According to a recent Barna study, in the past few months giving among Christians has dropped by 33% with 6% stopping altogether.
There is no question that many folks have experienced a decrease in earnings or even loss of employment during this recent recession. If we are not careful we can take our eyes off of God, the Creator, Savior and Provider, and focus on our situations, worrying about how we are going to make it all work. Some will withdraw in fear and hold on to everything they have, believing they may lose everything.
There will always be “Bad” times; recessions, hyper-inflation, high unemployment, political unrest and wars. It is during these times that our faith should be strengthened not weakened.
I submit that it is always good to preach and teach on giving. God is not governed by circumstances, neither are His promises hindered by our World’s economies. His promises are true today and His principles do not change just because “times” change.
As we acknowledge that our lives here on earth are short and eternity with our heavenly father is long, it should have a great impact on how we live out our days, and how we utilize the resources entrusted to us by the owner of all things. Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
It all boils down to where our hearts and minds are focused: are we eternally minded? Or are we temporal minded? Do we long to see Jesus face to face? Or do we dread dying? Do we cling to the things we can see, touch and hold onto? Or live by faith? Do we measure our worth or the quality of our lives by physical possessions? Or are we looking forward to our home in heaven and “building upon that foundation gold, silver and precious stones”…doing our best and giving to our the Lord who keep those treasures and rewards safe for us in our heavenly dwelling place.
Yes, there is a God-honoring, biblical, eternal self-interest in giving to the Lord. Jesus is the wisest investment counselor, as He advises us not to invest where we lose our wealth, but rather where we will receive the greatest return on our investment. Our Saviour instructs us in Matthew chapter 6, versus 19 through 21:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”