Money Matters for the Smart Home - 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 - Skip Heitzig
Start building the home of your future today-- smart home.
2 Corinthians Chapter 9-- our series is the smart home, and I want to talk about money matters in the smart home because money matters in all smart homes. We're going to look at a paragraph in 2 Corinthians 9 in just a moment. There was a husband and a wife. His name was Jake. Her name was Martha.
And every year, they would go to the state fair, and every year Jake would see that antique biplane, and he thought, man, I want to take a ride in that airplane. And he said that to his wife, and Martha would always say, well, Jake, it costs $10 to ride in that airplane, and $10 is $10. So they would never do it. That was the recurring conversation.
One year at the state fair, Jake said, I'm 81 years old now, and if I don't take a ride in that airplane like now, I'll probably never take a ride in it. And Martha would say, well, Jake, it costs $10 to ride in that airplane, and $10 is $10. Well, the pilot overheard this conversation, and he said, I see your dilemma. Let me help you out. I'll tell you what. I'll take you up in the airplane ride, and if you can manage to make it through the entire ride without a single word-- you can't say a single word-- it's free. If you say a word, it's $10. They thought, it's a deal.
So they go up in the airplane. They get up to altitude, and the pilot decides to take dips, and dives, and turns, and swirls, and scare the bejabbers out of them. It doesn't work. They don't say a word. So he tries harder-- steeper rolls, et cetera, et cetera-- and they don't say a word. They land the plane. The pilot looks back and yells at Jake, I'm really impressed. I tried everything I could to get you to yell out, to cry out something, and you didn't do it. And Jake said to the pilot, well, I was going to say something when Martha fell out of the plane after the first roll, but $10 is $10.
Just let that percolate a moment. It's so good. Study after study after study shows that the number one source of conflict in a marriage relationship is money, that couples who say the vows-- till death do us part-- will actually mean till debt do us part, because it will cause many of them to part. According to the Gallup poll organization, 67% of all couples worry regularly about money. And of the couples who divorce, 80% cite financial problems as the leading cause for their divorce.
One source that I found-- Marriage.com-- was giving reasons why this happens, and I'm quoting now. "Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money than the other, causing a power struggle, can strain a marriage to the breaking point." Just think what a young couple is up against. First of all, just getting married is stressful. And then having to adjust to another personality adds stress.
Add to that the consumerism and the commercialism, the bombardment of commercials that people hear. You've got to buy this, or you'll never be satisfied-- all the social media ads, all of your friends posting the new stuff they got. And all of that adds a strain to anyone getting married in this culture. It might sound really unromantic, but if you're going to have a great marriage, there must be financial agreement.
Now, I'm going to leave all the details of these things to guys like Dave Ramsey, and Ron Blue-- they have written curricula and books on these subjects, and they've done such a fine job. What I want to do instead is just look at a slice of scripture with you-- 2 Corinthians Chapter 9-- to get some principles for us. You may be surprised to know that the Bible does not speak directly to managing money in a marriage. It speaks a lot about managing money, trust me, but not specifically about managing money in the marriage.
Now, I mentioned the Bible does speak about managing money. It does. In fact, it's estimated that one out of every six verses, get this, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the three synoptic gospels-- one out of every six verses deals directly with or indirectly with the management of money. So in 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is writing to a church, a group, the Corinthian believers, and I think you will agree that, in that Corinthian church, there must have been married couples. So these principles we're going to look at deal with everyone who is a believer, whether you're single or married, but I want to confine many of my remarks to those who are married.
Let's read our verses. Let's look at 2 Corinthians Chapter 9. We'll begin in Verse 6. "But this I say. He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have in abundance for every good work."
"As it is written, He has dispersed abroad. He has given to the poor. His righteousness endures forever. Now may He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food supply and multiply the seed that you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God."
"For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while through the proof of this ministry they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ and for your liberal sharing with them and all men. And by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you, thanks be to God for his indescribable gift."
