It’s on the lips of just about everyone this summer. Inflation. The name-calling and blame-shifting are at a fever pitch. But, here’s the reality most Americans are feeling. Money just doesn’t go as far as it used to. Some of you reading this update today has had several family meetings trying to figure out how to stretch your monthly income. You’re finding there is more month than money. On top of that, many of you are helping out family members, you’re supporting your local church, and you’re supporting missionaries. What can I say to encourage you through these uncertain times? Consider these principles:
First, in spite of the economic situation, the Bible reminds us that cheerful generosity brings a harvest. 2 Corinthians 9:6–7. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Secondly, giving to the hurting and the needy carries a reward with it. Matthew 6:3-4. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. God never promises that we will be wealthy in this world, or even that we’ll always have as much as we want, but He does promise to supply our needs, along with giving joy, peace, and contentment in the midst of difficult times.
Thirdly, seek first the kingdom of God, all necessary things will be added to us. Matthew 6:3 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. This reminds us of where our priority should be. In 2 Timothy 2:3-4 Christ-followers are compared to soldiers. A bad economy will not be a huge concern for a soldier, because his focus is on other things. We are to manage money wisely but it is reckless to place trust in money or anything else in this world that is so easily lost.