invest your money. Solomon wrote, "All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (Prov. 16:2) For this reason Jesus commended the widow who gave all she had when she gave only two small mites. In contrast Jesus made a negative example out of the rich man who gave to gain public approval. Giving is measured by the degree of sacrifice it requires from each individual.
3. Never judge a person’s success, especially your own, on the amount of his money or possessions. One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing, another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. (Prov. 13 :7) The poorest people are those who are rich in this life, but poor towards God.
4. Remember how money and possessions are only temporary pleasures that are only good for investing in eternal rewards. David wrote, "Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases. For he will take nothing with him when he dies. His splendor will not descend with him. Though while he lived he counted himself blessed and men praise you when you prosper. Yet, he will join the generation of his fathers, who will never see the light of life. A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish. (Psa. 49: 16-20)
5. You can show your love for the Lord by the way you use your money and possessions for the advancement of His kingdom and the great commission - Matthew 28:19,20). Jesus said, "Love the Lord with all your heart and soul and strength and mind and your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30)
Application: Wisely invest in evangelism, disciple-making and church planting projects in all the world
6. Choose to serve the Lord with your money or it you will be your master. Jesus said, "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Lk. 16:13)
7. Use your money and possessions as a way to express your love for the Lord. Paul writes, "If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, but have not love, I am nothing. (I Cor. 13:3) Many people have thought they could appease their conscience by giving gifts to the poor. Unless it is done with a Christ like love it is done in vain.
8. Be careful of falling into the trap of loving money more than God. Paul writes, "The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil." (I Tim. 6:10) Many have thought money could buy them happiness, security and power, they are eventually disappointed.
9. Jesus will test everyone to see how much they love Him by asking them to put His will before their money and possessions. One day Jesus said to the rich young ruler, "Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21) Many people fail this kind of test because they actually trust more in their money and possessions than in Jesus, Christ’s promises and God’s will !
Concluding Thought: Jesus said, "Give and it will be given to you, good measured, spilling over in abundance."
He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, but he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." (2 Cor. 9:8)