The Christian and money - God’s Word on the matter - Part 1

 

E-book

 

 

“The Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”

 

 

(Including the parts you probably have never heard from the pulpit)

 

 

Chris1@tithingtuth.com

(a work in progress and open to comment)

 

 

 

An E-Book for every believer who really wants to know the truth and walk in the glorious liberty that God intends for His children and that Jesus died for us to have in regard to money

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                           Pages

 

1)      Introduction                                                                                                                    1

 

2)      Why are we here?                                                                                                          2

 

3)      What are we to do while we are here?                                                                           3

 

4)      How do we get the means to live and provide for those we love?                                   5

 

5)      How do we get more than just enough?                                                                          9

 

6)      What are we to do with what we earn?                                                                          12

 

7)      Whose money is it?                                                                                                       13

 

8)      Doing what we really want with our money                                                                     15                                                          

         rather than what others say we should do

 

9)      How do we please God in what we do?                                                                           16

 

10)   What about providing for our futures and for our kids?                                                      17

 

11)   What about the difference between the world today and what it was                                 18                                                                                          

        like in bible times   ie taxes and social security systems and superannuation?

 

12)   So who or what else does God want us to give money to today?                                       19

 

13)   Covetousness and extortion in the church system and                                                        26            

         what the scriptures say we are we to do about it

 

14)   What about the examples of ‘giving it all away’ such as in Acts?                                         38

 

15)   Should our walk with God cost money?                                                                                41

 

 

 

(All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version of the bible)

 

 

 

1)      Introduction

 

So where do we start?

A scripture that has been a life changing question for many believers is a good place. One holds special relevance to me as it was the launching point of my 10 year search for answers and clarity on the matter of our finances as believers ...it is one Jesus asked me directly.

Matt 16:26

26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?   NKJV

 

In life there are priorities we should address and many distractions along the way.

Matt 13:22-23

22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.   NKJV

 

So where do we find the answers?

For Christians and those who want to know truth the only meaningful answers are those given by the God and creator of this world in HIS manual for us, the Bible.

Outside of this there are no meaningful guidelines other than the ever changing opinions of men. We are all free to choose who we want to listen to and to live with the outcome of our choices.

 

                                                                                                1.

 

2)      Why are we here?

 

Acts 17:24-28

24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being     NKJV

 

God’s plan is that we would seek to get to know Him.

The answers to the deep philosophical questions of ‘Where did I come from?’ and ‘Why am I here?’ are only found in seeking and coming to know the God who made this incredibly ordered and intricately designed world for us to live in.

The alternative is surrender to a life of meaninglessness that the prevailing world view of evolution produces i.e. you are a nothing more than a product of matter and energy and time and chance and consequently are here with no purpose and have no value beyond your own existence and survival. This is an unpalatable answer for most rational human beings.

 

                                                                                               2.

 

3)      What are we to do while we are here?

 

First priority – Seeking God

 

Jer 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. NKJV

The starting point is to make the search for God our priority as without this aspect every other pursuit will result in futility. Putting this priority second will never work according to God’s word.

Matt 6:31-34

31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.     NKJV

Once we know God and His ways we will understand our other priorities more clearly.

Heb 11:7

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. NKJV

 

The rich man in the parable that Jesus spoke about in Luke 12:13-21 got his priorities wrong. But the younger brother who wanted his brother to share the inheritance with him was the one warned of his covetousness!

Luke 12:15 and 12:21

15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."     NKJV

21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."     NKJV

 

The problem of the rich man was not that he had wealth, it was that he put the pursuit of temporal/material wealth before the search for God. Being rich toward God is not achieved by our religious works or by asceticism but by FAITH alone, which is the simple trust in the God who made and loves us.

 

                                                                                                3.

Second priority – Wife and kids

 

Gen 1:27-28

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."  NKJV

Life makes sense when we have a family, it is what we were made for.

We need to have relationships as the environment for the expression of our love and to experience being loved. This is also the motivating factor for our work, to provide for those we love.

