Handling money God’s way requires breaking free from the world’s way of thinking. Easter is the time to celebrate the risen Lord who came to set the captive free. It is a time to celebrate the new life that we can have through Jesus Christ. We celebrate new life because of Jesus who has defeated Satan. Satan’s only desire is to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life.Jn. 10:10 We are to walk in the light of our redemption through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, learning to walk in our new found freedom is a process, not a one-time event.
Living life with our eyes and our hearts set toward the things of heaven takes practice, obedience, devotion, and it also takes love. It is possible to do many things out of discipline, but following Jesus requires love and devotion. Without a true love for Jesus, the captive will never be set free. Handling money God’s way is just one way in which the Christian is released from bondage. When we are not handling money God’s way we remain captive to the ways of the world.
The Process of becoming Holy
If you have been following Jesus for any amount of time then you understand the ongoing process of becoming more holy. This is not to say that you have a “holier-than-thou” attitude, which would only reflect that you don’t truly know Jesus. Instead the process of becoming holy releases you from being captive to the ways of the world. If you desire to honor God with your finances you must start handling money God’s way. Luckily for us, His Word is full of instruction for us to follow in order to start handling money God’s way.
Christ’s death and resurrection made it possible for us, who are all sinners, to be made clean in the eyes of God. This can only happen when we put our trust and love in Jesus and faithfully follow Him wherever He leads us. Unfortunately, many people never learn to do this or only do this in part. After telling of the suffering and rejection that He would soon experience Jesus said the following about the necessity of following Him.
Mark 8:34-38, ESV
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
A New Life in Christ
When we follow Jesus our lives naturally start to look different, because Jesus is not of this world. Prior to following Jesus, our lives were held captive by the world and the ways of the world. Jesus came to set the captives free, but being released means that we must follow Him. We must follow his Word and start handling money God’s way if we want to experience financial freedom.
Following Jesus is not about being good or bad. Our level of goodness will never be enough because in God’s eyes no one is good since the fall. Jesus was once addressed as “Good Teacher” by a young man and Jesus replied, “why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”Mk. 10:18 Jesus would not accept the label of being “good”, though he of all people would have been worthy.
At the core of our being, we are sinful and we are eternally prone to being sinful without Jesus. Jesus shed His blood to cover our sin. His blood is the only thing that can cause us to be clean in the eyes of God. Choosing to follow Him and give our lives to Him we show that we understand that we are utterly lost without Him. We show that we truly love God when we follow Jesus.
Submitting to Jesus
One of the most overlooked ways that Christians choose to not follow Jesus is with their money. Nobody really wants to be told what to do with their money, but God has plenty to say on the matter. Probably the biggest reason why is this, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Mt. 6:24 God wants our full devotion and love and if we are not handling money God’s way then we are not giving Him what He desires.
God’s Word is filled with instructions about how we are to follow His instructions and put Him first. Don’t just take my word for it though. The following verses are taken from the first 15 chapters of the book of Proverbs; there are 31 chapters in Proverbs altogether. This is just to show you how much God has to say about handling money God’s way. Remember this is only 15 chapters taken from Proverbs; imagine how much the entire Bible has to say.
I encourage you to take your time when reading and seek to understand all that God is saying. God does not just want our pledge to follow Him, He truly wants us to follow Him with all of our heart. Most of us are missing out on so much that God wants for us because we refuse to live according to His standards. When we follow Him our lives are vastly different. Living life according to His Word releases the chains of our captivity in this world.
Handling Money God’s Way
v.19 – “Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”
vs.29-33 – “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”
vs.21-22 – “For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.”
vs.9-10 – “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”
vs.13-18 – “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.”
v.28 – “Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.”
vs.1-5 – “My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”
vs.6-11 – “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
vs.10-11 – “Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”
vs.12; 17-21 – “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.” “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.”
v.2 – “Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.”
v.3 – “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”
v.4 – “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
v.5 – “He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.”
v.15 – “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin.”
v.16 – “The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.”
v.1 – “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.”
vs.4-8 – “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust. When the wicked dies, his hope will perish, and the expectation of wealth perishes too. The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead.”
v.15 – “Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.”
v.18 – “The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.”
vs.23-31 – “The desire of the righteous ends only in good, the expectation of the wicked in wrath. One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it. Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!”
v.9 – “Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.”
v.11 – “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”
v.14 – “From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.”
v.24 – “The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.”
v.27 – “Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.”
v.4 – “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
v.7 – “One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.”
v.8 – “The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.”
v.11 – “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
v.13 – “Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.”
v.16 – “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.”
v.18 – “Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.”
v.21 – “Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.”
v.22 – “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”
v.23 – “The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.”
v.25 – “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.”
v.1 – “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.”
v.4 – “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
v.11 – “The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.”
v.14 – “The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.”
v.20 – “The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends.”
v.23 – “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”
v.24 – “The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.”
v.30 – “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
v.31 – “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
v.6 – “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.”
v.16 – “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.”
v.17 – “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”
v.19 – “The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
v.25 – “The Lord tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow’s boundaries.”
v.27 – “Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.”