Money… money… money… let’s talk money! This week my bible readings led me to 1 Chronicles 29 where I have learnt so much about money and how we ought to respond to wealth or lack of it. I will break this reading into different sections and I believe that there will be something in it for everyone. If you are so inclined join me to read the whole chapter for context.
The expectation of leaders towards giving
Many times you find the leaders of God’s people encouraging members of their churches to give to support the work of God. When I used to facilitate the offering session in my church, I would quote all sorts of scriptures to encourage the people about God’s faithfulness towards a cheerful giver. In 1 Chronicles 29 though something unique happens. The people are encouraged not because their leaders motivate them with great speeches and scriptures. This is why they are motivated to give:
And the people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given to the LORD freely and wholeheartedly. 1 Chronicles 29:9a BSB
They were encouraged by how much their leaders gave freely and wholeheartedly. Their leaders walked the talk and lived a life of sacrificial giving and so the people were encouraged to do the same. Regardless of whatever capacity in which you serve God (whether as a leader with a recognized position or not), it is imperative that we not only do so in words but in deed also and our practice of giving must reflect same. And yes although there are many other things we give to God, I am specifically referring to money in this blog.
What is the expectation of those who have in abundance?
O LORD our God, from Your hand comes all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy Name, and all of it belongs to You. I know, my God, that You test the heart and delight in uprightness. All these things I have given willingly and with an upright heart, and now I have seen Your people who are present here giving joyfully and willingly to You. O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this desire forever in the intentions of the hearts of Your people, and direct their hearts toward You. 1 Chronicles 29:16 – 18 BSB
The first thing that is required of those who are comfortable financially, is to acknowledge the source of your wealth. It is from the hand of God that wealth passes on to us but not only that, He still owns it all. Wealth that comes from God is like a loan. And while we are not required to pay it back like a traditional loan, we are expected to be worthy stewards of the money, attributing ownership to the source who is God Himself.
God also expects that we mirror the generosity in which he gives us wealth with others (see the parable of the servant who was forgiven his debt- Matthew 18:21-35) and to do so willingly and joyfully. In addition, God also expects that our hearts be directed towards him at all times so that we are not consumed by the love of money. When God Himself is our Inheritance and treasure, our hearts will be constantly directed towards him for where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also (Psalm 16: 5; Matthew 6:21).
There may be another group of you reading this and thinking to yourselves “I do not think this applies to me! I barely have enough every month”! or you are thinking, “I am not financially comfortable even though I try to be generous. What about me?”
What about me? I am barely surviving financially…
If you fall into this category, you are not alone. Many of us live in this sphere with you or straddle this category from time to time. My greatest encouragement since starting this blog has been from Psalm 23:1. I am encouraged that whatever I have at every moment of my life is enough for that moment because God is my shepherd and so I want for nothing!
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in heaven and on earth belongs to You. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler over all. In Your hands are power and might to exalt and give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we give You thanks, and we praise Your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 BSB
It is God that blesses. He not only gives wealth but also the ability to produce wealth (Deut 8:18). He blesses the work of our hands and makes it prosperous; He gives us divinely-inspired ideas as to how to make and save money; and He drives away the devourer for our sakes so that the money we make whether little or a lot meets our daily, weekly, or monthly needs. And what does God expect of those in this category (and frankly from everyone): Thanksgiving.
When I reflect through the eyes of thanksgiving here is what I see: that there are times when I think I will not be able to pay my bills but I do; that those months when I have felt the financial strain the most, no one in my household has been sick requiring care, my car has not broken down and neither has anything in my home required fixing or replacing. God has preserved the little I have enabling me to stretch my income to the last dollar to meet my needs and He deserves to be praised for that feat of greatness! God, I give you thanks and bless your Holy name.
I have been encouraged by 1 Chronicles 29 and if you have been encouraged too then share this blog with your friends. Don’t forget as usual to leave your comments as well so we learn together.