Wealth in the Bible

Using God's Blessings to Bless Others…

Category: Luke (Page 1 of 2)

Their Wealth

Luke 21: 1 – 4 – ‘As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”’

There will always be someone wealthier than you. There will also always be someone more generous. Chances are, the two of these are not the same people. It is quite easy for people to give out of their wealth – although many don’t. It is much more difficult for someone to give away that which they cannot afford to part with.

Their Wealth: do you Compare what Others Have and Give?

Their Wealth: do you Compare what Others Have and Give?

This is true generosity and we see this example from the widow referred to in Luke 21. Jesus wasn’t impressed by those giving out of their abundance; He was moved by a servant heart giving when she couldn’t afford it.

When we trust God to provide for our every need, we can give with a generous heart, even if logically we can argue that we can’t afford to. When we have abundance, we should challenge ourselves to give until it hurts. We are in a better position than the poor to give, and yet often we restrict how much we will give to God or to bless others.

Don’t think about others and their wealth. Think about what you need to live on and give as much as you can. Challenge yourself to give some that you feel you need to live on.  See that God doesn’t provide for you and bless you because of this generosity.

Wealth 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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Give to Caesar

Luke 20: 21 – 25 – ‘… “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”’

Perhaps it is easy for us to justify why we shouldn’t pay taxes. Or why we should work hard to make sure we claim every possible expense that we can to lower our earned income when we do our taxes. God’s word clearly states that we are to give to Caesar.

Give to Caesar: use Integrity with Finances

Give to Caesar: use Integrity with Finances

As wealthy Christians, we need to set an example of integrity when it comes to our finances. Perhaps this is easier to do if we remind ourselves that God has appointed whoever is currently in government. Taxes therefore are to support a person or group of people in charge that God has allowed in this position.

Give to Caesar

If we are wealthy, chances are we are earning an income by some means or other. This could be through working, through residual income or through interest earned on money invested. Whatever it is, we need to give to Caesar – to our government – what is meant for them in the form of taxes. We should also remember to give to God our tithe or offering on a regular basis.

God provides us with our wealth; it is only right that we give what is required to the government and we give what we are prompted to give to God. Anything else we should be investing wisely in supporting ourselves and our family, generating future wealth and helping those in need.

Wealth tip – in times of plenty, don’t splurge this extra. Save a set percentage and use it to build up for times of need. If you unexpectedly come into money (like a tax refund) use it to decrease debts or increase savings.

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What they had Gained

Luke 19: 15 – ‘…Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.’

Read through the whole parable from verses 12 to 26. A nobleman gave some of his servants each a sum of money to invest whilst he was away. Upon his return, he sought them out to find out how they had fared – what they had gained.

What they had Gained: Invest what God Gives you

What they had Gained: Invest what God Gives you

One had made the one mina earn ten more. Another had managed to earn five more mina. The last servant had been afraid of the nobleman and so had held tight to the money. He was fearful of losing it.

What they had Gained

Those who invested and gained a return were blessed with being in charge of a certain number of cities. The one who held fast to his mina had it taken away from him.

Christ gives us things in this life that we are to invest with. Perhaps friends and family, perhaps skills, perhaps finances. If we do not – we are wasting opportunities and so will not be entrusted with more. In fact, we may find that we lose our skills through not working them. We lose our friends and family members through not sharing the gospel with them. We lose our finances through spending them and not investing any.

It is only as we invest the finances Christ has given us that we are able to be given more – and so earn more! Learn to be frugal with your finances. Give some, save some also, and live on the rest. See that God won’t bless you for your good stewardship of the money He gives you.

Wealth tip – be clear on payment terms before undertaking a job so that you know where you stand; don’t set yourself up to be dissatisfied if you learn someone else has better terms than what you agreed upon.

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Here and Now

Luke 19: 7 – 8 – ‘All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner’.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”’

Zacchaeus was wealthy. Because of his profession as a tax collector, he was frowned upon by society. Wealth definitely hadn’t bought him any worth with others, but in Christ’s eyes, he was worth much. As much as anyone else.

Here and Now: we should be Prompt to Act in Accordance with God's Word

Here and Now: we should be Prompt to Act in Accordance with God’s Word

Zacchaeus was keen to see who Jesus was. But, being of short stature, he had to climb a tree to get any glimpse of him.

Jesus knew who Zacchaeus was and so sought him out to stay with. This surprised the people and also caused them to gossip about Jesus being the guest of a sinner. How funny! We are all sinners.

