“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19)
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
When we invest our money in the kingdom of God, we also place our heart there. When we use our finances with the same outlook and principles of this world, then we are trying our affections to things below and not things above.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:19-24)
1. The Proper Use of Money
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
When money is properly used to glorify the Lord, then the Lord is given the wonderful opportunity of proving His power to provide for His people.
“Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:8-12)
When God is denied this opportunity, then the child of God has forfeited a great blessing and that becomes a sin before the Lord. Therefore, the primary use for our money is to use all that we have to bring glory to the Lord. This means that the primary use for money is for giving. When we give, we honor God, we advance His Kingdom, we demonstrate faith in His promises, we expose ourselves to His blessings and we do something in which everyone can participate.
“Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.
Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-20)
2. The Principle for the Use of Money
Jesus gives some principles that should govern the use of our money especially in the matter of our giving. Not only was he checking the amount, but also the motivation and both are of great importance. Now, the standard has always been what is called the “tithe.” This is a word that simply means “the tenth or 10%.” God desires that every person be actively involved in giving their tithe to the Lord. Now this seems to be the consensus as we see it in God’s word. Like prayer, faith, healings etc, I do not fully comprehend it, but I know that it is clearly found in God’s word, therefore I practice it! According to Scripture, it seems fairly clear that nobody should give less than his tithe.
Three basic reasons why people do not tithe:
1) Many Have Never Been Taught To Tithe.
Perhaps their mothers and fathers did not tithe. Perhaps their pastors have been silent about the matter of tithing. But, whatever the reason, some people simply do not understand the place tithing holds in the lives of believers.
2) Many Misunderstand The Place Of Tithing In The Lord’s Kingdom.
There are those who feel that tithing is not for us to do today. This comes from a lack of understanding about what tithing is and where the concept came from. They usually say it is only taught in the Old Testament, and laws have been done away with, we are under grace! Obviously they do not read carefully Scriptures and see that tithing started before the law!
Many years before the Law was given, Abraham offered the Lord a tithe of all his increase.
“and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” (Genesis 14:20)
“and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering” (Genesis 4:4)
Jesus always referred to the Old Testament when teaching, that is where all principles of life come from. The New Testament becomes an explanation and exposition of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament was in typology the New Testament.
“And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:3-6)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23)
3) Many Simply Refuse To Obey The Lord.
Many do not tithe even though they know that the Bible tells them to. Many refuse because they are willing to be rebellious to the Word of God instead of obedient. If you know that it is the Lord’s will and you don’t do it, then don’t complain when you begin to pay a financial price for your rebellion. Too often, we get hung up on the tithe and forget that every penny we have to our names is the Lord’s. All of our money, not just the tithe, is to be used as He leads and directs us. It isn’t 10% that belongs to God, it is 100%!
3. The Proportion for the Use of Money.
As Jesus stood there that day watching the people give their offerings, He was watching not how they gave, but how much as well. When this little widow gave ALL she had, Jesus could no longer contain Himself, but used her giving as an example to all who were present that day. Her testimony still stands as one of the greatest examples of sacrifice in all of recorded human history
What Is The Measure Of Giving?
a. We Are To Give Proportionally
That is, everyone is expected to give the same percentage. This principle of giving is called the tithe and it is the Lord’s
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Malachi 3:10)
“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” (Levictus 27:30)
b. We Are To Give Properly
There is a proper place that has been appointed by the Lord for us to give our tithes. Notice in Malichi 3:10 (“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”), we are to bring our tithes into the storehouse, also called the “Lord’s house.”
c. We Are To Give Perpetually
That is we are to give without intermission or interruption. “When we refuse to give as the Lord has given to us, then we are telling God that He has no right to anything that belongs to us.” (1 Corinthians 16:2)
4. The Passion for the Use of Money:
a. We Should Give Thankfully
That is, we ought to do our giving in light of what the Lord has done for us. Now, we do not give to get back! Neither do we give to earn God’s love and grace and favor! We give because we recognize His Lordship and supremacy over all that I am and have, and out of gratitude! A thankful heart is a giving heart!
b. We Should Give Cheerfully
According to the Bible, God loves a cheerful giver: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). We should give, not because we feel obligated to give, but because it delights our hearts to be able to give unto the Lord!
c. We Should Give Liberally
This simply means that we are not to be stingy when it comes to giving to the Lord’s work or His people.
“give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
d. We Should Give Sacrificially
If you wait to start giving when you have plenty, you will face 2 problems.
1) You’ll never get to where you think you have plenty.
2) When you do have extra, it will seem like too much to give.
Anyone who reluctant to give the Lord what belongs to Him loves his money more that he loves God.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Our money belongs to Him and that we will give an account as to how we use His money.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco at New Life Christian Church in Vaughan, Canada on September 27, 2015.