In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
24 Those who give generously receive more,
but those who are stingy with what is appropriate will grow needy.
25 Generous persons will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26 People curse those who hoard grain,
but they bless those who sell it.
27 Those who look for good find favor,
but those who seek evil—it will come to them.
28 Those who trust in their wealth will wither,
but the righteous will thrive like leafy trees.
9 Happy are generous people,
because they give some of their food to the poor.
16 Oppressing the poor to get rich
and giving to the wealthy lead only to poverty.
Proverbs gave varied views on money, which take some work to find. “The words ‘wealth,’ ‘wealthy,’ ‘riches’ and ‘rich’ occur 45 times in the book of Proverbs…, and the words ‘poor’ and ‘poverty’ occur the same number of times.”* We can’t just pick one or two favorite proverbs. “A single proverb isn’t appropriate for every circumstance. According to the book of Proverbs, neither poverty nor wealth is given high status in God’s eyes, except as they have to do with one’s pursuit of wisdom.”*
Lord God, you care about my money, not so much because of what it says about my bank account as because of what it says about my heart. Keep my heart growing more generous. Amen.
(Brandon wrote this post about the wisdom of generosity for us in November 2015.)
I heard a saying once. If two men pray for bread, and God gives one man two loaves and one man none, has he answered their prayers? This is a tough thing to hear, especially for those who have worked hard for their money. Wealth was once seen as a gift from God. Things have shifted, so we now see it as a gift from ourselves and our hard work. This subtle change has big implications.
It’s not a bad thing to enjoy wealth, specifically; it’s a bad thing to chase after it at the expense of other things. The ability to make money is a gift, and just like any other gift from God, we must use it responsibly.
If someone has the gift of encouragement, it would be foolish not to share it with others. If someone has the gift of prophecy, it has no meaning except to share it with others. But when it comes to the gift of making money, it’s a little harder to share. That’s not to say it’s impossible, or that a lot of people don’t do it-–most of the very wealthy people I know are generous people.
It’s about the mindset. If we view our wealth as the fruits of our own labor, it’s a lot harder to see this as something that belongs, in part, to others that God has placed in our path. If we view it as a gift God has given us (and let’s be honest, that’s the correct way of looking at it), it becomes a lot more clear that we have a responsibility with our wealth.
The church is a great place to give, but give where your heart is. If your heart is in missions, give to missions; if your heart is in business, make micro-loans to small business owners in developing countries, and re-invest the money when you’re repaid; if your heart is with children, consider using your resources in the areas of fostering or adopting, whether through doing or just donating; if your heart is in technology, consider donating to provide technology for inner city kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. It’s more important to give than to worry about your giving, and it’s easier to give when you give where your heart is.
Wealth should never be a cause for guilt, but it comes with a responsibility. Whatever wealth-gaining ability God has entrusted you with, use it responsibly and generously.
* Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, sidebar article “The Wealthy and the Poor” in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 1021OT.
** William D. Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, p. 256.
** William D. Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, p. 471.