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The Scripture on Finance: Remmber that man proposes and God disposes


This week we will continue looking at material from the book “Managing God’s Money” by Randy Alcorn.

Luke 12:16-22 — A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, “What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.” Then he said, “I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?” Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. Then, turning to His disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life — whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.”

The first thought that comes to me in reading this passage is that the rich man talked to himself instead of to God. I wonder why he didn’t ask God what he should do. God already knew that the rich man didn’t have room to store all of the crops. James tells us that if we lack wisdom we should ask God.

Well, the rich man had a better idea, or so he thought. His plan was to store up more and then sit back and enjoy his wealth. Eating, drinking, and making merry sounded like a good plan for his flesh.

When I come to the words “But God” in the Bible I try to take notice. Man proposes but God disposes is an old saying. The words “But God” grab my attention.

In this passage God calls the rich man a fool. It is not wrong to store up wealth. We have looked at Proverbs where we are encouraged to store up some wealth. The problem is that the rich man did not have a rich relationship with God.

God has given us all things to enjoy. When we seek enjoyment more than a relationship with God we have a huge problem. We may die before Jesus returns. In view of our short existence on this earth we should be asking God how He would have us live our lives.

God may have approved of the building plans of the rich man. God may have had a better idea. The point is that the rich man did not even consult with God. You and I have the Holy Spirit inside of us as believers. We should ask God when we need direction, guidance, or wisdom. We should remember that like the rich man we will lose what we leave behind when we die. Someone else will be living in our house, driving our car, or using our money.

If we would remember to seek His Kingdom first we would not have to worry so much about what we were going to eat and wear.

As stewards we need to remember that the Owner has trusted us with the management of His assets. Everything under heaven belongs to God. He has given us our moneymaking abilities. There are times when we may struggle financially and there are times when we may be blessed abundantly.

Our job is to act in the Owner’s best interests regarding our use of His provision. I have met some financially well off believers who believed that after they paid their tithe they could do whatever they wanted to with the other ninety percent of their income. I do not see that kind of thinking in the Bible. It is not that God does not want me to enjoy part of the provision He has provided but it is a question of whether or not He will reward me for how I am acting as His steward in making expenditures or investments.

God may want us to share large portions of His assets with others. Our goal is to be found faithful as His money managers.

May God bless you big.


This is the X column in a series by Kevin Barsotti, pastor at Ark Church in Havre, about financial matters and their treatment in the Christian faith.


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