Gen 2:24

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.   NKJV

This is a joint lifetime commitment to care and provide for one another and our offspring.

 

1 Tim 5:7-8

7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.     NKJV

God places this financial obligation on the heart of mankind and especially believers and it comes before any other responsibility.

Do not claim that you are a ‘Christian’ if you are not making every effort to provide for your family first, and this certainly includes before you go giving money away to churches.

 

1 Cor 13:3

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.     NKJV

The love we are to have towards our family is what motivates us to work HARD to ensure we provide for them, just as God’s love led Him to provide for our needs.

Eph 5:25   Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her NKJV

 

                                                                                               4.

 

4)      How do we get the means to live and provide for those we love?

 

Third priority – Work

 

After God created man and woman in the garden He gave man something to do...

Gen 2:15

15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. NKJV

Giving us something to do was a key to keeping man on track, but a choice was then put before him

Gen 2:16-17

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."    NKJV

(The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, as was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil)

This can be seen as a choice between trusting God and His love and provision for us and His concern for our safety  and therefore doing what He asks, or doubting Him and believing that doing things our own will be more satisfying and liberating. This is a choice mankind still faces today.

 

But concerning work, things became far more difficult after Adam and Eve chose to do life their own way and disobey God’s command.

Gen 3:17-19

"Cursed is the ground for your sake;

In toil you shall eat of it

All the days of your life.

18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,

And you shall eat the herb of the field.

19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

Till you return to the ground,

For out of it you were taken;

 

                                                                                                5.

For dust you are,

And to dust you shall return."    NKJV

Mankind today still knows this reality because without hard work we generally do not have food.  And it seems for many of us that our work does not end until we die.

 

So what place should work play in the life of believers today?

 

The priority of work has not changed in the bible and money in the New Testament still does not fall from heaven into our banks accounts. It gets there legitimately after we have worked and earned it.

Do the scriptures ever suggest that people should not work? Some misunderstand the following passage.

Matt 6:31-34

31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.     NKJV

Seeking FIRST the kingdom does not mean that we do not need to work to provide for our needs. It means that once we know God we will not worry because we know that HE will bless the work of our hands. Note that birds still have to fly around to catch insects or collect pollen from flowers.(vs25-6)

 

Poverty comes when we do not work hard.

Prov 24:33-34

33 A little sleep, a little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to rest;

34 So shall your poverty come like a prowler,

And your need like an armed man.    NKJV

Ps 104:22-23

22 When the sun rises, ................

23 Man goes out to his work

And to his labor until the evening.  NKJV

 

                                                                                                6.

Prov 18:9

9 He who is slothful in his work

Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.   NKJV

 

Jesus worked as a carpenter from a young age to the age of 30 (Mark 6:3).

He spoke many parables about the reality of work as the means to earn a living.

 

Matt 21:28

A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' NKJV

Matt 20:1-2

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.  2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard   NKJV

 

All the apostles had occupations be they fishermen, tax collectors, physicians or tent makers.

Work was a given. The apostles themselves commanded it.

 

1 Tim 5:8

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.     NKJV

2 Thess 3:10

10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. NKJV

2 Thess 3:12

2 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.   NKJV

 

                                                                                                7.

 

1 Thess 4:10-12 

But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.  NKJV

And this was Paul’s lifetime example and teaching.

2 Thess 3:6-9

But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.   NKJV

Acts 20:33-35

33 I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"     NKJV

 Paul was working this hard because the he knew that this was what Jesus intended.

“Do not be lazy and be a burden on others. Rather work hard wherever possible so that you can provide for yourself and also be a giver”

 

Ministry is not scripturally considered to be a legitimate means of getting income.

1 Tim 6:5

...men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain NKJV

2 Cor 2:17

17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.     NKJV

1 Peter 5:1-2

5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;    NKJV

 

                                                                                                8.

 

5)      How do we get more than just enough?

