The Stewardship of Money-2
Three Alternatives For Sending Money
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Billions of dollars are wasted each year by people who either donít realize or donít care that they are responsible to God for they way they spend their money, so they carelessly squanders their money on hedonistic living.
Turn with me to Luke 15:11-13, The Parable of The Prodigal Son. Before I read this parable to you I must tell you the definition of the word prodigal. A prodigal is a person who spends his money recklessly and extravagantly. Now to Luke 15:11-13 "And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living."
Many people are wasting their "substance with riotous living." His life reflected a pattern of squandering his money on such sinful excesses as drinking, sexual immorality, and wild living.
There are many people who are doing the same thing today. I overheard the conversation of three young people in there 20ís the other day telling how they partied the weekend away and got really drunk. Many people are spending hundreds of dollars gambling, playing the lottery, playing poker and betting on sporting events. Luke 15:30 says, the prodigal son "devoured" his "living with harlots." Many are doing that today. Others spend their money on drugs. Wild unrestrained living, regardless of the vice, will lead to a dead end.
Tragically, an ever increasing number of Americans are so self absorbed that they only use their money to for themselves and what they do not spend now, they hoard. This is one of the characteristics of the last days. Paul told Timothy that "men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetousÖ" 2 Timothy 3:2. As believers we must resist living like this. We would do well to ponder the parable our Lord shared with the man who came to the Lord and complaining the his brother would not share his inheritance with him.
Luke 12:13-21 "And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 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. 19 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. 20 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? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
As you can see, real problem was that the rich man was living in povertyÖspiritually.
That brings us to our final and only right alternativeÖ
Turn in your Bibles to Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
Let me clarify for you what the word substance is referring to. A man's "substance" are his wealth and riches. Whatever God sends us in the way of secular prosperity, there is a portion of it always for Godís cause. When that portion is given to Him the rest is sanctified. But, when it is withheld, Godís curse is upon the whole. Give to God, and God will give to you. (I plan a message on tithing as a part of this series. I will go in to more depth at that time.)
Not only should we give to God for the work of His Church, but we should also use our money to bless others. One of the reasons we are to work is so that we will have money to share with those in need. Turn to Ephesians 4:28 "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
1 Timothy 6:17-19 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich (abound) in good works, ready to distribute (share with others), willing to communicate (willing to share their blessing with others without reluctance); 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
Paul tells Timothy to caution those that are rich in two areas.
Verse 18 says that we are to use our money to "do good" (see Galatian 6:10; Hebrews 13:16). That is, to perform acts of kindness and generosity. It is reinforced by the phrase following, "be rich (abound) in good works."
Next, we are to be ready to share with others, which is the meaning of the phrase, "ready to distribute." "Willing to communicate" carries the idea of giving freely and without reluctance.
In Verse 19 we read, "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." The basic idea is that when a believer uses your money to in ways that please God, He will reward you when you come in to His presence.
In summary, donít squander your money on living
sinfully, or just to benefit yourself. Rather, use it to the glory of God
and the blessing of others.