Following the New Testament Money Trail

What started as a post about “Wealth with Wings” and putting our financial eggs in God’s basket has morphed into a series of posts following just a small section of the New Testament money trail (hopefully not a rabbit trail).  I think the length was necessary to really get us thinking about the seriousness of what Jesus said about investing our money.  I hope you have picked up some food for thought along the way.

In practical terms, what might this “send it on ahead” approach to financial planning look like in today’s world.  Keeping in mind the admonition to use our wealth to make friends that will welcome us into the eternal dwellings, it might look like this:

It might be sponsoring a child in an impoverished country, providing money for his physical needs and prayers and letters for his spiritual needs.  I can’t think of too many situations that are as close to making friends that will greet us in eternity as this.  Or how about buying groceries for a family where both parents are out of work?  Will they be the ones to greet you in your eternal dwelling?  Have you considered giving your car to a family that needs transportation instead of trading it in?  But I can’t get the car I want if I don’t have my trade-in to contribute to the cost.  Maybe the car you want is not the car you need.  Giving away a car can be a huge blessing to someone in need.  Or maybe it is giving money to a family member to improve their living situation.  Remember, our contributions do not have to be to a tax-deductible ministry to count in God’s eternal ledger.

What about hosting a Bible study or worship time for students at your house?  They might kill the grass or put a hole in a wall or leave your basketball out in the rain.  Does that make you think, “Let’s leave that for Mr. Whitaker?”  Or maybe you could host a pot-luck to welcome new folks into your neighborhood or into the community of your church.

Another investment option is financially supporting missionaries and the world-wide mission effort.  Are you willing to say “no” to something to support your friends who have said “no” to the comforts of home to follow the path God has outlined for them?  This is not a guilt trip.  This is looking at your giving decisions with the intentionality of making it an investment.  This is following the path God has for us and helping our brothers and sisters in the ministry God has given to them.  The list is as long as our imagination.

This type of investing is not just giving your money away willy-nilly.  It is not about giving money out of obligation.  It is prayerfully recognizing the people and needs God has placed in your path and responding with generosity.  It is making a conscious choice to invest in people rather than build up our own bank account.  And it imitates our Lord Himself whose generosity to us is beyond measure.