“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
I have always enjoyed history, especially American History. One part that captured my attention involved a man named John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. He traveled through the Midwest planting apple seeds for 45years. It is estimated he spread more than twenty bushels of seeds, each bushel contained an estimated 300,000 seeds!
In the Bible there is the principle of sowing and reaping. You plant corn, you harvest corn. (Not potatoes) One ear of corn planted, will result in a harvest of several ears of corn. The more seeds you plant the more produce you harvest. While this principle always hold true, today’s “prosperity preachers” have mistakenly taught if you give $20 to their ministry; God will bless with a $100 reaping!
This doesn’t mean we’ll come into lots of money if we give to the Lord’s work. As many people have experienced, wealth can be fleeting, but if we sow into His Kingdom, we will reap blessing in both time and eternity far beyond our original gifts. Choose an investment that is reliable, is guaranteed to never fail and yield great rewards. Invest in the Kingdom of God.
We live in a world that is obsessed with money. As a whole:
People love money
People live for money
People believe that money will solve at least most of their problems.
It would not be an over-statement that people worship money. They love to make it, have it and spend it on themselves. On the other hand, God expects His followers to understand and reflect His view of money.
Here are seven spiritual truths every Christ follower should follow:
1. God owns everything and man manages His property
The concept of God’s ownership is introduced in the very first verse of the Bible. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…
2. God is the source of all wealth
Since God owns everything, everything we see comes from the hand of God. The tendency is to think otherwise. Deut. 8:17
3. You cannot serve both God and wealth God expects us to have money without becoming addicted to it. God expects us to have money without becoming addicted to it. Luke 18:18-22
4. The love of money is a root cause of many problems
The love of money will rob you of contentment. Eccl. 5:1 The love of money hurts your relationship with God 1 Timothy 6:9-10
5. God blesses the person who honors God with his wealth.
God teaches us to invest our money in His Kingdom 2 Cor. 9:6-7
6. Earthly riches are temporal. Treasures in heaven are eternal Mt. 6:19
7. When God has your money; He has your heart. Mark 12:41-44
Tourists and travelers buy souvenirs from the places they visit. Souvenirs connect us to a place and an experience that become hooks for our memories. They prove that we’ve been to a specific place. Souvenirs can be just about anything: My wife likes seashells. I like collecting baseball caps. Some buy jewelry while others may collect postcards.
In the Old Testament there is a story of souvenir collecting. The Philistines grab a priceless Israelite treasure – The Ark of the Covenant. 1 Samuel 6:19 . About the same time, the nation of Israel began collecting Canaanite items. In both cases their “souvenirs” brought calamity to the owners.
When Israel began conquering Canaan, they were supposed to destroy all the idols they found. Instead, many people collected the idols, brought them home and eventually worshipped them. Exodus 20:4 Today’s idols don’t look like the ancient gods of wood or stone but they endanger us just as much. Whatever holds first place in a person’s life is in fact their idol. Money, success, pride or anything else can be an idol if it takes God’s place. If we have “foreign gods,” we need to dethrone them, giving the true God His rightful place.
We have all had an itch that we cannot scratch. It is usually located somewhere on your back that your arm is too short to reach. So, you reach into your desk for a ruler but you cannot get enough pressure. Next, you get up, walk from your desk and rub your back against the door frame. No good! After several other attempts, you give up and try just to ignore the itch you cannot scratch.
Maybe no one was better at scratching than Solomon. The book of Ecclesiastes is devoted to his search for The Next Thing. He had wealth, power and ability. The phrase “I devoted myself to…” keeps coming up in his book.
- Solomon threw lavish parties that we today cannot comprehend the cost
- He surrounded himself with gardens, parks, and houses
- He constructed a palace that took 150,000 workers thirteen years to build.
- He accumulated 1,000 wives and concubines
- He indulged in every appetite. “I denied my self nothing my eyes desired.”
You can walk down the same road but you find, as Solomon did, nothing brought lasting soul satisfaction. We are called to contentment. Contentment does not come when we acquire enough. It is a product of the way we think. The goal of advertising is to get you to think how dissatisfied you are with your current it.
A spiritual leader went to spend a few days in a monastery to reflect. The monk who showed him to his simple cell said, “If you need anything let us know and we’ll teach you how to live without it.”
“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance with increase. This also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:10