 

Prov 22:29

29 Do you see a man who excels in his work?

He will stand before kings;    NKJV

 

Hard work brings success but some others may be envious.

Eccl 4:4

Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor.  NKJV

 

 Prov 21:25-26

25 The desire of the lazy man kills him,

For his hands refuse to labor.

26 He covets greedily all day long,

But the righteous gives and does not spare.     NKJV

 

1 Thess 4:10-12 

But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.  NKJV

Increase is GOOD as it enables one to lack nothing and the starting point scripturally is HARD WORK. See also Ephesians 6:5-8.

 

Many are concerned that having riches is somehow a bad thing but this is not the teaching of the scriptures and poverty is not something God wants for His children. Please note that God did not suddenly change his attitude to wealth between the Old and New Testaments as some suggest (Mal 3:6, Jam 1:17). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, etc all became very wealthy as a reward for dilligence and HARD WORK in the same way as people become rich today.

 

Prov 14:24

24 The crown of the wise is their riches,

But the foolishness of fools is folly.    NKJV

                                                                                                9.

 

Prov 22:4

4 By humility and the fear of the LORD

Are riches and honor and life.   NKJV

 

The issue is not about having riches but about how we go about obtaining those riches and whether our riches become something we put our trust in. Hard work is good but coveting wealth and getting it from others by deception is evil. (Refer the 10th Commandment)

 

Ps 62:10

If riches increase,

Do not set your heart on them.    NKJV

 

1 Tim 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.  NKJV

 

It is God’s will that we RICHLY ENJOY the rewards we have received from our labours.

 

So what about GREED?

 

If you have been raised in a church environment, you have probably heard numerous messages implying that if you have much it’s because you are greedy which is a sin. At the same time you would have felt strongly that those preaching this message would like you to believe that you should give your money to support them and their visions rather than your own burdens and desires.

 

The bible does not speak against those who love God working hard for their money. It does, however, speak strongly against those who use religion as a cloak to covet other people’s money and to extort it from them. This is the SIN of greed and covetousness manifested (contravening the 8th and 10th Commandments). This is the LOVE OF MONEY in action!

Sadly if you look back you will have heard very little taught on covetousness and how to respond when you encounter it. (refer section 13)

 

                                                                                                10.

 

Contentment the answer to greed and covetousness

 

Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. NKJV

Phil 4:11

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content NKJV

1 Tim 6:3-10

3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglingsof men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.  

6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.     NKJV

The ‘love of money’ addressed in this passage is that which corrupt teachers who covetously pursue other people’s MONEY demonstrate because they believe that their ministry is a means of gain (ie a career) rather than HARD WORK. This behavior and its consequences are sadly still seen in many leaders in churches today. Note that this warning is addressed to Timothy in his ministry as an apostle to the church and not to the body of believers. This is also referred to in 2 Tim 3:1-7 where Paul warns that some 'servants of the Lord' will become 'lovers of themselves' and 'lovers of money'

 

Jesus addressed the religious rulers of his day who saw themselves as the holier than others.

Luke 16:14-15

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.   NKJV

They used their religious position to EXTORT money from the people and live the high life.

Matt 23:25

25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.    NKJV

 

                                                                                                11.

 

6)      What are we to do with what we earn?

 

 

We are free to do what we want with it according to Jesus and Peter

Matt 20:15

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?    NKJV

Acts 5:4

4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  NKJV

 

We are in control to decide what to do with the money we earn from our labors

1 Cor 7:17

But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk.  NKJV

 

The God-given burden on our hearts as believers will be for our families first and then for the poor.

1 Tim 5:8

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.     NKJV

 

2 Cor 9: 7

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.   NKJV

 

The New Testament scriptures place no compulsion on our giving. The context of this passage is giving for the needs of starving saints in Jerusalem, and even that is a passion and ‘NOT of NECESSITY’!

 

This freedom is part of living in the glorious liberty of the children of God that Jesus died for us to have.  (Rom 8:21)

 

                                                                                                12.

