I went home and looked at my checkbook and my calendar to determine what he was talking about. Here is what I found: I was giving at least 10% of my income to my church but I was spending more time in trying to build a business and make money than I was in serving others.
I do not believe it is wrong to develop wealth or to spend time in recreational activities. Besides what I believe or think is not important but what God says about how you spend your time and money is. So let's look at a few scriptures from the Word of God to see what He commands us to do.
1 Timothy 6: 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.
Today there are those who would say that the desire to prosper is wrong but God says the love of the money produced by this drive is what is wrong.
In Malachi 3: 8-10 God challenges us in the use of the first 10% of our income. 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You? In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, "says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."
That was God speaking to the nation of Israel and although I do not believe we are bound by having to give 10% of our income I do believe that the principle of giving is still valid for the church today.
Let's look at Paul told the church at Corinth about giving: 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
In Genesis 1: 28 God told Adam and Eve to God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."
In Ephesians 4: 28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can't work.
God is not against Christians or anyone else creating wealth but He is against Greed! and He wants us to give out of our abundance to help others.
When I took the challenge to looked at my checkbook and calendar I found I was giving 10% of my Gross Income to my church but I was not giving of my time in service to others.
Let's look at some scriptures about helping others.
James 1: 26-27 Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
Ouch! The challenge revealed I was talking a good game but I had no action in my life. But it got worse when I read Matthew 25: 31-46 I was convicted by my lack of service. In these verses Jesus tells us when He returns some who thought they were following Him will be separated with those who did not follow Him. They will be shocked. And He will then tell them why: verses 41-43 "Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'
44"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'
45"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'
I sank in my chair as I realized I spent more time having fun than I did serving. I cared more about my own problems than I did the problems of others. I did not hear when others hurt because I was so self focused. I decided that I would work on changing this.
Listen to what Jesus says: Matthew 19-21"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being."
Please share with me your thoughts on this subject. Did God speak to you through this post?