The Bible on Wealth (Part 2)

III. Giving of your wealth is an investment that the Lord recompenses. ACT 20:35; LUK 6:38. A. The Lord is to be remembered with the FIRSTfruits. PRO 3:9-10. B. Poverty is not necessarily an excuse for not giving. MAR 12:41-44; 2CO 8:1-4. C. Give generously and cheerfully. 2CO 8:12; 9:6-7. D. Give for the support of: 1. the ministry. GAL 6:6; 1TI 5:17-18. 2. the poor. PRO 28:27; LUK 12:33; GAL 2:10. E. Liberality to the poor is to be regulated according to need. DEU 15:7-8; 1JO 3:17. 1. Giving to the poor is a matter of personal discretion, “...whensoever ye will...” (MAR 14:7). 2. Giving to the poor may not be in his best interest. a. If he is a fool, it will only be a bandage at best (PRO 21:20) and perhaps his destruction. PRO 1:32. b. Better to give a fool reproof, education and hope than a handout. 3. Those who refuse to work should not be supported by others. 2TH 3:10. 4. There are two great errors as touching charitable gifts: when they are withheld from those in genuine need, and when they are indiscriminately given to those not in need. 5. Beware of “causes” and false burdens of responsibility. Plunder can masquerade as a charity. JOH 12:4-6. F. 1CO 16:1-2 is our pattern for giving. 1. Mind the words, “...every one of you LAY BY HIM in store...” 2. This argues against turning all of one's designated charitable resources over to a central fund or committee which decides how it is to be used. 3. Scripture upholds the idea of the individual's power of decision in giving. ACT 5:1-4. G. 2CO 9:7 is our rule for how much we give. 1. We are not under the Mosaic tithing commands which were actually not just 10% but 23-1/3%. 2. Giving 10%, though, was faithful Abraham's commended model. HEB 7:1-2. H. It is immoral to support other causes to the neglect of needy family members. MAT 15:3-6; 1TI 5:8. I. Giving should not be a matter of self-promotion. 1. Do not give for show. MAT 6:1-4. 2. The lack of tax benefits to oneself should not be a reason for not giving to godly causes. 3. Sadly, forced giving through taxation to the “general welfare” of the people disincentivizes personal charitable giving. a. The individual tends to assume that since he is already paying taxes for relief programs that personal charity is unnecessary. b. Food for thought: If you as an individual forced money by threat from your neighbor to support a cause of your choice, your action would be criminal. Yet this is exactly what we empower our civil government to do and the criminality is any non-compliance on our part. J. Giving should be from one's current resources. LUK 11:41; 2CO 8:11. 1. This argues against borrowing towards charitable giving. 2. God burdens us according only to what we have. 2CO 8:12 c/w MAR 14:8. 3. If we have been disobedient in required giving, God burdens us according to what we had. HAG 1:4-12. 4. If need be, “Sell that ye have, and give alms...” (LUK 12:33). J. To be delinquent or deceptive in giving to causes that God commands us to support (the ministry, the genuinely needy) is robbery of God. MAL 3:8-11. 1. Malachi rebuked Israel for cheating God in their offerings. MAL 1:6-14. 2. Jesus Christ condemned the scribes and Pharisees for their practice of Corban, a self-promoting system of “giving” to God which robbed their own parents. MAR 7:9-13 c/w PRO 28:24. 3. Ananias and Sapphira died for deceptive giving. ACT 5:1-11. 4. Beware of reneging on vows of offering to God. ECC 5:4-7. K. Giving to the Lord should be liberal, not stingy. 1CO 16:3; 2CO 8:2; 9:13. L. God recompenses the giver according to his giving. PRO 3:9-10; LUK 6:38; 2CO 9:5-6. M. The promises of blessings or cursings in the area of giving are as certain as the promises of eternal life to those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 2CO 1:20. IV. Saving is a vital part of successfully managing wealth. PRO 21:20; 6:6-8. A. Understand that we live in a failing world. We can expect calamities. It is wise to make provision for this. PRO 22:3. B. To not do so is to tempt God. MAT 4:7. C. Invest wealth so as to earn additional income (LUK 19:23), or to provide useful commodity (PRO 27:23-27). There are times when the commodity may be more useful than the currency. 2KI 6:25. D. MAT 25:14-30. The parable of the talents provides some sound investment principles: 1. The man diversified his investment. He did not put all his eggs in one basket. vs. 14-15. 2. He was not looking for a quick return; a get-rich quick scheme. His objective was long-term. v. 19 c/w PRO 20:21; 28:20. 3. He did not discount the merits of a minimal return by simply putting it in a bank, but preferred the higher return generally found in trading. vs. 26-27 c/w LUK 19:23. 4. He made an accounting of his different investment vehicles. vs. 19-27. 5. Having determined that one investment wasn't panning out, he transferred that account to a proven performer. v. 28. E. One should not invest until he has the means for such investment. PRO 24:27. 1. Leveraged investing (investing on credit) is very risky and should generally be avoided. 2. It is wise to invest in one's business or career before investing in a house. A home may be considered as a form of investment, but many factors influence its storehouse of value.
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