It’s All His

By Ron Kelley

Many believe that money and our faith—even the mere discussion of them—are two things that do not mix well. The perception is that money leads the believer to spiritual destruction. As with any subject matter, we must always look from a biblical perspective. The reality is our Creator has a kingdom purpose for money, but He strongly warns us that the love of money is strictly prohibited and will most assuredly lead us to destruction. Three biblical reasons for money provide wise guidelines for us to follow.

1. To Care for One’s Own Family and Thus Prevent Them from Being a Burden to Others

WE ARE MANDATED by Scripture not only to care for our immediate family, but also for relatives. This certainly is not supported by many current cultures, but 1 Timothy 5:8 clearly states, “If anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 encourages us to live quiet lives, to work with our hands, and to “not be dependent on anyone.” As the spiritual leader of my own family, I know God is the ultimate provider (Jehovah-Jireh), but I take the responsibility very seriously to care for my own family and make sure the needs of my wife and children are met. We are called to be not idle (2 Thessalonians 3:6–15) but to work so our families can eat. To do all of this is a living testimony of the faithfulness of our Lord and will speak to the unbeliever.

2. To Help Those in Need, Spiritually & Physically

RECENTLY, I RETURNED from a mission trip to a third-world nation where the spiritual and physical needs were great. I was left feeling compelled to find a way to share some of the resources the Lord has blessed me with to make a difference. Although my contribution is quite small compared to the need, our mandate as believers is to use a portion of our resources to help others. Proverbs 19:17 states, “Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender.” In Romans, Paul writes that the believers in Macedonia and Achaia were filled with joy to provide financial aid for the poor in Jerusalem. We see in Paul’s own life the joy he exhibits in Philippians 4:14–19 in how his needs were met, and he tells the Philippians how their gifts were “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” (v.18).

Some prefer to assist only those in need in close proximity to where they live, which is certainly fine. The point is we should help those who are in need and whom the Holy Spirit is leading us to assist. Make sure the organization you work through or the people you bless directly are faithful stewards with the funds they receive. A good resource to use in checking out charitable organizations is Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org).

3. To Encourage and Support the Work of the Gospel on a Local, Regional and Global Basis

THE PRICE PAID by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross is the greatest sacrificial gift. Because we experience His glorious grace and realize the gift of eternal life, we should feel compelled to share this Good News … and it takes money! In the spirit of worship and as an obedient act of our faith, we give the Lord the first fruits of our labor by tithing to a local fellowship of believers, the local church. In addition, we also need to invest in other ministries whose sole purpose is to promote the Gospel message on a regional and global basis: “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonderful works among all peoples” (Psalm 96:3).

Ron Kelley is Director of Prestonwood Foundation at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

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