What Should You Pledge to The Story Continues Giving Campaign?
If we want to understand the relative importance of our money and our giving to God, all we need to do is open God’s Word. There we will find thousands of verses about our money and our possessions. The sheer volume of verses on money shouts to us about the importance of money to God. There are way more verses in the Bible about money than there are about sex. There’s more about money in the Bible than there is about marriage. Jesus said more about money and possessions than any other topic including prayer or faith or heaven or hell.
Why is money so important to God?
Our Money affects everything else in our Lives
How we handle our money will impact how we do spiritually, physically, relationally and emotionally.
A major study of families in America looked at issues that couples argued about including children, in-laws, spending time together, and money. They then followed up with those couples four to five years later to find out which couples got divorced. Was it the couples that argued about children or in-laws or time together or money? Guess what issue caused the most damage? The study said that financial disagreement was the factor that was most likely to predict divorce.
Why is our money and our giving so important to God?
Our money is owned by God
From beginning to end, the Bible tells us that God is the owner of everything in this world. Here’s what we read in God’s Word:
Psalm 24: 1
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.
8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty.
It all belongs to God. We might say, “Well, at least I own myself.” God says:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
God doesn’t just own the universe or our money. He owns us. There is no principle of giving that’s more important than this: our money doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to God. We are handling God’s money. When we pledge to this giving campaign we are simply giving God back some of the money that he already owns. Everything we have is on loan. Every person we love. Every job we have. Every possession. It’s all on loan. We didn’t own anything before we were born, and we’re not going to own anything after we die. We get to use money and enjoy it for the years that we’re here on earth. But as the old saying goes, “you can’t take it with you”. We don’t own our money.
Two approaches to God’s money
Here’s what Jesus said:
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Here’s the first approach Jesus encourages us to take with our money:
Don’t trust money
Treasures on earth are always subject to two problems. They are always subject to decay and they are always subject to being stolen or ripped off. So, Jesus says, “Don’t put your security in what you can lose.” It doesn’t matter how much money we have, we can lose it. Wealthier people than us have lost everything. Stock markets can crash. Countries can go into prolonged depressions. Many of us know what it feels like to lose our jobs. We’re working, we are earning an income and then all of a sudden we have no job anymore and no source of security.
If we put our security in our health, at some point as we age we will lose our health. If we put our security in our job, we can lose our job. If we put our security in our marriage, we can lose our marriage. If we put our security in a loved one, we can lose a loved one. Jesus says, “Don’t put your ultimate trust or security in anything in this world because you can lose it.” It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy or be grateful for what we have right now. But Jesus doesn’t want us to be shattered when, inevitably, we lose what we have in this world because it’s subject to decay and being stolen.
Jesus wants us to trust in what can’t be taken from us. Jesus’ counsel is to build our lives on what we can’t lose. We can’t lose God. We can’t lose his love. Concerning our approach to God’s money, don’t trust money.
The second approach Jesus wants us to take with our money is this:
Invest God’s money by giving
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
One day you and I are going to die. Imagine that when you get to heaven there’s a hundred people waiting for you there, clapping and cheering and saying, “We’ve been waiting for you. We’re so glad you’re here. You invested God’s money by sending out missionaries and that’s why we’re here. You invested God’s money by giving to “The Story Continues” giving campaign. As a result of a new campus starting in my neighborhood, I met the Lord. My kids were raised as Christians. My life on earth was blessed. It was because of you (and your giving) that I got saved.”
And then behind them comes Jesus Christ. He’s smiling at you. He begins to clap with his nail-scarred hands and he says to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You invested my money by giving to meet people’s needs and bought for yourself treasure in heaven.”