This week I am giving you four words that are the keys to your financial turnaround. So far you have BUDGET, WORK and SAVE. If you want to read those posts, click here for BUDGET, here for WORK, and here for SAVE. Otherwise, here is your final word.
Give - Malachi 3:8-12, 2 Corinthians 6:6-9
Money decisions are not based on amounts, but on affections. The Bible often uses your willingness to give as a tangible test of your affections. Jesus stated it plainly, “You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).” He also stated that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:34).
We give obediently and generously. Out of obedience we bring the Lord our tithe, or the first tenth of what we make. I believe in a practice traditionally known as storehouse tithing as taught in Malachi 3:8-12. For me, the storehouse is my local church. I give to the local church because it is a place of regular collection, accountability, and faithful distribution for missions and ministry. We see this practice in the early church, Acts 2 and Acts 4.
Out of generosity we bring the offering. An offering is what one brings to the Lord above the tithe. We obey in the tithe because our God is the Lord and He is right. But we also bring Him the offering because our God is Savior and He is good.
I also believe that because the Bible teaches that tithing is an act of obedience, that we have yet to give an offering until we have first brought the tithe.
The Bible talks also about the generous giving of alms, or the gifts we give to others to help meet their daily needs. Because the Lord has helped us, we look to be helpful to others.
As good as it sounds to give, it is counterintuitive to our nature to actually let it go. If we are working hard to budget and save, how can we afford to just give it away? My answer would be that we can’t afford not to give.
The Bible is filled with God’s promises of reaping and sowing. With the measure that we give, it will be measured back to us (Luke 6:38). This could be said of any of the big 3 matters of our stewardship, TIME, TALENT, and TREASURE.
Why does giving work? The simple answer is that God blesses it. There is no way to calculate on paper the blessings of God, but it works. In Malachi 3 God invites His people to “put me to the test, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
In the same passage God also says that one of the blessings will be that he will “rebuke the devourer for you.” In an agricultural society the devourer is all the small things that threaten to destroy the harvest. In the broader application I believe the devourer is all of the little things that add up to major expenses.
Giving works because of God’s blessings, but the practical answer is that giving works because generous people are good stewards of their resources. They are not wasteful. They pay attention to what they have and how best to use it and it multiplies to their benefit.
Those four words: BUDGET + WORK + SAVE + GIVE are the keys to financial blessing. The truth of the matter is that none of them are new. There is nothing here that is profound. These four words, when it comes to our money, truly are timeless. The problem is not in the principles, it is in the practice. We do not need anything new, we just need to practice some self-control and discipline and do what works.
Those four words, practiced well, working together, will equate to a financial turnaround 100% of the time, but in actuality these four words BUDGET + WORK + SAVE + GIVE = TRUST.
The end of the matter in all things is that we must trust and obey the Lord. The money is not ours, it is His. We are His stewards and He is a good and benevolent master who seeks to multiply His graces in His people. He has given us everything we need to know about how to handle the money He gives us in His Word. Work HIS plan! God is an an amazing financial advisor with a proven track record.
Before you go, maybe there are other Biblical principles that you have found helpful in handling finances. Please share them with me. I am always eager to learn more about what God’s Word says about money.