I would like to discuss certain aspects of Biblical economics. I know that many people view the Bible’s statements on money differently. So we’re going to use some common sense (Gasp!) and hopefully help you reexamine some of your opinions on the spending of money.
First of all let’s discuss preachers and money. Recently I heard about someone being disgusted because a preacher drives a Lexus. Never mind that he pastors a huge church and it’s the cheapest Lexus, apparently the combination of preacher and Lexus just doesn’t work.
Which should we attack first, the preacher or the Lexus? Let’s start with the Lexus. Are we to say that a Lexus in and of itself is a bad thing? I don’t think anyone makes such a claim. Is the engine too much or the electronics too nice? Perhaps the leather is too comfortable? Maybe all those are true, but you never hear that side of it. In general, no one has a problem with people making Lexus automobiles.
So who should drive them? Who should be rich, or who should have nice things? What about bankers, they handle the world’s money? What about lawyers, they settle our disputes and regulate our lives? Doctors, the ones who help us feel good?
What about the preachers? What about the man or woman who can help your bank account, all your disputes, and your body? What about the man who provides for you spirit, soul and flesh? Your pastor literally serves you the bread of life, from a platform with little prestige, after having endured the undoubted criticism and ostracism from family and friends. Does that guy, who fills possibly the most important role in your life, deserve a nice car? What about nice clothes, or a nice house, or a nice vacation? Many say “No.” And that is despicable.
I believe if anyone should have the best of what this world has to offer, it’s the man or woman of God. If I want anyone to enjoy the good of the land, it’s the one who preaches and loves and serves. Those who labor in Word and Doctrine are worthy of double honor, both spiritual and natural honor. But much of the world has a problem with this.
Now let’s briefly analyze why. You see, few people with such a problem are ready to make a Biblical defense of their position. They would say something like, “Jesus was poor.” Then when you counter with a verse they haven’t heard like, “For your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich”. (2 Cor 8:9), they say something unintelligible or unsupportable like, “It doesn’t really mean that.” Well, what does it mean?
Really, I believe, they have a problem with preachers and nice things, or preachers with money, because of “opportunity costs.” They believe that particular money should have gone to the church, or to the orphans, or widows, or some other cause. They believe by buying themselves something nice, the Pastors have turned down an opportunity to do something (that this detractor finds) more worthy. So not only do they heighten the importance of opportunity costs they mostly don’t pay any personal attention to, they believe the preachers must deny themselves any luxury and always put the opportunity costs above themselves.
But here is the revelation I would like to share with you tonight –with God there need be no opportunity costs, you can have it all. Why do you have a problem with the preacher’s Lexus? Because you think there is only enough money to have either the Lexus or something else. But what if you knew there was enough money to do everything, to have it all, to provide well for the preacher and for all God’s other endeavors. If you really believed there was plenty of money, then you probably wouldn’t have a problem.
Well, who told you there wasn’t enough money? I never see in the Bible where someone wanted to do two good things but had to choose. I never see someone wanting to provide for two worthy causes, being told by God to do so, and not having enough. Can you show me that verse? No.
In fact, I believe God has more than enough money to provide for you, me, the preacher and all of His Kingdom and interests around the world. How do I know, because the Bible tells me so!
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:8).” “I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is Mine, and the fullness thereof.” (Psalms 50:9-12)
Don’t you see that, all the world’s money belongs to God? God has more than enough money to do everything He wants to do? Glory to God. He doesn’t even need our money, that’s not why we give to Him anyway.
You never need to think about opportunity costs again. I pronounce you free of that bondage in Jesus’ Name. Did God tell you to buy a certain house and you feel guilty? Did God say you could get a nice car or go on a nice trip? Who cares what people think? You never need to worry about the other options again. What you need to consider is the Word of the Lord.
If you check with God about your spending decisions, especially your big ones, then you never need to worry that you should be doing something else with your money. God will provide for you to have the world’s good and also do His good. God will provide for the Church to do His Work and for the Pastor to drive the Lexus.
“Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?” I don’t think so. When you are with God you can do it all and have it all. There will never be any shortage of funds or Divinely directed activity that you can’t afford to do. No, you won’t be able to afford all your flesh desires, God doesn’t promise to cover those. But if you seek Him and His Kingdom, God will provide for both you and His Kingdom. Remember, “God will provide Himself a Lamb.”
Now I’m not saying there is no place for sacrificial giving. That’s not what I’m talking about. There are times when God might say give that $1,000.00 to My Kingdom rather than yourself, but in that case spending on yourself wasn’t God’s will. I’m telling you God will show you and enable you to provide well for both yourself and for His Kingdom.
“If you are willing and obedient you will eat the good of the land.” And if anyone deserves to drive the Lexus, it’s the preacher. God can afford it.