WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 17, 2020
TOPIC: BE HONEST IN MONEY MATTERS
“Moreover they did not require an account from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to be paid to workmen, for they dealt faithfully” (2 Kings 12:15 New King James Version).
It is saying the obvious to say that money is important in life. Money determines many things we do or we require money to do many things. Nevertheless, money is not everything.
Because money is essential in many things we do in life, many people try to get it by hook or by crook. Many relationships have been destroyed because of people’s attitudes to money. To many, getting money is the bottom line and they do not mind what happens to their relationships with others.
Truly, you may never know the real character of people until money is involved in your relationship with them. Many have betrayed their spouses, friends, business partners, neighbours, customers, and clients because of money. They have been unfaithful and have lied, broken promises, and cheated just to make more money than is due to them. Christians are not exempted from this.
Someone said recently that introducing to brethren any business venture that can give them more income is to cause confusion in their midst! He said the sinful desires in them which appeared to have died would suddenly resurrect! Selfishness, greed, mischief, hatred, and the like would begin to manifest among those who have been behaving as brothers and sisters before. Unfortunately, some unbelievers would pass the test of money more than some Christians. This is not supposed to be so. But thank God there is still a remnant whose God is not money.
In the past, Christians used to be trusted with money. Other people felt comfortable to make them the treasurers and financial secretaries of organizations, formal or informal. That has since changed. They have learnt their lessons because some Christians proved not to be different from the non-believers. Such Christians have followed the footsteps of Judas Iscariot who was Jesus’ treasurer and stole from the purse. John 12:6 says, “He was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (New King James Version). However, there are still many Christians who can be trusted with money.
As vital as money is to human activities, Christians must have the right attitude to money. We must be honest in money matters. Making money must never be a do or die affair. We must be guided by the Word of God. It should be our final authority. Don’t let money change you negatively.
Not a few believe that it is impossible to be rich by being honest. They say honesty does not pay. That is Satan’s lie and those who believe it will spend their eternity in hell-fire with him. People may gather so much through dishonesty but they will lose their soul and burn forever in the lake of fire. All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37 New King James Version).
It is the blessing of the LORD that makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22). Honesty pays in this life and in the life after. Avoid dishonest gain. The LORD said of the sins of Jerusalem: “Behold, therefore, I beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst” (Ezekiel 22:13 New King James Version). In verse 27, He says, “Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain” (New King James Version). Avoid dishonest gain or profit. Be honest in money matters.
People are more important than money. Relationships are superior to money. Honesty in money matters is very important. Whether it is a business transaction with someone, money kept in your custody, money related to the management of the business of others, or any other money, be honest. Don’t fall into the temptation of greed, covetousness, exploitation, and so on. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never forsake you’” (New Living Translation).
Don’t let the love of money push you into dishonesty, which eventually will be exposed and you’ll be disgraced. Many people today are living in the fear of being found out about previous dishonesty in money matters. But the righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). Be sure that your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). Even if you’re not exposed here on earth, your dishonesty is not hidden from God.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 says, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (New King James Version).
Live a life of integrity, especially integrity in money matters. “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3 New King James Version). God’s word to His children is that they shall not steal, deal falsely, or lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11). Avoid dishonesty in money matters.
Hear what Jesus said: “Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?” (Luke 16:10-12 New Living Translation).
Earlier in Luke 16, Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A rich man hired a manager to handle his affairs, but soon a rumor went around that the manager was thoroughly dishonest. So his employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about your stealing from me? Get your report in order, because you are going to be dismissed’” (verses 1-2 New Living Translation). No Christian should emulate this dishonest manager. He was unfaithful in what belonged to his master. And 1 Corinthians 4:2 says it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
Be honest in money matters. I am always impressed by the story in 2 Kings 12 with regard to the repair of the Temple of the LORD by King Jehoash of Judah. He told the priests, “All the money of the dedicated gifts that are brought into the house of the LORD — each man’s census money, each man’s assessment money — and all the money that a man purposes in his heart to bring into the house of the LORD, let the priests take it themselves, each from his constituency; and let them repair the damages of the temple, wherever any dilapidation is found” (2 Kings 12:4-5 New King James Version).
Because the priest failed to execute the project of repairing the temple that King Jehoash gave them, they were stopped from further collecting money from the people. “Then Jehoiada the priest bored a hole in the lid of a large chest and set it on the right-hand side of the altar at the entrance of the Temple of the LORD. The priests guarding the entrance put all of the people’s contributions into the chest. Whenever the chest became full, the court secretary and the high priest counted the money that had been brought to the LORD’s Temple and put it into bags. Then they gave the money to the construction supervisors, who used it to pay the people working on the LORD’s Temple — the carpenters, the builders, the masons, and the stonecutters. They also used the money to buy timber and cut stone for repairing the LORD’s Temple, and they paid any other expenses related to the Temple’s restoration” (2 Kings 12:9-12 New Living Translation).
The money brought to the Temple was paid out to the workmen, who used it for the Temple repairs. Now, this is the fascinating part of the story: “No accounting was required from the construction supervisors, because they were honest and faithful workers” (verse 15 New Living Translation). What a great testimony! These supervisors utilized the money the right way. They were people of integrity.
Their honesty was so evident that they were not asked to account for how they spent the money. They were not like that dishonest or shrewd manager. You should be like these supervisors. Don’t let money change you negatively. Maybe it is not really that money changes some people negatively; maybe money only reveals their true character as dishonest, fraudulent, or corrupt fellows. Don’t be greedy for money as Paul said deacons and bishops (elders or overseers) shouldn’t be (1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:7). “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase” (Provebs 13:11 New King James Version).
Maintain integrity in money matters. Don’t lie, cheat, falsify figures, exploit, hide what you shouldn’t, and so on. A good name is better than fine perfume (Ecclesiastes 7:1a). A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches (Proverbs 22:1a). “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1New King James Version). Be honest in money matters.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be honest about money. I shall not be possessed by the love of money in Jesus’ name. Greed, covetousness, selfishness, and the like shall not find any place in my life. I shall have integrity in money matters. Father, deliver all those possessed by the love of money from this bondage. Set them free that they will be honest in all their financial transactions.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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