Now, I'm going to give you six guidelines on managing money in a marriage. You're thinking, six? Skip, I've been to your sermons. When you do two or three points, it's hard for you to finish in time. You'll never make it through six. Watch me. I'm committed to this.
Now, let me give you a little background on what we just read. Paul is taking an offering. This is Paul's fundraiser, Chapter 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians. He is raising money for the church in Jerusalem. You say, why Jerusalem? Because that's the mother church. Why would he need to raise money for them? Because there's been an economic downturn in Judea, and specifically in the city of Jerusalem.
And why is that? Couple of reasons. Most of the jobs in Jerusalem were related to the temple. The temple was a massive undertaking. The Sadducees ran the temple, and there were thousands of people who had jobs in some capacity working for the temple. The Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection of anything or anyone. So now the Christians in Jerusalem are running around saying Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. So that put them at odds with the temple.
The temple basically fired them all, so now we have a bunch of jobless Christians in Jerusalem. Add to that the inconvenience of a famine that spread throughout Judea the Bible even talks about. So they're in tough shape. So Paul believes that he should raise money funds from Gentile churches and give it to the poor struggling saints in Jerusalem.
That's the background, but what I want to do is look at a marriage. How can we avoid conflict over finances in marriage? How do we deal with money so it doesn't damage the marriage relationship?
There are many things we could say from this paragraph-- many more than six, trust me. I'm going to confine my remarks to six-- six guidelines for managing money and marriage. Number one, remember the source. And who is the source?
God is the source. Notice something in Verse 8. He says, "and God is able"-- now watch this-- "to make all grace abound toward you that you always have all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." Notice how he writes that? He stacks up the superlatives, and he's doing that for a reason.
Paul is trying to convey to the Corinthian church the largess, the magnanimity of God's generous heart toward his people, and that He is the source of everything. Look down at Verse 10. He amplifies that. "Now may He--" that is God-- "who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness."
Paul is borrowing language from the Old Testament, a very famous text of scripture, Isaiah Chapter 55 Verse 10. The prophet says, "as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth, and making it bud, and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word comes forth from my mouth." The great point of this is this-- God supplies the resources from which we live, and thus the resources from which we give.
The farmer uses soil God created. He uses seed that God provided. He uses animals that God afforded, and he uses his physical body that God fashioned. All of that finds its resource in God. Farmer goes out to the field, has a bag of seed. He's throwing his arm. He's walking through the field. That body was made by God, and the seed in the bag was made by God, and the earth, the soil was made by God. It all comes from Him. He is the source of the resource.
I've always loved the story about the arrogant scientist who cracked his head up toward heaven, and he said, God, I know that you made life and all that stuff, but you must now feel terribly outdated because we can basically do everything you can do. We can run this without you. And so God decided to speak to that scientist verbally, and He said, I'll challenge you to a contest. Scientist said, you're on.
So God reaches down, picks up a handful of dirt, blows on it, and out comes this exotic, magnificent white bird. Scientist says, wow, you know this is quite a challenge. Close his eyes, deep breath, realizing I have mastered all of the science of soil manipulation and cloning, and so he reaches down, picks up a handful of dirt. God stops him and says, hey, get your own dirt.
Yeah, if you want to have a level playing field, start creating universes, and then we'll talk. So Paul's point is the source is from God, and notice something else along those lines. Verse 14-- he says, "and by their prayer for you who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you, thanks be to God for his indescribable gift." Notice that Paul links God's gift with their gift. God's indescribable gift is sending Jesus Christ to this earth to die on a cross. That's his indescribable gift in Verse 15.
He's linking God's gift with their giving. Why? Because God's gift in sending Jesus is the basis for our gift. For God so loved that he gave. If we love, we will demonstrate that love in giving. That's Paul's point-- or one of his points.
