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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this?  For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. – 1 Chronicles 29:14

– For it is in giving that we receive. – St. Francis of Assisi

We cannot receive anything in this life, unless it is given to us from heaven first (John 3:27).  It does not matter what we may give or offer to others – either time, love, money, materials, etc. – you name it and it came from God to begin with.  Freely we have all received from the One who richly gives us all things to enjoy – freely and willingly we are to give it away (lead verse, Matthew 10:8, 1 Timothy 6:17).

Not with tight fists, not grudgingly, nor out of any personal want or need, but cheerfully and fervently out of hearts purified by obeying the Spirit of truth within us (Psalm 23:1, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 1 Peter 1:22).  Giving as purposed in our minds out of what we have – not out of what we do not.  Not so anyone is overly burdened or eased, but so there is equality among all people (2 Corinthians 8:11-14).

We brought nothing into this world – and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7).  Therefore, in the time between the cradle and the grave, our lives do not consist in the abundance of things we possess (Luke 12:15).  We are not to spend our short time here seeking our own wealth – but the wealth of others (James 4:14, 1 Corinthians 10:24).  Sharing – for the profit of this earth is for all (Ecclesiastes 5:9).

If we have this world’s good, and see a brother in need – and shut up our bowels of compassion, how can we say the love of God dwells inside us (1 John 3:17)?  If we have two coats, and see one who does not, we are to give them one.  If we have extra food, we are to share it with those who are hungry (Luke 3:11).  Not telling others to come back later, if we have the ability to help today (Proverbs 3:27-28).

Always making sure we don’t sound a trumpet touting our well-doing and giving – for doing such signals we are searching for glory not belonging to us (Proverbs 25:27).  It’s not truth.  When we do our alms, we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing.  So when we give like this, only God notices – and rewards us openly (Matthew 6:1-4, James 1:27). Otherwise, our intentions have to be questioned.

We will not fool God if our inner motives for giving and doing good things are not pure and unfeigned before His eyes (Hebrews 4:12-13).  God is always pleased when we do good (Hebrews 13:16) – but not when we go around calling attention to our charity. Christians have been given the mind of Christ, and we are to always mind the example Jesus set before us (1 Corinthians 2:16, Matthew 9:30, 1 Peter 2:21).

If we are following Jesus as we claim, then God promises to supply all our need according to His riches in Christ (Philippians 4:19).  We are to be content with our wages, so we won’t needlessly spend time trying to exact more than what God has already appointed us (Luke 3:13-14).  This way, we can spend such time doing unto others as we would have them do unto us – even if they haven’t (Matthew 7:12).

If we bring all our tithes into the storehouse, so there is always food in God’s house – then He says “Try Me now in this.  If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing there will not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).”  If we’re hoarding all our stuff and money as some sort of earthly reward for our work – or as protection against future uncertainties, God has warned us.

The grounds of a certain rich man brought forth a plentiful bounty.  He did not have room to store it all. His solution?  It was not to share it.  It was to pull down the barn he had – so he could build even bigger barns to hold it all.  So, he could then say, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for years; take it easy – eat, drink, and be merry.”  However, all he had could not save him later that same night (Luke 12:16-20).

The man was rich towards himself, and not towards God (Luke 12:21).  The hoarding of his harvest was a personal reward for all his hard work in sowing and growing.  So he could sit back, relax, and take a break for a couple of years.  Why should he give away some of the bounty to people who had not toiled for it?  What was so wrong with stashing it away for personal use in case of future crop failures?

Because God’s economy is one of giving, not getting. When we do good and distribute to others with the right heart motivations, we can communicate this message to others.  So others start to see Christ in us (Ephesians 4:20-32).  When we give to all others out of a good conscience towards God (1 Timothy 1:5), with charity flowing from humble hearts established with grace (Hebrews 13:9) – it will be given back.

With good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men shall give into our bosom.  For with the same measure we give it out – it will be measured back to us (Luke 6:38).  By doing so, and considering the poor in the process, God will deliver us in our times of trouble (Psalm 41:1).  Laying up in store a good foundation for the times to come, so we may lay hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:18-19).

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture:

– Charge them that are rich in this world, that they not be high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches … but in the living God, who richly gives us all things to enjoy. – 1 Timothy 6:17

Nowhere in Scripture does God say we can’t be rich in regards to money.  It is a matter of how our hearts and minds view it, use it, and comprehend where it always comes from (Deuteronomy 8:17-18) – that matters to Him.  Abraham, Job, and Solomon would have been considered wealthy by today’s standards. However, they also learned sometimes painful and persistent lessons about the dangers of earthly gain.

God once told Abraham not to regard his stuff – for the good of the land was already his (Genesis 45:20). Job lost nearly everything he had in one day, because his abundance had become his hedge for honoring God (Job 1:10-19).  All of Solomon’s wealth was not enough to satisfy him (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11).  He failed to fully follow after God like his father David had – and suffered the consequences (1 Kings 11:4-25).

Whether we are worldly rich or worldly poor, we are to be content with our wages.  We are not to spend our time trying to exact more than what God has already appointed (Luke 3:13-14).  We are to be content with food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8).  If we follow the right things, God promises to thoroughly furnish us for all good works, including financially (Philippians 4:19, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 3:17).  

If we are not happy or satisfied with our finances at any time, we will be following after more at least part of the time.  We will spend at least a portion of our brief existence on this earth trying to bolster our bank accounts, improve our portfolios, and/or set money aside for future times such as our retirement. Days in the future we may never see (Proverbs 27:1, James 4:14).  It’s all vanity (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

If we do so, we are still saying we want something from God (Psalm 23:1).  We are not casting all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).  We are not fully trusting He knows all our needs before we do (Matthew 6:8). Any devotion to gathering wealth, any concentration on keeping cash flows constant, or any focus on earthly gain is incompatible with our devotion to God. We cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13).

Wealth in this world can make us many friends – but our friends cannot save us (Proverbs 19:4).  All of the riches we may have cannot be used as a ransom for someone else’s life.  All of their riches cannot be used as a ransom for ours.  Our souls are precious to God – and they were bought back with the blood of Christ at Calvary – not by how much money we may have in the bank (Psalm 49:6-8, 1 Corinthians 6:20).

Regardless of what we may have – God requires us to be good stewards of it.  However, in His economy, this means we share our blessings with others.  Not preferring them for our own present and personal enjoyment – or stockpiling them for later use by ourselves (e.g. Proverbs 3:27-28, Isaiah 58:7, Luke 3:11, Luke 6:38, Hebrews 13:16, James 4:3, James 5:1-3).  This earth’s profit is for all (Ecclesiastes 5:9).

We can’t receive anything in life except from heaven (John 3:27).  Freely we have been given – freely we are to give (Matthew 10:8),  We are to always offer willingly for this reason (1 Chronicles 29:14).  With cheer; not out of necessity – as if we are only giving to get something back from God (2 Corinthians 9:7). Not so some become overly abundant or burdened, but so there is equality (2 Corinthians 8:12-14).

Even though so many try to figure out precisely what they will need in the way of future finances, worldly riches are always uncertain (lead verse).  The only thing we all can be certain about in this world – is we brought nothing in – and we can carry nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7).  With this in mind – what does it profit us if we gain the whole world and lose our souls in the end (Matthew 16:26, Luke 12:16-21)?

 

 

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