Wealth in the Bible

Using God's Blessings to Bless Others…

Category: Exodus

Resting in Busy Times

Exodus 34: 21 – ‘Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.’

Do you ever get caught up thinking, I know I should rest but there’s so much to do! Once things calm down, then I will rest. I do!

God’s word is written in black and white on this – there is no grey area. Even during the plowing season and harvest – even in times of expected activity, take the time to rest on the seventh day. It’s too easy to fall into a trap of doing ‘just a little more’ because the list of things to do seems never ending.

We are more productive when we have properly rested – God knows this, He created us! If you struggle with resting and know that a busy period is going to come upon you, set yourself a list of priorities and focus first on those that need to be done. Rest obediently one day in seven and pray for the Lord to guide you on ways to best be productive and efficient with the 6 days that you are able to invest in work.

Financial tip – establish the difference between needs and wants. Do you need your next purchase? Can the money be better invested elsewhere?

An Offering of Love

Exodus 25: 2 – ‘Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.’

God doesn’t want an offering brought out of a grudging attitude, or one that feels it’s just another thing God is requiring of us. He wants us to want to give. This should always be our attitude with our finances.

Are you prompted to give? I believe that in our very nature as Christians – those desiring intimacy with God – we should be prompted to give; to give to God of our time, our resources, our finances and our love. This will often be displayed through the way we give to others.

Have you heard of the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? He writes that people display love and feel loved through five different languages:

  • Gifts (giving and receiving)
  • Words of affirmation (positive words)
  • Physical touch (hugs, caresses, holding hands)
  • Quality time (focused attention)
  • Acts of service (doing things for others and having things done for you)

Most people have one or two languages that speak strongly to them of love. For example, I love positive words, receiving and giving them. I also love to do things for my family and have things done for me in return. These are my two love languages. I believe that my love languages come into play with loving others in a Godly way, but also in business.

I have a passion for writing and believe this comes from my love of words. I try to write things that are educational and inspirational. I want to give through my love of words. I also love to do things for others, whether it be helping to create a website, Facebook page or editing a book or reviewing a book to help raise awareness.

Suddenly I can use my love languages in business to bless others. I encourage you to discover your love language/s and consider how you may use your natural way of expressing love, to reach out to people in the business world.

If you can build your Christian business around your love languages, you may find it easier to be passionate and pro active! You can bring offerings to God in the form of serving others through your business – and at the same time be successful and generate income.

Wealth tip – unsure where your money goes? Make a money diary for a month or two listing every cent spent. Cut out unnecessary spending!

Setting an Example

Exodus 22: 12 – ‘Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.’

It’s such a simple command and yet God repeatedly talks of the need to have a Sabbath – one day in the week where we rest. And why? So that we might be refreshed. So that our animals, our slaves – or in the 21st century, our employees – and the foreigners living amongst us might rest. How do they rest, too? Because they’re not expected to work and we’re setting an example that they can follow.

Being a steward of God’s blessings is another example that we should be setting as wealthy Christians. Is money our focus? Or is using it to expand God’s kingdom our focus?

I’ve previously stated that God will only get it to you if He can get it through you. Wealth is to be used wisely; acquire it wisely and provide it wisely to those in need and see your blessings increase.

Wealth tip – save with purpose; save regularly either way, but having a goal to save for can help motivate.

Resting

Exodus 22: 10 – 11 – ‘For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.’

How the poor must have loved this seventh year of provided abundance! Through God’s direction, even the poor were provided for. Although we have perhaps strayed from following such directions, it is still possible for us to find means and ways to provide for the poor on God’s behalf.

We are his hands and feet at work, particularly when we have abundance! Whether it be of love, time, kind words, money or resources, any form of blessing from God that is more than we need should be used to bless others.

In the above verses God looks after two things – His precious people and the land. Like with us, He expects that the land will be productive and worked for six years, then to have a seventh year of rest (like we have a Sabbath each week). In this way, the land is able to recover / rest and provide nutrition to us for another six years. In this year off, it is still a blessing to others – the poor!

On our Sabbath, we can rest knowing we are a blessing to the Lord. We are following His commandment to rest, we are focusing on him – not on working or creating more opportunities for wealth. Again, as we draw closer to Him, we will find that our six days worth of work are abundantly blessed more than a seventh day of work would have benefited us.

Financial tip – don’t shy away from second hand. Many things you need don’t have to be brand new. You can save a lot of money if you’re willing to purchase something previously loved by another: a fridge, car, lounge suite, etc.

Loaning with no Strings Attached

Exodus 22: 25 – ‘If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.’

Unless you work in the financial field of lending money to others for business, you shouldn’t be in a position of trying to earn interest on loans. If a friend or family member needs a loan or you see someone in need that you could help financially, loan this without thinking of your own financial gain from the action.

