Help, I’m Afraid to Give! (Part 4) NY
24 Mar 2018
Fear limits how much God can bless us, and therefore, as Christians, we must take care not to limit Him. Fear can rear its ugly head in any area of our lives, especially in financial matters. Jesus had much to say about money, and He taught that wealth is the least important thing in the kingdom of God. It is simply a tool that can be used for good or evil. How we manage money and whether we are afraid to give depends on whether we are under the influence of the spirit of mammon or the Spirit of God. God promises He will never let us down or abandon us, but this is a promise that mammon cannot keep. In light of this, we must decide for ourselves whether we will trust in mammon or in God.
- Mammon is unreliable but God is faithful. We must choose who to serve.
- And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:1-13).
- It is no coincidence that this refers specifically to money. Money is considered the least important thing in the kingdom of God.
- Jesus told His disciples that those who are faithful in money matters will also be faithful in much more important issues.
- Money is connected to every area of our lives. When the spirit of mammon is on it, we will not be faithful with it.
- For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10).
- Money itself is not evil, but the love of it is.
- The widespread misinterpretation of this Scripture has confused us. Mammon is behind the confusion; it tries to get us to trust money more than God.
- Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5, AMPC).
- God wants to get involved in our finances just as much as any other area of our lives.
- Being satisfied with our present circumstances and with what we have is called contentment.
- But godliness with contentment is great gain (1Timothy 6:6).
- We do not have to be afraid of excess. God wants to bless us abundantly.
- Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:5).
- Most people have the wrong understanding of the word “moderation.” They conduct their lives according to the motto “Do all things in moderation,” and therefore they are afraid of being labeled as excessive.
- The English dictionary definition of moderation is restraint, to avoid extremes or excesses. Believing this definition promotes the fable that it is wrong for Christians to have anything in excess, but the scriptural meaning of this word is different.
- Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon] (Philippians 4:5, AMPC).
- The Amplified translation completely removes the word “moderation.” The true biblical meaning of this refers to patience, gentleness, and traits found in the character of a Christian.
- It is no sin to enjoy excess from God.
- Praying for “just enough” to take care of ourselves, and no more, is a selfish prayer. If we have nothing left over, we have nothing with which we can be a blessing to others.
- God, Himself, is excessive. In the Bible, we read about heaven’s gates embedded with pearls, streets of gold, and city walls garnished with precious stones (Revelation 21:18-21).
- Being a good steward of God’s money does not mean being cheap. It does not necessarily mean buying the cheapest things we can find, simply to save money. We must move away from this “cheap” mentality.
- And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:16-21).
- When we have the wrong motivation for excess, we find ourselves driven by selfish reasons.
- Excess is okay only if it is from God; if it is not, it is wrong. Excess is only for the purpose of being a blessing. Being rich and having nice things is fine.
- The more we bless others, the more that will come back to us. We cannot outgive God.
- God has no limits. It is time to remove our own self-imposed limitations.
- How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 78:40, 41).
- We can unwittingly limit God with wrong-thinking. It is not His will to be limited in how much He can bless us.
- We do not need to build a ceiling or limit how far He can move in our lives.
- For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise(2 Corinthians 10:12).
- We limit God by measuring ourselves against others and comparing what we have with what others have.
- By doing this, we belittle what He has already done for us.
- God is simply waiting for us to tell Him that we believe He can do exceedingly, abundantly above, and more than what we could ask or even dare to think.
- Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20).
- Our God is the God of no limitations.
- We serve a God who can “pile it on.” We must simply take the limits off and allow Him to work.
- Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen (1 Timothy 6:19-21).
- Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith. Overwhelming grace keep you!(1 Timothy 6:17-21, MSG).
1 Timothy 6:6, 10, 19-21
Hebrews 13:5, AMPC
Philippians 4:5, AMPC
Psalm 78:40, 41
2 Corinthians 10:12
1 Timothy 6:17-21, MSG