Good morning my friends. So the rush really begins for me today and won't end now until the end of June. Pray for me, that I will be able to find that balance between church and school, the balance that has eluded me for the last four years. We are continuing with 2 Corinthians 8.
I want us to consider a simple matter this morning that does not require a profound understanding of the Word to be able grasp. There is one thing that is sure to overwhelm and destroy a follower of Jesus; money. Money requires a specific attitude to handle, and a certain level of integrity. Even during Paul's day caution was taken so everything was done right when it came to handling other people's money:
We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men. vs. 20-21
Paul was heading up a special collection from all the churches for the church of Jerusalem but Paul was not collecting the money himself. This task was spread between several men, some from Paul's group of ministers and others from various churches. With so much money involved it was important Paul demonstrated it was being dealt with integrity, beyond reproach. It is the same approach all ministries should take. Even the simple hint or rumor that something isn't right can destroy a ministry in a matter of weeks. But it goes beyond the handling of the money; management is also important.
Many of us do not manage our money with any great integrity. We often see money as something we earn instead of as the blessing and provision of our God. How we manage our finances would change greatly if we had the attitude that we were not handling something that belonged to us but to our God. Everything we receive has a purpose to it; to pay bills, to buy food, to pay rent. When we spend our money we are actually blessing people. We are blessing the landlord by doing what is right, paying our full rent on time. When we buy our groceries we are blessing the store owner by shopping in his store. If we use our money properly and with a right perspective we will see it as a means of providing for others instead of providing for ourselves.
It would be good today to consider your attitude to your personal finances. Are we storing away for a day that may not come or are we blessing people with it now. Are we insuring we pay what we owe so that we maintain a good testimony of our God who is our provider? Are we avoiding using credit to buy today what we can save for and buy tomorrow? Is it a God honouring thing to be thousands of dollars in debt? Is it God honouring to be so far in debt that we can no longer pay our bills? Have we mismanaged what God has provided to the point that his provision is no longer sufficient and we have to borrow today from tomorrow's provision? None of this shows integrity with our finances.
Do not let money become a trap for you; don't let money become a destroyer of your faith. Take the time right now to seek forgiveness, then ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment with your finances. Be prepared to make some drastic changes. Seek integrity and accountability in everything you do. In this way you will bring honour to our Lord Jesus Christ.