Financial Unity

Most of us have met people who claim to be a self-made man or woman. They like to think they are not dependent on anyone, including God. The problem with this mindset it that God did not make people to function independent of one another. We read in Ephesians 4:14-16 about this, 
 
…That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does it’s share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 
 
According to this, we see each person plays a part in fulfilling a need to be met in the whole unified body of Christ. As a marriage team, we are also equipped to supply a certain part (our area of dominion) to the body of Christ as a whole. The gifts we have work directly together with our spouse’s gifts to cause growth in the church body as well as in the the body of our own household to edify each other in love. 
 
We will use an example for this of a couple we know. They are a great illustration of how a couple who is not in full-time ministry can utilize a regular calling to create eternal vision and value. This couple has many gifts that fit together wonderfully, but we will focus on how the husband’s God-given ability in business works together with one of his wife’s God-given gifts to create eternal value. The husband is a very successful businessman and the wife has chosen to be a stay-at-home mother. The husband is gifted in leadership and finances, and the wife has the gift of giving, as talked about in Romans 12:6 and 8, 
 
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them… he who gives, with liberality… 
 
The wife, like few people we have seen before, has the gift of knowing when someone needs money and knowing when they are supposed to sow (give) something into someone’s life. The husband is very good at saving for their future, included college money for their children, retirement, and things of that nature, yet most importantly he is very open to being an avenue for God to work through whenever God asks them to give. They both understand that although earthly investments are important, the greatest investment someone can make is investing in God’s kingdom, where moth and rust do not destroy (see Matthew 6:19). 
 
The wife of this couple has come to us before and said, “You know that young single mom you introduced me to at such and such a place last year, can I get her address from you? She’s been on my heart with Christmas coming up.” Another time she called and said, “Remember that one single woman you used to work with last year? She’s been on my heart lately and I feel like we are supposed to send her something. Can you find out her address?” In each of these cases, it was very timely and very much needed in the people’s lives. 
 
In addition to being led by the Holy Spirit from day to day, they focus on consistently giving to certain ministries each month in order to build God’s kingdom, which produces long-lasting, eternal value and reward. They have been one of the most consistent givers to our ministry every month for many years without fail. Even when we were still in our preparation stages for college, as well as getting our ministry off the ground, they by faith saw our long-term vision and knew out commitment to its fulfillment. They chose to invest in our ministry vision from God, making it a part of their own ministry vision by becoming financial partners. 
 
This couple is quite a contrast to the story of the man in the Bible who did not have a Christ-centered vision, but rather, only a temporal one. We find it in Luke 12:16-21, 
 
The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ so he said, ‘I will do this; I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul you have many good laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink and be merry.”‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
 
Some people pass over this last sentence, thinking it is condemning people for having earthly investments. It is not. We can see from the life of Joseph in the Old Testament that God encourages saving. The key to this sentence is the phrase, “and is not rich toward God.” The only question we need to find an answer for in our checkbook ledger is: “Are we consistently rich toward God, or is our main focus earthly goods and investments?”
 
With love, 
Pastors Shaun & Amy