Let's continue this month with Matthew 6:19-34. However, we will specifically examine verse 22, which by itself, seems oddly out of context.
Please note that this is a summary from my book, which is set to release on May 15th on amazon.com as part of a series of renewing your mind.
Last month we looked at the word mammon and how it can create a false sense of confidence. This
month we will examine verse 22 a line down into the water and the pull out the first fish. The fish would have a coin in its mouth that would cover His and Peter's temple tax.
This story has always intrigued me because there are a few finance principles evident in this one particular event in the life of Jesus and his disciples. Let's look at them together.
The first principle in finances is that God is able and willing to meet your needs. The common misconception in Christianity is that God will meet your need if you tithe first, sow a seed first, or make an offering. Having this type of mentality, that God will meet your need only after you've done your part to pay tithes, sow, or offer makes God out to be a stingy, non-supporting father who takes care of you only if you do your part first. Jesus told us that our Father wouldn't withhold good things from us if we ask Him (Luke 11:5-11), so why wouldn't God take care of all our needs?
When Elijah needed food the ravens brought it to him. When the Israelites wondered in the dessert, God met their needs by giving them water and food. When the crowd came to listen to Jesus speak, He fed 4,000 of them some fish and bread. God showed Himself to be a loving Father who loves to provide. He is the perfect caretaker to all these examples and not one of them was required to give to God financially first.
When Jesus and the disciples had a need, to pay the temple tax, the Father made a way to provide for them. Sometimes without realizing it, we impose stipulations on when and how God will meet our needs. As Christians today we must learn to trust that God our heavenly Father desires to meet all our needs and He will do it His way. In the example above it is clear that it was God who took care of the temple tax. Is that to say the disciples didn't do anything to get the temple tax? Of course not, Jesus told them to put a line in the water to find a coin in the fish's mouth.
The disciples did as Jesus told them and their need was met. Did they tithe, sow, or offer to get the coin? Of course not! God met their need despite not doing any of these things. So what does this mean? This means that God will never forget you or fail to meet your needs whether you tithe, sow, or make an offering, or not. Is there a place for tithe, sow, and offering? Yes, but it is separate from God meeting our needs. We'll look at this in future issues of Faith News Niagara.
Here is the next interesting finance principle. Obeying God's word yields results. Jesus told them what they should do to get the coin; in this case they did what they use to do for work, which was, go fishing. The point is when God asks you to do something then you should do it, because something good is going to happen. The disciples did their part and listened to Jesus. They also did their part by going fishing. They could have easily sold the fish for money but God did something supernatural instead.
This principle is utilized by the principle of sowing and reaping as well. It is common knowledge that Christians should sow, but it is uncommon knowledge of how exactly one reaps. Learning how to reap will be an interesting topic in the next issue. Needless to say, the principle simply put is to do whatever God ask you to do.
Another interesting thing to note about this event was how they got the coin. Jesus was very specific about how to get the coin. He told them to go fishing. Normally one would put down a net to increase the odds of catching a fish. Here is the miracle in this event; the first fish caught with a single hook would have a coin in its mouth worth the exact amount of the temple tax to cover Jesus and Peter. What are the odds that a single hook would catch a fish with a coin in its mouth? Wow that's amazing! God knows where the money is and if you are obedient to Him then He will cause you and the money to cross paths. We'll look at this topic as well in the next issue with sowing and reaping.
So what do we walk away with in reading this one event in the life of Jesus and the disciples? God is able and willing to meet your financial needs without you having to earn His care. Because of the grace of God you are taken care of despite your efforts. God knows how to make you and money cross paths.
Is there something you must do to be taken care of by God? Yes, you must be willing to receive the Fathers love and care. Also, you must be willing to be obedient to Him when He tells you to do something so that you and money can find each other. By accepting the Fathers love and care for you your obedience will come naturally in the form of love. Your obedience will come from the position of gratitude knowing that the Father is taking care of you.
In the next issue we will look at sowing and reaping but focus more on how to reap.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Faith News Niagara and Joshua Ray are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.
Check out Joshua Ray’s book "Your Church Won't Teach You This: Get the Inside Scoop on Interpreting the Bible" on amazon.com.
with Joshua Ray
Local author Joshua Ray shares his thoughts on the Scriptures, faith, & Biblical finances.
The eye, lamp to the soul: continuing to explore Matthew 6
Promoting God's work, sharing God's resources
God will never forget you or fail to meet your needs whether you tithe, sow, or make an offering, or not.
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