By Rev. Rich Goodier
When we think of money, the first thing that pops into our minds is not our Christian faith. Money seems to be antithetical to our faith, wooing us from the One we love. We remember the verse in 1 Timothy 6:10 that warns us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” And indeed, the love of money is very dangerous. Jesus spoke against loving money countless times.
Among those many times Jesus spoke on money, though, we never hear Jesus rejecting the use of money. In fact, Jesus called his followers and would-be followers to use their money wisely, not hoarding it for themselves, but using it to help others.
Jesus himself was the benefactor of people using their money wisely. We read in Luke 8 that in addition to his twelve apostles, some wealthy women followed Jesus and supported them “out of their own means.” We follow the model of these women today, using the money God has given us towards love and good deeds.
Jesus spoke about money more than any subject except for the Kingdom of God. If that is true, then we Christians must consider how we view money. This is especially true in the midst of the worldwide economic breakdown of the past decade. Because of the irresponsible and selfish use of money by some, we are all hurting. Some of us are hurting considerably. And now we have a decision to make.
Our decision is not whether or not to use money, but rather how are we to use the money God has given us. Like time and talents, money is a gift from God. We must not love the gift but the Giver and learn how to use the gift to glorify the Giver.
How do we use the money God has given us to Glorify God? We give to our local church, the primary presence of the Gospel in our community. The local church can be an economic force for good in a world battered by selfish economic forces. We pool our money like the early church and proclaim the Gospel in tangible ways.
As individuals, we also give to those in need, the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the immigrant, as Scripture has called us to do for hundreds of years. And we give to support our missionaries. Our money becomes an extension of us so that we can participate in the missionary endeavors in places we cannot go.
As a new calendar year begins, vow to participate in the privilege of using your money to help others in Jesus’ name. Take the Macedonian church’s generosity (2 Corinthians 8) as an example for you and Mount Hermon Baptist Church. May we give all, including our wealth, in the name of the One who gave all for us.
Rich Goodier is the pastor of Mount Hermon Baptist Church in Durham. This article is the introduction to a sermon series on Christian giving that you can find here: http://www.mounthermondurham.org/media/sermons (Every sermon has a “Giving” in the title). Here is a link to an article that ties up this giving series: http://www.mounthermondurham.org/media/pastors-pen.