Listen today as Derek Prince shares remarkable insight into “God’s Plan for Your Money.” You’ll discover how to see money as something holy. It’s a mistake to think of it as dirty or unworthy because it’s part of our lives. When we give of our finances, we please God.
It’s good to be with you again, sharing on this week’s very important theme, “God’s Plan for Your Money.”
In my two previous talks this week, I’ve shared, first of all, that God has a complete plan for your life and that complete plan includes your money. God has a plan for your money. I also shared two essential conditions for finding God’s plan for your life, including your money, stated by Paul in Romans 12:1–2. The first condition is surrender yourself, without reservation, to God for His service. The second condition is to be renewed in your mind, or, as I express it, learn to think God’s way.
Now, without fulfilling those two conditions, you will not be able to apprehend God’s plan for your money. You can listen to it, but you will not be able to apprehend it because God will withhold it from you until you meet those two basic conditions:
1. Surrender yourself, without reservation, to God for His service.
2. Learn to think God’s way.
Then I said God’s plan is summed up in one beautiful word: prosperity. It’s prosperity of soul, prosperity of body, and prosperity in finance and material goods.
Then I pointed out yesterday something extremely important. Our attitude to money reveals our true attitude to God Himself. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:24:
“No [man] can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
We’re faced with a choice. If we serve God, we do not serve mammon, which is the evil, spiritual force that controls and manipulates people through their attitude to money. If our attitude toward God is right, our attitude to money will be right also. If we hold on to God, if we cling to Him, if we’re faithful to Him, then we will despise mammon, we will not let that evil, Satanic power dictate to us. And we are faced with a situation where we must do one or the other, there’s no third possibility, there’s no neutrality.
Today I’m going to show you how God wants us to see our money as something holy, something that we need to offer in worship to God. And that without our doing this our worship is incomplete. I’m going to start with two examples from the Old Testament. First of all, in the book of Exodus 23:14–15, God is giving regulations for how the children of Israel will come up (that’s every male among them) three times a year to Jerusalem, to the temple there, to offer worship and to celebrate before God. And this is part of the regulation that He gives:
“Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.”
That’s part of God’s ordinance for worship and celebration in the temple. You’ve got to come up at God’s appointed time, in God’s appointed way and no Israelite was to appear before Him empty-handed. Every Israelite had to have an offering for God as part of the celebration and part of the worship.
And then, in Psalm 96:8–9, the psalmist says generally, to all of God’s people:
“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”
Notice, “Bring an offering and come into His courts,” but don’t come without an offering. That passage there in the Psalms brings out three important facts about offering (finance or whatever else it may be) to God.
First of all, it gives glory to God. The psalmist says, “Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering...” How are we to give glory to God? By bringing an offering.
And then it says, “Bring an offering and come into His courts.” So, bringing an offering gives us access to God’s courts. We have no right to claim access to God if we don’t come with an offering. God said, as I’ve already quoted, “No [Israelite] is to appear before me empty-handed.” If you want to appear before God, come into His courts, you have to bring an offering.
And third, it says, “...worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” In exactly the same context. So what does that tell us? It tells us that bringing an offering is a God-appointed part of our worship—that our worship is not complete until we bring our offering to God.
I pointed out to you earlier this week that when we give our money to God we’re giving a very important part of our life. We are actually giving Him our time, our strength, our talents. We put the major effort of our life, most of us, into the work that brings in our income. When we offer to God the appointed portion of our income, we’re offering ourselves to God. Really, there is nothing more holy that we can offer to God than ourselves. And God says, “If you want to come into My courts, if you want to appear before Me, if you want to give glory to Me, if you want to worship Me in the beauty of holiness, bring your offering.” So you see, bringing an offering, worship and holiness are all very closely connected together in God’s plan for your life and mine.
Now I want to share with you another very important point that I think many of God’s people don’t fully understand. God keeps a record of what His people offer. God has an account book for every one of us. I’m going to turn to a passage in the Old Testament to illustrate this in Numbers 7:10–17. This chapter is a very long chapter—if I remember it has 89 verses and most of it is given over to describing what the twelve princes or leaders of the tribes of Israel offered to God. Each of them offered exactly the same but the amazing thing is that each of their offerings is described in detail, item by item. God doesn’t say, “The second prince offered the same as the first.” He doesn’t say, “All the twelves princes each offered this.” But it goes through every item in the offering of each one. Now, the Bible is a very economic book—it doesn’t waste space. So when God does that, He’s illustrating to us how very carefully He records what we offer to Him. Read now the account of the first prince:
“When the altar was anointed, the leaders [or princes] brought their offerings for its dedication and presented them before the altar. For the Lord has said to Moses, ‘Each day one leader is to bring his offering for the dedication of the altar.’ [So for twelve days this process of offering went on.] The one who brought his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab of the tribe of Judah. His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; one gold ladle weighing ten shekels, filled with incense [that would be worth thousands of dollars today], one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old, to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab.”
So you see, God kept an absolute record, and caused it to be preserved in Scripture of what each leader offered in absolute detail.
Another point I want to bring out to you from the New Testament, is that Jesus Himself watches how we give. Listen to this in Mark 12:41–44:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. [Jesus thought it worthwhile to sit and watch what and how the people offered and I want to tell you He still does the same today. You may not see Him, but He’s there watching how and what you give.] Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’”
So there are two points there: first of all, Jesus looked at what everybody gave and estimated its true value; and second, God measures what we give by what we keep. The one who put in the least, in actual amount, Jesus said gave the most because she had nothing left. So bear that in mind, when God estimates what you give, He looks at what you keep.
And then one final point: One day each of us will give account to God. Romans 14:12:
“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
That’s lying ahead for every one of us. And that phrase, “...to give account,” in the original Greek, is used primarily of a financial account; not exclusively, but primarily. So every one of us is going to give a financial account to God.
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be explaining a simple, practical way to put God first in handling our money.