This Sunday we begin a 4 week series at the Ithaca Vineyard entitled, “In God We Trust.” Each day this week leading up to the series, we’ll spend a little time looking at the topic of money.
The hardest issue for many people to grasp when it comes to money is that God’s economy doesn’t work like the economy in the “real world.” The rules are actually pretty different. I wanted to wrap up this 5 part series on money by looking at one of the major differences. Proverbs 11, verses 24 & 25 says this:
One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
In our economy, if I give you something of mine, I have less & you have more…the pie is only so big, so for you to have more means I have less. Makes sense, right?
But according to this passage, & well, the rest of the bible, God’s economy doesn’t work that way… For example, generosity, rather than costing us something, opens up whole new worlds to us. Being a generous person puts us smack dab into the middle of God’s economy…& causes our world to get bigger, not smaller.
(Let’s avoid the two extremes here as well…God’s blessing is not all about money. We don’t give so that we can get more. We give, because of who God is, rather than what we get out of it. But at the same time, we serve a God who blesses us when we join in with what he is doing. And a part of God’s blessing is material.)
What we have to grasp is that as followers of Jesus we do not minister out of scarcity. We minister to others out of abundance. When we are generous…when we freely give, just as we have received, we open ourselves up to God’s resources. We place ourselves right in the middle of his economy…We are no longer ministering in our limited strength…we are no longer ministering based solely on our limited resources.
When we are generous, our focus goes from an inward focus to an outward focus…it moves from, “how can I benefit from this situation”, to, “how can I bless somebody else like I have been blessed by God.”
And it is when we start to do that, that we really begin to live life.