 

7)      Whose money is it?

 

Many in church circles today teach that we do not own anything but that it all belongs to God and therefore we are merely stewards. Their favorite scriptures to support this agenda are below.

Ps 24:1

The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness,

The world and those who dwell therein.    NKJV

Hag 2:8

8 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' says the LORD of hosts."    NKJV

 

The overall teaching of scripture reveals the truth in that while God as the creator of this world is the ULTIMATE owner of all, God himself sanctions our individual and personal ownership rights during our lives on earth. There are many scripures which refer to 'ownership' of possessions.

 

The Ten Commandments entrench the right of personal ownership of property....

Ex 20:15&17

15 "You shall not steal.    (ie do not take what belongs to another)

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." KJV

 

The words of the Father can be heard.

Luke 15:31-32

31 "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  NKJV

 

Jesus affirmed the right of personal ownership of property.

Matt 20:15

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?    NKJV

 

                                                                                13.

 

Peter also confirmed the right of personal ownership.

Acts 5:4  While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  NKJV

We are not merely stewards of what we have. It is our own

 

Rom 4:4

4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace (ie it is NOT a gift) but as debt.    NKJV

Scripturally money earned does not come to people as a ‘gift from God’ with consequential obligations.

1 Tim 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.   NKJV

The way in which God gives money to us is WHEN WE WORK hard and wisely use the TALENTS he has given us!

 

Deut 8:11-18

11 "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest — when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;  13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end —  17 then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.'

18 "And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  NKJV

This passage is part of the old covenant which is addressed to Israel alone and looking at the wealth in the world today it is hard to dispute that God had indeed given the Jews the ‘power to get wealth’.

Two key aspects are still relevant however for us as believers today. We should never allow ourselves to become proud in our hearts about any wealth we may build up and never let our money become something that takes away from our relationship with God. Remember always that the wealth we have received comes from our WORK and the application of the talents and opportunities God gave us!

Those who believe that God gives wealth to people irrespective of their WORK need to ask why it is that most of the wealth then is 'given' to those who are hard working NON-BELIEVERS. Does God love them more than His children?

 

                                                                                                14.

 

8)      Doing what we personally want with our money rather than what others say we should do

 

1 Cor 2:15-16

15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.  NKJV

Col 2:16-17

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.  NKJV

The judging above refers to religious matters of the Law. This includes the old covenant laws of tithing, sacrifices and offerings, and temple tax and which are also all fulfilled in Christ. We are FREE.

Col 2:20-23

20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations —  21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," 22 which all concern things which perish with the using — according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.    NKJV

Giving money away to church organizations does not make us ‘spiritual’ and it does not help us overcome the flesh. Regulations like tithing today are no more than commandments and doctrines of men and are part of ‘self imposed religion’ which is of NO VALUE. This is such great waste.

1 Cor 10:24

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.   NKJV

God allows you, as a born again child of his with a new heart, the freedom to choose how and where to invest your hard earned income. He will place passions and burdens on your heart and He will bless the work of your hands. Allow Him to lead you by the Spirit. Pray and ask for wisdom.

James 1:5

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. NKJV

Never allow yourself to be manipulated by legalistic deceptions. Be wise and study for yourself.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.     NKJV                            

 

                                                                                                15.

 

9)      How do we please God in what we do with our money?

 

We please God when in FAITH we stop trying to earn His approval, and realize that in Christ He IS pleased with us (Mat 3:17)

Heb 11:5-6

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.    NKJV

 

Heb 4:9-10

9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.   NKJV

Matt 11:28-30

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."     NKJV

 

From this position of REST we show His love through us to the world....

Firstly by providing for our families.

Secondly by helping the poor where we encounter them and are able to do so.

Thirdly by sharing the gospel with others ourselves in and through our lives.

 

Matt 25:22-23

 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.'  23 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'     NKJV

Eph 2:9-10

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.    NKJV

We each now please God by personally doing what we believe in our hearts that HE has called us to do in our lives. (Phil 2:13)

 

                                                                                16.

