2009 - Finding Kingdom Finances Vol 6 No 1
As we enter 2009 the world is in financial turmoil. Christians everywhere are wondering how to interpret the signs of the times. What is Gods plan for His people? How do we walk with Him in this financial crisis? Here are some of my thoughts on the transition of the church concerning finances.
1. God Is Creating Change In The Church
Christians are part of the worlds economic order and we usually ask the Lord for help in overcoming financial difficulties. But the Lord wants our attention at this time! The church as we know it has often mixed the desire to please God with the spirit of mammon. Our motives are often a combination of God's will and our wants.
Now the Father wants to bring forth an end times people, free from the influence of the world and it's systems. He is using difficult economic times to cause us to choose between seeking our own way or seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. In the end there will be a bride and a harlot. The harlot church will sell out to gain the world. The bride will devote heart and body to her husband. Which will you be?
The Harlot SELLS Herself To Anyone
The Bride KEEPS Herself For Jesus
2. God Wants Us to Recognize and Remove Financial Legalism
What has been taught as "Kingdom Finances" is actually a re-hash of old religious duties and performance. These "financial laws" obligate people to support ministries and institutions and promise wealth in return. (that should sound an alarm right away)
The "financial laws" are easy to identify.
Why do we listen to these financial doctrines that actually tell us they are laws, and teach us to do works of self righteousness? This is not the gospel! You are trusting in your own ability to satisfy a legal requirement, believing grace comes as a reward for the good works of giving! When you trust in your own righteousness you leave Christ behind and come under the curse of the law! (see Galatians 5) These religious obligations destroy faith in what Christ has done. No wonder theres no blessing in it! How far from Gods heart! What captivity to self righteousness! The good news is much better!
- Tithing laws- tithe and receive grace for enough, withhold and be cursed.
- Giving laws - give above the tithe and receive grace for more than enough.
- Sowing laws - choose the correct soil for your money, and receive grace as a return on a good investment.
3. God Wants a Financial Reformation in His Church
In the movie "Luther", Martin Luther is contending over the practice of "paying indulgences" to the Roman Catholic church in order to "free a soul from sin and purgatory". Martin asks the religious authorities this question; "if God will forgive sin for money, why won't He do it for love?" Finally salvation by grace alone was restored to the church. But what about God's grace for physical provision? Aren't these provided by grace as well?
Christians still "pay indulgences" to religious institutions
in order to receive God grace for finances!
Isn't it amazing that after the reformation we understood forgiveness was purchased at the cross, yet we still rely on religious obligation for God to provide financially!
4. Believe The Good News of Kingdom Finances
We need to be asking the religious authorities
"if God will supply our needs for money, why won't He do it for love?"
The answer is .....He does! Jesus set this straight with His words about the Fathers care.
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Not a bit of religious performance here! This is real faith and trust, just like receiving salvation! We are invited to believe in the Fathers love and receive provision from Him. We have good financial news! Jesus purchased it all at the cross!
Jesus satisfied ALL (including financial) religious obligation. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
Jesus took ALL (including financial) curses. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us... Galatians 3:13
God gives FIRST- because of love. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. I John 4:10 We give out of a heart changed by love!
OBJECTIONS - "But, what about..."
I can hear many of you saying "what about bible promises like "give and it will be given to you" and "sowing and reaping" Yes, these are in the bible and are obviously true, but they are not necessarily referring to the Kingdom of God or finances. We need to recognizing the three realms of supply that God has created.
The Three Realms Of Supply
A. The Natural Order - Sowing and Reaping
All that God has created in the natural world operates on the principle of sowing and reaping. It is the process of life, and increase. God is at work in the world supplying seed to the sower, the sun and rain for growth. This is His world and we participate briefly. Because of the fall sowing and reaping includes the process of sin and of death. We can sow to the flesh or the Spirit in our human activity. The Spirit brings life, and the flesh brings death.