So as a married couple, whatever resources you have, if you have a lot or you have a little, you have to realize it's all from God. I am a steward of it. God has allowed this to come into my hands-- all of it. Paul asks, 1 Corinthians Chapter 4 Verse 7-- what do you have that you did not receive?
Now, you answer that question. What do you have that you did not receive? What's the answer? Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. It all comes from Him.
Now, some of you might take point with that and say, well, you know, I'm skilled, and I have aptitude, and I worked hard, and I went to school. Bravo. But you should read Deuteronomy 8 Verse 18. "Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get well." Gave you the motivation, the skill, the aptitude, the ability to go to college, whatever. God is the source. So that's the first guideline in managing money in a marriage-- is to realize as a married couple God is my source-- our source.
Second guideline-- restrain yourself. Now, this is a bit harder than realizing the first one. Restrain yourself. To restrain yourself, you need to think of needs-- needs-- not greeds. Needs and not greeds.
Verse 8, look at that. "God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you always have all"-- notice this word-- "sufficiency." I'll get back to that. Verse 9-- "as it is written, God has dispersed abroad. He has given to the poor. His righteousness endures forever." Verse 12-- "for the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God."
Clearly the context of this entire paragraph is having needs met, and you know that God has promised to supply your needs. One of our favorite scriptures-- many Christians quote it-- Philippians Chapter 4. "And my God shall supply all your"--
--"needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." God will supply your needs. He promises to supply your needs, not satiate your greeds. Think needs and not greeds.
If you are here today, it must mean you have a car. If you're watching on your computer, it must mean you have internet, and from time to time, it does good for us, as Americans, just to realize how all of us have it so well, and to realize that there are billions of people in the world who subsist on about $2 a day. So we have to realize just how good God has been to us, and that helps in restraining yourself.
Jesus said a man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses. So when we start learning to make a distinction between needs and greeds, between necessities versus frivolities, it will help. In fact, let me give you three categories. Ready? Need, number one. Number two, want. Number three, consumerism. Three different categories.
First one, need-- that's what you need. That's essential for survival. You need food. You need water. You need clothing. You need shelter. Some debate as to what they really need for life. Need a phone? Probably not. What's essential for life?
Second category, wants. Nothing wrong with that. It's what you genuinely enjoy and what you would enjoy to have. Nothing wrong with that. God has given us, the Bible says, all things freely to enjoy.
But then there's a third category, and that is consumerism. That is unwise spending that is based upon impulse or very attractive advertising-- marketing. And they are very skilled at marketing. So to counter that, Hebrews 13 Verse 5 tells us, "let your conduct be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have, for He himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you." Now, the author of boils life down to this. Be content just because God is with you. And if you realize God, the maker of all things, the supplier of all things, is with me, I can rest there. I'm content with that.
1 Timothy Chapter 6, Paul says, "godliness with contentment"-- do you know rest of the verse? Is--
Great gain. "Godliness with contentment is great gain." He continues, "for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." As it has often been said, you have never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. You can't take it with you. All of these verses are dealing with the same problem-- covetousness-- because covetousness is what leads to discontentment.
Now, I'm going to step on toes here, not because I like doing it, but many people spend too much because many people shop too much. In fact, the average American spends six hours a week in shopping related activities. Please, this is not a place for men to go, amen. Because I got to tell you something-- I appreciate wise shoppers. I appreciate the man or woman who will make comparisons, and go to different places, and take the time to get the best deals to save money for the household. Nothing wrong with that at all. That is wise spending, but that is not how many people do it.
In fact, recent surveys show that 9 out of 10 people don't shop carefully, but they shop impulsively. And when you shop impulsively, you know what happens? You run out of stuff to spend with.
So I'll give you this analogy. Most of you would never think of driving a car without a fuel gauge. Am I right? Because what'll happen if you do? You'll run out of gas.
