The Test of Love
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37
So many “Christians” have all the wherewithal, money, and desire to gladly and without hesitation sign a contract for cable TV, mortgages, rent, etc., to go to tanning salons, movies, buy coffees, and many other things in this fleeting world and yet, a miniscule few who name the name of Jesus care for His Gospel work enough to be disciplined in giving to further it. Unbelievable!
Is Jesus in YOUR Budget? If so, how much do you spend on YOU and how much to you give back to Him – His work?
***WHERE we spend out money is a direct reflection of the true priorities of our hearts and lives. It’s a fail proof way of seeing exactly where our hearts are – the true state of them. Jesus says “For where your treasure is, there WILL your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Just “WHERE” Did Jesus say our hearts Are?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
According to Jesus, just “where” is your heart?
Wonder why you can’t seem to recover from lukewarmness and back sliding? Think about this truth above and you may find that your disobedience has and will perpetually cause you to be “lukewarm” which means you will be rejected from Christ’s kingdom in the end (Revelation 3:15-16). Those who just hear and don’t obey God’s Word, are deceived.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
Want to see “where” it is? – Just check your spending log and you will see exactly “where” your heart is. Your heart affections are following the spending of your money. Where ever you are intentionally putting your money, there’s where your heart is.
There is predictably a deafening silence when messages like this are sent out from the ministry. The lack of response is quite shocking actually. Why? Does this indicate that people are convicted or just don’t want to deal with this core truth, becoming truly transparent to the LORD?
Are you factoring God out of your life like the Laodiceans who were previously saved but had since fallen away and were heading for hell? (Revelation 3:14-21)
Are you rich toward self or toward the Savior?
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21
What is the LORD worth to you?
Do you care that others are fed and reached for His glory – for whom Jesus bled?
Some will reason “Well, I really don’t have any money left over to give.” Why though do we not have money left over to give? First off, is that how much God is worth to us that we would only give to His work as an afterthought after all the other stuff in our life is funded? Is that seeking “FIRST” His blessed kingdom? (Matthew 6:33) Why do we not have money to give to help further Christ’s blessed Gospel by which we are saved? Is it because we have willingly and deliberately agreed to a larger mortgage or car payment or boat payment than we really need? Is it because we have rented to many God-less movies this month? Is it because we counted $4 daily coffees more important than lost souls and hungry stomachs, and the needs of the body of Christ?
Do we really think that the LORD our Judge doesn’t see this? (Proverbs 24:10-12)
The worship of our lives should be that firstly, they are laid down flat before Him who bled and rose again for our sins (John 12:23-25; Romans 12:1). This is truly abiding in Christ and when we are, there will be the fruit of giving our lives to others and to His blessed work (Read John 15:1-16). Jesus sent you on a mission – the Great Co-Mission – and not to establish yourself in this fleeting, sinful world (Matthew 28:18-20).
Do we give in order to get blessed, to get more material goods for us, or because it supposedly “works”? Or, do we give as part of our life’s worship?
And yes, GIVING is a New Testament command. I never mentioned tithing so calm down please. But God so loved us that He gave, right? What shall we do in return with our lives? (Romans 12:1-2) Firstly, the giving up and over of our lives to our LORD as a living sacrifice, as we literally and deliberately lose our lives, casting them onto our LORD (that’s real faith), then He owns all else (Acts 20:35; Luke 6:38, etc.). Read 2 Corinthians 8-9; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35.
It seems that some only like the “no tithe” teaching due to their own greed and hoarding. The New Testament does not teach tithing but, yet it DOES teaching giving. Some pastors have certainly abused things and yet we are ultimately accountable to God Himself and no mere man.
I agree that the New Testament teaches giving, not tithing, and God should be worth not only 10% but our whole being and lives which would include the giving of our finances to His work and His people who have needs. Balance. Should we give to Him first or last? Is God an afterthought to us? Is the LORD a first or a second class citizen to us? (Proverbs 3:9-10).
Now, if we are not giving of our resources to the work of the Gospel and to those members of Christ’s body who have need, what does that say of us? Are we truly given over to the LORD? If we are spending our monies only on ourselves, just who are we imitating? Christ or His enemy Satan? Compare John 3:16 with Isaiah 14:12-15.
If we are truly given over to Christ, our lives laid down as we live for Him and eternity (not this life), will HIS work then become important to us?
—-PITY NOT the soul or ministry that is poor in this temporary life. No. Rather, fear for that one who calls Himself by that holy name of the One who came and gave all and yet has not truly given His life to Him – and therefore his resources. Fear for the soul of that person who knows the needs, has the opportunity, and refuses to help. Such a man is in danger of hellfire as the LORD makes it clear that our stewardship of resources clearly reveals what our spiritual state really is and is directly connected to the destiny of our eternal souls. Matthew 6:19-24; 25:45-46; Luke 16:19-31; James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:16-19
“No man can serve two masters. He will love the one and hate the other, every time. As we lay up treasure in heaven, we loosen our grip on this world more and more and, in time, we will truly grow up in Christ. He is where our heart will be as we mature in Him. If we have those who call themselves our brothers and who are rich in this world, but are not sharing richly to those in need and to the work of the ministry, then they are not brothers. They are liars, hypocrites, covetous idolaters, and murderers. They will NOT inherit the kingdom of Heaven unless they REPENT. They are worse than unbelievers and will be judged most severely. Remember Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). Our God is God, and He will provide.” Stephen Michels
To those of you whom God has prepared and called out to be His workers:
If you are a wolf who preaches a selective (false) gospel that leaves out essential truth, you will be funded freely and possibly lavishly by the itching ear counterfeits who migrate to hear your lies (2 Timothy 4:2-4). If you are speaking the full-counsel of divine truth God gave us His Word, you will be shunned and shorted. The LORD will be with you, even though you may suffer great poverty, even in the most financially prosperous nation in all history (America). Paul, Christ’s apostle, said that all men had forsaken him but the LORD still stood with him (2 Timothy 4:16-18). Yet, God doesn’t have American/money/currency in Heaven an so is limited to the willing obedience of those who name the name of Jesus. And regrettably, that is great limitation!
Are You Ready for This Event?
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10
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