Today is our third and final installment in our weeklong look at almighty accountability, which is taken from a sermon I preached about a month ago at Cross Community Church. You’ll recall that the message is rooted in Romans 14:12 —
Each of us will give an account of himself to God.
You can listen to this sermon—and all of the Bible teaching done at The Cross—by visiting our website at www.thecrosscc.org and clicking on the “Media” tab.
I’ve explained in the previous articles that Christian believers who have placed their trust in Christ’s atoning work on their behalf will not be required to give an account for their sins; Jesus paid that account in full at Calvary. But we Christians will give an account for the life we have lived as His people. Paul explained to the Christians at Corinth that “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).
I believe there are three primary areas for which we will be held accountable by the Almighty: our use of time, the talents He has given us, and the treasure he has bestowed on us to steward on His behalf. The previous articles unpacked time and talents; today we’ll look at treasure.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matthew 6:24)
Have you ever thought about the primary use of our money? I know we all have bills to pay and we need money to pay them. But have you ever thought about the absolute, primary use of our money? It is, like every other aspect of our lives, intended for glorifying God. And the principal way we glorify God with our money is when we give of it sacrificially to build His kingdom. Sadly, only 5% of professing Christians in the United States give God the minimum requirement, a tithe, which is 10% of their total income.
This shameful statistic means that most professing Christians are serving the wrong master. One of the most remarkable ways God proves His presence in His people is by the way they give of their treasure. Did you ever think about the fact that Jesus truly cares about our giving . . . and takes note of it?
Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)
This wonderful account indicates just how much Jesus cares about our giving. He comments on the widow’s mite and how she gave out of her lack, while the others gave out of their abundance. To put it plainly, it’s a matter of the heart. Where our heart is we will find our treasure. This poor widow treasured the Kingdom of God; the others treasured their own kingdom.
I’d like to ask you an uncomfortable question: What does your use of your money say about what you treasure most? The great Puritan preacher John Bunyan, author of Pilgrims Progress, once wrote, “A man there was, and they called him mad; the more he gave, the more he had!” It’s a funny thing about God: you simply cannot outgive Him! The more we give back to God, the more we seem to have in more ways than we can count. In the final book of the Old Testament, the Lord of hosts gives us this incredible promise:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. (Malachi 3:10-11)
Jesus confirmed this promise during His time on earth, saying, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Luke 6:38). I have experienced this truth in my own life, and I have heard it joyfully proclaimed in the testimony of dozens of Christian believers.
So . . . as we close out this series on almighty accountability, how are you doing in your stewardship of the three T’s—time, talent, and treasure? What kind of account would you give to the Almighty today if you were to stand before Him? How would you answer the following question: What do you have that you have not been given? The answer, of course, is nothing. Everything we have—including our time, talent, and treasure—is a gift from God, and our gift back to God is to put all we have and all we have become into the joyful service of expanding His Kingdom in this world.
May that be the confession of our lives.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!