Today over at the DesiringGod blog Marshall Segal writes about money (“Four Questions to Keep Close to Your Wallet”). His opening line is right on: “It’s hard to imagine many things more maligned in Scripture than money.”
He opens by putting the topic in the big picture for Christians –—
At the end of the day, we must each know our own hearts and be willing to ask what role money is playing in our thoughts and affections. Is it a means of worshiping God or a means of replacing him? Is our budget highlighting the sufficiency and worth of Christ or has it become a reason for boasting in or treasuring something other than him?
He then presents & discusses four questions we should be asking:
1. Is my spending marked by Christian generosity?
2. What does my spending say about what makes me most happy?
3. Does my spending suggest I’m collecting for this life?
4. Is my spending explicitly supporting the spread of the gospel?
I encourage you to click through and read the whole thing at the DesiringGod blog. Thanks Marshall Segal.
[Tim Challies points us to…] Warren Buffet, in an op-ed at the Times, shares some staggering facts. “Congress is now spending 185% of what it takes in; the deficit is a post WWII record of 13% of GDP; the debt is growing by 1% a month; the US is borrowing $1.8 trillion a year.” Read it all HERE.
Our government talks today of spending not just millions, or billions of dollars, but of spending TRILLIONS of dollars. How much money is that? Someone has done a neat and simple sequence of illustrations HERE for you to see…. Enjoy (before the reality of our country’s shameful spending spree sets in).
Tony Reinke posts some good quotes from Pastor Josh Harris’s two recent messages, which are outlined (by Tony) as follows:
Part 1: The Folly of Greed (Luke 12:13-21)
This recession can be good if we allow it to open our eyes to folly of greed and covetousness.
Part 2: Don’t Worry . . . Seek the Kingdom (Luke 12:22-34)
This recession can be good if it helps reset our definition of ‘need.’
This recession can be good if it makes us more aware of our helplessness and God’s faithful provision.
This recession can be good if it helps us see that only King Jesus and His kingdom are worth living for.
This recession can be good if it encourages us to lay up treasure in heaven.
Check into the thoughts of Pastor John Piper on the Economic Stimulus Payment & Christ below (or at his blog)
For a moment, forget the political puzzle of getting money back when the country is nine trillion dollars in debt. The more immediate question is: How will you make much of Christ with your “economic stimulus payment”? The president says it will be in the mail in time for Cinco de Mayo.
Clue: Nobody in the world will see you spend your money on yourself and conclude that Christ is your treasure. They will assume you are just like them, no matter how loudly you thank God for this boon. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend it on yourself (the way we do with most of what we earn). Not everything we do can look different from the world—eat, pay utilities, fill up the car, wear clothes (even thrift-store clothes). And yes, we hope (somehow) that spending on ourselves in some way contributes to our being more Christ-exalting people.
But do we really need this money? Very few do. We would have gotten on fine without it. If we didn’t know it was coming, we wouldn’t even be feeling the desires we are feeling right now.
May I encourage you to be radically creative and hedonistic. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And those crazy Macedonians in a “severe test of affliction” and in “extreme poverty” had an “abundance of joy” that overflowed in a “wealth of generosity.” They even begged Paul “for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4). They really believed what Jesus said. Really.
Before the check comes dream of some person or ministry which might make much of Christ because you treasured him above your next home project.
The reason God created money and enabled us to earn it is so that we could show by the way we use it that money is not our treasure, Christ is. That’s why the checks are coming. So we can make Christ look great.
“Be content with what you have, for he has said,
‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).