In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: 2 Corinthians 12:14
Memorise This Verse: Proverbs 13:11 ‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow’.
Afterwards Talk About This: Should we save for a rainy day or save to invest into the Kingdom of God.
Something To Do Before Next Time: If God has spoken to you, open a bank account to save money that can be invested into the Kingdom of God.
Written Diploma Work: Write one side commenting on 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Mark 14:6
Mark 14:1-9 tells the story of a woman who came and anointed Jesus with a jar of very expensive perfume that was worth a year’s wages – Jesus himself said that wherever the gospel is preached in the world this story would be told in memory of her and it is from this story that we start to look at the role of saving money for the work of God.
Doubtless the fact that the woman was a giver and she gave a large gift was a credit to her, but a further point of note is that John 12:7 shows she had diligently saved up her money for the express purpose of ministering to the Lord. You can tell what people are devoted to by what they save up for, some save for a holiday, or a car or a pension – all of which in the right context is quite proper. However, if we want to be lifetime givers into the work of world mission and feeding the poor and we claim that we are devoted to it should we not also be saving towards it as well?
As we have seen previously, whilst the bible is not completely dogmatic on this point, it would appear that over and above the tithe, we as believers should be open to the leading of Holy Spirit to give offerings to certain people and projects as we feel led to do so. For example, having given our tithe either on a weekly or monthly basis perhaps extra money could be set aside each month for a project in a foreign country or to support a missionary. Perhaps you could set yourself a goal to hit by a certain period and join with others in giving into a common account that could be sent to bless a person or a project in a different country. This method will certainly require discipline and giving will have to be done in a regular, systematic basis but the result of giving a large financial gift at the end of it really makes it all worth it.
Due to the society we live in you don’t really have to teach people how to spend their money in fact, spending money is the one area that most people are highly developed in. However on the other hand saving money is the one are that most people have problems with as it is much easier and more enjoyable to spend our money than it is to save it. Through saving money we can have a large financial gift to pass on to a worthy person or project and earn interest on the amount invested as well. Perhaps there is a person or a project that God has placed on your heart to save up your money for why not start today to save up to invest money into the souls of lost men and women instead of saving up for earthly pleasures and possessions.
Perhaps one of the saddest parables that Jesus ever spoke was the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21. Here was a man who didn’t save his money up to use into the work of the Kingdom of God but saved his possessions up for his own selfish purposes – even building bigger barns to lay up all that he had. Can you imagine how this man would have felt on judgement day when God Almighty called him a fool (verse 20?) it’s one thing for man to call you a fool, or an employer or a parent but how terrible when it is God who calls you a fool. Perhaps you have you spent all your life saving up your money just for yourself? saving is a great thing to do but if it is all for yourself and not a penny is saved with a view to extend God’s Kingdom then you are in danger of being called a fool on judgement day.
1 Corinthians 16:1 provides the best biblical example of saving here, Paul exhorts the Corinthian churches to save up money for the poor Jerusalem Saints until he himself came to the Corinthian church. ‘On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come, no collections will have to be made’.
Notice that Paul’s method was to save each week such that he expected people to be regular and systematic in their saving. In fact this principle of regularly saving money for the use of the work of God is further spoken of in Proverbs 13:11, ‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers it little by little makes it grow’.
In his second book to the Corinthians, Paul further illuminates this idea of saving money in chapters 8 & 9 which are the greatest text on giving in the entire bible. From the scripture below we can draw 3 facts about having what is referred to as a ‘Store of seed’ – namely a place where our money is stored so that it can be distributed when needed.
- God wants us to have store of seed
- God will supply us with a store of seed
- God will increase our store of seed
2 Corinthians 9:10 ‘Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness’.
Finally, once again in his second letter to the Corinthian churches, Paul brings forth a further reason for believers to save money and that is to obtain for themselves spiritual children and give towards their spiritual growth. For example, 2 Corinthians 12:14 says, ‘After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well’. Paul contrast the fact that just as natural parents save for their children then spiritual parents should also save and invest money in their spiritual children.
For example, let us suppose that you desire to see orphans and abandoned children cared for but you are not called to the mission field and as a result you decide to save on a regular basis to send a gift to help establish an orphanage. As a result of giving you become a partner with the missionaries who run the orphanage and the children who get saved now become not only the missionaries spiritual children but they also become your spiritual children as well as your money helped in the process of seeing them saved. Having seen them saved you could then give on a regular basis for years to come and constantly give financially so they may receive spiritual input and instruction.
Perhaps you don’t have children of our own? Why not start saving now and obtain for yourself many spiritual children from around the world. Jesus said that those who get saved as a result of our financial giving will welcome us into eternal dwellings (Luke 16:9) if you catch a vision of this then many spiritual children will one day thank you for investing your money in them. Why not form a Partnership with a missionary or a missions based project and through your giving and their labours you help each other gather spiritual children under your care whom you can spend many years investing into.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Haiti
8,222,025 people, 95% Christian – many nominal.
Country bound by voodoo and black magic, church starting to engage these forces.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.