by Derek Graham
Money Squeeze: Closed hands
Take a moment to pause and think about all the situations where money has caused issues in your life and in your relationships, big or small. Next, think about all the problems in the world. If you had the means to solve these problems, what problems would you resolve for the glory of the Lord? Would you solve world hunger or fund nonprofits like Samaritan’s Purse or International Justice Mission?
The Ron Blue Institute states money is three things: Tool, Test, and Testimony.
What eternal goals can money solve? What core sin can money save us from? The answer… none. And with this, we still end up having money as being nothing more than finite, a worldly gift that God gives to us to do with what we want (hopefully to serve His Kingdom). Our innate sin has us treat money as an idol. Wealth has the amount of power that the individual gives it, whether as a burden or as a joy. Romans 11:36 (New International Version) tells us that, “Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him. Praise the Lord forever! Amen.” Psalm 24:1 says that everything belongs to the Lord, the Creator.
Money Ease: Open hands before God
Giving—The most effective way to relieve ourselves from the strain of money is to give it away, to share it, to be generous with whatever God has given us. Ron Blue says to “give generously because giving breaks the power of money.” Now the majority of us, including myself, truly struggle with giving, especially monetarily. But to instill the mindset that our possessions as owned by God will be the utmost help in ridding ourselves of selfish tendencies. In 1 Chronicles 29, King David is tasked by God to make the preparations for the Temple. David’s duty was to amass the resources to build the new temple, while his son Solomon would be anointed next as king to complete its construction. David praised God for the wealth that had been given to build the temple, because he recognized that the riches were the Lord’s and that their wealth was never their own. Thus, David led all of Israel in kneeling down before the Lord and praising Him for the wealth that they now held with open hands.
Tithing—Just like the story of the Widow’s Offering found in Mark 12, we are called to give joyfully and whole-heartedly. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (English Standard Version) reminds us, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Proverbs 3:9-10 tells us that if we give our first yields to honor God, that He will bless us in return. Tithing is an act of faith; it is the relinquishing of control that keeps us mindful of who we serve. Our Father is both omniscient and omnipotent, He is our sustainer and protector.
COVID-19 Disease: Opportunity
We are all living in a unique time; a time of fear, distress, doubt, and confusion. Amid the crises of the world, we as stewards and servants of God have sound doctrine to wrap ourselves safely in. But what does the world wrap up in? The current situation allows followers of Christ to be reminded and to become aware of the needs of the world! I encourage you to go and seek out the windows God wants you to see through and open the doors that He presents to you!
2 Timothy 1:6-10 (ESV)
For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Reference: (Ron Blue Institute)