Here and Now

At this talk, Zacchaeus was quick to speak up about making things right. He vowed to here and now give half of what he owned to the poor. (Remember he was wealthy). Also, on top of this, he indicated he was willing to pay back four times whatever he may have taken from someone.

That’s something! In Jesus presence, Zacchaeus publicly changed. We should all be like that as Christians. In our wealth we should be willing to give much and if it was accrued by inappropriate means, we should be ready to pay it back four times over.

Giving back and also giving to those in need should be actions that we are prompted to do here and now. A wealthy Christian should always be willing to give.

Wealth tip – learn to give! God will only give it to you, if He can get it through you!

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Sell Everything; Give

Luke 18:22 – 23 – ‘When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.’

Read through verses 18 – 25. A wealthy man was asking of Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. He kept the commandments Jesus listed for him. When Jesus said he was lacking, it had to do with what he put value on the most.

He valued his money above God. If you were instructed by Jesus to sell everything and then give it to the poor, would you?

Sell Everything; Give

Sell Everything; Give

God is clear in that man cannot serve two masters. We must put Him above all else. This man wasn’t willing to part with his finances on this Earth to ensure an eternity with God. Being wealthy isn’t a privilege that entitles you to an eternity with God – you cannot buy your way into heaven.

Sell Everything; Give

Do not let this become a snare to you. Be thankful for your wealth, sure. But if God gives you the instruction, ‘sell everything; give’, don’t be disobedient because you feel you can’t live without your wealth!

If God knows He can use you to bless others, then will He not provide you with more wealth in the future? And if He doesn’t, does this matter? As long as you are able to live, you shouldn’t desire to have wealth for the sake of having it. Desire it to be able to make a difference with it.

Wealth tip – set yourself a financial goal and list some ways you can actively work towards this (develop a brand, website, products, service, etc). Share this goal with one or two trusted friends and be accountable – work toward it on a regular basis.

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God and Money

Luke 16:13 – ‘No servant can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.’

Luke 16:13 addresses God and money. Perhaps this is a verse that has been quoted to you about why Christians shouldn’t be wealthy; why Christians shouldn’t desire to be wealthy.

God’s word doesn’t say that having money is bad. It doesn’t say that Christians should be poor. In fact, it says that God desires abundance for us! Surely that comes under many areas: health, family, finances, food and more!

God and Money: do you Desire God First?

God and Money: do you Desire God First?

This verse is saying that only one thing can come first in our life. If you desire money more than you desire God, then you have an issue. The wealthy Christian should seek God first, above all else. God is our master. He is our provider. He loves us like no one else can.

He can do so much for us, including aid us in generating wealth! But why would He do this? Because if we are in a position on this Earth to generate more than we need, then we’re in a position to give.

God and money…

Don’t have to be opposing ideas; they can work together. With God’s help and guidance, we can generate wealth and use it to invest in His kingdom.

Do not let people tell you that money is wrong; that Christians shouldn’t desire to be wealthy. Do a search in your Bible, find verses that confirm God wants you to have life and have it to the full. Recognise too however, that He wants you to give to those in need. God and money should work together, not be opposing ideas.

Wealth tip – setting up an offset account for your mortgage means that any money you have left over for the week or that is put aside to pay upcoming bills can be sitting against your mortgage debt and keeping your interest down. It’ll save you thousands in the long run.

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Trustworthy

Luke 16:10 – 12 – ‘Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?’

Are you trustworthy? Would people seek you out to look after their property, their money or their secrets?

Trustworthy: How do you Measure up?

Trustworthy: How do you Measure up?

God’s word clearly states that if we are asked to look after something small and we do a great job of this, then likewise we will with something great. If however we are careless with the small things – perhaps resentful even that they are so small – then we will not be trusted with the big things.

What is the big thing to you? Is it some land, a business idea, a family of your own or something else? Whenever you have an opportunity to show that you’re trustworthy, take it! Who knows what God is preparing you for when He provides these chances to show you are trustworthy with the little things?

Be Trustworthy

As you develop as a wealthy Christian, you will find more and more things entrusted to you. Perhaps this will be finances, employees, more clients or something else. Whatever it is, be sure to keep an attitude of being a good steward with all that is put under your care. This worldly wealth could lead you to bringing others to a saving knowledge of Christ! Be trustworthy.

Wealth tip – search online for a savings account that offers a high interest rate. If you’re already saving – great! Make sure that money is earning you as much as it possibly can. Be mindful of bank accounts that have ongoing fees. Many online accounts are free to set up and offer great interest rates.

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Fertilize It

Luke 13: 8, 9 – ‘‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’

Fertilize it. To fertilize something is to invest in it. If you provide it with the nourishment it needs, then surely it will grow.

