Meanderings of a Minister


How Much Is Enough?
February 26, 2015, 9:55 am
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Money

I am preparing to preach a message on finances this Sunday.  Before you close your browser and say, “It knew it!  All churches care about is money!”  That could not be further from the truth.  Actually, in over 20 years of ministry, the only time I have ever preached on finances has been as they are encountered in whatever book of the Bible I happened to be preaching through at the time.  This message is the latest in a series of message entitled, “Transformed Living”.  We have looked at Spiritual Transformation, Physical Transformation, Emotional Transformation, Mental Transformation, and Relational Transformation.  This week, Lord willing, we will look at various Proverbs that give us God’s plan for our finances.  Next week, we will look at Vocational Transformation.  As each area is a key component of life, it naturally fit that something as ubiquitous as finances should be included.

Anyway, as I have been preparing for this message, I became very disturbed with the apparent contradiction between what I was reading and what I have experienced and have seen others experience.  I read Proverbs that talk about the diligent succeeding and the lazy having poverty.  I thought about how I have known many people that were very diligent and didn’t seem to have much and I have known many lazy people that constantly need help with the necessities of life.

As I read this, and struggled in prayer, I turned to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 6 when He told those listening that they should not worry about what they would eat or wear, but that they should seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things would be added to them.  As I thought about these words, I was struck that I have known many believers around the world that have literally starved to death.  I have known pastors that struggle to just have a Bible and enough food to feed their family.  I have known Christians that have had to go about nearly naked because they did not enough money for clothing and food at the same time.  Did they not seek God or His Kingdom or His righteousness enough?  Did they not have enough faith?  Hardly!

As I thought more about this, a number of thoughts occurred to me.  First, what is the definition of enough?  Many of us in North America think of not having enough money in terms of enough to do everything we want to do.  We complain because we don’t have enough money to make our house payment, car payment(s), electric bill, water bill, garbage bill, internet bill, cell phone bill, retirement fund, eating out, groceries, new clothing, etc.  We think we don’t have enough because we don’t have as much as others.  But have we stopped to ask the question, “What if I stopped thinking about my plans and thought about God’s plans?”  Maybe I don’t have enough to do all I want, but the Bible seems to indicate that I will have enough to accomplish God’s plans.  Ephesians 1 says that we have been given every spiritual blessing under heaven.  That means we already have what we need to do God’s will which is to glorify Him.

The reason I think this is so hard of a concept for many is that thinking of God’s plan means humbling ourselves and putting Him first.  Was this not what Jesus said?  I think it is also hard because it means we are not in control.  We certainly like to think we are!  It is also hard because it means that we have to see God as the source and supply of all we have and surrender to give Him the right to use all of it.  That strikes at the heart of our pride to say, “We earned it.  We worked hard for that money.  It is mine!”

So, this Sunday, we will talk about money.  Many people will be uncomfortable.  Some might even get mad, walk out, and leave.  Others might want to argue.  While I do not have all of the answers and certainly have not learned to live out the truth perfectly, I want to invite you to join me in asking, “How much is enough?”

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