Man sows into the natural order in everything he does, whether seed in the ground or helping others. Paul was talking about this when he said "he that soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully" (1Corinthians 9:6) in referring to the Corinthians financial gift. Furthermore, Paul says that God supplies grace so that we have the seed to start with! Yes, Gods Kingdom invades the natural order when He gives to us, or we give to others. Sowing and reaping is how God made things to work. Romans says that Christ Himself upholds the whole universe, Yet sowing and reaping is not the Kingdom of God. It is the created order that operates on the principle of sowing and reaping.
B. Mans Order - Buying And Selling
The order that man creates operates on the basis of buying and selling. Because of the fall, man judges and sets value on everything. We trade value for value. We sell our labor for money. We buy the product of labor with money. Money is not part of the Kingdom of God, it is a creation of man that can be used to serve God or mammon.
The present financial crisis was created by greed in buying and selling. Men borrowed to speculate in building, buying and selling for a profit. On it went with houses, stocks, commodities, oil, food. Prices were driven upwards until it went beyond our ability to pay the interest on the money borrowed. Buying and selling collapses because theres no confidence in the artificial values. Christians have been a part of this, but God wants our heart for the Kingdom. Buying and selling is not the Kingdom of God.
The blessings of Kingdom of God finances can come into our lives, but requires stewardship. Stewardship separates us from mans order of buying and selling. A steward must forsake all and give all to the Lord. Only then is he not controlled by mans order. Since the steward does not value labor or goods for Himself he is free to give and operate in the Kingdoms true riches.
A few years ago the Lord led me to stock trading. I studied and applied the knowledge. "Oh good", I thought, " I will have kingdom finances for the ministry." How wrong I was. Again and again I knew the right trades but failed to do them out of fear or greed. The Lord used this to expose my motivation and reveal that I was not a steward. It is one thing to say "all I have is the Lords", it is another thing to be a steward. You will be tested and tried and your greedy hands pried!
Your trust in mans order MUST be broken. You MUST be a steward. The world of buying and selling cannot be part of the Kingdom of God. It can only come under the influence of Kingdom people.
Jesus separated Gods things from mans things.
Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Cesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cesar the things which are Cesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
C. Kingdom Order - Giving and Receiving
The Kingdom of God operates on the principle of giving and receiving. It begins with Gods love for all the world, and continues through His people receiving His nature and giving to others.
God Gives First
Giving and receiving begins with God loving us. He created the world for man and put us in it to enjoy it and fellowship with Him. He loved the world even while we were sinners, and gave Christ that we might receive life and freedom. He puts His love in our hearts (Gal 5:6). He invites us to freely receive His grace. (I Corinthians 2:12)
"...freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8
We Give Out Of Freedom
We are set free and receive changed hearts, so we give. That is Kingdom Finances. Giving and receiving in the Kingdom of God is not a law and never under compulsion, other wise it is not giving. This is why Paul says
Loving The Unrighteous and the Poor! - Loving Like Jesus Did
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. "
II Corinthians 9:7
Jesus was condemned because he hung out with the sinners, and prostitutes . He poured grace on the undeserving and gave! We participate in the Kingdom when we give to others with the heart of the Jesus. Jesus told us to be like the Father and even bless the wicked.
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Luke 6:28, 35
Here is The Heart Of The King....
"He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."
Hilarious Unfettered Grace Filled Givers
Apparently blessing the ungodly extends to finances as well. A little later in this passage Jesus tells us to be like the Father in His mercy and grace and giving.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.
AMAZING! This passage is NOT about giving to ministry! Its about giving to the ungodly! It's invading the mans order with Kingdom giving! The MEN shall give into your bosom. Apparently the ungodly are god soil.
Kingdom Finances in the heart of the Father
-Give To Those Who Don't Deserve It
-Give To The Poor
-Give To Those Who Cannot Repay
Then we will be acting as stewards of the good things of God.
Then God will abundantly be supplying His people with more than enough.
Then we will be walking as sons and daughters of the Father, blessing with the same heart of compassion and love as the Father.
Then people will ask "why are you doing this?" and we will say "because Jesus loves you."
Then they will KNOW we are Christians by our love.