We believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God. We read the Bible to learn about God. We go to the Bible to find His plan for salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Many search through Psalms for comfort, Ephesians for spiritual armour, and Philippians to be more like Christ. It is through God’s Word that we are introduced to faith, and learn to pray. Yet there is a subject that has twice the number of verses dedicated to it, than faith and prayer combined. Money.
That might sound strange at first, and it could be due to our own perceptions of money; we don’t view money as a spiritual topic- certainly not one requiring so much scripture focusing on it. While money is indeed important to us, perhaps we prefer not to have the light of Scripture shining on our financial practices. How often, if at all, do we turn to the Bible for financial counsel?
We have been entrusted with so much, and our Master expects us to be faithful in the improvement, growth, and use of His goods. In his commentary on the parable of the talents, found in Matthew chapter twenty-five, Matthew Henry noted, “…we have no stock of our own to trade with, but trade as factors with our master’s stock.” Jesus taught that two of the three servants in this parable were faithful in the increasing of their master’s wealth, entrusted to them.
The wonderful thing is, our Master has given us the Bible from which to learn how to be that faithful servant. In searching this most precious resource, we can discover God’s promises regarding our finances. Reading the Proverbs, we discover that when we honor the LORD with our substance, and the firstfruits of our increase, He more than meets our needs (Pr. 3:9-10) and, when we give liberally – we increase; but if we hoard, and withhold more than is right, we end up in poverty (Pr. 11:24)
Solomon also teaches the wisdom of having savings (Pr. 21:20; Pr. 6:6), the principle of diversification (Ecc. 11:1), the error in desiring to get rich quick (Pr. 28:20,22), and warns against indebtedness (Pr. 22:7).
Jesus spoke sixteen parables, all teaching us lessons related to finances. He taught with an emphasis on our hearts toward money. He also helps us to learn what true riches are, by charging us to transfer our temporal wealth to our heavenly home, where it will last for eternity (Matthew 6:20).
Paul teaches us the promise of God to those who give; that God will feed them, continue to provide for them to give, and increase the fruits of their giving (2 Cor. 9:10). He warns Christians of the great destruction that comes into the life of the one who loves money (1 Timothy 6:9-10), and challenges us in word and deed, to learn to be content (Phil. 4:11-12).
From the books of Moses, to Psalms and Proverbs, Ecclesiastes to the Gospels and Epistles, there are over 2,300 verses from which to learn the mind of Christ in this matter money. It is not God’s design that you rely on your own wisdom to figure out financial issues, but that you search His Word for guidance. He has provided a wealth of counselling on the subject and it is worthy of our time and effort to seek it out.
As you read through the Bible, why not have a highlighter pen with you, and every time you read a portion of Scripture that speaks to the subject of money, riches, giving or possessions, highlight those verses then prayerfully consider how God would have you to apply those truths to your life. In addition, do not hesitate to seek counsel from godly men and woman whom you respect; and read good books on the subject, being careful to select respectable sources. There are far too many books under the banner of Christianity that teach a prosperity gospel, or appeal to the flesh, telling us what we want to hear rather than what we need to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).
A few books I would recommend are:
Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn
Faith and Finances by Tim Rosen
How to Manage Your Money by Larry Burkett