How attached you are to your money will reveal how disconnected you are from God. It doesn't matter how much money you do or don't have. What matters is how much time, effort and focus go into an accounting of your money, or your debts. I challenge you to think about your attachment to money in this new year. Matthew 6:24 states it clearly; You cannot serve both God and Money.
God laid down specific instructions about how to receive His blessings to the nation of Israel. There were several offerings that God set up for them. He asked them to give one-tenth of their earnings from their land. But, there were other offerings set at specific feasts. Then, there were offerings set for specific years, like every third year they were to give a special offering to Levites, widows and orphan fund. God tells us that we can use our money to store up treasures on earth, or to store us treasures in heaven. There is a big difference in these treasures. The one's stored in heaven will never be destroyed. If you have a 401k or any other kind of savings account, you probably know first hand what can happen to your treasures on earth. Matthew 6:19-21 says; Do not sore up for yourselves treasures one earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I'm not trying to tell you not to think about money at all. You must think about your money if you are going to manage it. You need to have a budget. You need to have a plan. At the top of your budget, you need to follow God's instructions about money. He tells us to give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Paying your taxes is a command of Jesus. God also tells us to give a tenth of our income to the church. Then, there are other ministries and places to give your gifts. After that, God wants you to manage what you have been given to live on without being consumed by it. He never wants you to claim your money for your identity. He doesn't want you to worship your money. What He does want is for you to fellowship with Him and glorify Him in all that you have and receive. Oswald Chambers says; Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself, it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others. (My Utmost for His Highest, Jan. 6)
As you begin this new year, and a new tax season, why not think about your checkbook and what it says about your relationship with God. Is it a horrible mess? Lay it before God and promise to obey His commands, He will help you straighten it out? Is it your pride and joy? Surrender yourself, lay prostrate before Him and seek the ways He would show you to use your blessings to bless others.
This month as you are collecting all of your W-2 forms and other earnings, think about your heavenly bank account. How much is in it? Are you worshiping God or money? Are you free of the strongholds of money; worshiping it, in debt to it? What steps can you take to break free of your bondage? This is a very important area of our lives with God. If you need assistance to make your budget and your heart match God's best for you, please contact someone at your church. There are wonderful miniseries that help Christians align their budgets with God's word. Start 2003 seeking ways to glorify God with your money, the rewards are eternal.