I know this from personal experience. This isn't theoretical. I have an older motorcycle-- no gas gauge. The only way to know how much gas you have is to lift the little lid on the tank and look inside. Yep, I've got enough to go. But there's times I haven't lifted that lid. That is my gas gauge-- my eyeball-- and I've run out of gas.
So most of you wouldn't think of driving a car that didn't have a gas gauge. Why is it that so many married couples live their life without a spending gauge? Because if you live your life without a spending gauge, like the car, you'll run out. You run out of gas. You'll run out of finances. So live within your income, and try hard not to go into debt, and to pay that debt down as much as you can. We'll touch on that in just a moment.
Proverbs 15-- I want to read this to you. I love the way it's written. "It is better to have a little with the fear of the Lord than to have great treasure with turmoil." He continues, "a bowl of soup with someone you love is better than a steak with someone you hate." I just like that verse. So true.
So remember your source. Restrain yourself. Let me give you a third principle, third guideline. Reach for the stars. What I mean by that is aim for the glory of God. Use your finances to give God glory.
I'd like you to see that in this text, Verse 12. "For the administration of this service"-- this collection I'm taking-- "not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through the many thanksgivings to God." Verse 13-- "while through the proof of this ministry, they"-- the Jerusalem crowd-- "glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men."
In other words-- let me break that down for you-- he's saying, when the Jerusalem poor believers open this package and see this great financial gift you've given to them, they're going to lift their heads, and thank God, and praise God, and give God the glory for this, because God used you to help take care of them. Now, let me give you a fun fact about this. The church in Jerusalem had once been very skeptical and hesitant about any non Jews becoming believers in the Messiah, in Jesus.
You know that from reading your Bible-- Acts Chapter 11-- Peter preached to the Gentiles. They scorned him because of it. They were shocked at the news that he actually preached to a Gentile because they were reluctant to accept Gentiles as brothers or sisters in Christ. Now the Gentiles are helping them out financially. Not just any Gentile, but Corinthian Gentiles. Do you know anything about Corinth? Do you know the kind of reputation the ancient Corinthians had?
Corinth had a reputation for immorality. Everybody in the world at that time knew about the bad reputation of Corinth. It's an immoral city. It's Las Vegas. What happens in Corinth, stays in Corinth. It was that bad. So now what Paul is saying is, get this, guys in Corinth. You have the opportunity to give yourselves a new reputation. Now not for immorality, but now for generosity. And when they open up this package and see it's from Corinth, man, God is going to get so much glory because of that, because they realize these guys are doers of the word and not hearers only.
So learn to look at your finances as a way to worship God and to bring God glory. In fact, on that note, would you look at Verse 12? Notice the sixth word from the beginning, the word service. Do you see it? "For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but is also abounding," et cetera.
If you have a pencil or a pen, if you don't mind writing in your Bible-- I don't mind writing in mine-- write next to or above the word service the word worship, because that's what it means-- a worship service. The word he uses here for service is [GREEK]. We get our word liturgy from it. If you grew up in a high church, a formal church, you know what a liturgy is. A liturgy is an act of worship.
It's what in ancient times priests did in the temple in Jerusalem. They would offer the sacrifice, go through their ministerial sacerdotal duties. That was the liturgy. So he uses that in terms of the gift.
Now, several years ago we had this great little old lady who used to fellowship here. She's been in heaven for years. Her name was Mary Earl Wall. I remember her vividly. She sat in the front row, little glasses, drove this kind of beat up old '62 Volkswagen bug. It's a classic now. And she would come to church, and I remember after a church service one time I see her walking toward me, and it wasn't like a friendly walk. It was kind of like she had something to tell me kind of a walk.
And so I'm bracing myself as Mary Earl Wall is approaching me with her little granny glasses. And she pokes her finger in my face, and she says, young man-- and I was then, so she could say that.
She said this. I'd never forget it. She said, you forgot to announce the offering today. I said, well, Mary Earl, we don't take an offering. She said, the boxes. You forgot to say there are boxes around for your tithes and offerings. I know you don't take an offering. That's commendable, but you should at least give us the opportunity.
