Monday, 9 May 2016

Biblical Finance is about the Righteousness and Holiness

Many in the modern western Church think that finance and the Bible is separate. They think that finance is secular and the Bible is sacred, drawing the secular versus sacred divide between them. 

The division between sacred and secular is a false one, based on false doctrine that the Christian must compartmentalise his life. The classic, not certainly not the sole example of this thinking is that one worships God at church, a sacred place on Sunday, and then does earthly things for the rest of his week which has nothing to do with worshiping God. Such is the false doctrine of compartmentalisation.  For here is what Scriptures says: Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15). To the true follower of Christ, all things are pure, that is all things are sacred. For all things which one does to live for the glory of God are pure, for one lives to seek God and His righteousness. 

So, whether a follower of Christ is studying at a secular or Christian university, in a secular workplace or in ministry, a homemaker or a worker outside the home, everything the true follower of Christ is sacred as he does so to live for the glory of God. Likewise is the case of finance. Whether one handles money given to one by the saints as a donation, or money earned from work done at a secular workplace, handling money is not to be divorced from Biblical principles. Finances is sacred for the follower of Christ as all things are sacred to him. 

One must guard one's heart, mind, soul and spirit in handling finances, as one does in all things. Handling finances is no different. There are not only all kinds of temptations that come with money, but demonic powers who seeks to make people slaves to money. The spirit behind money who is the spirit of mammon seeks to be a master of those who have money and desire it. He not only seeks to tempt people to sin, but seeks to dominate over them and drive them to sin by loving money and living only for themselves. Living for oneself, in which one will of course love money is a vile, disgusting sin which God absolutely hates: 

God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger (Romans 2:6-8).

The way one handles money is a manifestation of his or her heart. The world has its way of handling finances. It handles finances in ways full of pride, self-centredness, lust, greed and arrogance, thinking that what it earns is its own when it is really God who out of his grace and mercy, provides them with their needs. As Matthew 5:45 says: "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust". It is only God's will that each and every single one of us can have a single breath, let alone all the things that we have, including food to fill one's stomach. How dare you think that what you have is your own! Is is not God who provides all things and that the whole earth belongs to God (Psalm 24:1)? The world is full of anxiety about satisfying its needs, which include finances because that it all it lives for: 

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles [translated 'pagans' in NIV] seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things (Matthew 6:31-32).

The world is all about money, sex and power, all these things which feed on the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life, which are of the world (1 John 2:16). This trio are not separate but intricately connected together as they all feed on the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life which can never be satisfied. They can only desire more and increase in appetite. 

We, the Church, should contrast the world in the way we handle finances. We as followers of Christ  not only should not be anxious about finances. We should not even seek it, but like a small child, trust God that He will provide all things. He is the Provider, we are His children. We should be those who give what they have freely and willingly, and not expecting in return, just as God gives us what we need, and does not demand or expect anything in return from us. Let us of the modern Church heed the example of the early Church, having a heart which can say "I need no earthly thing, for I have Christ who is all I need": 

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need (Acts 4:34-35).

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).