Posted by: Brad Beaman | November 6, 2009

Giving Wisely

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There is the story of three college friends from Harvard. The first of the three was a financial wizard. He graduated top of his class. He became an executive for a large financial institution. The second was a brilliant scientist working on cutting edge of science technology.  

The third one dropped out of Harvard after just one year. He was forced to drop out because of bad grades. The three friends got together after being apart ten years after college days.

The first two were frustrated. They were holding top jobs in their firms and making good salaries. But they weren’t making ends meet. With their house mortgage, car payments, private school for the kids and club memberships they were spending more than they were making. Every month they found themselves sinking deeper into debt.

But the third guy, who dropped out of Harvard because of bad grades, had none of these problems. He paid cash for his cars, his house was paid for and he was a millionaire and making money off his investments. The other two asked him. How have you done it? You dropped out of Harvard. How did you become so successful?

He explained to them how he made his fortune. He said I begin to buy and sell. I would buy items wholesale for $2 and sell them for $4. He said if you repeat that enough times that 2 percent profit will add up! Ha ha, he may not have been smart enough to figure percentages, confusing 200 percent profit with 2 percent profit, but in some ways he was wiser than his friends.  

When it comes to giving wisely there is a Godly wisdom that is required.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

 10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

Are you going to make your life count?

There is:  

                           Gold, Silver and Precious Stone   

                                      Vs

                                Wood, Hay and Stubble

Fire will test a man’s work. The judgment of Christ is coming and wood, hay and stubble will burn. When we give wisely we are investing in Gold, Silver and Precious Stone.   

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

Luke 12:33

 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” Haggai 1:6 

The wise man finds himself saying: “I harvest where I did plant, reap where I did not sow.”

 In contrast the foolish is saying, “the harder I work the behinder I get.”

What does the wise do to experience this blessing? The wise man gives according to God’s principles.

The wise giver takes care of his family.

1 Timothy 5:8

8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The word provide here is the Greek means to plan in advance. The wise giver  does not ignore his family. Wise giving makes provision for your family. It takes commitment and discipline. The advertising tells us we need it all.

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 

Buying household items with a credit card and paying exorbitant interest is not wise. Items don’t last forever, if you don’t plan this becomes a destroyer by creating debt.

A wise giver can use a budget to meet the needs of family, plan ahead for future needs, and honor the Lord. Having a budget for your family is a healthy wise thing to do. A good budget can help you meet the needs of your family, plan ahead for future needs and honor the Lord through giving. If you don’t have a budget for your family it is a healthy and wise thing to do so.

Your budget can help keep you from the oppressive bondage of debt. It can help you avoid the foolish man’s dilemma, “the harder I work the behinder I get.” You won’t be putting your money in purses with holes.

Financial freedom may take discipline and hard work, but it frees you to make eternal investments in kingdom work. You will be planting important eternal seeds.

What if a farmer spent all his money buying new farming equipment, new fences and did not have any money left to buy and plant seeds. Not wise.

A wise farmer doesn’t just plant a few seeds. These seeds are his livelihood for a future crop. As Christians it is wise for us to invest in an eternal harvest.

Giving wisely means giving according to God’s plan. The tithe is an important part of stewardship. Deuteronamoy 14:22-29. Tithe that you may revere the Lord.

Tithing precedes the law. Abraham gave tithes and Jacob gave tithes. A tithe simply means giving one tenth of our income to God. It’s a testimony of God’s ownership of everything. It is a loving response to God’s mercy.

There is a drama that illustrates this with pie pieces. One piece is house rent, another is food and another in entertainment. There were only crumbs left over for God.

In Hebrews 7:1-10 we are called to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

The wise giver goes beyond the tithe. He sows seeds for eternal harvest in abundance. It is a joy to give generously. All we have to do to confirm this is look at the NT churches that gave sacrificially.

When we give wisely we put the eternal ahead of the temporal.

The wise giver will see the work of God changing lives. Having a part of that through financial investment is more exciting than acquiring possessions.

Matthew 16:26 (New International Version)

26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

When we put eternal ahead of temporal we are wise.

Jesus told us a parable about a man who went against every principle of wise giving. We call it the rich fool.

Luke 12:16-21 (New International Version)

 16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’  18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘  20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  21“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

His bountiful harvest began to increase. He tore down his barns and built bigger ones. It was all stored up and ready to retire. This night your soul is required of you. This is how it will be for anyone who stores things up for himself, but is not rich toward God.

It is not enough just to plan ahead for retirement. It is foolish if we don’t prepare spiritually. Wise giving starts with a heart that is prepared for eternity.

A wise giver is one who is not neglecting his family and is rich toward God. A fool gets rich on earth and not in heaven. Be a wise giver, taking care of your family and being rich toward God.

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