BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
Money is very important in human society as a medium of exchange. Whether you are a saint or a sinner, you need money. The Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil but that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). As a child of God, you should know the lessons the Bible teaches about money so that you don’t relate to money as unbelievers do. Below are 20 money lessons from the Bible you should know and apply to your life.
1. Make God your source and honour Him with your money. In Deuteronomy 8:10-18, God said that the Israelites would, later in the Promised Land, ascribe their wealth to their power, not God. When you know that God is your source and your money comes from Him and you work only as a channel, you will honour Him with your money because He owns it.
Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (NKJV). God asked the Israelites to bring all the tithes into the storehouse with a promise that they would experience overflowing blessings (Malachi 3:10).
Paul states the principle for giving in the New Testament thus: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NKJV).
Acts 11:29 says that the disciples, each, according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. Take note of the phrase “according to his ability.” During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He said that the poor widow who gave two mites in Mark 12:41-44 had given more than all the others who put money into the treasury. Give according to your ability, willingly, cheerfully, and bountifully to honour God.
2. Use your money to provide for your immediate family and help other dependants, including your parents. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “Anyone who fails to provide for his own relations, and especially for those under his own roof, has disowned the Faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (Twentieth Century New Testament). Don’t neglect your family.
Supporting your parents financially is one way to honour them, as God has commanded (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Ephesians 6:2). What you give to God does not cancel what you should give to your parents. As regards giving to one’s parents, Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for making the commandment of God of no effect by their tradition (Matthew 15:3-6).
3. You cannot serve God and money. But you can serve God with money. Don’t worship money; worship God. Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (NIV). The King James Version uses the word “mammon” instead of money. Mammon is a personification of riches or the god of riches.
In Matthew 2:11, the wise men presented gifts to the young child, Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They worshipped Jesus with their resources.
Luke 8:2-3 says certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities contributed from their resources to support Jesus and His disciples. They served God with their money.
4. You cannot take your money with you to heaven, but you can send it ahead of you. You do this, by laying up your treasures in heaven. Luke 16:9 says, “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (NIV). The best way to send your money ahead of you to heaven is to use it to make friends for eternity by spending it on winning souls or supporting ministries and churches engaging in soul-winning and building up of believers.
Luke 12:33 says, “Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys” (NKJV).
Jesus warns that we should not lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20).
The Apostle Paul told Timothy to tell the rich to use their money to do good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18-19). Unfortunately, many people don’t do this. They keep their riches to their hurt (Ecclesiastes 5:13).
5. Where you put your money or what you spend your money on shows where your heart is. Jesus put it this way: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34 NKJV). What do you spend your money on? Is it what glorifies God or the devil? Do you spend your money on what will matter in eternity or not?
6. Don’t love money; you can never have enough of it. The love of money can expose you to serious dangers, including wandering away from the faith. The Bible calls the Pharisees lovers of money (Luke 16:14). Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (NKJV). Also, the Apostle Paul says that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Beware!
7. You will face the test of money. Before giving you true riches of heaven, God will test your faithfulness with worldly riches. Before giving you your own money, He will test your faithfulness with other people’s money. “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:11-12 NKJV). Are you faithful with money – other people’s money and your own money? Be faithful.
8. The power of God is superior to the power of money. The power of God will do what money cannot do. Money cannot raise the dead; it can only buy expensive caskets for them and put them in the best mortuaries. Money is limited; the power of God is unlimited. The power in the name of Jesus made the lame at the beautiful gate walk. Money couldn’t do that (Acts 3:6-10).
9. You can’t buy the gift of God with money. Simon Magnus, otherwise called Simon the sorcerer, tried to do that, but Peter stopped him. In Acts 8, when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (verse 19 NKJV). This is known as Simony, the sin of buying or selling sacred things such as spiritual offices or privileges. Peter rebuked him saying, among other things, that his money would perish with him (verses 20).
10. Don’t acquire money through unrighteous means. Money acquired through dishonest means doesn’t last. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase” (NKJV). Judas sold his master, but he couldn’t keep or spend the money; he threw it away to go and commit suicide (Matthew 27:3-5). Be content with what you have (1 Timothy 6:6-10; Psalm 37:16). Don’t extort money from others (Luke 3:14). Avoid get-rich-quick schemes (Proverbs 28:20, 22).
11. Save your money; don’t waste it. Believers should work to earn money (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12). And they should cultivate a savings culture (Proverbs 13:11; 6:6-8; 21:20). In Luke 15:11-32, the Bible tells us the story of the prodigal son. He wasted his money in reckless living. In verse 30, his brother also refers to how he squandered, on harlots or prostitutes, the money he received from his father as his inheritance.
The shrewd manager in Luke 16 also wasted his master’s goods and he was going to be fired for this (verses 1-2). He was even going to cost his rich boss more losses, so he had to withdraw his threat to sack him.
