My name is Matt Reynolds, and I’ve been serving alongside Craig at First15 for the last several years on the operational side of things. My background is as a CPA, and I serve as the lead of the Stewardship Team for my local church.
The relationship of God to money has always fascinated me, and I’ve spent some time diving deeper into the scriptures over the last several years while I teach a short class at our church. Today, I want to take the time to share with you some of what I’ve learned about worshiping God through your finances.
Worshiping God Through Your Finances
When you think about yourself, God and money, what’s the first thing that comes into your head?
I’m willing to bet that, for many of us, it’s not peace or joy. The thing is, that’s exactly what God has for us in the area of finances: peace, joy and a deeper connection with Him as our Father.
Too often, we buy into the lies of the world about money. We believe that money means power, success or the ability to live our life as we wish. We fall prey to comparison and jealousy of our neighbors, longing for the things that we have not. Many of us believe the lie that we’re not ‘good with money’ and therefore don’t need to stress about managing it actively. And, worst of all, we buy into the lie that money is evil, and that it should be avoided and ignored.
These lies take money and put it in a position of control over our lives. They lift it up into a place of idolatry, and not into the proper place that God has for it.
Take a moment, and ask God what some of the lies you believe about money are. Write them down.
One of my favorite practices for growing close to God is reconciling lies with truth from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t practiced this before, it’s as easy as taking out a piece of paper and drawing a T chart. Write down the lies on the left, and then seek truth in the Bible and through prayer to correct each lie on the right. It’s amazing how powerful correcting and controlling your own narrative inside your head with God’s Word can be.
During your time with God this week, take time to seek his truth for the lies that you wrote down a moment ago.
Thankfully, God has much to say about finances and our relationship to money within his Word. In the beginning, God set us up as stewards of the earth, and all that is within it (Genesis 1:29). As stewards, we are called to look after his resources according to his desires and plans. Notice that the resources are his, they aren’t ours. God makes it clear (Psalm 24:1 and Haggai 2:8) that the money and resources of this earth belong to him. As stewards of his resources, we then must be familiar with him and his plans in order to be faithful in our role.
It’s important to remember that God is our Father (1 John 3:1) and that he desires to be our provider at every step along our journey. Personally, I’m always drawn to God’s character as a good gift giver (Matthew 7:9-11 and Philippians 4:19). My own dad has always been a good gift giver, able to look ahead and give me presents that exceeded my expectations and proved to be useful well beyond my own plans and ideas. And if my worldly dad can do that, how much more can God provide us with gifts that meet our every need and then some?
As a good Father, who has given his children resources to use for his kingdom, God desires us to use those resources to accomplish his plans and purposes on the earth. Our money is a tool to be used for blessing and worship, not to be held onto out of fear. One of the most striking Biblical examples of this is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. In the story, the master rewards the servants who take his gift and put it to use. On the other hand, the servant who hid his talent in fear for losing it is punished and loses the talent he tried so hard to keep. God makes it clear: money is meant to be used.
In Jeremiah 29:11-13, God tells us that he has plans for us, plans for our welfare and full of hope. He goes on to say that our role in the plans is to come to him in prayer, to seek him, and to seek his plans. That is our role as stewards of his finances: seek God’s guidance in the management of our money and then to act on the plans he puts on our hearts.
In a couple of weeks, I will take time to go deeper into some practical examples of how we can worship God with our money.
Matt Reynolds | First15 Operations