 

10)      What about providing for our futures?

 

Gal 6:5

5 For each one shall bear his own load.    NKJV

2 Cor 12:14

And I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.   NKJV

We should seek where possible to have enough not to be a burden on society or our children, even in our old age.

 

And what about leaving an inheritance for our kids, and their kids?

 

The Old Testament has a lot of scriptures about leaving an inheritance to your family and rules about who got what. God believes in you leaving your inheritance for your family.

Num 27:7-11

 8 And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to the relative closest to him in his family, and he shall possess it.'" And it shall be to the children of Israel a statute of judgment, just as the LORD commanded Moses. NKJV

The scriptural standard is that our inheritance is for our family if we have them, and not for any other party such as charities or religious organizations.

 

2 Cor 12:14

For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.  NKJV

OUGHT indicates a responsibility to provide for your kids and this we will discover often does not end until we die! This is certainly something on the hearts of most believers.

Prov 13:22

22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,

But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. NKJV

 

                                                                                17.

 

11)      What about the difference between the world today and what it was like in bible times?

           (ie taxes and social security systems and superannuation)

 

Today in most western countries tax of 30-50% is paid by individuals in a large part to provide for community needs such as health care, unemployment benefits and pensions for the elderly.

The biggest material contribution individuals will make to help the needy in society today is by WORKING and earning money, both to provide for themselves and by PAYING taxes to help others.

The other way to contribute to society though taxes is to do business and to employ people.

You can do nothing and be a self indulgent burden on society or you can get out there and DO SOMETHING that will help not only yourself but others too.

 

For those in religious circles who rail against business men as being those who are exploiting society, ask yourself these questions about today’s world....

“Who is taking and who is GIVING?”  

“Who is being the burden and who is practically HELPING others?”

(Charitable works that 'church ministry’ do by giving a small fraction of the money collected from others is NOT giving)

 

God today wants all of us as His children to take LIFE by the horns and do the best we can with the ‘talents’ and opportunities He has given each of us!

Matt 25:20-23

20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.'  21 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'  22 He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.'  23 His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'     NKJV

What matters most is doing what we can with our personal talents, and not trying to do someone elses roles or to live up to someone else’s talents and achievements.

God wants us each to be and to do what HE made us for and not what others tell us we should do.

 

                                                                                                18.

 

12)      So who and what else does God want us to support today?

 

Be generous to the POOR we encounter

Gal 2:10

10 They (the apostles) desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do. NKJV

The ONLY desired target for giving to others in the New Testament was to the needs of the POOR.

Matt 25:31-40

"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.  33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.  34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 

37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'  40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'    NKJV

The ONLY New Testament scriptural way individuals ‘give to God’ is by being generous to the poor. Giving to church organizations is never referred to in the bible as giving to God.

 

Acts 17:24-25

24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.   NKJV

Giving for church buildings is not something the New Testament ever mentions let alone encourages. God is spirit and we are told that He does not dwell in buildings, He dwells in the heart of His children (1 Cor 6:19)

Giving money to church organizations is NOT worship and it is NOT given to God as He NEEDS nothing!

 

                                                                                                19.

1 Tim 6:17-19

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.   NKJV

The scriptures instead say to those who have abundance that we should simply ‘trust in the living God’ and do ‘good work’ i.e. help the POOR and NEEDY. We are not to pay others to do this for us.

 

Tithing is ‘of the Law’ and is NOT required of believers in the New Testament

 

Lev 27:30-34

30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD's. It is holy to the LORD. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. 33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.'"

34 These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.     NKJV

Tithes were only ever FOOD that the children of ISRAEL were to give.

 

Deut 4:1

"Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you.  NKJV

Deut 14:22-23

"You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always   NKJV

 

Israel was commanded to EAT their tithes!   (and to share their FOOD with the Levites vs 27&29)

                                                                                                20.

(Go To Part 2)