For some people to get ahead, all they need is assistance of some finances until they can pay it back to you. Don’t make this harder by charging interest on the amount loaned to them.

Chances are if you help them in their time of need, once they are in a position to do so, they will go on to help others. Your assistance to one person may enable them to then help another ten people!

Financial tip – compare the benefits of saving money and earning interest with keeping loans down that are incurring you interest. A mortgage may charge 5% interest while savings earn you 4% interest. It is wiser financially to put extra funds against the mortgage and save interest of 5%, rather than earn interest of 4% that ends up getting taxed.

 

Setting things Free

Exodus 21: 2 – ‘If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.’

We are all equal in God’s sight, and yet there is a lot of inequality in this world. There is still slavery, racism, sexism and so much more that is unjust. As a steward of all that God has blessed you with, it is your responsibility to do things in a just manner.

It may be a difficult thing, but holding onto what is owed to you as time passes is not healthy. Perhaps you loaned a friend or family member money – even without interest! – and there is no sign of this being paid back. Perhaps they cannot afford to or they don’t intend to; do not hold this against them.

Offer freely in your abundance and after a time, let this debt go. Do not expect it to be paid back or add up all that you are ‘owed’, thinking you will be even more fruitful once it is paid back.

Learn to bless others without conditions or even if conditions are set, do not hold to these more than you hold to God to provide for your needs and more. Learn to set debts free after a time for whoever may owe you. However, as much as it is possible, work to pay any debts that you may owe to others.

Financial tip – research residual income options; there are many avenues where you can put in the work once, but gain the rewards many times over.

One Command for All

Exodus 20: 8 – 11 – ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the seas, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’

We have looked at being productive six days a week and taking the time to rest on the seventh day. It is a healthy thing to do and it is commanded by God.

What I love about this verse is that it is no respecter of persons – everyone is to follow the rule of the Sabbath. In fact, it is expected that if you have children, servants, animals that work for you and even foreigners amongst you, that you will include them in this command.

Do you teach your children to rest? Do you insist your employees do not work 7 days a week? Do you take the time to ensure your household and your employees all observe the Sabbath?

Our first responsibility is to follow God’s commands for ourselves. Our next responsibility is to ensure that our children and those we are caring for (e.g. employees) are aware of the Sabbath and also observe it.

God sets guidelines for all of us because they are beneficial. Don’t feel that some biblical truths apply to one person, but not another.

Financial tip – for big purchases, research pricing in advance of acquiring something. You can save yourself a lot of money if you take the time to look around.

Finding Balance

Exodus 20: 4 – ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything on heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.’

Wealth is a healthy goal as long as it is in line with the above. There is no way we should put money before our desire to know God and be in relationship with Him. The irony is that if we seek Him first, then He is the best one to bless our finances!

If we seek to acquire wealth first, then our priorities are wrong and we’re not allowing God to work in our lives in the way He should be free to! This can negatively affect our wealth! Simply put: God desires and deserves our love as a first priority.

Don’t let your business or your income become an idol you put before your God, your spouse or your family.

Financial tip – seek out resources that you can acquire for free with a little patience and research. There are many online books that can be downloaded or local libraries that have a wealth of information you don’t need to pay to access.

Trusting for Daily Needs

Exodus 16: 29 – 30 – ‘Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.’

In advance the Israelites were told that God would provide twice what they would need on the sixth day. They were instructed to collect up twice as much so that they wouldn’t need to work on the seventh day.

If the Israelites took more than was needed, by the following day the manna provided to them would be full of maggots and smell. God was setting strict guidelines so that His people had to learn to trust Him for provision each and every day. Do you do that?

In finances, it is wise to save when we have times of abundance and to put aside for future events (a deposit on a house, our children’s education, a bill arriving soon). However, there is no value in hoarding up money to sit on so that we can feel secure. God will provide all our needs – and more!

He provided extra on the sixth day so that the Israelites could observe the Sabbath and rest on the seventh day. And yet, if you read on in this chapter, some still went out on the seventh day looking for manna, even though God had directed them to take enough on the sixth day; even though He had indicated that he wouldn’t be providing food to them on the seventh day for collection.

Are you like that with your money? Do you check in each day, hoping – or expecting – that the figures will have changed in your favour, even though you know it’s not pay day; even though you know you haven’t put in work to receive pay?

Trust God for your daily needs; work when He indicates it is right to work; rest when He directs you to rest. In this way, you will be obedient to God and please Him and you will have your daily needs cared for.

Financial tip – be proactive six days a week to bring in income, develop residual income and increase the value of your property; rest on the seventh day knowing you have been hard working and that God not only ordains, but insists on His people resting so they don’t burn out.

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