She said this. Young man, you need to realize I consider giving an act of worship, and when you don't make it possible for me to give, you are taking away, robbing me of my opportunity to worship God. I said, ma'am, it'll never happen again, but I walked away from that encounter realizing this lady understands exactly what Paul is writing about here. It's an opportunity to worship, to glorify God because of what might happen with the results of that.
You just may not realize how your finances could bring glory to God. Let me tell you how yours have. Years ago, I took some of the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, which we're now starting to collect for this season. This church has been one of the most generous churches in America, by the way, with those boxes. And I was carrying--
Yeah, amen. Thank you, Lord, for that. I was not carrying, because there were 32,000 of them. I was following an 18 wheel truck taking packages from Amman, Jordan to Baghdad, Iraq. This is just after we bombed them in the first Gulf War. So there was a-- a war had just gone on.
I'm there to deliver shoe boxes with a little group to children in Baghdad. We were stopped in Baghdad by Saddam Hussein's cabinet and sat down formally with the Minister of Religious Affairs for the country of Iraq. He turned the cameras on even to record this. And what are you doing here? What do you have? Why are you doing this?
And we just said, look, we're here because we know there's been a war, but we want you to know that there is a God in Heaven who loves you. And not only does he love you, but the people in America love you and your children, and we want you to know that God loves you. That's why I'm here. Told him about the boxes. Told him about the project.
At the end of this little conversation, he said, you know, up till this moment, I have always believed-- we have always believed that it's the Christians in this world who hate us. Did you know that people actually thought that about you? That people think Christians in the West hate them? He said, I've always believed it's the Christians who hate us. Now I am realizing it's the Christians of this world who love us.
And I thought, now that's a win for God's team right there-- just that statement. That's bringing glory to God through the generosity of people who said I'm going to pack this shoebox and get it out to a child. And one of the ways you can glorify God in your finances-- adding to that-- is to try as much as you can to get out of debt. As long as you are in debt, you are in shackles.
Proverbs 22 Verse 7-- "the rich rules over the poor. The borrower is the servant or slave to the lender." Did you know the US household-- the average US household credit card debt is $15,611? That's just credit card debt-- average credit card debt. Because you hold that credit card up, you think it's real money. It's not. It's a promise that you have the money to pay for it, and then when you don't, it just adds up, and the interest accrues.
According to the same source, it says only 41% of families spend less than they earn. That means 60% of families are spending more than they earn, and the reason to get out of debt is for the glory of God-- honestly. Because the more fluidity you have with your income, the more opportunities, when they present themselves, you can act on. So aim for the stars. Reach for the stars, the glory of God.
Fourth guideline for managing money in a marriage-- regard your soul mate-- now this is easy. I'm not going to have you look at a verse. I'm just going to have you consider the whole paragraph. Paul is writing not to an individual, but to a group, a church-- the church.
So marriage is God making a group. Think about this. He takes a man and a woman, says the two shall become one flesh. Typically they have children, so the group enlarges. So just as Paul is writing to the group, they're doing this together. In a marriage relationship, it is the amalgamation of all of the pieces of life. A marriage is like the ultimate merger.
The I gets dropped from the vocabulary. The word I is replaced with we. The word my and mine is replaced with our and ours, including money. Every dollar that comes into the household is $1 that belongs to the household.
Dave Ramsey, who writes prolifically on this, said one of the mistakes that couples make is to commit financial unfaithfulness. By that, he means one spouse will hide purchases made from the other spouse. They kind of have little hidden things that go on, and he encourages couples to recommit to a shared goal. So regard your soul mate.
The fifth guideline-- this is going to be harder, too-- regulate your spending, meaning plan ahead. Think in advance what's coming down the pike. Verse 6-- notice the illustration Paul uses. He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. What's Paul talking about? What illustration is he using? Shout it out if you know it? He's using an illustration of what?
