If there were ever a book that indicated the priorities of God, it would be the Bible. It’s amazing to me how much the body of Christ can argue over the things of God when His Word makes it abundantly clear about His position and the direction His Kingdom is moving in. I think that part of our problem as a body in addressing practical matters is that we don’t address it from a Kingdom mindset. We don’t all have the same worldview of God and His Kingdom. We’re not doing what Jesus did.
He taught about the kingdom all the time, especially in parables so everyone could understand. Instead we talk about what should be done and what agendas are most important based on factors like race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, socioeconomic status, etc. The conversations are usually based on what is happening to marginalized groups, but rarely are we teaching the true Kingdom principles that group needs to adopt in order to move in the direction God is going. We aid people in complaining and identifying the problems yet we fail to reach them on how to correct their problems with God’s Word. We as the church (the body of Christ) are failing to teach and correct. Today, I want to teach on one of the most important topics in the Bible- FINANCES!
You’d be surprised to find out how much the Bible addresses money and managing assets, yet the church doesn’t teach on it much. There are more than 2,300 verses in the Bible on financial topics, and I’m not referring to the basics of tithing. It’s very obvious that giving and generosity is of God’s character and is expected among His people. Imagine if we used just a few scriptures at a time to apply to our lives; how far could we really go in building the Kingdom of God?
1) Let’s start off our understanding of wealth with God’s credit and debt system. The “FICO score” is not an original. God commanded the Israelites to cancel the debts of fellow Israelites every 7 years. Sounds familiar? In our American credit system, it is also unlawful for delinquent items/ debts older than 7 years to remain on your credit report. Things like foreclosures, defaults, and bankruptcies should be removed as part of a renewal process God calls “the year of release”. God even took His instruction a step further to encourage His people to lend generously, even to the poor. We need to understand God’s heart of generosity for all. We can’t expect the banks to do for us what we won’t even do for one another. See Deuteronomy 15: 1-11 to better understand God’s view of debt and credit.
2) Next up is budgeting and saving! People typically don’t argue against these practices, they just tend to be very resistant to understanding their personal finances. People don’t want to be reminded that they should not make impulsive purchases and really cannot afford most of the things they buy. Recently, I asked someone, “If you knew that saving money on your cable bill and investing those savings every could make you a millionaire in 10 years, would you do it?” The person took such a long pause to answer that I knew they were deeply ingrained in bad spending habits that not even the possibility of becoming a millionaire would change their mindset. This is unfortunately what many Believers practice. We refuse to look at our income and expenses just to understand where it’s all going versus where it should be going. It is not a sin to look at your bank account and make a plan for where your money needs to go! It is a sin, however, to live in a poverty mindset, lack self-control, waste money, and act negligently. We have to be accountable to ourselves and to God, even in our finances so that our actions represent the King well. Take an interest in learning about money so you can shift your mindset from poverty to prosperity. See references to Proverbs 6:6-8, 21:5, 24:3-4, 27:23, and Luke 14:28-30 for a deeper dive.
3) Finally, God’s way of investing is our final topic. The idea of asset classes is nothing new. God’s Word gives precedence to what He values and we should be investing in those things. Real estate for example. Most of the Old Testament included God’s design of the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey, how the land was to be inherited, and regaining control of the land. Commodities (gold, silver, precious metals) are another example. I mean God specifically laid out in the Creation account which land had the best gold. When the children of Israel left Egypt, they were gifted with gold and silver and became a wealthy nation overnight. When Abraham was described in the Bible as being a rich man, it was his possessions of commodities and cattle that proved his immense wealth. Stocks, currency, loans, business investments, it’s all there in the Bible. See references in Genesis 2:11, 13:2, Exodus 12:35, Luke 16, Matthew 25:14-30 to get more clarity.
Does God really have money on His mind? Yes, because it’s in His heart, within His Word. We have got to level up here people. We have so much to learn about the Kingdom and we can do it. All we have to do is start and God will guide the rest. Start with a prayer, asking Holy Spirit to direct your reading and understanding of the Word. God is waiting on us to implement His Word His Way so He can work on our behalf. Let’s go!