What About Money? : Proverbs

What about money?  For this sermon in our Proverbs series I did a survey to see what Proverbs has to say to the Christian on the topic of Money.  What I found is that if you want to be rich, I mean truly rich, then you need to exchange your pursuit of money for a pursuit of righteousness through a relationship with Christ.  When your relationship to God becomes your top priority in life then what you will find is that the blessing of God will follow.  Now let me be clear, this is not the prosperity Gospel.  The blessing of God in the Bible usually refers to His active loving presence and yet, this is sometimes accompanied with great wealth in this life.  God has promised all His children wealth through the inheritance we receive in Christ but the fullness of that blessing is yet to come.  At the same time, God can and does bless some materially in this life.  We must be careful to never draw a connection between our material wealth and our spiritual standing before God.

Proverbs gives us four practical ways to deal with money as we pursue God as our top priority.  Proverbs urges us: to be generous, to work hard, to financially plan, and to be content.  In this sermon I will deal with these practical areas of Godly money management in turn.

Be Generous.  Being generous really comes in two forms.  First, we are generous in giving to the Lord through our tithes and offers.  Secondly, we are generous to other people.  Proverbs 3:9-10 urges us to give the “first fruits” of everything we have in thankfulness to God for His provision so that our “barns will be filled with plenty, and [our] vats will be bursting with wine,” or in other words, God will continue to provide for our needs abundantly.  When we give to the Lord we proclaim that by faith we trust Him to take care of our needs.  Likewise, then we give to others.  Proverbs 11:24-25 and Proverbs 19:17 speak of the way the Lord rewards those that are willing to give to others in need.  God honors our generosity as we proclaim with every act of giving that we trust Him as the ultimate provider.

Work Hard.  The Bible is very clear that money and material blessing are usually the fruit of hard work.  Proverbs 10:14, Proverbs 20:13, Proverbs 28:19, and Proverbs 21:17 all witness to this basic fact of life.  Hard work is something that has been somewhat lost in the current generation.  The surprising fact of the matter is that most of us are riding the wave of the previous generation’s hard work.  If your budget is feeling a little tight, check yourself and see if you are putting in the hard work financial blessing demands.

Financially Plan.  Do you budget?  Do you set financial goals in your family?  Have you been saving for a rainy day? Proverbs 21:5, Proverbs 13:22, and Proverbs 16:3 all encourage us to financially plan.  In addition, we should lay our financial plans before the Lord and see if they align with His desires and plans for our life.  Not only will God establish our plans if they are in accord with His will but we may bless our children for generations to come.

Be Content.  This may be the hardest of all the financial disciplines that Wisdom calls us to in Proverbs.  Proverbs 30:8 is a dangerous prayer if you want to get rich but what is at the core of this prayer is a high view of the riches found in our relationship with God.  Proverbs 30:8 understands that having God is true blessing.  I challenge you to consider this prayer for your life.  Proverbs 27:20 and Proverbs 22:7 speak of the dangers we can fall into if we are not content.  Instead let us “keep [our lives] free from love of money, and be content with what [we] have” as Hebrews 13:5 instructs us.  We can be content because we have Jesus and HE OWNS EVERYTHING.

1 Peter 1:4 tells us that “we have been born again through Christ to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”  May we set our sights on that prize, the only real prize of lasting worth.  Let me urge you to exchange your pursuit of money for a pursuit of righteousness through a relationship with Christ.  If you will make you relationship to God your top priority in life, what you will find is that the blessing of God will follow.

Enjoy the sermon.

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