The Only Way To Have It All
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6
In his famous sermon on money, John Wesley advised, “Get all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” Today–some 200+ years later–we understand the part about getting all you can, especially without having to work very hard for it. But the saving and giving parts of it are often misunderstood today.
The fact is that the average Christian today gives less than 2% of his income to charitable causes. Most pastors would agree that sermons on money are often considered by church-goers to be self-serving attempts to get money for a church program. But is this really true? Whenever a person understands what God’s will is for His money, which includes how you get it, what you do with it, and what you give away, he or she has been greatly enriched in his or her personal life.
The Bible stresses certain eternal laws or truths, and when those spiritual truths are understood and practiced, better a person is because of it.
Actually, the Bible says a great deal about our possessions, which include your time, your talents, and your resources (including your money). One of every 25 verses in the New Testament deals with your possessions and how to handle them.
The New Testament book of II Corinthians is known as “the heart of Paul” as he openly and candidly talks about money and giving. He says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6). Other chapters in the Bible dealing with the stewardship of our lives include 1Timothy 6, Matthew 13, Matthew 25 and 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.
The Old Testament made it clear that God’s portion was to be first–not what was left over, if any, after other needs were met. Furthermore, He made a promise–strange as the logic may seem to us today–that those who made this commitment would never lack. Malachi recorded the words of the Almighty saying, “`Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, `and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 3:10).
Normally God says, “Trust me!” “Take this by faith,” but when it comes to money, He says, “Prove me!” or “Put me to the test!”
Many of us today are like the little child who dropped a coin into a precious Chinese vase that had been in the family for centuries. Not wanting to lose the coin, the little child pushed his hand into the narrow neck of the vase, and tightly clutched the coin in his doubled-up fist. But then the hand clutching the coin would not budge from the vase. The frustrated mother tried soap suds and persuasion but nothing worked. Finally, the valuable vase was gently broken to free the child’s hand, still tightly clutching the small coin.
Acknowledging that what we have–our time, our talents and abilities, and our resources (including our money)–belongs to the Lord means that we become wise stewards of all these. Giving back to God what is rightly His, which He could exact should He so desire, opens the door to blessing and happiness.
As Alan Gold wrote, “Being aware of God’s ownership can free us from a possessive and anxious spirit. After we have done what we can to care for those things that have been entrusted to us, we know that they are in bigger hands than ours.” And that, friend, is a partnership with the Almighty.
Resource reading: Mark 4:1-20