God provides us with the nourishment we need through His word. As wealthy Christians, we need to make sure we’re getting this nourishment on a daily basis. Are you reading God’s word each day? Are you fertilizing your spirit and your mind?

Fertilize it.

As you read and are guided by God’s word, you will find that you grow and ideas also grow. God will plant ideas in your mind about how to best manage your money, make it grow and invest into others.

Fertilize It: Fruit is Produced from Fertilization

Fertilize It: Fruit is Produced from Fertilization

You may be familiar with the idea of pruning a plant. Many plants will produce fruit or flowers and then nothing happens unless they are cut back. Sometimes we need a little pruning (correcting) and fertilizing to produce the kind of fruit that God is looking for.

Do not think that all your growing in God will be comfortable – pruning isn’t! Do recognise however that God wants to build you up with His word and that He wants you to produce fruit in your life as a wealthy Christian. Do yourself a favour and make sure you’re fertilized by getting into God’s word and surrounding yourself with positive Christians – you can only grow in this environment!

Remember too, that after being fertilized, it is expected that you will produce fruit. A tree that isn’t productive is often cut down by its master. Be fertilized and then go on to produce fruit for God.

Wealth tip – consider if a loan is necessary to make purchases; other than a mortgage, in a short time frame it should be possible to save regular amounts and purchase items outright. A $10,000 car could end up costing you 12,000 over a 5 year period and will devalue by half in the first 12 months. Buying a similar vehicle that is 12 months old with cash may be a much smarter move financially.

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All Kinds of Greed

Luke 12:15 – ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’

Greed is a sin. God’s word advises to be mindful of all kinds of greed. Greed can be the desire to have, the desire to have more, the want of what someone else has. It is an insatiable hunger and this in itself should warn us. If it cannot be satisfied, what is it worth?

Acquiring more will only result in wanting more still. Be on your guard against all kinds of greed…

Our value is not in what we possess. Our value is found in God’s love. God’s love was of the highest value for us – so much so that he gave his Son away for us. God gave the most important thing that He had so that we could have value and a relationship with Him.

All Kinds of Greed: Greed is a Sin

All Kinds of Greed: Greed is a Sin

In your pursuit of wealth as a Christian, do not lose focus of what is important. Wealth can do many things on this Earth; we should aspire to use it for God’s glory. Do not let it give you a false sense of value because you have acquired a lot. This will then turn into pride and greed, two incredible sins.

As you accumulate wealth, recognise it as God’s blessings. Then look for a way to pass it on and bless others. Do not value your life based on what you have acquired. Instead, focus on what you’re able to give away as a demonstration of God’s love through you.

Greed has no place in a wealthy Christian’s life. As it goes on to say in verses 21 and 22, ‘But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.’

Wealth tip – get rid of unnecessary clutter: remove anything you haven’t made use of in 12 months and bless someone else who may be able to utilise it, by giving it away!

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The Worker Deserves His Wages

Luke 10:7 – ‘Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.’

This is advice from Jesus to his apostles. In Genesis the idea of work is introduced in the Bible. Adam and Eve were to tend the Garden of Eden. God created them for relationship; He also created them to work the garden. Today we’re to work for God by sharing the gospel with others.

The worker deserves his wages. If you have a job, chances are you work and are paid on a regular basis. Jesus was indicating this should be the way with the disciples. They were to work and accept hospitality from anyone who offered it – this was their wage. They were provided with a place to stay and food to eat.

As Christians, we are made to work. Chances are most of us do work – or are seeking work – and will receive a wage for it. We should then put this money to work so that we can build our financial worth and invest it in God’s kingdom.

God's Word says the Worker Deserves His Wages

God’s Word says the Worker Deserves His Wages

Perhaps some things you do because you love them. Do not turn away wages or provision from others in return for work that you do. Even if you volunteer to do it, God may be trying to reward you for the work you’re doing for Him. Accept provision through others from the Lord and work hard to invest what you can of it.

Likewise, as someone who employs the skills of others, do not deny them wages. Recognise that they are indeed working and therefore entitled to a wage. I look forward to the day when my husband and I are running our own business and we are able to employ people. How wonderful to be able to provide wages to workers! It helps the economy and it shows we are in a good position to be able to employ others and pay them.

A job on a minimum wage may be the only thing that someone has to build their wealth, to put food in their stomach and a roof over their head. Remember that the worker deserves his wages and don’t deny them of this when they work for you.

Wealth tip – if the amount you need or want to save isn’t possible on your current budget, consider where costs could be cut or more money could be earned.

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