Harvester

How does God see finances?

Money, in and of itself, has no actual value; it can be a shell, a metal coin, or a piece of paper. Its value is symbolic; it conveys the importance that people place on it. Money derives its value by virtue of its functions: as a medium of exchange, a unit of measurement, and a storehouse for wealth. Before money was invented, people acquired and exchanged goods through a system of bartering, which involves the direct trade of goods and services.  Money doesn’t have a life. It cannot act on its own. It cannot do good deeds, and it cannot commit crimes. Basically, it’s neither good or bad. Money takes on the form of the one who controls it.  

  • 16 out of 38 of Jesus’ parables deal with money and possessions
  • Nearly 25% of Jesus’ words in the New Testament deal with biblical stewardship
  • 1 out of 10 verses in the Gospels deal with money
  • In the Bible, there are more than 2,000 scriptures on tithing, money, and possessions, which is twice as many as topics of faith and prayer combined.

The Bible is explicit to explain how not to make money! 

How does the secular world (unbelievers and ungodly) make money?: Toil (Prov 23:4); lies (Prov 21:6); interest (Exo 22:25; Deut 23:19); dishonest gain (Eze 22:13); ponzi and pyramid marketing schemes[1]; fraud; over-promise-under-delivery; slavery and oppression of the poor (Prov 22:16); unjust scales (Prov 11:1); quick-profit (Prov 13:11); default on payments (Ps 37:21; Rom 13:7); passive income (2 Thes 3:10); extortion and bribes (Luk 3:14); violence (Prov 1:19).

Beware of the love of money (1 Tim 6:10) 

God did not invent money, currency, or promissory notes. He does not bless us with money “raining from the sky”. We live from every word that proceeds out of His mouth (Mat 4:4). God is our source, not money or an income.  When we obey Him, He will provide. 

What is the currency of heaven? 

It is called FAITH, not beliefs, faith that is backed-up by works and actions.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Heb 11:1,3,6). 

Calling ten of his [own] bond servants, he gave them ten minas [each equal to about one hundred days’ wages or nearly twenty dollars] and said to them, Buy and sell with these while I go and then return. (Luk 19:13 Amp).

The meaning of the word PRAGMATIC: 4231. πραγματεύομαι pragmateúomai; fut. pragmateúsomai, mid. deponent from prágma (G4229), matter, business. To be doing, to be busy, occupied, to do business, to trade or traffic (Luke 19:13). Deriv.: diapragmateúomai (G1281), to gain by doing business, to bargain; pragmateía (G4230), a transaction, affair.

Even our spiritual work is based on the principle of Pragma: distributing all manner of healing, deliverance, freedom, exorcism, salvation, exhortation in the name of Jesus, as a representative of His Kingdom. 

“Crucible work” (work refined by fire) births the core values of character. Work is the greatest remedy available for both mental and physical afflictions. BUT like physical exercise people can get addicted to work, and become too busy to make time for God. Daniel’s excellent work was based upon his prayer life (Dan 6:1-5).  Believers’ work is rooted in their faith, and dependence on God.  

We should not follow money; money should follow us!

For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10 

Money and prosperity follow and prevail where there is Justice, Fairness, Generosity, Order, Integrity, Faithfulness, Passion, Innovation and Hard work.

  • Consistency -– He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4 AMP
  • High Standardsexcel in your work, it will bring you before Kings. Prov 22:29
  • Convenience (contribute added value to your product or service) 
  • A person – e.g.: Solomon, David. Investors may have a very good portfolio, but people connect with a person first. The owner of an insurance firm told me once how important it is to keep his staff happy and so they are faithful and committed their whole lives. Thus when a client phones, they always ask to work with  the same employee.  
  • Growth and favor – Multiplication (Mat 25:29). The servants who multiplied the most were blessed: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”
  • Productivity – The Japanese settlers have a social value called gambare, which roughly translates, “Try harder, don’t give up, never give up!” He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide.  
  • Proverbs 18:9 He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer. When it comes to our work and our responsibilities – whether it is for ourselves (our own business or family) or for a boss – we must be faithful, diligent and hard working. If we aren’t, then the Bible says that we have the same impact as a vandal, or a person who actively works to destroy rather than build. Now, few of us plan to mess things up deliberately, but we need to realize that if we are lazy, unfocused, unfaithful, neglectful, and/or procrastinators, then we are having an actively negative effect on the areas of responsibility that are ours! Proverbs 25:19 AMP says that, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.” A lot of people like to just coast along, looking busy, looking like they are contributing, meanwhile they are allowing others to “pick up the slack” and carry an extra burden. People do this at work and at home. In a family, you might have either one spouse  picking up more than their fair-share of the family responsibilities because the other person neglects or refuses to do their part. This is never a successful strategy in the long-term. The family is going to be unbalanced and lacking. Eventually it will fall apart, one way or another. The destruction that is caused will manifest in either the marriage failing and/or the children growing up in dysfunction. Ecclesiastes 9:18b says, “One sinner destroys much good.” One person can make a big difference – positively or negatively. Don’t be the one who ends up destroying a lot of good because you are lazy and irresponsible. Ask the Lord to help you do what’s right every day in your work and in your family responsibilities. 
  • Uniqueness – 1 Peter 4:10-11: God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.
  • Specific purpose – Not living a life of purpose – he who follows worthless pursuits will have poverty in plenty (Prov. 28:19);

