Where Do Riches Come From?

How do all of the mission trips that you’ve inevitably seen pictures of on social media take place hours and maybe even days of travel away in another country? Why does your pastor talk about the “budget” at least one time a year from the pulpit?

These things happen because of money. Now I am well aware and have heard stories of missionaries being called by God to a specific place and heeding that call with virtually no money to their name. Those stories are real and not all ministry takes money to occur.

With that being said, the day to day Christian lives in a complex economy where “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” to quote Milton Friedman. Nothing comes free. Your fellow church members work by day to support your church and its financial viability.

Money is vitally important to the everyday Christian in America. To follow Christ in all of life you must have a working knowledge of how money works (more on that later if you follow my blog) and how to put the money God blesses you with to best use.

The first thing you need to understand is that the money you have is not yours. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying:

21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

God has called us to be good stewards of what he bestows on us.

If you look at our society today it easy to notice that money is idolized. There is no doubt that money is the God of many today.

Because money is worshipped as the ultimate goal in life, Christians are quite leery of money and rightfully so. They are scared to make large amounts of money because of the stigma that rich people have. It is true that money can easily draw people away from God, but it is because they move God away from the center of their life.

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<p>In order to be a good steward of God’s money, you must keep him at the center of your affection and worship. Humans are weak and we must be constantly reminded of this. </p>

<p><strong><em>41 </em></strong><em>Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” </em></p>

<p><em>– Matthew 26:41</em></p>

<p>As Christians we must not romanticize money or  about obtaining large amounts of it, but we must see money for what it is, a means of exchange and a commodity, and use it for what God has called:</p>

<p><strong><em>19 </em></strong><em>Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, </em><strong><em>20 </em></strong><em>teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”</em><em> </em></p>

<p><em>– Matthew 28:19-20</em></p>

<p>If God has called you to the business world or any other profession outside of full time ministry, you likely have the opportunity to make a significant amount of money. No Christian should ever feel bad, or have other misgivings about this situation, but have their eyes on fulfilling the great commission. </p>

<p>If you are in this situation, pray for what God would have you do with your money. The first priority is tithing, but I am going to assume you are already in this practice. If you are in a position to give more, give more.</p>

<p>After giving to your local church, Christians should be managing their household well. God expects us to multiply what he blesses us with. In The Parable of the Talents in the book of Matthew, God teaches us that the man who does not invest wisely the money he is blessed with will have what he has taken away.</p>

<p><strong><em>22 </em></strong><em>A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,</em></p>

<p><em>but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.</em></p>

<p><em> – Proverbs 13:22</em></p>

<p>This is a powerful statement. An inheritance to his children’s children. That is quite a lot of money and the Bible teaches that the man who does so is <em>good</em>. We should not be spending lavishly on ourselves and indulging in ourselves, but saving and investing for the benefit of others. Do not do these things to actualize yourself, to make yourself feel good, but do these for the Kingdom of God.</p>

<p>Be wary, to not fall into temptation, and wise that you counsel God’s word.</p>

<p><strong><em>16 </em></strong><em>Though he heap up silver like dust,</em></p>

<p><em>    and pile up clothing like clay,</em></p>

<p><strong><em>17 </em></strong><em>he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,</em></p>

<p><em>    and the innocent will divide the silver.</em></p>

<p><strong><em>18 </em></strong><em>He builds his house like a moth’s,</em></p>

<p><em>    like a booth that a watchman makes.</em></p>

<p><strong><em>19 </em></strong><em>He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more;</em></p>

<p><em>    he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone. </em></p>

<p><em>– Job 27:16-19</em></p>

<p>True wealth is only found in the righteousness bestowed on us by Christ. </p>

<p><em>My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,</em></p>

<p><em>    and my yield than choice silver. </em></p>

<p><em>– Proverbs 8:19</em></p>
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