What Does the BIBLE Say About....Finances and Stewardship?
If we are having problems in the area of our finances, we need to examine God's Word as to what He says about finances and then line up with that Word. Are we handling our money wisely? True wisdom comes from God and the Bible has revelation about money problems as well as our other problems.
So many people in our day are having financial problems. Even wealthy men are concerned they will lose their riches because of inflation and the worth of the dollar dropping daily. Stock markets around the world have been unstable. People are contemplating bankruptcy and even suicide due to such heavy money pressures. Many marriages are also under extreme stress and divorce has risen due to unresolved financial difficulties.
Is there an answer to all the money problems? Yes, the Bible has the answer to this problem as well as all others that face mankind. Briefly, we are going to write down a basic financial check list based on the Word of God. On this list we are going to look at some things that can block our financial blessings. As Christians, we are promised the blessings of God, not the curses of the devil. The promise of prosperity and blessing belongs to us, not the curse of poverty and fear. Galatians 3:13-14 says, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Genesis 17:1-7 says, When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty  ; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."
From these Scriptures we see we receive the same blessings as Abraham because we are his seed. Therefore, our first step is to become a child of God, thus the seed of Abraham and God. Then, Matthew 6:31-33 applies to us. 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
A total commitment to God is the very first step to financial blessings. However, there are many Christians who still have not gained the victory in finances due to other principles in God's Word that have been ignored. Let's ask ourselves some questions that will bring us financial freedom if we are agreeing with the Word of God in these matters.
A FINANCIAL CHECK LIST
These are some of the major reasons we fail financially. We may have been ignorant about some of these things until now. The Bible says in Hosea 4:6a: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Many Christians are being destroyed financially either because they are ignorant of God's knowledge or they refuse to adhere to it. Don't be destroyed in this area of your life. Simply repent of past failures and ask God to give you the grace and strength to obey Him and do those things that His Word outlines. You can be an over comer and walk in victory. Remember to give God some time. If you have been doing it the world's way a number of years, you must now give God an opportunity to prove Himself faithful.
Malachi 3:10 says to "prove Him". Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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.
Galatians 6:9 promises we shall reap what we sow. Just as a farmer plants a crop and then there is a growing season before the harvest, so it is with planting God's Word in our hearts. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Remember, we are stewards of all that we own and we must give an account to God for it. A steward is someone who takes care of another's property. Psalm 24:1: The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
If we want to be pleasing to the Lord with our money, we must begin today to be faithful in the small amounts; only then will we be faithful in the larger amounts God will entrust us with as we obey Him. How wonderful it will be to then hear the Lord's commendation recorded in Matthew 25:21, "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Some are heaping treasures together in these last days while ignoring God and they will find such treasures are worthless. 1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
Money cannot save us from the tribulation of these last days; only our trust and faith in God will see us through.
One rule we should follow when considering giving is to never give under extreme emotional persuasion. Many fleshly ministries use not only drastic emotional appeals, but also many other gimmicks to influence people to give to their ministries. Many people have given under this kind of pressure and later have found that it was not the Lord. Others have made pledges under the same influence and then have found they were unable to keep them. Any minister that would threaten people with the wrath of God should they fail to keep their pledge is definitely not under the Holy Spirit's leadership.
Pledges are very similar to vows or oaths unto God, and we are told not to swear in the New Testament. Above all, my brothers, do not swear--not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned. (James 5:12). We can desire to do certain things and tell the Lord that we want to be able to do them, but we should not promise God or make a vow that we will do them because Satan will condemn us if we should fail. This is not only true in the area of giving money, but also in other areas of our lives. We can make commitments to God, but not vows.
We should ask God who is worthy to receive the things He would have us bring as an offering unto Him. True ministers of God will receive offerings as unto the Lord as they will make their needs known however, they will not spend half their time begging, pleading, threatening or coercing people to give. Those ministers who are walking in faith know that God is their source and they do not look to people. God touches people's hearts to give when a minister is trusting God for his needs.
When we give unto the Lord, it should be with a cheerful attitude. If we give generously, the Lord blesses us in the same way. However, God's blessings don't come back only monetarily, but in the form of our needs when we are trusting Him.
6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Sowing and reaping is a very important principle in the Word of God. We must sow (plant) money into God's works if we expect to receive a harvest. The Lord gives us money for two purposes. We must have money for a living and to eat, plus money for giving. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, (Isaiah 55:10).
God expects us to keep money for bread, as well as seed for sowing. Those Christians who give it all away and then expect God to take care of them are violating this principle of keeping bread to eat. (Farmers kept grain to grind into flour for bread making, as well as some grain for seed to plant the next crop.) Some people give all their seed away and have nothing to eat, while others wrongly eat all their seed and have nothing to plant for the next harvest. We should have seed for both purposes.
After we plant a crop we expect a harvest; even so we should expect God to meet our financial needs when we have been obedient and have given of our tithes and offerings. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38).
Our giving should also be to help our brothers and sisters whenever the Lord so directs. We must learn how to give by the Spirit's direction and not allow our emotions or sympathy to rule us. Until we have had these soulish areas renewed, we can still be influenced by Satan through them. God is not always sympathetic with seemingly good causes. We should not give mechanically to things because it has been our pattern in times past, but we should remain open to the Lord's direction for our giving as with all guidance. Sometimes the Lord may speak that we are not to give to a certain person or ministry. We need to be just as sensitive to the Lord's restraining voice as to His condoning voice. He may want us to give elsewhere.
If we are truly walking in the Spirit, we will always have the desire to give because it is the nature of God to give. Greed and stinginess are from Satan. If we are truly committed to God, giving will not be a burden, but rather a joy. God is calling us to be committed to the point where if He told us to leave all and follow Him, we would not hesitate. We find a rich man in the Bible that could not make this commitment, and he ultimately missed God's blessings for his life. Let us be faithful in the area of giving and we shall never lack in the things we really need as that is God's promise to us.
This is taken from the book Pathway Into The Overcoming Life by Betty Miller. You may copy and circulate it freely.