Jesus and Money by Pastor Andy Wilson
So often our conversations about stewardship focus on how much money we’re giving, and whether it’s enough. But in the Gospels Jesus doesn’t spend much time focusing on that question. Instead, he urges his followers to be all in for him. We find our peace, joy and fulfilment in seeking him with all our heart and serving him with passion and excellence.
On the night before his crucifixion Jesus speaks to his disciples with the goal of preparing them to continue his work. He talks about vineyards and grapes – about branches that are fruitful and branches that produce nothing:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers... This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15: 5-6, 8
Jesus is imploring them and us to stay connected to him. With his life flowing to us and through us, Jesus promises, we’ll fulfill the purpose for which we were created. We’ll produce harvest after harvest of sweet, delicious fruit.
The Lord isn’t preaching a “prosperity Gospel.” He’s not promising wealth in exchange for faith. He’s exploring the productivity principle that’s found throughout the Bible. Our God is a lavish giver. His kingdom is a place of astonishing growth and abundance. And he created us to be bountifully productive for him. The key is to hold nothing back – to give everything you have to God, to use for his purposes, in the full recognition that it came from him in the first place. When we do that the productivity principle kicks in. God multiplies our gifts 30-fold, 60-fold, even 100-fold (Matthew 13:8).
Lots of people believe money is evil, and that it poisons anyone who touches it. But that doesn’t square with the Lord’s teachings. Money can be incredibly seductive. Those who fall in love with it are headed for destruction. But money is also a tool that God uses to further his plans, often with mind-blowing results.
So we should all hope that God’s people would be blessed with abundant financial resources. We should all pray that the Lord would raise up a generation of prosperous Christians who love what he loves, are wholly surrendered to him, and will generously fund the work of kingdom-building.
That’s our hope and prayer at LCPC.