27 Jul 3 Thoughts on Your Cash and the Kingdom
This past Sunday, we examined the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler. This is a convicting passage for all of us as we scrutinize our spending to measure our priorities. Does my family’s budget reflect a strong commitment to the kingdom? Tough question for all of us! Here are three thoughts I left us with, to reflect on this important matter.
- We should recognize that we are not owners but managers.
As the old saying goes, “You never see a Uhaul behind a hearse.” Our lives are on loan, and we give it all back to God in the end. Jesus said that we only get to keep what we offer back to Him. Therefore, becoming a giver—in every sense of the word—with our time, our talents, and our treasure—lies at the heart of discipleship. Step one for many people is to simply invite God into their finances, asking Him to direct distribution. Are you doing that?
- We should recognize that greed is a temptation that never fully subsides in this age.
The Scriptures contain countless cautions concerning the love of money. Paul said to young Timothy, as he aspired to the role of pastor: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (1 Tim. 6:10).
Paul calls the love of money a craving—something that people pine for and are often unaware of its control on their lives. This is why, in the Old Testament, God required his people to give the first 10% of their crops to a temple sacrifice. The regular habit of tithing was, and still is, an offensive weapon toward the greed that wishes to control us.
- We should recognize that God demonstrated His love for us when He gave.
God is the ultimate giver. He “so loved us that He gave” his most valuable treasure (Jn. 3:16).
So here’s what I’ve learned over the years as I’ve taught on the joy of giving. Every person has a starting point and a next step. Maybe a 10% tithe seems overwhelming to you. No worries. Start with a single gift, then work your way up to a regular “flat rate” gift. Set a goal to give more this year than you did last year, in hopes that God will grant you the faith to reach that 10% level in time.
If the greatest thing in the world is love, and love is measured by giving and sacrifice, what is the next step in growth for you?