Good morning Jesus, with all that I have, and all that I am, I begin my day worshipping you.
This morning I finish up encouraging you as disciples of Jesus to covenant in 2018 to Immediate Radical Costly Obedience 111.1 (IRCO 111.1) by looking at the “.1” at the end of 111.1.
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke: 21:1)
What if I came to the realization that the money I thought was mine was not mine after all? What if I finally realized it all belonged to God yet had been entrusted to me? And what if I understood God wanted me to use God’s money to do things that produced a return for his Kingdom? How would that change the way I handled money?
Or to look at it another way, if you wanted to live a completely worldly lifestyle, one of materialism, comfort, nice possessions, its all about me and mine, what changes would you need to make in your life? Probably not many.
John Wesley said, “ Earn all you can, save all you can, so you can give all you can.” You should use all the gifts and talents God has given you and put in an honest days work to gain as much income as you are able. You should then save as much money as you can. Meaning not in a personal savings account, but by shopping at thrift stores instead of malls, buying used cars, basic housing and stop purchasing “Stuff.” So then you can give more to God.
While at Oxford, an incident changed Wesley's perspective on money. He had just finished paying for some artwork he had purchased to hang on the walls in his dorm room he was staying in when one of the maids came to his door. It was a cold winter day, and he noticed that she had nothing to protect her except a thin linen gown. He reached into his pocket to give her some money to buy a coat but found he had too little left. Immediately the thought struck him that the Lord was not pleased with the way he had spent his money. He asked himself, Will thy Master say, "Well done, good and faithful steward"? Thou hast adorned thy walls with the money which might have clothed this poor creature from the cold! O justice! O mercy!
In 1731 Wesley began to limit his expenses so that he would have more money to give to ministry and the poor. He records that one year his income was 30 pounds and his living expenses 28 pounds, so he had 2 pounds to give away. The next year his income doubled, but he did not move into a bigger apartment, buy a newer car or purchase more things, he still lived on 28 pounds, so he had 32 pounds to give to ministry and the poor. In the third year, his income jumped to 90 pounds. Again, instead of letting his expenses rise with his income, feeling he was now entitled to more, he stayed in the same room, kept his expenses to 28 pounds and gave away 62 pounds. In the fourth year, he received 120 pounds. As before, his expenses were 28 pounds, so his giving rose to 92 pounds. How different that is from most of our perspective that when we get a raise in income we immediately think of what more can I get instead of what more can I give to God.
We as Christian should not merely tithe but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. Increasing income should not lead to a rise in the Christian's standard of living but the standard of giving.
I know a man of who uses his exceptional investment skills to make more money all for the purposes of investing it into promising ventures serving the Kingdom of God. It’s extraordinary to behold, and he keeps making more and more money. The more he makes the more he gives. There’s no percentage limit like a tithe. I sometimes wonder if he even keeps a tithe for himself.
The Jews in the Old Testament tithed and gave ten percent of the best that they earned to God. We however are people of the New Testament. We have received and know of even the greater giving and sacrifice of God for us in the saving works of His Son Jesus. Far beyond what the Jews could have imagined. Should not then Christians today, with this knowledge, then the amount they tithe and give go far beyond that of those Jews?
My family, I pray today you will come to the realization that the money you thought was yours is not yours after all. That you finally realize it all belongs to God and has been entrusted to you. I pray today you will realize you are called to earn all you can, save all you can, to enable you to give all you can. In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.
I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please begin 2018 by a commitment to partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758. Thank You!
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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