Anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus is undergoing a continual process of change. We trust in Jesus, coming to Him as we are, with nothing to offer and then he moves in and begins to change us. He loves us so much he doesn't want us to remain as we are. He steps in and begins the process of what the bible calls, sanctification. Sanctification is the process of being set apart, being made perfect, holy for God's use. It can be at times joy-filled, painful, unwelcome and exhilarating. This is because God uses all of our circumstances to reshape us into the image of Jesus. Sanctification is like the process of creating a sculpture. Many rough edges need to be knocked off and smoothed to bring the statue to life. You can't see what the sculptor is doing until enough rough material is cut away to reveal the outline of the figure. That's what God is doing with us. With that in mind, let's tackle the last thing most Christians give to God.
We've looked at Habits, Media, Language, Praying aloud and now we turn to - Money. However you deal with the green stuff, digitally or otherwise - our money is often the last thing we completely turn over to God.
We are very good at fooling ourselves into believing that we are the masters of our own fate, our own fortunes. Life goes by, day after day, month after month and we get comfortable as the paychecks come in, and we start to believe we have earned our living. We forget that without God we wouldn't have a life that needed to be supported. Without God we wouldn't have the physical or mental ability to go do anything of value for a paycheck.
The number one reason Christians don't surrender their resources to God is FEAR. We fear not having enough. We fear that if we give away too much there will be nothing left for us. We fear a life that is less than comfortable. We are afraid if we give to God our needs won't be met.
We should be more afraid of what we'll miss if we withhold from God.
What does it mean to give our money to God? First, it means recognizing that it's all His anyway. Everything you have is from God. Second, it means accepting your role as the manager of what God gives you. We must manage it well. Third it means giving back to God what he's given you as a way of saying "thank you" and "I trust you". Fourth it means giving God more than spare change.
Imagine a doctor performing a lifesaving surgery on a billionaire. She literally saves his life and then instead of billing him for the work says, "I was glad I could help. Just pay me what you can." The billionaire fishes in his pocket for a few coins, pulls out 87 cents and drops it in the palm of the heroic doctor. If this were a true story we would call him a cheapskate, a skinflint, penny pincher. And maybe a few other words I can't write. And yet that is exactly what we do to God when we refuse to give him what he deserves. He gives us life and provision and we hope he'll be okay with spare change. He doesn't need your money though. What He wants is your heart.
Giving to God is like investing in a stock with the highest percentage return you can get. If you had three "sure-thing" account options to invest in, would you invest your money in the one with 1% return on your investment, 50% or 1,000%? The answer is obvious yet many Christians go with the 1% option one because they are afraid of what they might lose. They forget what they could gain. It was Jesus who said, store up treasure in heaven where nothing can damage your investment. He also said that we could gain the whole world but lose our soul. Money seems important until you're staring eternity in the face. Don't wait to give your financial future to God.
The opposite of, and the remedy for fear is faith. Trust him with the money. He's got alot of it and can take care of you.