Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of September 30, 2007

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

As a former practicing CPA, I have found that you can tell a lot about people by the way they handle money. Some people covet it so they can hoard it, and others covet it so they can spend it. Because money is something we need and often covet, I have also found that money is the cause of many problems between people even though some other issue may appear to be the problem. Even the FBI knows that following the money trail will often catch the criminal.

If we could follow the money, I am sure that we would understand why most wars are fought and why politics are not the answer to society’s ills. Corporations have a big stake in making sure that those who are elected will have a vested interest in protecting their investments. Even those who serve the Lord often find money behind their problems. I have known missionaries who couldn’t understand why they were suddenly having trouble with their fellow missionaries. Then they found out that some who needed financial support were undermining them so that they would be sent home. That way their support could go to the others.

People watch to see how Christians spend their money. I wonder if we realize that the unsaved often question the reality of the new birth because of our spending habits. We have money for all kinds of recreation. We spend large sums on weekend football games. Then our churches have to take special collections because they are short of money.

We spend large amounts to go to Christian concerts and Christian seminars where they read from a Bible that says the Gospel is free. And when a free Gospel effort is available, we often don’t support it. Many of us pay preachers to preach to us a free Gospel. And if a preacher offers the Gospel freely today, many of them are not supported by those who say they believe in a free Gospel. Today Christianity and churches have become big business and often charge for the things that used to be free. I remember when I could go to conferences freely and then I could partner with those who put it on as I was able. But now many conferences require us to pay an upfront fee to go to them. Something is wrong. Either those who are convening the conferences are using the conferences to peddle or merchandise the Gospel or those who should be sharing with those who teach are not carrying out their responsibilities. See 2 Corinthians 2:17 and Galatians 6:6. Either way, one wonders where our treasure is.

I do not believe that the New Testament requires us to give a tithe or a tenth to the Lord. I believe that the New Testament teaches that it is all the Lord’s and we are just stewards of what He has given us. I believe giving a tenth may be a burden for some poor people and giving a tenth is not really a sacrifice for some rich people. But having said that, the New Testament does teach that we should give willingly, cheerfully, and sacrificially. In addition, we should give in proportion to what God has given us. The Bible says that when we give, we reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). But really we are only being stewards of what God has given us.

If my habits with money reveal the depth of my relationship with the Lord, I wonder what the Lord thinks about the way I personally handle what He has given me. And I wonder if the way I handle money shows that I really believe that my real treasure is the Lord who died to save me, and that He is in Heaven. Would I be able to convince the unsaved that I really believe that heaven is more important than earth; that eternity is more important than time; and that spiritual blessings are more satisfying than earthly pleasures?

Bruce Collins

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