God-s Plan for Money Management
August 9 2010 by D.E. Parkerson

Jesus often used parables to convey spiritual truth. The Gospels contain 38, and 16 of these deal with money management. In fact, the New Testament says more about managing your money than about heaven and hell combined.

Five times more is said about money than prayer. While the New Testament contains more than 500 verses on both prayer and faith, over 2,000 verses deal with money and your possessions. That surprises lots of people.

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them” (Matt. 25:14). This parable implies two things: (1) God is the owner, and (2) You and I, as stewards, have responsibilities.

Since all money is God’s money, every spending decision is a spiritual decision. Your checkbook is the reflection of your love of God and of your priorities as a steward. As you examine your checkbook, what does it say about you? Are you embarrassed?

One day all of us will give account to God for the way we have managed His resources. What are you going to say on Judgment Day when your checkbook shows that you have spent more on your pet than you have given to advance God’s kingdom?

Obviously, it is God’s will for you to spend money to meet your own needs and those of your family. There is a tremendous difference between selfishness and self-interest. It is not wrong or sinful to have self-interest; however, selfishness is a cancer.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines self-interest as “a concern for one’s own advantage and well-being.” It defines selfish as being “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself; seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.”

It is God’s will that those who serve Him invest in things that are permanent — such as helping to build the kingdom of God on earth. How much are you investing in the things that are not permanent, that you cannot take with you when you die? All your treasure, every last bit of it, will one day be left behind. But know this: you can send it on ahead by investing it in that which will one day be in heaven.

God wants those who serve Him to also invest in others. We do that by what we give in Christ’s name to meet human need. In our world it is possible to receive without giving. But God’s law says, “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).

The Old Testament law prescribed the tithe — “the first tenth.” The reason some Christians believe they cannot tithe is that they try to give their eleventh tenth. It may also be why many churches have so much difficulty in meeting their annual budget.

I read the story of one pastor who was outlining the order of worship for the Sunday his church budget was to be adopted. He said to the organist, “When I ask the members to stand up to indicate their willingness to tithe their income, I want you to play some appropriate music.

“What do you mean by “appropriate music?” the organist asked.

“The Star Spangled Banner, of course,” he replied.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Parkerson is a native of Georgia, a graduate of Mercer University [B.A.], Southeastern Seminary [M. Div. and Th.M.], and Campbell University [D.D.]. He has served as pastor of one church in Georgia and five churches in North Carolina. Following retirement as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sanford on Sept. 30, 1996, he has served nine North Carolina churches as interim pastor. His column, The Paper Pulpit, has appeared weekly in a few newspapers and other publications since 1958. He and his wife, Jessie, live in Wilmington near their daughter and family.)
8/9/2010 8:31:00 AM by D.E. Parkerson | with 0 comments

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