God's Purposes for Money


by
Pastor Don Robinson
Grace Baptist Temple, Bloomington, IN

God's Purposes for Money

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           God's Purposes for Money        
           Proverbs 3:9                    

           As I have  mentioned  before,  the  way 
           that we handle our money is perhaps the 
           truest   indicator   of  the  spiritual 
           condition of the heart.  It is often  a 
           subject    that   many   feel   awkward 
           discussing,  God's  Word  places  great 
           emphasis  on  the  matter  of money and 
           possessions.  

           For example,  the Bible  contains  more 
           than   500  references  to  prayer  and 
           almost 500  references  to  faith,  but 
           there are more than 2,000 references to 
           money   and  possessions.   Out  of  38 
           parables  that  Jesus   gave   in   the 
           Gospels, 16 deal with how we handle our 
           money.  Jesus said more about money and 
           possessions  than about heaven and hell 
           combined.  One out of every  10  verses 
           in  the  gospels  deals  with  money or 
           possessions:  288 verses  in  the  four 
           gospels!  

           A  man  with  a natural mind uses human 
           reasoning before  he  decides  to  obey 
           God's  Word.  A  man  with  a spiritual 
           mind begins  by  obeying  a  Scriptural 
           command.  The  man  with a natural mind 
           resorts to his  own  understanding  and 
           experiences    the    destruction   and 
           disillusionment that go along with  it.  
           It  is  important  that  we  understand 
           God's purposes for money and His wisdom 
           behind those purposes.  

           There are four basic purposes that  God 
           has for money.  To provide basic needs, 
           to   indicate   direction,   to   unite 
           Christians,    and    to    demonstrate 
           supernatural  power.  We see these four 
           purposes in the account of Elijah in  1 
           Kings 17:1-6.   READ!

              1.  Elijah's needs were  met  beside 
                   the brook.  
              2.   God  demonstrated  supernatural 
                   power in using the ravens to feed 
                   him.  
              3.  God  allowed the brook to dry up 
                   as a signal for Elijah to  change 
                   direction.  
              4.   He   then  used  the  widow  of 
                   Zarephath   to   accomplish   His 
                   purpose   of   uniting  believers 
                   together and seeing  the  rewards 
                   of  thanksgiving  and  fellowship 
                   which come by meeting  the  needs 
                   of others.  

           The   purposes  of  money  are  not  to 
           provide       security,       establish 
           independence,   or   create  power  and 
           influence.  God's purposes are: 

           I. To Provide Basic Needs.  Mt. 6:26-30

              A. This establishes daily dependence 
                   upon God.  

                 1.  Since the beginning of  time, 
                      mankind   has   attempted   to 
                      become independent of God.  
                 2. There is within each one of us 
                      a desire to be self-sufficient 
                      so that  we  can  be  our  own 
                      boss.  
                 3.  We  tend  to  pray,  "Give us 
                      riches for our  future  needs" 
                      or  "Give  us  this  month our 
                      monthly paycheck".  
                 4.  However,  God  taught  us  to 
                      pray,  "Give  us  this day our 
                      daily bread" (Mt. 6:11).  
                 5.  He  knows  that  daily  needs 
                      produce daily dependence.  

              B. This will deepen our love for the 
                   Lord.  

                 1.  When we fail to recognize our 
                      need for a person,  we tend to 
                      lose our love for that person.  
                 2.   God   created   us  to  need 
                      Him...we are only complete  in 
                      Christ,  and apart from Him we 
                      can do nothing at all.  
                 3.  Every man,  whether  rich  or 
                      poor, must recognize his daily 
                      dependence upon God.  

              C.  This  will  develop  a spirit of 
                   gratefulness.  

                 1.  Gratefulness is a  delightful 
                      by-product of contentment with 
                      what God provides.  
                 2.   We   begin   to   lose   our 
                      contentment  when  we  compare 
                      what  we have with what others 
                      have.  
                 3.  As our expectations increase, 
                      our contentment decreases.  

              D.  This  will  help  us  enjoy  our 
                    possessions.  
  
                 1. We know that God has given us 
                      all things to enjoy.
                 2.   A  contented  person   feels 
                      wealthy  because he knows that 
                      he already possesses more than 
                      he needs for daily living.  
                 3.    Discontent   destroys   our 
                      ability  to  enjoy  the things 
                      that  God  has  given  to  us, 
                      since  our focus is on what we 
                      think He should have given  us 
                      rather than what we do have.  
                4.    God    warns   us   against 
                      coveteousness and tells us  to 
                      "...be   content   with   such 
                      things as ye have..."  Hebrews 
                      13:5 

          II.  To Confirm Direction.  "Rest in the 
                Lord, and wait patiently for him..." 
                Ps. 37:7 

              NOTE:  God will use  the  supply  of 
                     money  or  the  lack of it to 
                     confirm  His  direction   for 
                     many of the decisions we must 
                     make in our lives.  

              A. To build our faith and vision.

                 1.  Faith  is discerning what God 
                      wants  to  accomplish  in  and 
                      through our lives.  cf Hebrews 
                      11:7 
                 2.  Everyone  of  us  should  ask 
                      ourselves  what  can  we allow 
                      God to accomplish through  our 
                      lives   that   will  build  up 
                      Christians  and  benefit   the 
                      cause of Christ?  
                 3.  We can be sure  that  if  God 
                      gives  us clear direction that 
                      is confirmed by Scripture,  He 
                      will   provide   whatever   is 
                      necessary to  carry  out  that 
                      direction.  
                 4.  In   contrast   to   faith, 
                      presumption is  deciding  what 
                      we   want  to  accomplish  and 
                      trying to get God to do it for 
                      us.  

