OVERFLOW – Testing Testing 123 • 11/19/23

The Bible has more to say about money than heaven and hell. Jesus taught about money more than any other topic because he knew that wealth would be the #1 competitor for our hearts. Our treasures are directly connected to our hearts. Our U.S. currency has “In God We Trust” printed on each coin and bill. We need that reminder about where we should place our trust. The flow starts with God. We all have “stuff” in our possession, and we say, “This is my stuff,” but it’s not really ours. We are not owners; we are stewards. When you come to the realization that everything belongs to God, God changes your heart, how you live, and the flow. 

Scriptures – Acts 20:35; Matthew 6:24; Ecclesiastes 5:10; Matthew 6:25-33; Malachi 3:10

Verses – You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Ac 20:35) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Mt 6:24) Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. (Ec 5:10) “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Ma 3:10) “But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mt 6:33)

Thought – There are 5 basic things you do with your money. You spend, pay taxes, pay bills (debt), save, and give. How much you allocate to each category depends on your priorities and your discipline. You might make a budget and plan where your money will go, but your discipline determines if that happens. Sadly, saving and giving fall dead last for most people. Instead of putting God first, he gets what’s leftover, if there is any!  When you have guests for dinner, you probably go to the store, plan, and prepare so that you present a nice meal and plenty of food for them to enjoy. If there are leftovers, you store them in the fridge and eat them the next day. Have you ever prepared a lovely meal for yourself the day before you are having guests over for dinner, then simply pulled out the leftovers for them? I doubt it! Yet, this is how many Christians serve God with their finances. If you are worrying and fretting about having enough money, my guess is that you are not giving to God first and trusting Him to provide. Jesus says in Matthew that you cannot serve both God and money. He also says that when you truly serve God and put Him first in every area of your life, including finances, He will provide. It’s no longer your worry nor is it your burden to carry. Good financial advisors recommend the 80/20 rule for finances. Live on 80% of what you earn and the other 20% is to be saved and given. For the Christ-follower that’s 10% to God, which is your tithe, and 10% to savings. You might need to adjust your lifestyle, but it will yield a return of blessings. God honors his Word, and in Malachi He says, “Test me in this.” 

Questions – Do you worry about having enough money? Do you wish you had more money? If so, what would you do if you had more? How do you spend most of your money each month? How has giving to God affected your life? Are you where God wants you to be in your giving? If not, what do you need to do to get in line with God’s Word?

Response – Assess your finances, spending. If you are not giving to God according to His instruction, create a budget that moves toward progressively getting in line with His Word. You may not be able to do it in a month or even in 6 months but get started and keep increasing incrementally until you are giving the full tithe.

Prayer – Dear Lord, thank you for blessing my life, my work, my family, my health, and my finances. Help me to be a faithful steward of all you have entrusted to me. I will honor you by giving back the tithe as you have instructed. I know that everything belongs to you, and it’s only through your grace and love that I have so many blessings. Forgive me of my selfishness and help me to generously give as you have given so generously to me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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