Our hearts desire should not be to gain wealth for our own lusts, but rather to minister to the needs of people in every area of life. It is important to have the funds necessary to help those in need, such as underwriting a mission project or helping to support a home for unwed mothers.
The work of God's Kingdom has many desperate needs that require godly people with the wealth and the faith to meet them. God will help us rise up and increase so we can do our part as a giver to the ministry.
There are many critics of this sort of teaching. Such criticism is partly due to the abuses that occur when some teach on giving with wrong motives, manipulating and persuading people to fund their own ideas rather than the plans and purposes of God. That is why true biblical teaching is so vital. When God's people grow up and truly respond to Him in their giving, the ungodly and disobedient will no longer be able to get their hands on their money.
God has promised that He would cause us to increase. In the context of 2 Corinthians 8:9, He said, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (NAS).
The riches Paul writes about here are not only spiritual. The topic of this entire chapter is the money these people would give and, as a result, the increase God would bring into every area of their lives.
The Lord said He wanted them to become rich, and that included in the realm of finances. God's desire was for them to have more than enough to do anything they needed to do. Now look at Paul's recommendation in verses 10-11 (Ben Campbell Johnson):
"Here now is my advice. About a year ago you were eager to make an offering, but you never finished making it. It is now time for you to complete it. You must match your inner willingness with your outward behavior by completing it according to what you have."
In other words, it is time to reach out in our giving in order to accomplish two important things: 1) to minister to the needs of people and to those who need the Gospel; and 2) to begin to increase as we never have before.
In Luke 16, Jesus taught a parable that clearly links our money with the effectiveness we will have in other areas of our lives.
"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches to you?" (vv. 10,11 NAS).
The true riches are the souls of people. But how can we be trusted with people if we are unwilling to deal with money in a godly way? Trustworthiness, according to Jesus, is demonstrated by our willingness to subject our money to God's laws.
- Excerpt from the
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