Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a sermon on “Money Matters” by Pastor John in a prayer meeting on January 2, 1991
Obedience to the will of God is the only road to true success. The godly use of money plays a part in that obedience, but it is not at all the largest part.
My father taught us that our tithes and offerings are a very small part of the life of true holiness but that its importance is similar to that of the intimate part of a marriage relationship. The physical relationship of a married couple is a minor part of the overall relationship, but if it is not as it should be, if it plays too large a role or too small, nothing else in that marriage will be exactly as it should be. Likewise, rendering tithes and offerings to God is a minor part of your overall relationship with Him, but if what you render to God is either too much or too little, everything else in your relationship with Jesus is adversely affected.
How much is too much? That is between you and God. Ask Him to help you make the perfect decision about that. Believe it or not, there have been several cases in which I have had to tell people that they were giving too much. It is the god of Christianity that can never get enough, not Jesus. My pastor rejected the money I gave one time, many years ago now, telling me it was too much. He knew that I was hurting myself in an effort to learn how to be dedicated to God. I was giving more than my faith could handle. When people are allowed to give more than God wants them to give, He may chasten them by sending them into hard financial times, and when He does that, they can become bitter about how much money they have given away.
Part of my responsibility as God’s servant is to discern when one of His children has begun to be influenced by an over-religious spirit and is bringing too much money as offerings to Him. If I fail in that responsibility, I may have more money in the short run, but I will damage that precious child of God, and somewhere down the road I will certainly have to answer to the Master for that.
How much is too little? That is also between you and God. We know that the tithe is His, all of it. And we know that “offerings” are required. How much “offerings” you should give depends upon your faith and your needs. I don’t like to even get involved with that. There have been instances in which saints who met in my house were not giving enough offerings to please God, but in every case, so far, the truth and their own love of it corrected the problem without anything resembling reproof on my part. God’s people are the most generous people on earth; that is why they are such easy targets for covetous ministers who claim to be of God. But the truth changes them from being suckers of the crafty to be succourers of the needy.
Start with making your money issues right with God, for when that small part of your spiritual life is out of balance, you feel the discomfort in every other aspect of your walk with the Lord.