              B.  To determine who is the lord  of 
                   our life.  
           
                 1. We  may say that Jesus Christ 
                      is the Lord of our life...
                 2.  However,   His  Lordship  is 
                      confirmed when we are obedient 
                      to the leading of  the  Spirit 
                      and the principles of His Word 
                      in making our daily decisions.  

              C. To teach us patience.

                 1.   Patience   is  an  essential 
                      quality for maturity in life.  
                 2.  Having to  wait  for  God  to 
                      provide  funds is one valuable 
                      way to perfect patience.  
                 3. Note:  James 1:3-4

         III. To Give To Christians. "Distributing 
               to the necessity of saints; given to 
               hospitality." Ro. 12:13 

              A. To unite Christians. 

                 1.   Jews  and  Gentiles  had  no 
                      social interaction.  

                    a.  this carried over into the 
                         early church which was made 
                         up of both Jew and Gentile.  
                    b. when a severe famine caused 
                         many  Jewish  believers  to 
                         suffer,  Paul  urged  every 
                         Gentile church  to  collect 
                         an   offering   for   these 
                         Jewish Christians.  

                 2. Note: 2 Co. 8:14

              B.  To demonstrate  the  mark  of  a 
                   Christian.  

                 1.  The  mark of a true Christian 
                      is that they want to do  good. 
                      cf Titus 2:14.
                 2. God gives a special desire and 
                      power  to a generous Christian 
                      so that he is able to multiply 
                      his good works.  cf. 2 Co. 9:8 

              C.  To multiply  the  potential  for 
                   giving.  

                 1.  God likens giving to planting 
                      a harvest.  
                 2. 2Co.  9:6, "...He which soweth 
                      sparingly      shall      reap 
                      sparingly; and he which soweth 
                      bountifully  shall  reap  also 
                      bountifully." 
                 3.  The  Law of the Harvest = one 
                      kernel   of    corn    planted 
                      produces a stalk with 2-3 ears 
                      of  corn  resulting in as much 
                      as a 1000 kernels of corn.  

          IV.  To  Illustrate  God's  Power.   cf.  
                 Malachi   3:10,   "...Prove  me  now 
                 herewith,  saith the Lord of  hosts, 
                 if  I  will not open you the windows 
                 of  heaven,   and  pour  you  out  a 
                 blessing,  that  there  shall not be 
                 room enough to receive it." 

                 God is  a  supernatural  God.  He 
                 wants  to demonstrate His reality 
                 and power to both Christians  and 
                 non-Christians.   One   means  by 
                 which He has chosen to do this is 
                 through the miraculous  provision 
                 of money.  

              A. To cause Christians to trust Him.

                 1.  Elijah  proposed  a  test  to 
                      prove  whether  Israel  should 
                      worship God or Baal in 1 Kings 
                      18.  
                 2.   Whichever  one  answered  by 
                      supernatural power was the one 
                      whom they should worship.  
                 3.  In this test not only was God 
                      shown  to  be the supernatural 
                      God that He is,  but the false 
                      god  Baal  was  mocked for his 
                      inability to supply.  
                 4.   God  is  still  mocking  the 
                        powerless gods of today.  

              B. To purify our lives and motives.

                 1. A prerequisite in experiencing 
                      God's  supernatural  power  is 
                      actively seeking  Him  with  a 
                      pure   heart   and   unselfish 
                      motives.  
                 2.  God has warned us that if  we 
                      regard iniquity in our hearts, 
                      He  will  not hear us.  cf Ps. 
                      66:18 
                 3.  The need for God's miraculous 
                      intervention  in our financial 
                      affairs    is    a    powerful 
                      motivation  for  us to examine 
                      our own lives.  

              C. To glorify God and bring the lost 
                   to salvation.

                 1.  God  is  glorified  when  His 
                      people   praise  Him  for  His 
                      mighty acts.  
                 2. He does great things for us so 
                      that we  can  report  them  to 
                      others.  cf. Ps. 50:15
                 3. When Christians are in a right 
                      relationship with the Lord and 
                      each other,  and when they are 
                      experiencing God's  miraculous 
                      provision in their lives,  the 
                      lost are drawn to  Christ  and 
                      to the local church.  
                 4.   The  greatest  explosion  of 
                      church  growth  occurred  when 
                      the believers demonstrated the 
                      supernatural  power  of God in 
                      their lives. cf. Ac.  5:12-14 

           Conclusion:  Four basic  purposes  that 
           God  has  for money:  1) To provide our 
           needs 2) To indicate direction for  our 
           lives 3) To unite believers together in 
           giving   and   4)  To  demonstrate  His 
           supernatural power to us and the world.  

           Does our understanding  and  desire  of 
           money   fall   into   line  with  God's 
           purposes?   Not  for  future  security, 
           power,  influence,  or  to be seen as a 
           success in the eyes of men.  Is our use 
           of money fulfilling God's  purposes  or 
           ours?  Do  we  need  to re-evaluate our 
           priorities when it comes to finances?