Digging Deep: Gospel Giving – The False Gospel of Money (2 Corinthians 8:15-9:5)
Psalm 1 describes the blessed person as one who has dug deep into God’s Word, making it the source of his daily meditation. In pursuit of this kind of blessed life, we briefly review the sermon from the previous Sunday. May you be like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in its season (Psalm 1:3). This week we look back at Pastor Kim’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 8:15-9:5.
“…are you giving faithfully to the church, or are you robbing God? It should grieve our hearts that we would be unwilling to cheat the IRS, but we have no problem cheating God. Do you remember Malachi 3:8? God says through Malachi, “Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.” It make sense – they were required to give to God, and so when they didn’t, or when they didn’t give enough, they were robbing God. These are ugly terms – cheating God, robbing God – but that is exactly what happens when we lack integrity in our giving. It come back to this idea of stewardship – are you stewarding God’s money with integrity? You must, because what you have is really God’s, so if you aren’t you are robbing God. Imagine you had a financial manager who took your money and spent it on himself – nice houses, nice cars, expensive vacations – now every once in a while he would buy a stock or two, or put a few bucks in a savings account, but for the most part he has squandered your money. So you go to him and demand that he explain his actions. Now he is a little surprised and he can’t believe that there is a problem, and then he says this, ‘But you gave the money to me to USE.’ There is the problem, he wasn’t suppose to USE your money, he was suppose to INVEST your money. Was he faithful? Should he expect a big Christmas bonus? This story describes many of us. God gives us our lives to invest for his kingdom and what do we do? We spend it on ourselves. We think we are faithful merely because we attend church or serve on occasion, but in reality we have to remember this… everything we have is the Lord’s and we need to be a faithful stewards of that deposit.”
Question: Are you being a faithful steward of God’s money? What can you do to honor him this week in how you steward your resources?
“The problem isn’t faith, many of us have plenty of faith – deep, religious faith – but it is a profound faith in money. You might say that often our faith is in the good news, or the gospel of money. This is the gospel that the world perpetuates, with the media often being its most powerful evangelist. Just turn on your TV or listen to the radio or read a magazine or surf the net and you will see the gospel of money being proclaimed with religious fervor. And this gospel of money tells us this: that if you have this or that then, you will be happy and secure and well thought of. So though it doesn’t use this language it is essentially saying this, ‘money is your Savior.’ To us as Christians, these are ugly terms, “the gospel of money,” “faith in money” and “money is a Savior” – but the reality is we have all worshiped at that altar; and even now most of us, at some level are a part of that religion. Think about that – I am sure there are many of us who think, ‘If I just had a little more money, life would be better.’ And with this faith comes worship; money becomes an idol, a focus of our attention and our affection. Do you wonder why you worship money? Why it means so much to you? Why you stress over it? Why it brings you such joy or sorrow? Because you have religious like faith in what it can do for you.”
Encouragement: Spend time in prayer and repentance asking God to change your heart and help you find joy in your generosity because you have a great faith in Jesus, not in money.