Farming. Planting. You're sowing seed in the ground. You put it in the ground. You wait for the growing cycle to end, and then the harvest comes up. It's a very typical illustration from the Bible.
So the farmer, in doing this, doesn't just wake up one day and goes, you know, I got nothing going today. I think I'm going to go plant something. He doesn't do that. He's very planned. Farming is a very planned skill. You have to wait for the right season, the right temperature, the right soil condition, and it's planned well in advance. And by the way, Paul's letter and collection was all planned. He's writing them that he plans to collect it later, so get ready to give so that when I come there's no collections. All of that is written in this section.
So it's all planned. Likewise, couples need to make a plan. Now, I understand you submit your plans to God, and they may change because of that. There's an old Jewish proverb. Man plans, and God laughs. You've had that happen. You plan for something, and then life takes a turn.
Even James said, "listen, those of you who say today or tomorrow we will travel to this city, and do business, and make money. Instead, you should say, if the Lord wills, we will live," and do this, and do that, because we don't even know what tomorrow will hold, he goes on to say. So we are flexible in making plans, but we make plans nonetheless. Why? Because if we don't, when the bill comes, we can't pay.
If we don't budget it out, if we don't regulate our spending, we're going to overspend. Jesus uses the same analogy. Luke 14-- which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost whether he has enough to complete it. So we keep records in every home-- I hope in your home you keep records.
I don't like dealing with this stuff, but there's four things I need to know at all times, and so do you. This is why you keep records. Number one, you need to know what you owe. Number two, you need to know what you own. Number three, you need to know what you earn. And number four, you need to know where it's all going.
You need to know those four things at any given time. What do I owe? What do I own? What am I earning? Where is it going? That helps you plan. That helps you regulate your spending.
Now, I'll give you the last one, the sixth one. See? We're making it through. Sixth and finally, remember to share. Verse 7-- even though the whole paragraph is on this particular point, Verse 7-- "so let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver."
Now, the whole point of the entire section-- not just Verse 7-- is about this. It's about sharing. It's saying you guys get ready to be generous to share with those poor saints in Jerusalem because collection day is coming, and I don't want to make a big deal of it when I get there. So he's saying, share your treasure.
Now, you'll just notice something in Verse 7. Our giving should be done purposefully. Doesn't it say that? Let each one give as he purposes in his heart. The word purpose is-- the only time this word is used in the Greek New Testament it's here. It speaks of a pre-determination.
So here's the application. When a couple sits down to make a budget, they should also budget their giving into that budget. When I first got married, that's what I did, honestly. Up till that point, I was single, flew by the seat of my pants. Had a little extra, gave it to the Lord. Had a little bit extra there, gave it to the Lord. Never planned that.
When I got married, now it's the same income, but two mouths to feed. So making a budget-- and the first thing we budgeted was our giving to the Lord. So now we know how much we have left to work with. And we would budget from there, but the idea is to plan in advance and to remember to share. So we give purposefully.
Notice also in Verse 7 we're to give joyfully. Do you notice that? He says, "not grudgingly nor of necessity"-- that is not external pressure, not internal pressure-- "for God loves a cheerful giver." So does anybody else. The word cheerful, [GREEK]-- we get our word hilarious from that. Best translation, don't give cause you have to. God loves a hilarious giver.
Do you know any hilarious givers? Do you know anybody, honestly, who goes ha, ha, ha, ha? Hallelujah. I know a lot of people who give grudgingly or of necessity. In fact, the word means not with grief.
Here, look, it's the person who goes, oh man, they're talking about this again. Gosh, really do I have to give this to the Lord. Man, I could just keep it. Then Paul is saying, keep your stinking check, and go spend it on yourself, and have a ball. But when you have a good heart about it, then give. Don't do it unless it's joyful.
