An explanation of the four pillars of God’s economy and a financial plan for your family that will get you out of debt and put you in a position where God can bless your socks off!
Some people want to be recognized for their religious acts—and if they don’t get public recognition, they are gone. That’s show-off religion. Jesus had something to say about those who practice show-off religion: They will be punished most severely. The sins of these religious leaders were not the gross sins of the flesh; they were the sins of pride, greed, selfishness, and hostility. These are what may be called “religious sins.”
We are a nation of hoarders. We keep much more stuff than we need and store it in closets, attics, and garages. And then when those places get full, we store our stuff in self-storage units. God created us to be a channel of his wealth, not a container. God gives to you and He wants you to give it away—and you can’t outgive God.
When you wake up every morning, you have a choice. You can wallow in the ashes of the world, or choose the beauty that God offers. You can give in to mourning, or you can have the oil of joy covering you. Are you burdened down with a spirit of heaviness? You can choose to put on the garment of praise. Joy is a choice!
As human creatures, we love to accumulate stuff. You know what stuff is. I’ve got my stuff and you’ve got your stuff. Don’t mess with my stuff. People have accumulated so much stuff that they have to rent storage units to store all their stuff. But Jesus taught that we shouldn’t hoard our blessings, we should give them away.
When you give to God, are you giving grudgingly and reluctantly? Or do you find yourself giggling as you give? If you want to be a giggly giver, understand that your attitude is more important than your amount. You’ve got to recognize God’s law of the harvest and start joyfully, extravagantly planting seeds. And you’ve got to give out of a sense of gratitude for the grace that God has given to you.
One of the greatest life changes you’ll ever experience is when you allow God to change you to become a truly generous person. Are you generous? A truly generous person is too humble to admit, “I’m a generous person.” But when someone is talking about you to others, does the word “generous” come out of their mouths?
If you are going through a tough time, I have a Word for you. It’s found in Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God never says your heart won’t break. He never promises your spirit won’t be crushed. But He says, “I’m aware of your pain. I know what you’re feeling. I care. I’ll help you through it.” You may be battling cancer right now. Some of you are still grieving because someone you love has died. Others of you are out of work—you need a job. Some of you are dealing with children who are behaving in a way that makes you wonder if someone exchanged babies with you when they were born. Some of you are tired from being the primary care giver to a sick loved one. I could go on for hours…and I still might not name your tough circumstance. But God knows, and He cares.
If you want to learn how to live well and prosper you need to get into God’s economy. It’s going in only one direction! The very first principle in God’s economy is acknowledging that God is the source of your wealth. It’s not your job, or your investments, and some of you got your money the old fashioned way-you inherited it! But these things are not your true source of wealth, God is. Some of you disagree with me because you think you trained, and worked, and slaved and you earned everything you possess. Who do you think gave you the ability to work and earn?
We may think greed isn’t as evil as some of the more evident sins of the flesh. But God catalogs selfish greed right beside those physical sins. Greed is actually idolatry. You would never picture yourself bowing down before a statue or some man-made god. That’s idolatry! But when you hang onto your possessions and refuse to give them up you are basically saying, “I trust my wealth more than I trust God.” People say, “well, you’ve got to save for a rainy day.” But, my friend, you can trust God during your rainy days.
Sometimes people think that the Christian life is a playground. It’s not a playground; it’s a battleground. Life is tough. It’s a struggle, even for the best of Christians, even for the strongest Christians. He says, “I’m in a struggle.” And it is a struggle. That’s why you need to share your burdens with one another. That’s why we need to say, “Pray for me as I pray for you.”