DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2022-01-26
WRITTEN AT: Gainsville, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 6:19-21
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 19-21 “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
APPLICATION: Some people keep their money in a bag under their bed, or somewhere in their home, while some may just bury it nearby, because they know it will be safe if it’s near enough for them to personally protect it! Some people would rather seek help from neighbors, family, friends or the government, instead of spending their own hard-earned money, as they want to have something to pass along to their children who may remain after their passing! All of the above exists, plus a whole lot more that we would not have time to expand on, while all the while many churches are having to close their doors as attendance is low, and finances are almost nonexistent. It seems that many have found new excuses for not attending church – they claim that they are present in the virtual environment. Perhaps many are truthful in their choice of staying safe from Covid infections, but I wonder what excuse others will find to make when questioned by Jesus about their place and time of worship as commanded by God in His Word. Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together, is what God commanded us, for the Creator knew how necessary it is for His children to encourage and bless each other in a physical environment. But in the teaching by Jesus today, He ordered us to be very mindful of our eternal life, not just the moment in which we live. I believe Jesus wants us to remember our Creator, and to bless Him daily with our praises for all that He continues to bless us with. Many of us have been blessed with good jobs that have paid us enough to not only meet our daily needs, but also allowed us to save a few dollars for future needs. I believe that Jesus will bless us every day for being good stewards, but I believe that He is teaching us today that there are other things in life that should also be a vital part of our plan. We are taught in the Bible that we should tithe a portion of our income consistently to the local church. While I realize that many don’t attend church regular enough to understand the financial needs and uses of church funds, we must always remember that God didn’t order us to audit the church before giving to it. He is in charge of church leadership and will hold them accountable for their use and abuse of funds placed at their disposal for the ongoing spread of the gospel message. I believe that Jesus is also teaching us that our obedience to His command to tithe, is dependent on our mindset. If we have our hearts and minds fixed on the coming of the Lord Jesus, and reflect frequently on the eternal destiny of our family, friends and coworkers, then we will be more apt to obey His command to give freely to the work of the local church. If, however, we are more determined to grow our bank account, see our business thrive above all others in the business world; and if we must give to the work of the church, it will have to be a very minor part of profits, as no obvious return is seen from that type of spending; then it becomes obvious where our focus is and where we will place our emphasis when it comes to charitable giving. In the middle of revival services, an evangelist touched on the importance of Jesus’ command here in this Scripture. He asked that we take our wallets or checkbooks out, and that we offer our finances up to the God who helps us earn each dollar. It was suggested that we ask for God’s direction on our giving to His work. I walked away from that time of prayer convinced that God ordered me to start giving based on my gross income and not my net income, like I had used previously. This was at a time when my wife and I struggled to comfortably meet all of our general expenses. But if I expected God to help me with my budget, I had to make sure that I was obedient to what He ordered me to do. Friends, God has always taken exceptional care of my needs as I obediently followed His commands. May I suggest that you have a little talk with Jesus and see if He has any changes that might help you fully trust Him and obey His commands? Remember, God blesses us with the jobs we have, and He gives us the strength and stamina to do a great job for our employer. Shouldn’t we be willing to follow His commands so that He might continue to bless us, use us, and provide for us? Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these other things will be given to you!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Recently we studied how God will forgive us, if we are obedient and willing to forgive others. In our Scripture today, I believe that God is saying that He will provide for our needs, if we are faithful and just to pass along those blessings to others in need around us, and especially seek after growing His kingdom.
PRAYER: Lord, if we were to analyze our monthly budget, I believe it will amaze us to see where our income is going. Our attention and our focus seem to rest in the area where we spend our money. If the largest part of our budget goes to a car payment, then we will clearly see that our car is always protected, clean and admired because it’s our ‘earthly baby’! If we give consistently and sufficiently to your work, then we will align our lives around all that You would seek of us. It will become evident to everyone who knows us that we belong to Jesus and He owns our finances. Thank You Father, for providing food on our tables, when so many go to bed hungry; light in our homes, while many are in darkness; a warm and comfortable church building where we could meet to worship and witness new birth to those we invite to church with us each week. Yes, it matters a lot to us what happens in our business and that we have finances to do what we want to do, but may it always be a priority to see Your kingdom come, and that it is blessed through mature growth each week. May we always give to the cause of Your work, and may our giving be a pleasing aroma in Your nostrils as You see Your work being accomplished. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!