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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, November 21 2019

Finances: Some biblical principles

The love of money has corrupted and twisted the lives of many, but it does not have to be that way. Our approach to handling money is crucial.

Jesus Christ wasn’t opposed to wealth or a comfortable standard of living. He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). In fact the Bible could be viewed as a guidebook for an abundant life

On the other hand we are also warned in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For loving money leads to all kinds of evil, and some men in the struggle to be rich have lost their faith and caused themselves untold agonies of mind.” (Phillips Modern English Translation)

Jesus Christ emphasised we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). In other words, we must not allow material possessions to become so important that pursuing them dominates our lives to the detriment of our spiritual development.

The apostle Paul spoke of learning to be content with the things we have, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content....” (1 Timothy 6:7-9).

Of the over 2,300 verses in the Bible giving us advice on how to handle money and possessions one of the first statements in the book of Proverbs highlights another most important aspect, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10). The principle here being it is essential we return a portion of what we receive to the One who gives us everything.

Proverbs is also filled with instructions to share the wealth God has shared with us with those who are not as fortunate. “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard" (Proverbs 21:13).

How we go about earning our money is also a matter for consideration. We need to work hard, taking care to never take advantage of someone else and to give an honest days work to our employers (Colossians 3:22-23).

Finally it is always good to keep in mind that no lasting security can be found in wealth. So many unforeseen events can wipe out material wealth overnight—an accident or natural disaster, a stock-market crash, an extended illness, a criminal act. The only lasting security is a right relationship with our Maker. “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4).