by H. Slack

God’s economy is completely opposite to man’s economy. God’s economy says if you keep giving away what you have you will never be in need while man’s economy says grab and hoard all you can to be successful.

What is the ultimate goal of God’s Economy? “The goal is equality, as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’” (NIV) [1]

The New Testament is rich with examples of God’s economy at work:-

Sharing with those in need was taught:

– “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Luke 12:33) (see also Romans 12:13 (NIV))

Sharing with those in need was practiced:

– “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had… 34 that there were no needy persons among them.” (Acts 4:32 (NIV)) (see also Romans 15:26)

Bread for food & seed for sowing

Paul encouraging us to be generous says, “God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food…” [2] If you are not a farmer or one who plants seed do not expect to get a harvest. All we receive from God is to be divided into 2 categories, consumption and production. For CONSUMPTION we should only take what we need and PRODUCTION here is simply giving to those who are in need. When we give to the needy or, as Paul illustrated, ‘sow seed’ God will supernaturally return a harvest on what we gave. This harvest should again be divided into two categories as before. Continue this cycle  and it will keep expanding just as crops do for a natural farmer. “For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you.” [3] (TLB)

Your seed must go to people (firstly the saints) who are destitute and hungry and to ministers and missionaries who are taking the true gospel to the world and are in need of support and food.  Your money must not be ‘tithed’ to mega churches to maintain buildings and cars while saints and preachers are in great need. Kindly note also, that God never sent us chasing wealth but promised that if we make His Kingdom the priority, He would in return see to our needs. Give to those who cannot give back because God is the source of your harvest not man (though He often supplies our needs through others). Give and you shall receive but DO NOT GIVE TO RECEIVE. What you receive will come supernaturally from places and people you least expect.

Invest in people not things!

“There are two ways in which a Christian may view his money – ‘How much of my money shall I use for God?’ or ‘How much of God’s money shall I use for myself?’” – I am unable to bring to mind a single New Testament scripture that encourages investments in natural resources but I can think of many that instruct us to use our natural resources to make spiritual investments. You say, “But what about the parable of the talents?” That parable, as all parables, was using a natural scenario to teach a spiritual truth i.e. are we using our God given talents to invest in and expand His spiritual kingdom? Jesus is returning for a bride not a business. If you believe God gave you money to do business that would be a personal situation and not the general rule. If you wish to do business get an investor or borrow from a bank, and when you receive an income it should be divided into the two categories as mentioned before.

The criterion Jesus used to separate the goats from the sheep in Matthew 25 is very gripping. Selfishness could be a sign that the God of love is not dwelling in our hearts but having a willingness to help God’s people who are in need could be a sign that Jesus dwells in our hearts. Stop wasting money on worthless, temporary luxuries and return to your first love. Help God’s people who are in need and see how God will provide for you, and eventually, what great heavenly riches you will inherit.  

Earthly Investments with heavenly returns

“… ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’” [4]

Here in Matthew 25:41-43 Jesus says He is that brother/sister who is hungry and thirsty; He is the weary traveller who needs a home to rest and stay before continuing on His journey; He is the one who was thrown into prison and fell ill there. Jesus, though ascended into heaven, still walks among us and He is not the rich minister with the mega church, mega house and luxury car. Jesus is the brother/sister that needs your help. The religious people of Jesus’ time missed Him, could we be missing Him still?

Note that Jesus discerned between goat (destined to hell) and sheep (destined for heaven) based on how generous they were. Shocking isn’t it? Sheep bore the fruit of love while goats did not. No mention of how often we went to church, how faithful our tithing was, our knowledge of scriptures or our religious promotions etc. This confirms what Jesus and the apostles said repeatedly i.e. people who are saved love the brethren and do not live for themselves. James comparing genuine faith with genuine love says both must be more than talk. (James 2:14-16)

John agrees, “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?” [5] If we all give, no one will be in need, that’s how God’s economy works. 

Jesus still walks among us

Our King is here but He is the meek and lowly among us, the one who is in need and dwells in humble circumstances. In Hebrews 13 we realise we could entertain [or neglect] angels unawares as, in Matthew 25, we realise we could neglect Jesus based on how we treat our spiritual brethren who are in need. God takes note of those who help the poor [6] so help the ‘least’ and you are helping Jesus. God is no man’s debtor, when He  returns He will reward us according to what we did while alive.

Jesus still walks among us in lowly people. How are you treating them, how are you handling the resources God has given you to fulfill His purposes?

References: [1] 2 Corinthians 8:14 [2] 2 Corinthians 9:10 [3] Luke 6:38 [4] Matthew 25:41-43 [5] 1 John 3:17 [6] Acts 10:1-6 (see Corinthians 8:14-15)