In the Old Testament, God said to Moses, take up an offering from the congregation of Israel to build the tabernacle, but only those who have a willing heart will you take this offering. So you do it as you purpose in your heart. Let nobody pressure you into it. Do it as you see it fit in your heart. Do it with joy when you're happy to give. And then also we are to give expectantly, because he says in the previous verse, "whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will reap bountifully."
Can you imagine a farmer thinking like this? Here's a bag seed, and he thinks like this. I'm not going to put the seed in the ground. Then I'll have less for me. If I just give this seed away, then I'm going to have less seed. That's stupid.
Farmers don't think like that. They go, the more seed I put in, the more harvest I'm going to get out. That's how they think. That's the point Paul is making.
Guy came to me last night. He said, Skip, I just planted garlic, and I put in just a few cloves. And my goodness, I got like 10-fold-- 8 to 10-fold what I put in. That's how farmers think. They're going to put more out because they want to get more back.
"He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully is going to reap bountifully." If a farmer is miserly in his sowing, he'll be lacking in his reaping. Now listen, it's not the sharing of wealth that impoverishes a Christian. It's the refusal to share it that impoverishes a Christian.
Peter Marshall was one time the chaplain to the United States Senate-- glorious job. He said, give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving. Can you imagine if God did that? How we'd live? Proverbs 22 Verse 9-- "he who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor."
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive. I have a friend in this church who recently gave his vintage car-- worth a lot. It was his prized possession. He just gave it away to his son, handed him the keys. His son was shocked.
I asked him. I said, let me ask you a question. Is it true? He said, is what true? Is it really true that it's more blessed to give than receive? He goes, I just got to tell you how blessed I was and feel to be able to do that. I said, I was just checking. I want to make sure that's true, because that's an enormous gift you just gave away. He goes, it's much more blessed for me to give that than I even think the blessing of him receiving it.
Well, I'm going to bring this plane to a landing. Back in the 1800s-- in 1864, to be precise-- a pastor had an idea, and he sent the idea to the Secretary of the Treasury at the time under Abraham Lincoln. The Secretary of the Treasury was Salmon Porter Chase. President Lincoln was the president in office.
The clergyman had the idea-- on our coins and on our bills, we should have the motto in God we trust. That's where it came from. Preacher thought that up. Salmon Porter Chase read that letter, heard that recommendation, and he said, that's a good idea. So he wrote a letter to the director of the US mint telling him to put that on the coins and on our bills.
And he wrote a letter-- I'm not going to read the letter, one sentence only. He said this. "The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins." I agree with that. Our trust in God should be declared on our national coins, but I want to add to that. I think our trust in God should be declared on our national coins, but I also think our trust in God should be declared by our nation's couples, our families.
Husbands and wives should look at each other and say, honey, do we really trust God? We do, don't we? Let's trust him. Let's move ahead in all areas, including this area, and trust the Lord.
If your dollar could speak, it might say this to you. You hold me in your hands, and you call me yours, yet may I not just as well call you mine? See how easily I rule you? To gain me, you would all but die. I am invaluable as rain and essential as water. Without me, men and institutions would die.
Yet I do not hold the power of life for them. I am futile without the stamp of your desire. I go nowhere unless you send me. I keep strange company. For me, men mock, love, and scorn character, yet I am appointed to the service of saints to give education to the growing mind and food to the starving bodies of the poor. My power is terrific. Handle me carefully and wisely, lest you become my servant, rather than I yours.
Father, may these things that we steward be our servants. May we never serve mammon. May we use it to serve the living God, to glorify the risen Christ. May we see opportunities, Lord, and be generous to those who are in need, because Lord, it is yours. You are the source.
There are certain things we definitely need. There are things we don't. Thank you, father, for how you have blessed, sometimes in little, sometimes greatly. But we just want to say you have been faithful to us, and we, as your people, your church, give you praise because of it. In Jesus' name, amen.
We hope you enjoyed this message from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Church. How will you put the truths that you learned into action in your life? Let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.