Many believers are weary of hearing Bible teaching about money. Some have even bought into the lie that preachers and teachers shouldn’t mention the subject. It’s a personal issue, the rationale goes, so the church ought to keep silent. Ironically, the Bible is chock-full of instruction on money. In fact, one author counted around 500 verses on prayer, but he found over 2,350 on money and possessions! God’s Word says a lot about our finances, because God knows they are likely to compete with our affections. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). Because of Jesus’ teaching, modern believers should seek to be generous, managing their money well and regularly investing it into gospel ministries (Luke 8:3; 10:7; and 11:42). I believe that believers will be more compelled to such stewardship, if they consider four Scriptural truths concerning God and giving.
God owns everything.
Modern Christ-followers should first be aware that God owns everything. Why would one act like his or her possessions are for self alone? Ultimately, we are little more than stewards of that which God has graciously provided. Psalm 24:1-2 says, “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord; for He laid its foundation on the seas and established it on the rivers.” Stewardship starts with a conviction that God is all and owns all (Colossians 1:17).
God is a giver.
2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” Given God’s giving nature, shouldn’t we seek to be givers? If we are created in His image (Genesis 1:26-28), it stands to reason that we should emulate His nature. Life works best when we live according to the way He made us.
God wants His people to be generous.
Scripture is clear that God wants us to embrace a generous spirit. Acts 20:35 contains one of the only quotations of Jesus which is not contained within the gospel accounts. In it, our Lord is recorded as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I once heard a news anchor quote this popular verse at Christmas time, encouraging listeners to make a donation to a local food drive. He was unaware that the author of the statement was Jesus. Even an unbelieving world often knows that it is good and healthy to give. Believers should take a cue from Jesus, committing to be generous.
God is greater than gain.
Faithful giving springs from hearts which are convinced that God is greater than any of the material possessions that earth can offer. Ultimately, stewardship is an issue of idolatry. Those who don’t make Jesus first in their finances show that they really worship something other than Jesus. According to the author of Hebrews, possessions pale in comparison to the presence of God. He said, “Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).