Faith and Finances
Faith and Finances
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5
One of the wonderful things about the way the Bible talks about money is that it never treats it as a budget issue; it’s always a heart and faith issue. Whenever the authors of Scripture address the topic it is clear that they are not seeking resources but righteousness. In the same vein, I’d like to talk about finances not in the interest of meeting budget, but in the pursuit of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord!
Hebrews 13:5 is a fascinating verse in light of the fact that it is written to saints who suffered severe financial hardship for the cause of Christ. It wasn’t that long ago that they “joyfully accepted the confiscation of their property” (10:34). And yet the Spirit thought it necessary to warn these Christian pilgrims of the dangers of “money love”. How much more necessary is it for us today as American believers swimming in the spiritually toxic waters of materialism and consumerism? Ask yourself this: Why is it so hard to part with our money when we are giving it away and so easy to part with our money when we are spending it away? Because spending money for our comfort and convenience feels like what money is for. Consumerism feels right.
This necessary admonition is made up of a negative and a positive command: something to avoid and something to pursue.
Keep Your Lives Free from Love of Money
The words “keep your lives free from…” suggest that money-love is infectious and contagious – like a virus. It is something to be avoided, something from which we are to protect ourselves with all possible precautions. It is a spiritually deadly disease.
“Money-love” is one of the great evils warned about in Scripture. Jesus assures us that love of money and love for God are mutually exclusive (Matt 6:24). One of the requirements for an elder or deacon is that they not be “a lover of money” (1 Tim 3:3). Paul says that in the last days, one of the evidences of evil will be that people are “lovers of money” (2 Tim 3:2). Money-love is dangerous and deadly. We need to realize that, as we live the “normal” American life, we are in the midst of a spiritual pandemic!
How can we protect ourselves?
Be Content with What You Have
There is a wonderful spiritual prophylactic available that is completely free and 100% effective in guarding against this deadly virus - contentment. It works by blocking money-love entry to your heart. People love money because it provides access to things we believe will bring us happiness, comfort, and security. This is why money-love is so contagious – it is connected to the deepest desires of our hearts. Contentment, however, blocks the disease from entering your heart. If your heart is already satisfied with what you have, you cannot be tempted by what you don’t have.
But how do we gain contentment when all the desires which drive people to money-love reside in our own hearts? The question is anticipated, and the answer immediately given:
“…for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”
Believe the Promise
The fact that the Lord will never leave us means that we already have infinite reasons for happiness, comfort, and security in our Lord Jesus! The fact He will not forsake us reminds us that He is always actively engaged for us! Jesus isn’t near to simply hold your hand – He’s there to exercise all His sovereign might on your behalf and accomplish all His saving purposes for your good. That’s His promise. We just need to believe it.
Believing this promise frees us to use our money as God intended: for our needs, for the welfare of others, and for the furthering of His gospel cause – the ministry of His church. So, let’s live virus free. Let your finances express your faith. Bring your gifts to Christ with deeply contented hearts, rejoicing in all that God has freely and forever given you in Him!
In His Service,
Pastor Dale Van Dyke