Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to Handle Money

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of the Father in Heaven,

In My earthly ministry, I taught My disciples these essential truths:

Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice — don’t undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

(Matthew 6:19-21)

Paul also wrote about these issues to his ministry apprentice Timothy. He sent Timothy the words that you read in your verses today. Paul’s message stressed three principles:

  • Timothy, teach these things, but also make sure you live them.
  • Money and wealth can be a blessing if used appropriately.
  • However, the desire for money and wealth often leads people to destruction.

Paul then reminded Timothy that there are three kinds of people:

  1. Those who place their confidence in their earthly riches.
  2. Those who want to gain earthly riches.
  3. Those who are truly rich because they have found contentment in what they have.

Paul was part of this last group. He could confidently say:

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances. I know how to survive in tight situations, and I know how to enjoy having plenty. In fact, I have learned how to face any circumstances: fed or hungry, with or without. I can be content in any and every situation through the Anointed One Who is my power and strength.

(Philippians 4:11-13)

Paul instructed Timothy to follow his example. Timothy needed to learn to be content. He also needed to recognize that godliness has great gain — whether godliness results in worldly riches or not. In fact, many of My people are far wealthier with worldly riches than they realize. Some have gotten caught up in greed and covetousness. Greed and covetousness nearly always get people into serious financial problems as well as being spiritual problems. If you struggle with greed, financial mismanagement, or debt, then spend some time in the book of Proverbs. The book is full of financial advice that will be very helpful to you in avoiding lifestyle things that are harmful and also will help you better know how to manage your money.

As My disciple, you need to be generous and willing to share what you have with others. You are a child of heaven’s grace because of the generosity of the Father (2 Corinthians 8:9)! You are most like your Father in heaven when you are generous with your time, your attention, your money, your home, your possessions — with everything that you have. You have been blessed with these things so that you can pass on your blessings to others. Your Father in heaven wants you to be a conduit of blessing. Paul taught the Corinthians this principle, and you will find it a powerful addition to Paul’s words to Timothy. Particularly notice the underlined sentence where Paul pointed out that whatever you have is intended not only for your needs but also to help others.

Giving grows out of the heart — otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share. Remember what is written about the One Who trusts in the Lord:
He scattered abroad; He gave freely to the poor;

His righteousness endures throughout the ages.

The same One Who has put seed into the hands of the sower and brought bread to fill our stomachs will provide and multiply the resources you invest and produce an abundant harvest from your righteous actions. You will be made rich in everything so that your generosity will spill over in every direction. Through us your generosity is at work inspiring praise and thanksgiving to God.

(2 Corinthians 9:7-11)

Learn to be content and use the blessings of your resources to be a blessing to others. Doing so is an essential part of what it means to be a child of the Father!

Verses to Live

Some people have a tendency to think of spiritual blessings and material blessings as being separate. For My devoted disciple, no such separation exists. Whatever material things you have are intended to be part of your spiritual life. If you tend to think of spiritual and material things as being separate, carefully note the last three sentences below — the underlined ones. In the first sentence, Paul gave a reminder of how you are to use what you have, and in the last two sentences, he clearly pointed out that there is an eternal implication associated with how you use what you have.

[G]odliness, along with contentment, does put us ahead but not in the ways some imagine. You see we came into this world with nothing, and nothing is going with us on the way out! So as long as we are clothed and fed, we should be happy. But those who chase riches are constantly falling into temptation and snares. They are regularly caught by their own stupid and harmful desires, dragged down and pulled under into ruin and destruction. For the love of money — and what it can buy — is the root of all sorts of evil. Some already have wandered away from the true faith because they craved what it had to offer; but when reaching for the prize, they found their hands and hearts pierced with many sorrows. Timothy, don’t let this happen to you — run away from these things! You are a man of God. Your quest is for justice, godliness, faithfulness, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Here’s what you say to those wealthy in regard to this age: “Don’t become high and mighty or place all your hope on a gamble for riches; instead, fix your hope on God, the One Who richly provides everything for our enjoyment.” Tell them to use their wealth for good things; be rich in good works! If they are willing to give generously and share everything, then they will send ahead a great treasure for themselves and build their futures on a solid foundation. As a result, they will surely take hold of eternal life.

(1 Timothy 6:6-11; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Response in Prayer

O gracious and generous Father, You have blessed me so graciously with so many blessings. I want to be a generous person so that the things that might be thought of as material blessings will be used as part of my spiritual worship to You. I ask for the Holy Spirit to continue His work on my heart and conform me to be like Jesus. I want to be like Jesus, dear Father, so I ask by the authority and power of His name that I will be generous and gracious like Him. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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