Monday, June 1, 2015

WORSHIPPING GOD WITH YOUR MONEY – OR WORSHIPPING MONEY


 
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matthew 6:24 (NLT)

Money is mentioned more in the Bible than prayer or love.  Why do you think that is?  I believe it’s because God knows that money and riches can easily become our idol, and so He has chosen this as a form of worship.  Giving God a portion of our earnings prevents us from coming under the power of the desire for money.  It can become the thing that sits on the throne of our heart, where God wants to be worshipped.  Jesus says in Matthew 6:24 that we can either worship God, or we can worship money.  What you CANNOT do is worship both.
God instituted tithing, giving a tenth of the “first fruits” of your income to Him in the Old Testament (Genesis 14:18-20).  Many will say that because it was in the Old Testament it was under the old covenant and we’re no longer under the commands to tithe.  But the story of Abram giving a tenth is also retold in Hebrews 7:1-2, (New Testament).  Furthermore, in Luke 11:42 (New Testament) Jesus says to the Pharisees, “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. YOU SHOULD TITHE, YES, but do not neglect the more important things.  It is from our own greed that we want to discredit what is obviously a command to tithe.

God does not want our money because He needs it.  Keep in mind that God is the source of everything we have (Philippians 4:19).  He made it all, and He owns it all.  But we need to give it for our own benefit.  1 Timothy 6:9-10 says 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. 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. 
We sin because we are lead away by our own lusts and desires, becoming discontent in our life (James 1:14-15).  Timothy says that those who “desire to be rich”, loving money, fall into those harmful lusts that destroy them.  Greediness brings many sorrows.  Worshipping God by giving is one sure way to prevent greediness and ward off the evils that come from loving money.  But it has value in our lives above warding off evil. 

Going back to the Old Testament to Malachi 3:8-10, Malachi tells us of the blessings – or curses – that money can bring if not tithed upon.  He says “You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me”.  Maybe it doesn’t seem like a curse because you’ve never experienced fully His blessings, for you see, His blessings are far more than money.  Notice how Christians are not all rich, but true Christianity brings peace and contentment.  Friends, money will never buy you peace and contentment.  The simple fact that rich people continue to desire more riches should show you that.  There is no contentment in being rich. 
And while there is also no contentment in being poor, true contentment can be had in either when God is involved.  Need proof?  Paul said in Philippians 4:11-12, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on ALMOST NOTHING OR WITH EVERYTHING. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.”  Contentment comes from NOT LOVING MONEY, but loving God.  Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.”  If you will trust God, He will give you what you need.  Psalms 34:10 says that “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”  But if you trust in money to bring it to you, without worshipping God with it, simply put, your finances are cursed.  You’ll never be content, you’ll never find peace.     

God dares us to follow His will in tithing!  He asks us to try Him – test Him – to see that He will do what He says.  He wants to show us that if we worship Him with our money, He will bless us in ways we cannot count.  In Malachi 3:10 He says “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” 
How many blessings have we left in God’s storehouse because we have chosen to love our money, albeit a few measly dollars, rather than allow Him to bless us?

Tithing is about love.  If you truly love God, you will give cheerfully, and God loves a cheerful giver.  But tithing is also about trust.  What it comes down to is do you trust the money in your pocket to bring you what you need, or do you trust God to do what He has said when you give?  (Hint: It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18).  That’s the one thing He cannot do!)
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

 

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