God’s Economics – Financial Statements

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

The world’s economy always requires people to have financial statements. A financial statement requires you to list all of your assets and your liabilities and come to some kind of definitive number about your financial viability.

In 2008, financial statements have diminished tremendously. The value of assets has gone down in dollars that are now measured by trillions.

God’s financial statement is not about assets and liabilities but about giving. He measures our financial position not by how much money we have but how much we have left after we’ve given. His whole economic system is based on this fact that it’s His anyway, it is not ours to keep, but He loans it to us to be good stewards of His resources. Therefore, the financial statement is based on giving, not getting.

The world likes to applaud people who are called “go-getters.” God applauds people who are “go-givers.”

In Mark 12, Jesus tells about a poor widow who came up and placed just a penny in the offering plate. Jesus shocked everybody around him by saying that she had given more than anybody else. The disciples quickly let him know that he didn’t understand economics because there were a lot of folks who had given more than she had given. He quickly gave his view on economics by saying that she gave more because she gave all that she had to live on.

Giving for Jesus wasn’t so much the amount given, but the amount retained by the individual. The size of the gift is measured entirely different by God’s economics.

God’s economics were employed by the early church as is evident in Acts 4:33-35. It reminds us that apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus by their giving. He stated that there was not a needy person among them because everybody would bring what they had and help meet the needs of those who did not have.

One of the great men of Methodism was Bishop Arthur J. Moore. Once he was preaching and gave a call for a special offering for missions. When the collection plate was passed a little girl sitting on the front pew was greatly moved by his appeal and took off her necklace and her bracelet and put them in the offering plate.

After the service they found the necklace and the bracelet and Bishop Moore went over to the little girl and said that is a great act of love and he appreciated her commitment but said that she didn’t have to give her bracelet and necklace to the Bishop. The little girl looked up and said, “Bishop, I wasn’t giving it to you. I was giving it to God.” Bishop Arthur J. Moore took that bracelet and necklace and across South Georgia and raised enough money to build a hospital, a school and a church because one little girl gave to God.

Man’s financial statements change annually because they are based on a tangible amount of what a person is deemed to be worth. God’s financial statement have endured the test of thousands of years, and will be relevant forever because it is based not on what a person has left, but what a person has given.

There are two economic systems—the world’s economic system and God’s economics. You and I, have a choice.

Understanding God’s economics is so important because it is an indicator of our faith. Jesus said quite simply in Matthew 6, “Where you put your money is where you heart really is.” Show me your cancelled checks for 2008 and I will tell you what you really worship.

I genuinely hope that the world’s economic system does better in 2009—I know God’s economics will be right on target forever!

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