Gracetidings With Dr Doug Mamvura
“No one would remember the Good Samaritan, if he had only good intentions. He had money as well” (Mrs Margaret Thatcher). It is not enough just to have good intentions as a believer, you also need resources to have an impact in the kingdom of God.
However, the need for financial resources can also unfortunately result in people being subservient to money. It is very important for one never to allow themselves to be possessed by their possessions. Jesus gave us a warning in Luke 12:15: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life doesn’t consist
in the abundance of his possessions”. We should always ensure that our primary focus is to serve God not money. “No one can serve two masters, for either he
will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). The message
is very clear that one can have God and riches but you must only serve one of them and for you and I as believers, it has to be God.
The challenge with most of us believers these days is that we have become so obsessed with money at the expense of serving God. It is also very sad to see even
ministers of the gospel being so intoxicated with the desire for money. This is why we then see how they manipulate innocent congregants who are ignorant of
the word of God and coerce them to give money.
Today I would like to focus on how we can become masters of money not slaves of money. I will therefore focus on money mastery. We go back to our theme
scripture, Deuteronomy 8:17-18, “Then you say in your heart, ‘My power and might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your
God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers as it is this day”.
God doesn’t give us wealth or money directly. He gives us the power to get wealth. God’s gift is His power or blessing and that in return, when we act in
faith, produces wealth. Therefore, those who are just praying and asking God to give them wealth, but aren’t acting in faith and doing something, will never
see the abundance the Lord desires for them come to pass. When God blesses us like this, we then shouldn’t forget the source of our blessing. Our challenge is that we then focus on the gift and forget the giver. Some of us even go further and worship the money that God gives us.
While God wants us to have money as we have just seen in the above quoted scriptures, He still wants us to serve Him and not to be possessed by money. We
should be the masters of money. When we begin to apply God’s principles of wealth creation, we will realise that money is just a tool and if used
appropriately, we can advance the kingdom of God extensively, while also enjoying the prosperity.
We are blessed so we can be a blessing. Someone once said “I was put on earth to get rich. To collect the money that already had my name on it. And then give
it away.” I believe God wants us to prosper as we saw in the last article from 3 John 2 and 2 Corinthians 8:9. However, it is not just for us to keep this
wealth to ourselves or to be flamboyant. He expects us to be faithful stewards of His blessings. To whom much is given, much is expected.
If we sow bountifully, we will also reap bountifully. His word in Isaiah 45: 2-3 says “I will go before and make the crooked places straight, I will break in
pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the
Lord who call you by name am the God of Israel”. We can therefore never out-give God. Therefore, we should never forget the source when God blesses us. We
should give and it shall be given back to us, a good measure, pressed down shaken together and running over shall man add unto us.
I really admire how the Jews run their businesses or manage their wealth. There are some lessons that I am still learning from their economic theory. I am to
come across a poor or destitute Jew in my life. I used to wonder why it is that Jews wherever they go, prosperity follows them.
One of the principles I have learnt is that, the Jews believe in active participation in the creative process. They believe that they are co-labourers with
God. “One of the great differences that set Jews apart from other cultural groups is that we see our wealth as a means to partner with God, as a way to bring
God’s kingdom into the earth, a concept that we call tikkun olam — perfecting the world. We perfect the world by using our God given wealth to further God’s
realm on this planet. So, what you see is that the Jewish people’s pursuit of wealth is often paired with the pursuit of charitable works not only for selfish
purposes” (Celso Cukiekorn).
When I read this, I realised why the Jews are always successful. They are very clear about how and why they should become prosperous. One of my favourite
teachers at the Business School, Billy Epperhart, once said, “Money is not pursued, it is attracted,” and I sincerely believe this. Once we apply proper
biblical principles, money will just flow naturally to us.
I believe there is a revelation of the truth that is needed in the church today about prosperity. When Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven”, the church ought to know that we have to participate in this process of establishing God’s kingdom here on earth because we
are God’s ambassadors. We have to partner with God and the Jews have understood this principle very well. They don’t just partner with God for selfish reasons,
but they want to impact the world and this is why wherever they are, Jews are too significant to ignore.
“The bottom line is this, to be religious Jews, we are not supposed to isolate ourselves on a mountaintop, and meditate nor are we to take vows of poverty,
rather we are supposed to get out into the world interact with it, and elevate the mundane. This in fact is the traditional meaning of tikkun olam. We repair
the world by elevating it to the holy. The Talmud actually compares a poor man to a dead person. If you have no money, then your ability to partner with God
and perfect the world is severely limited, much like one who is dead” (Celso Cukiekorn).
This brings me to another Jewish economic theory principle, which is that they believe accumulation of wealth is a virtue. How sad to see some of us believers
taking a vow of poverty, thinking that poverty is synonymous with holiness when Christ said that He became poor so us believers would become rich (2
Corinthians 8:9). How can we propagate the gospel without money? No wonder the Bible says my people perish because of lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). We need to
know how to appropriate and multiply God’s grace and blessings and it is through the knowledge of God (2 Peter 1:2).
Some of us believers, believe that poverty is synonymous with holiness and anyone who talks about prosperity is carnal. Why would God give us power to create
wealth if prosperity is evil and is from the devil?
We have just seen that the Jews believe that as they partner with God, they want to “to bring God’s kingdom into the earth, a concept that we call tikkun olam
— perfecting the world”. Most of us believers have a very limited understanding of the Gospel of Salvation. We don’t know that salvation is a four-course meal
which comprises of forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance and prosperity. This is what we should see in the Kingdom of God through the finished work of
Christ. Oral Roberts once said “whoever controls the finances of a city or nation, controls the spiritual climate”.
The church has ignored the importance of teaching their members how to prosper based on Godly principles. Members including most leaders do not have clear
insight in this regard. They only teach about forgiveness of sins and heaven.
It is urgent for the church to be aware and get involved in this business world where every one’s language is about business. Sound teaching in this regard is
like laying the foundation to redeem the generation to come.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura