Generosity

Open Hands...Open Heart: Trusting God Over Our Finances

The problem with money is it promises what only God can provide. Money promises security, peace and provision. The truth is we all have a longing in our hearts to experience those three things. In fact, it's a little taste of heaven to think of living in absolute security, complete peace, and never having to plan for provisions. While money promises these three things, it cannot deliver.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Do we trust God as provider or do we trust money and possessions?

Let's work through this question for just a few minutes, because the truth is it brings tension into most of our lives. 

Here's the principle that helps give understanding to how we answer the "trust" question: whatever we open our hands to we’re opening our hearts to. In other words, God has blessed us with possessions, money, time, influence and the list goes on. He has placed those things in our hands. 

Whatever or whoever we are willing to open our hands to, sharing those blessings, we also open our hearts to. 

I like to say it this way: Open hands...Open heart. 

A Test of Trust

One day a few years ago, I drove past a billboard for our state lottery. On the billboard was an update of the potential winnings for the week. The number was a staggering amount: $300 million. As I read the number I felt the Lord question me, "Would you rather have $300 million in cash or trust Me to provide for your needs?" 

I took a few moments to prayerfully process the question. "Lord, are you asking me an either/or question? Either I have the $300 million and I no longer have You as my provider; or I have You as my provider but no $300 million?" 

Yeah, that's what He was asking. (By the way did you know that 95% of lottery winners are worse off financially 3 years after winning than before? And they are twice as likely to file bankruptcy as the average person.) 

Trusting God as my provider, especially in the area of finances, has been a strength since I first became a follower of Jesus. But in that moment I paused and thought, "$300 million dollars is a lot of money." I'm not great at math, but I quickly did the figures in my head of how much I could spend every year of my life and still have plenty of money until the day I die. My mind began to think "no worries" for the rest of my life. I considered all the good I could do for God's kingdom, for my family, for our community and even for other churches and pastors. 

Then I was suddenly shaken from my thoughts; I realized I was considering a potential trade-in of God as my provider for money in the bank. It horrified me that I had even considered the thought. And even worse, the gap of time between getting the question and arriving at a solid answer defined my level of trust in God as my provider. It was only a few moments, a few miles of driving. But my thoughts revealed something in me that God wanted to work on. It was a test of this principle of living with "Open hands...Open heart" to God and God alone.

At this moment you may respond as I did when you consider the question: "Trust God as my provider or $300 million in the bank?" You may even justify it as I did, "Lord I wouldn't have to bother You the rest of my life; You could spend Your time and energy and resources helping other people and I would help You help those people with all the money I have." 

Seeing the gap between the question and the answer disturbed me a great deal, because as a follower of Jesus I want to be all in. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. For you hate the one and love the other; or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." It's either one or the other, not both.

False Promises

The problem with money is it promises what only God can provide. Money promises security, peace and provision. The truth is we all have a longing in our hearts to experience those three things. In fact, it's a little taste of heaven to think of living in absolute security, complete peace, and never having to plan for provisions. While money promises these three things, it cannot deliver. 

Let me illustrate. One year my friend Tray's business was booming and he personally made $1 million. It changed his life; it changed his lifestyle. The next year Tray lost $1 million. I know what you're thinking, "If I had $1 million I would invest wisely and make it last." Most of us think we would never do the dumb things others do if we had that kind of money. But here's the point of Tray's story, money comes and goes. While it promises to give security, peace and provision, it cannot. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:17, "money is unreliable." Only God is reliable; He can provide for all your needs.

Is it God or $300 million for you? When your health begins to fail, which one would you rather depend on as your provider: money or the God of miracles and wonders? When you're struggling in your marriage or other significant relationships, which would you rather depend on: money or the one who has the power to change hearts and lives? If your children were rebelling and developing destructive behaviors, would you rather have money or a loving, Heavenly Father who could reach out, guide and direct them to a right relationship with Him and to wholeness? 

Even more important, let me ask you in the words of Jesus: would you rather be devoted to money and despise God or be devoted to God and despise money? 

Hard questions, all of them. 

The gap between the questions and the answer is trust. Am I trusting God as my loving, Heavenly Father who provides for all my spiritual, emotional and physical needs? And how do I keep my heart open to trusting Him so completely? 

I open my hands to Him and acknowledge all I have is His. He is Lord of all. 

This is an edited excerpt from Jeff’s book on finances and the Kingdom, Lord of the Fries. You can download the first three chapters for free here. Or check out the series on Lord of the Fries here.

podcast transcript

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H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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Open Hands...Open Heart: Trusting God Over Our Finances

Open Hands...Open Heart: Trusting God Over Our Finances

The problem with money is it promises what only God can provide. Money promises security, peace and provision. The truth is we all have a longing in our hearts to experience those three things. In fact, it's a little taste of heaven to think of living in absolute security, complete peace, and never having to plan for provisions. While money promises these three things, it cannot deliver.

Show notes

Do we trust God as provider or do we trust money and possessions?

Let's work through this question for just a few minutes, because the truth is it brings tension into most of our lives. 

Here's the principle that helps give understanding to how we answer the "trust" question: whatever we open our hands to we’re opening our hearts to. In other words, God has blessed us with possessions, money, time, influence and the list goes on. He has placed those things in our hands. 

Whatever or whoever we are willing to open our hands to, sharing those blessings, we also open our hearts to. 

I like to say it this way: Open hands...Open heart. 

A Test of Trust

One day a few years ago, I drove past a billboard for our state lottery. On the billboard was an update of the potential winnings for the week. The number was a staggering amount: $300 million. As I read the number I felt the Lord question me, "Would you rather have $300 million in cash or trust Me to provide for your needs?" 

I took a few moments to prayerfully process the question. "Lord, are you asking me an either/or question? Either I have the $300 million and I no longer have You as my provider; or I have You as my provider but no $300 million?" 

Yeah, that's what He was asking. (By the way did you know that 95% of lottery winners are worse off financially 3 years after winning than before? And they are twice as likely to file bankruptcy as the average person.) 

Trusting God as my provider, especially in the area of finances, has been a strength since I first became a follower of Jesus. But in that moment I paused and thought, "$300 million dollars is a lot of money." I'm not great at math, but I quickly did the figures in my head of how much I could spend every year of my life and still have plenty of money until the day I die. My mind began to think "no worries" for the rest of my life. I considered all the good I could do for God's kingdom, for my family, for our community and even for other churches and pastors. 

Then I was suddenly shaken from my thoughts; I realized I was considering a potential trade-in of God as my provider for money in the bank. It horrified me that I had even considered the thought. And even worse, the gap of time between getting the question and arriving at a solid answer defined my level of trust in God as my provider. It was only a few moments, a few miles of driving. But my thoughts revealed something in me that God wanted to work on. It was a test of this principle of living with "Open hands...Open heart" to God and God alone.

At this moment you may respond as I did when you consider the question: "Trust God as my provider or $300 million in the bank?" You may even justify it as I did, "Lord I wouldn't have to bother You the rest of my life; You could spend Your time and energy and resources helping other people and I would help You help those people with all the money I have." 

Seeing the gap between the question and the answer disturbed me a great deal, because as a follower of Jesus I want to be all in. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. For you hate the one and love the other; or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." It's either one or the other, not both.

False Promises

The problem with money is it promises what only God can provide. Money promises security, peace and provision. The truth is we all have a longing in our hearts to experience those three things. In fact, it's a little taste of heaven to think of living in absolute security, complete peace, and never having to plan for provisions. While money promises these three things, it cannot deliver. 

Let me illustrate. One year my friend Tray's business was booming and he personally made $1 million. It changed his life; it changed his lifestyle. The next year Tray lost $1 million. I know what you're thinking, "If I had $1 million I would invest wisely and make it last." Most of us think we would never do the dumb things others do if we had that kind of money. But here's the point of Tray's story, money comes and goes. While it promises to give security, peace and provision, it cannot. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:17, "money is unreliable." Only God is reliable; He can provide for all your needs.

Is it God or $300 million for you? When your health begins to fail, which one would you rather depend on as your provider: money or the God of miracles and wonders? When you're struggling in your marriage or other significant relationships, which would you rather depend on: money or the one who has the power to change hearts and lives? If your children were rebelling and developing destructive behaviors, would you rather have money or a loving, Heavenly Father who could reach out, guide and direct them to a right relationship with Him and to wholeness? 

Even more important, let me ask you in the words of Jesus: would you rather be devoted to money and despise God or be devoted to God and despise money? 

Hard questions, all of them. 

The gap between the questions and the answer is trust. Am I trusting God as my loving, Heavenly Father who provides for all my spiritual, emotional and physical needs? And how do I keep my heart open to trusting Him so completely? 

I open my hands to Him and acknowledge all I have is His. He is Lord of all. 

This is an edited excerpt from Jeff’s book on finances and the Kingdom, Lord of the Fries. You can download the first three chapters for free here. Or check out the series on Lord of the Fries here.

video transcript

(Scroll for more)