In the course of “Releasing Kings,” one of the challenges is getting Christians to get their hands dirty with filthy lucre. Money is really just a medium of exchange, and it is neither good nor evil. In fact, all ministry costs money, so the folks who are too spiritual to make it or handle it are usually in the offering camp of poverty – “God wants you to send me your money.”
Our minds ask, “Does God want me to have money?” Here are a couple of the answers.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. 18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. 19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. 20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, 21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full. Prov 8:17-21 NIV
But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deut 8:18 NIV
Our hearts ask, “Why does God want me to have money?” The first answer is that God is generous and He loves you. The second is simply ministry. If you want to be part of the Kingdom, it starts with learning to multiply finances so that you can live from a cup that overflows and bless others. If fact, the newest spiritual reality of marketplace ministry is that if you haven’t learned how to create wealth, you’ve missed out on one aspect of the gospel… the one that results in ministry. First we learn to make money and then we learn to convert it to the true riches of eternal ministry. Not complicated, is it?
Wealth is more than money – When you are involved in an activity that made a lot of money, you are considered rich in money. Wealth is something different; if money is the water, wealth is the spring. Wealth is: 1) the creativity to come up with ideas that add value to others, 2) the wisdom to maintain and multiply it, and 3) the perspective to connect it to the Kingdom. People with a wealth mentality can hear their own hearts (motivation), the heart of other people (the market), and the heart of God (Kingdom purpose). Wealth creation is the new Kingdom literacy.
A wealth mentality asks, “What do I have that would add value to others?” Sounds like ministry, doesn’t it? It is exactly Kingdom ministry… it blesses people, adds value and multiplies wealth (including money). How we handle wealth is one of God’s Kingdom values for spirituality.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:10-12 NIV
It’s not magic – Our tradition is that if we seek the Kingdom first, then God will give us money and take care of all our needs (Mt 6:33). The problem is that we haven’t usually made a distinction between “church” and “Kingdom,” so that verse translates to seeking the church first and putting money in the offering plate and hoping for a miracle… which is, in reality, a formula for poverty! There are seven mountains in the Kingdom. The church is one mountain that equips the saints for the work of ministry in the other six. Our mandate is to “go” into the other six and bless nations.
Wealth and wisdom are connected in Scripture. “The wealth of the wise is their crown” (Prov 14:24). Just as in the parables of the talents and the minas, we are given the opportunity to multiply money and, depending upon our success, we are rewarded with the opportunity to be stewards over cities / ministry. Wisdom is a wealth mentality that has both a strategy to make and multiply money, and a vision to convert it to ministry. Wealth flows toward Kingdom purpose. We’re not throwing rocks at the church. Taking offerings for priests who make disciples is great. By contrast, Kings operate in the six other mountains and they fund their ministry out of their own ability to multiply wealth.
The Wealth mentality – What’s the wisdom behind people who live in abundance and minister out of the overflow of their hearts and their wealth? They all have a few common ingredients.
- Heart’s desire– Wealthy people enjoy what they do, and they see the connection between their work to generate wealth, and their role in their Father’s Kingdom. They are doing the Father’s business and putting the Kingdom first. They enjoy the process because they realize that God put that desire in their hearts. They are not ashamed to simply do what they enjoy in the marketplace. What is in their heart and what is in God’s heart is the same thing.
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. John 5:19-20 NIV
- Blessing people and nations– The wealth mentality blesses other people. Wealth isn’t defined by the amount of money in the bank. It’s the wisdom, integrity, character and creativity that will generate money and ministry in the future that define true riches. People who have wealth always include others on their team in a way that blesses them and helps those people reach their goals… employees, partners, investors, customers, suppliers, etc.
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12:2-3 NIV
- Character– People with the wisdom to create wealth and convert money into ministry have a hidden depth of character, as opposed to a public display of spirituality. They are willing to work hard on their heart’s desire. They are also willing to invest in themselves to improve their performance. John Wooden is considered the most successful college coach in sports. He coached basketball at UCLA and won eleven national championships. His trademark skill was his ability to bring the best out of his players both on and off the court. He loved them, and his goals for his players went far beyond the game. He invested in their lives. Over the years he developed a Pyramid of Success that summarized the character qualities required to achieve greatness. Developing those character qualities is one of our continuing lifetime goals – I’m investing in myself when I develop them.
The integrity of the upright guides them… Prov 11:3 NIV
You’re Invited – We are all being invited to bless others from a cup that is running over both financially and spiritually so that we can impact the nations practically and invite them into a Kingdom that is led by Jesus, the King of kings. It all starts with a “wealth mentality.” What do I have that will bless others?