Martin Luther once said: "People go through
three conversions in the Christian faith: their head, their
heart, and their pocketbook -- unfortunately, not all at the
He who has God and everything has no more
than he who has God alone. C.S. Lewis
Jesus Christ said more about money than about
any other single thing because, when it comes to a man's real
nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index
to a man's true character. All through Scripture there is
an intimate correlation between the development of a man's
character and how he handles money. Richard Halverson
Our use of money and possessions is a decisive
statement of our eternal values. What we do with our money
loudly affirms which kingdom we belong to. Whenever we give
of our resources to further God's kingdom, we cast a ballot
for Christ and against Satan, for heaven and against hell.
Whenever we use them selfishly and indifferently we do the
opposite. Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn's writing has had a profound effect
on my thinking. The Bible is full of instruction on how we
are to handle His resources, which are entrusted to us. I
think and pray that I am recovering from being a lukewarm
Christian, and I think that our churches are full of the lukewarm.
We look to ourselves (other Christians) as the measuring stick,
instead of to the Bible. The church at Laodecea seems to be
much like most of our modern day American churches:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To the angel of the church in
Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the
Beginning of the creation of God, says this: "I know
your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that
you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither
hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you
say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need
of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched
and miserable and poor and blind and naked", (Rev 3:13-17
This is the condition I am hoping to recover
from, and this is what I see exampled in so many believers
in this country. Fortunately, God follows His reproof in versus
13 -17 with the following passage:
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined
by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so
that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness
will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so
that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline;
therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door
and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I
will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me
on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father
on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches. (Rev 3:18-22 NASB)
Matthew Henry's commentary of this passage.
Lord God, Please give us the strength to stand
up to the temptations of wealth in our culture and help us
to be on fire for You!
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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do
not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then
if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is
the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted
to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
(Mat 6:19-24 NASB).
As Brian Baldwin says, "we have a decision
to make". Who are we going to serve, God or wealth?
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if
anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to
him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
Lets answer that door in the context of Revelations
3, shall we? This likely does not mean we have to give away
everything, though for some it might, but I think it does
mean that many of us will need to make some changes in how
we live and how we look at money.
"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.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be
generous and willing to share. 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."
(1 Timothy 6:17-19)
But who are the rich?
From Investing In Eternity
by Randy Alcorn
(Excerpts from A Finance Column written for New
Man magazine, published June 1997)
If you have enough food, decent clothes, live in
a home that shields you from the weather and own some kind of
reliable transportation, you are in the top 15 percent of the
world's wealthy. Add some savings, a hobby like hunting or fishing
that requires equipment, two cars (in any condition), a variety
of clothing and your own house, and you have reached the top five
You may not feel wealthy. But that's because you're
comparing yourself to someone who owns even more.
To get a better handle on reality, consider that
more than 1.1 billion people in the world live on less than the
equivalent of one U.S. dollar per day. Five hundred million people
are hungry and another 500 million are so poor they don't get
enough food to be fully productive.
Though the proportion of the world's hungry is slowly
declining, population increases mean the number of hungry persons
is the highest in history. Every day nearly 75,000 people, most
of them children, die because of dirty drinking water, disease
By the year 2000, two billion children will live
in extreme poverty or high-risk situations. By 2020, the number
of street children is expected to skyrocket from today's 100 million
to 800 million.
Much of the world lives with an even worse shortage:
the good news that Jesus died for our sins and is the way to eternal
life. Ninety-five percent of these unreached groups live in an
area from West Africa to China known as the 10/40 Window. Of these
3.1 billion people, two-thirds have never heard of Jesus, at least
not as Savior. (Eighty-five percent of the world's poorest also
live in this region).
"To whom much is given, of him will much
be required" (Luke 12:48)
As we study these issues, please remember that you
cannot present to God any amount of money, good works, or possessions
in order to merit His favor. The Christian life begins when you
yield your heart and life to Christ and receive what He wants
to give you -- eternal life, forgiveness of sins, assurance of
heaven when you die, a brand new start, and a relationship with
Stewardship is not about salvation or justifying ourselves
before God, however, it is about sanctification, obedience,
and even our future rewards in heaven.
Rembrandts The Return of the Prodigal Son. ca 1668/69.
Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. (Luke
our society cultivates materialism in powerful
ways. As the earth holds the moon in orbit by its gravity, the
more possessions you have the more likely they will hold you in
Loosening the grip of materialism on our lives
is a good reason to live more simply. There are a thousand ways
to do this. We can buy used cars instead of new, choose a modest
home over an expensive one, shop at thrift stores and own a bicycle
instead of a second car.
What's the point? Paul explained in Ephesians
4:28 that the reason for productive work was so we could "have
something to share with those in need." When we earn more,
we should use those resources to help others. God doesn't call
us to increase our standard of living, but our standard of giving.
Where to give?
As Christians, we must always be concerned
with spreading the gospel through missions work. But we also need
relief and development agencies to provide food and medicine.
You can't convert a man who is so hungry he can't sit up.
How can I be sure the money I give will be used wisely?
If your church isn't doing anything to feed the hungry and reach
the lost, be an advocate for starting an outreach. Just because
you can't reach the world is no reason not to help one, two or
ten. How do you feed a billion hungry people? One at a time.
Giving through CCC
Main St. Youth
(Joe and Terry Stallings)
Frontiers (Joy, UAE)
See Lois Green
See Ken Fairbanks
|Phase I is funded!
We are currently saving to fund Phase II and then on to Phase
See the plans, or
|Do you have a vision or see a need?
See the Elders
There are also many missions, hunger relief
organizations and evangelistic organizations that need help. Before
giving to one, do your homework to make sure they will use your
donations wisely. Pastors, missionaries and missions professors
at colleges and seminaries are good sources of information about
You also need to know that the ministry is Christ-centered
and biblically sound, that its leaders have character and integrity,
and that it maintains accountability for how it spends its funds.
Consider, too, where it devotes its efforts.
Ninety-five percent of Western missions money and resources go
to areas of the world where there is already an established or
emerging church. Only five percent help areas where there is no
For Randy Alcorn's full article: http://epm.org/monnewma.html