walk in the word
Last week in the Weekly Walk we talked about how much Jesus is fired up about how we handle our finances. We covered three of five principles that can bring you freedom and joy with your money like you never have before. Now, as promised, here’s the final two principles from Luke 12. And by the way, don’t just read them, really consider how you can align your life with what Jesus is saying.
#4 If my wallet is for self, my heart is not for God.
Take your wallet out of your back pocket or purse and get it in your hands. (Really!) This is a symbol of all that God has given to you. Hold that symbol as you read Luke 12:31-32:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.” (That’s the verse we covered last week that describes our inability to out-give God.) On the heels of that familiar verse, Jesus says these tender words, “Do not fear little flock—” (verse 32). That’s the only time in the whole New Testament that He calls us “little flock.” Jesus is so tender. He knows we get really protective when we get our money in our hands. “Oh no! What if I go without?” and He says, “Do not fear little flock. For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Oh, is that all we get—the kingdom of God? All that belongs to the Creator of the universe? That’s allwe get? How foolish to grip so tightly to my little smidgen of resources and in my disobedience shut myself off from the resources of Almighty God!
Then He says, “Sell what you have and give alms”(verse 33). This doesn’t mean liquidate everything, otherwise we would all be on government assistance. What Jesus means is, “Don’t let your buying habits leave you in a position where you can’t give.” Then He compares earthly investments to heavenly investment. “Provide for yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.”
In light of all this, I’m sure you have questions. “Should I buy a better car?” “We’re tithing and we have some cash. We want to buy a cottage. Should we do that?” I don’t have any answers except for this next verse. I’ll let you wrestle with it. Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also” (verse 34). Jesus says “Be careful” because the more you accumulate, the greater the tendency for your heart to get drawn away.
#5 The Time to Give Is Now
Right now. Not next year. Not when I get things settled. Not when I get the mortgage paid down. The time to give is now.
“Stay dressed for action,” Jesus says, “ and keep your lamps burning,and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes.” In other words, get up, get the lights on, and get ready. Jesus could come back at any moment.
“If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants!” If you have been faithful to God in these money matters, you will be blessed for your faithfulness.
I’ve been in the ministry a long time and I’ve never worried about the financial needs of God’s kingdom. Believe me, the Lord is not up in heaven saying, “How are we going to pay these bills? We really need the people of God to come through for us!” That’s backwards. What I’m passionate about is to see people get free who think that the next thing they buy or the next vacation they take is going to make them happy. Nothing but living for and obeying Christ is going to turn that key.
If the truth were known, some of us are like that little English boy who lived in the darkness of the tunnels under the streets of London. He never saw the light of day until someone found him, took him by the hand up a stairway and out into the beautiful world of trees and lakes and sky. Some of you have been living in the darkness of hoarding or of frivolous spending. I long for you to experience the joy of making what God has given you available to Him.
I pray that He would give you the courage to put Him first and to experience the marvelous provision reserved for those who obey His Word.
Adapted from the message “Fired Up about Finances” from the series, Passions of Jesus: Finding Out What Fires Him Up. Join us on air through March 26 for more messages from the series, Passions of Jesus: Finding Out What Fires Him Up.
brought to you by change partners