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Where Did Everything You Have Come From?March 13, 2023
Two men were marooned on a deserted island. One man paced back and forth worried and scared while the other man relaxed on the beach. The first man said to the second man, “Aren’t you afraid that we are about to die?”
“No,” said the second man, “I make $100,000 a week and faithfully tithe ten percent of my salary to my church every single week. I guarantee you my Pastor will find me!”
Presidential Candidate Ben Carson once said, “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” When you want to make the most of your God-given life, I recommend giving your life back to God. One of the most difficult ways to do that is to give your money away. Christians call that stewardship; the faithful use of the money God gives us in life to serve and glorify God.
This is not an easy thing to do because there are so many unholy trinitarian idols. Some examples of this are Pleasure, Possessions, and Position. Who among us hasn’t spent some time worshipping sex, shekels, and the stomach, or at least two of the three? Another enslaving trio is Football, the Firm, and the Family. Any of these can be blessings in our life, but when we worship them they become idols, and God hates idols. The last trinity of idols God knows is our greatest temptation is money, money, money.
God, who gives us all we have, has asked for us to give back a tithe, that is 10% of what He has given us, to help us keep money from becoming an idol. That means we get to keep 90%. We read in Malachi 3:10, “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’”
Some will try to argue that tithing is an Old Testament teaching, and Jesus did not teach tithing. This is true, however, Jesus also didn’t teach against tithing either, instead He told the rich ruler to give away everything (Luke 18:18-27), and praised the poor widow for giving all she had to give (Mark 12:41-44). I think Jesus’ expectations of giving are far higher at 100%.
Famous author Stephen King was in a car accident that almost took his life in 1999. One of the lessons he learned surviving that accident taught him a lot about giving. He is not a Christian, but he is a believer in God and has a more accurate view of giving than many Christians. He writes, “A couple of years ago I found out what ‘you can’t take it with you’ means. I found out while I was lying in a ditch at the side of a country road, covered with mud and blood and with the tibia of my right leg poking out the side of my jeans like a branch of a tree taken down in a thunderstorm. I had a MasterCard in my wallet, but when you’re lying in a ditch with broken glass in your hair, no one accepts MasterCard.
…We come in naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we’re just as broke. Warren Buffet? Going to go out broke. Bill Gates? Going out broke. Tom Hanks? Going out broke. Steve King? Broke. Not a crying dime.
…All the money you earn, all the stocks you buy, all the mutual funds you trade—all of that is mostly smoke and mirrors. It’s still going to be a quarter-past getting late whether you tell the time on a Timex or a Rolex…”
I conclude his thoughts with his challenge, “I want you to consider making your life one long gift to others. And why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All that lasts is what you pass on.”
Have you figured out a way to take anything with you into the next life? Do you believe that everything you have has been given to you by God? If so, then is it important to know and obey what God expects us to do with what He gives us? If not, then what would be the best way to use all you have to make a positive impact on those around you? If you are not quite sure, then is this an important question to answer, and where do you find the answer? The Bible teaches us a lot about how to use money to the glory of God. It is the best place to look for guidance on where it all came from. (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see, www.lagrangepres.org).