"Money answereth all things" Ecclesiastes 10:19.
"I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the Lord from my hand" Judges 17:3.
"Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usary "Matthew 25:27.
In his dealing with the world and its possessions, the Christian finds an opportunity to manifest his self-denial and the spirit of discretion.1 Since all value or property on earth still finds its expression in money, it is in his dealings with money that he can especially show he is free from worldliness by denying himself to serve his God. In order to thoroughly comprehend this, we must consider what is to be said about money.
What does money represent? It represents the work by which a man earns it and his industry, zeal, and ability in that work. It is indicative of his success and the blessing of God upon the work. It also represents all that I can do with money and the work that others would do for me. It signifies the power that I have to accomplish what I desire and the influence which I exercise on those who are dependent on me for my money. It is a representation of all the possessions or enjoyments that are to be obtained by money and of all on earth that can make life desirable. Yes, it represents life itself, without which the purchase of indispensable food cannot be supported.
Money is, indeed, one of the most desirable and fruitful of earthly things. No wonder that it is so esteemed by all.
What is the danger of money? What sin does it lead to, that the Bible and experience should so warn us to be prudent in dealing with it? There is the anxiousness that occurs when one does not know if there will be sufficient money.2 There is the covetousness that longs too much for it.3 There is the dishonesty that, without gross deception or theft, does not give to a neighbour what belongs to him.4 There is the lovelessness that desires to draw everything to one's self and does not help another.5 There is the love of money, which greedily seeks after riches and lands.6 There is the robbery of God and the poor in withholding the share that belongs to them.7
What is the blessing of money? If the danger of sin is so great, would it not be better if there were no money? Is it not better to be without money? No, even for the spiritual life money may be a great blessing. It may be an exercise in industry and activity, in care and economy. It may be a sign of God's blessing upon our work.9 It may be an opportunity for showing that we can possess and lay it out for God, without withholding it or cleaving to it, and that by means of it we can manifest our generosity to the poor and our overflowing love for God's cause.10 It may be a means of glorifying God by our charity and of spreading among men the gold of heavenly blessing.11 It may be a thing that, according to the assurance of Jesus, we can exchange for a treasure in heaven.12
And what is now the way to be freed from the danger and to be led into the righteous blessing of money?
Let God be Lord over your money. Receive all your money with thanksgiving, as coming from God in answer to the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread"(Matthew 6:11).13
Lay it all down before God as belonging to Him. Say with the woman, "I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the Lord" (Judges 17:3).14
Let your dealing with your money be a part of your spiritual life. Receive and possess and give out your money as one who has been bought at a high price-redeemed, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus.15
Make what the Word of God says of money--of earthly goods--a special study. The Word of the Father alone teaches how the child of God is to use blessing.
Greatly reflect on the fact that it is not given to you for yourself alone, but for you and your brethren together. The blessing of money is to do good to others and to make them rejoice.16
Remember that it can be given up to the Father and the service of His Kingdom for the upbuilding of His spiritual temple-the extension of His influence. Every time a spiritual blessing is mentioned in Scripture, it is .a time of cheerful giving for God's cause. Even the outpouring of the Holy Spirit made itself known in the giving of money for the Lord. 17
Christian, understand this, all the deepest deliberations of the heart and its most spiritual activities can manifest themselves in the way in which we deal with our money. Love to God, love to our neighbour, victory over the world by faith, the hope of everlasting treasure, faithfulness as a steward, joy in God's service, cheerful self-denial, holy discretion, and the glorious freedom of the children of God, can all be seen in the use of money. Money can be the means of the most glorious fellowship with God and the full enjoyment of the blessedness of being able to honour and serve Him.
Lord God, make me properly discern in what close connection my money stands with my spiritual life. Let the Holy Spirit lead and sanctify me, so that all my earning and receiving, my keeping and dispensing of money, may always be pleasing to You and a blessing to my soul. Amen.
1) John 17:15,16; 1 Cor. 7:31
2) Matt. 6:31
3) 1 John 2:15,16
4) Jas. 5:4
5) Luke 16:19,25
6) 1 Tim. 6:9,10,17
7) Prov. 3:27,28; Mal. 3:8
8) Eccles. 5:18,19
9) Prov. 10:4,22
10) 2 Cor. 8:14,15
11) 2 Cor. 9:12,13
12) Matt. 19:21; Luke 12:33
13) 1 Chron. 29:14
14) 1 Chron. 29:12,14
15) Luke 19:8; 1 Pet. 1:18,19
16) Acts 20:35
17) Ex. 36:5: 1 Chron. 29:6,9; Acts 2:45; 4:34
1. John Wesley always said that there were three rules about the use of money which he gave to men in business and by which he was sure that they would experience benefit.
-Make as much money as you can. Be industrious and diligent.
-Save as much money as you can. Be no spendthrift, live frugally and prudently.
-Give away as much money as you can. That is the divine destination of money. That makes it an everlasting blessing for yourselves and others.
2. Acquaint yourself with the magnificent prayer of David in I Chronicles 29:10-20. Receive it into your soul because it teaches us the blessedness and the glorification of God that springs from cheerful giving.
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