Work is Worship

Glorify God through your work: 1Cor 10:31. May your good works glorify your father in heaven. Mat 5:16. We join with fellow believers to be filled, armoured, strengthened, to go out and fight the war in the marketplace every day.  Some dualistic Christianity teachings sees the world, work as secular, foreign, and evil. Although the Bible is clear that we should have no part in the world, it speaks of worldly thinking.  Brother Lawrence taught us to practice God’s presence in everything we do. If we sweep the floor, let it be with thankfulness and joy, praising our Maker! If we build or create something, let it be with the inspiration and imagination of the Creator. 

Work to Give

Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Eph 4:28.  The innermost heart of humanity isn’t about ownership. Jesus Christ practiced a life of making many rich, yet He owned no land, and left behind no earthly possessions. A man’s true wealth is not determined by what he owns, but by what he gives away. The Christian Church grew most rapidly in the first 300 years. (Stark 1997:161–162; Hirsch, 2006:18-22; Viola & Barna 2008:246–250). The Christian Church became the State Religion because of its exemplary demonstration of intrinsic critical values: great acts of mercy and kindness • mutual support and love • self-control • respect for life. • To do good to each other. • Avoid evil such as theft, deceit and jealousy. • Show hospitality to strangers. • Take care of each other and share their food with each other. • Prove mercy toward all people. • Conduct care and nursing of the sick. • Households testify to dignity, personal responsibility, honesty and obedience. • Ethnic variety is accepted. • Women, children and slaves are treated with respect. • Respect for life prevents abortion and childhood murder. • Martyrdom and the willingness to ‘ take up your cross ‘ (see Mark. 8) [2]

This giving is directed to be caring for the poor: Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27) 

The original meaning of economy:

Oikonos: “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Luke 12:42-48 

The worldview of individuality, selfies, self-centered-gain-for-my-pleasure has caused us to become alienated from local families. The internet has made the world smaller and has caused a wonderful convergence of resources and opportunities. But God’s economy is always centered around the family.  

Meaning of steward: οἰκονόμος oikonómos; gen. oikonómou, masc. noun from oíkos (G3624), house, and némō (n.f., see aponémō [G0632]), to deal out, distribute, apportion. An administrator, a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, business, or minor, a treasurer, a chamberlain of a city, a house manager, overseer, steward. The concept of oikonomos (steward) refers to the  person responsible for the business affairs of a household. This Greek term later became the English word economy. Helmut Gollwitzer a concerned pastor, theologian and thinker known as a democratic socialist debated that regardless of our Christian political biases; we need to strive toward a social togetherness – “perfect togetherness without any conflict.” [3] This local community togetherness and economic justice cannot be achieved politically, culturally, economically or legislatively! #supportlocal #buylocal is becoming important new trends again. We need one another. We need our neighbours.  


[1] https://www.crown.org/blog/are-multi-level-marketing-companies-a-good-idea-for-christians/

[2] Dreyer, W., 2011. Praktiese Ekklesiologie En Bedieningspraktyk Met Verwysing Na Die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk Van Afrika (Afrikaans).

[3] See Gollwitzer,  Protestant Theology  : 191 –  2. Gollwitzer draws very briefly here on the imagery found in Mi 4.3f, Zec 3.10, and Rom 14.17.