12. Invest your money and diversify your investments. In the parable of the ten minas in Luke 19:11-27, the Bible talks about ten servants whose master gave minas (money) to invest until he returned from his journey to a far country. One of the servants returned his mina without any returns. He had gone to keep it; he didn’t invest it. His money was collected and given to the first servant who had gained ten more minas. In a similar parable, the parable of the talents involving three servants, one of them didn’t invest his talent (Matthew 25:14–30). From the two parables, we can also learn about diversifying investments to spread your risk. The minas and the talents were not given to only one servant.
Ecclesiastes 11:2 says, “But divide your investments among many places, for you do not know what risks might lie ahead” (NLT). The Easy-to-Read Version puts it this way: “Invest what you have in several different things. You don’t know what bad things might happen on earth.”
13. Use your money to show compassion and do good to others. One of the reasons for working is to have something to give those in need (Ephesians 4:28). 1 John 3:17 says, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (NKJV).
Paul told Timothy to tell the rich to use their money to do good, be rich in good works, and give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them (1 Timothy 6:18). The young ruler in Mark 10:17-22 couldn’t obey Jesus to go and sell whatever he had and give the money to the poor to have treasure in heaven; he was sad because he had great possessions. Probably Jesus gave the man that instruction because he was not a giver. The early church sold their property to take care of everyone’s needs (Acts 4:32-37). Let your giving be in secret; don’t call attention to yourself (Matthew 6:1-4).
14. Money can make you become arrogant or put your hope in it and not in God (1 Timothy 6:17). Don’t set your heart on your riches (Psalm 62:10). They are unreliable and can fly away because they have wings (Proverbs 23:5). Don’t let riches become your god.
15. Someone can be rich physically but poor spiritually. The Laodicean church was in that condition. Revelation 3:17-18 says, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (NKJV). Desire the true riches of heaven above earthly riches.
16. Wisdom is a better defence or protection than money (Ecclesiastes 7:12). Money can give you a false sense of security. Never think that money is everything or wrongly quote Solomon that money answers all things (Ecclesiastes 10:19b). This verse means, “Feasting makes you happy and wine cheers you up, but you can’t have either without money” (Good News Translation). The Easy-to-Read Version puts it thus: “People enjoy eating, and wine makes life happier. But money solves a lot of problems.”
17. Avoid debt, especially when it is not for investment, and pay your debts. Seek God’s guidance and professionals’ advice if you must borrow. Don’t enslave yourself to anyone or any bank (Proverbs 22:7). Repay your debts. Psalm 37:21a says the wicked borrows and does not repay. In Luke 7:41-42, the Bible tells us the story of two debtors, who couldn’t repay and were forgiven. Also, Matthew 18:23-35 records the story of a servant whose master forgave the huge debt that he couldn’t repay but the servant didn’t forgive a fellow servant who owed him a much smaller amount.
Not all creditors forgive debts! In 2 Kings 4, the creditor would have taken away as slaves the two sons of the widow of one of the sons of the prophet because of his unpaid debt. The death of the man of God didn’t even make his creditor forgive his debt!
18. Don’t covet anyone’s money; be content with what you have. Samuel, while addressing the Israelites at Saul’s coronation, challenged them to fault his integrity. They replied that he had not cheated or oppressed them, or taken anything from any man’s hand (1 Samuel 12:3-4). Also, Paul told the Ephesian elders at Miletus that he had never coveted anyone’s money or fine clothing (Acts 20:33). Not every minister can throw that kind of challenge to their followers, as Samuel and Paul did. Don’t covet anyone’s money; be content with what you have (1 Timothy 6:6-7; Hebrews 13:5).
19. Your motivation for the work of God should never be money. Money should be a benefit, not your motivation. The goal of the Gospel ministry should not be money. Don’t preach the Word of God to make money. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 2:17, says, “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (NKJV). The New Living Translation refers to these people as “many hucksters who preach for personal profit.” Writing fellow elders, Peter said, among other things, that they should shepherd the flock of God not for dishonest gain but eagerly (1 Peter 5:2).
20. Don’t be greedy for money or be ready to do anything for money. One of the requirements for the appointment of a bishop is that he must not be greedy for money (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). This also applies to a deacon (1 Timothy 3:8).
The Bible says that in Crete, there were some false teachers, who, by their wrong teaching, turned whole families away from the truth. Paul said they wanted the people’s money and, therefore, must be silenced (Titus 1:11). Also, talking about the false teachers, 2 Peter 2:3 says that in their greed or covetousness, they would make up clever lies to get hold of the money of those who follow them.
Don’t say if the price is good, you will do something that is sinful (Jude 11b; 2 Peter 2:15-16). Let the Word of God and the Holy Spirit determine what is right for you to do, not money. Don’t become a slave to money.
Conclusion: What I’ve discussed are not all the money lessons from the Bible. Apply to your life the lessons you’ve read here. Relate to money biblically.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947