Summary: Sermon on surrending our finances to God. How we spend our money, How we Make our Money, and Do we honor God with our tithing?
Two weeks ago we began a sermon series on surrendering. First we talked about the importance of surrendering to God’s Word. Not only reading it, and knowing it, but acting on it. Last week we talked about surrendering our habits. Specifically our bad habits. And this week we are continuing with the subject of surrender, but this week it is on our finances. That’s right, our finances. Because we all love to be told what to do with and how to spend our money, don’t we? Well, before we get all defensive about it, let’s remember one thing. God knows best. He writes the material, and for that matter if He decides that we shouldn’t be receiving any more paychecks, then we don’t, and there isn’t one thing we can do about it. So, as we move on this week, we are going to focus on three different areas of our finances. First, making sure they are being spent in a Godly way. Second, making sure they are being made in a Godly way. And last, but definitely not least, making sure we understand our duty to Give to God what is His.
In Proverbs chapter 3 it reads, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
There it is, the calling to honor God with our wealth. It specifically says, our wealth. Not our words, not our actions, but in this case, our wealth.
We should probably begin with a simple understanding. God provided every penny, every quarter and every dollar you and I receive. Whether it be through a paycheck, food stamps, child support payments, or a disability check. It is all income and it is all received by us. So, it all came from Him.
Once we understand that, we need to realize that God has just called us to spend that money in ways that Glorify and Honor Him, period. So buying things that are illegal, no matter what they are, is out. There is no gray area. That isn’t a real surprise to anyone I hope. But this might be. Wasting that income, is also out. Now God doesn’t say that we can’t enjoy ourselves or we can’t play a game or have a nice dinner, but that is different than wasting God’s money. Buying a bigger TV when we owe our rent, is wasting our money. Getting a fancier phone, just because we want one, when our children need clothes or a bed to sleep on, is wasting God’s money. Any time we spend money on something that is not needed, when we should be spending it on something that is needed, we waste God’s money. That scripture verse we heard a bit ago, here is the first part again, “Honor the Lord with your wealth”.
Do we ever wonder why our money never seems to go far enough? Do we ever wonder why God doesn’t give us more? This is why. Over and over again in God’s Word, we hear that God gives to those who spend wisely. In Matthew chapter 25 we can read the parable of the talents. Simply put, in verse 29 Jesus tells us this, “For everyone who has, will be given more, and he will have an abundance”. If we go back and read that parable we learn, that the Master doesn’t give more to the person who did not invest wisely. The person who wasted their chance to use the money in a smart way, ends up getting nothing. Those that used the money wisely, receive even more blessings. We will hear those verses a few different times throughout this sermon, but it is basically the same. If we waste it, He does not give us more. And before anyone gets the idea that this may be a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, let me assure you it doesn’t work that way. God already knows why you do it or what you’re going to do with the money. If we think we can fool God by being a good boy or girl with a few paychecks so He gives us a bunch more money, we will be very surprised later on. God gives us what we need. God even gives us the things of our heart, as long as it goes along with His Will. He cannot be fooled, He cannot be lied to. If we think we need more money, and we prove that we are spending it wisely, the first step is… spending what we have, in a way that Honors God. Helping people. Being generous and kind. Giving to God’s Kingdom. Those things are God Honoring.
The second thing we need to learn about surrendering our finances, is this. If we are dishonest in making the money, why would God want to bless that action with more money? Things like stealing are specifically prohibited by God. So, if the definition of stealing is taking something like money, that we did not earn, then anything else, like gambling, is stealing, in God’s eyes.