Lesson 19 - A Financial Secret
There is one thing certain about our economy—it is uncertain. There are periods when “consumer confidence” is high. The United States government presents glowing reports of a reduced national debt. Interest rates are low, and unemployment is down. The flip side of the coin is our trade deficit is enormous. The stock market is extremely volatile, and the world economy is shaky. Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review, made a very perceptive statement 40 years ago. It was true then, but it is even truer now. “We are so busy extending ourselves and increasing the size and ornamentation of our personal kingdom that we have hardly considered that no age in history has had so many loose props under it as our own.” We are so busy buying that we have failed to realize there are some moral screws loose in our society. The foundation is cracking. We might be just investing our money in the wrong places.
The Bible presents eternal financial principles that make sense. It reveals financial secrets that most of the world does not know. It encourages us to reevaluate our priorities—to seek the eternal rather than the earthly. God’s Word leads us to make investments that will pay off in the long run.
1. What does the Bible say regarding God's ownership of the world? Psalm 50:10-12; Haggai 2:8Answer: For the world is mine The silver and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty
God is the owner of this world. Everything in it rightfully belongs to Him.
2. What right does God have to claim the world as His? Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 43:1 (first part)
Answer: The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. He who created you
The Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit participated in the process of creation together (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15, 16). The earth is His. He made it.
3. What other reason does the Bible give that this world belongs to God? Isaiah 43:1 (last part); 1 Peter 1:18
Answer: I have redeemed you
When our Lord created this world, He entrusted it to Adam. God gave Adam dominion over the entire creation (Genesis 1:26). At the Fall, Adam surrendered his right of dominion. Lucifer, the fallen angel, usurped the dominion and claimed the lordship of the earth. Bible writers often refer to Lucifer as the prince of this world or the prince of the power of the air (John 12:31; 14:30; Ephesians 2:2). Christ's sinless life and substitutionary death fully paid the ransom for our sin. At the cross Satan's fate was sealed, and complete restoration pledged for this planet (Ephesians 1:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; John 12:31, 32). God is the true owner of this world, both by creation and redemption. Everything we have is a gift of His grace. We are stewards of goods entrusted to us by God.
4. Since God is the owner of the entire world and everything in it, what does the Bible state regarding our responsibility with the goods God has entrusted to us? 1 Corinthians 4:2; Luke 16:10
Answer: It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful
God entrusts each of us with a portion of His goods to manage. Everything we have is a trust from the King of the universe. God is testing us with earthly possessions to see if we can be entrusted with heavenly riches.
5. Where do our earthly possessions come from? Who gives the ability and power to get wealth? Deuteronomy 8:17, 18
Answer: Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth
6. How do we acknowledge that God is the owner of all we have? Malachi 3:8-10
Answer: Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse
7. What is tithe? How does the Bible describe the tithe? Leviticus 27:30, 32
Answer: Every tenth...holy unto the Lord
Although all our money belongs to God, the tithe is holy. It is an acknowledgment of God's ownership. It reveals that we really believe He owns all we have.
8. What promise did God give the Israelites who made Him "first" in their giving? Does this promise apply to us today? Proverbs 3:9, 10
Answer: Yes. Your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
9. What man is an outstanding example of faithfulness to God in tithe-paying? Genesis 28:20, 22
10. What did Jesus say about tithing? Matthew 23:23
Answer: Give a tenth of your spices
In discussing tithe, Jesus said, This ye ought to have done, but He condemned the Pharisees for neglecting mercy, justice, and compassion. The tithe is sacred. It is set apart to accomplish God's goal of spreading the gospel message to the ends of the earth. In addition to this, the local congregation as well as the church at large has expenses not provided for in the tithe.
11. Although the tithe (the first 10 percent of our income) is set apart as holy, how are other church expenses met? Deuteronomy 16:17; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:12
Answer: Set aside a sum Gift according to what one has
12. What is the most important thing to God-the amount given or the attitude with which it is given? 2 Corinthians 9:7; Luke 21:1-4.
Answer: The poor widow - God loves a cheerful giver - She out of her poverty put in all she had
God has promised to supply the needs of all who are faithful in returning His tithes and offerings. In Philippians 4:19 we have an eternal pledge: And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (NKJV). *To all who are faithful stewards, God gives the assurance of supplying their needs. The needs of God's children are already underwritten by the bank of heaven. Jesus stated, Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? ...or What shall we wear? ...but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:31-33, NKJV).
13. What assurance does God give His people who are faithful in their giving? Proverbs 11:24, 25
Answer: A generous man will prosper. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed
Our heavenly Father owns the world and takes the responsibility of providing for His children. Thank God, the promise to the faithful steward is certain!
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.