Rev. Bill Blomquist
Ninth Conversion | Giving Money
Jesus probably spoke more about money than just about anything else, other than the Kingdom of God.
It's not just money, per sé. We all know what money costs. It's the other side of the coin that Jesus is most interested in. Trusting God.
While it's true that money makes the world go 'round, and when money halts (say in the case of a global pandemic) pretty much everything stops. Jesus know this. He knows all about money. He knows how much good can come from it. And he knows how it can kill a soul through covetous, greed, envy, and its all encompassing illusion of confidence.
Even with it's toxic risk, he still gives it. I guess he wants us to learn to give it as he gives it.
When a person is converted to giving money she counts it pure joy to give. She actually looks for opportunities to give because she knows God, who sees in secret, will reward her. She has also learned the lesson that, how many much you give away, you can't outgive God.
Just think how glorious church and the ministry of the church could be with all her members tithing.
A person converted to giving money gives without knowing what one hand is doing from the other. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't give irresponsibly. She knows what she's doing. And that's the beauty of it. She knows the more she gives the more she becomes "freed up," more loose, more cheerful, and more reliant on God in just about every area of her life.
Some say, "I work for the church. Why should I tithe?" Others say, "I don't have enough money to tithe." (That's funny because if you have money, you have enough to tithe!)
Then the day comes along when you intentionally decide to tithe. You've heard a sermon somewhere. The pastor gave a kid 10 M&M's and asks him, "How many of these M&M's would you think you should give back to God?"
The kid shrugs his shoulders and says, "I dunno. I guess all of them?"
The pastor smiles and gently takes a single green M&M from the palm of his hand. "Actually only one," he says. "You can keep the rest."
The kid looks at the remaining M&M's in his hand with widening eyes. "Gee, thanks, mister!"
While story is a good one. It actually falls short of the giving capacity of one who has been converted to giving money. True, God's law says take 10%. But the one who has been converted to giving away money sees that as too restrictive, too legalistic. A person converted to giving away money first response would be more similar to that kid's first response, "I dunno. I guess all of them?"
When a person can see through the building fund, an adult mission trip to Uganda, a food outreach to the homeless, or the salary of her senior pastor and understand that - while, yes God does provide for his ministry - she is being invited to step into the game through her own sacrificial giving as a provision for "that ministry,"she is then, and only then, on the road to this wonderful ninth conversion, we call giving money.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7