Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Copper-Lined Lifestyle

  • 2 Corinthians 9:7-11
7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

I went back to this passage again today just to see from the Word how we are called to give generously because God gives us everything we need.

  • John Piper writes this in his book Desiring God:
"Why does God bless us with abundance? So we can have enough to live on, and then use the rest for all manner of good works that alleviate spiritual and physical misery. Enough for us; abundance for others."

Did you hear that?

Enough for us; abundance for others.

That's backwards from what we tend to do in everyday life. I know many times my thinking is to keep the abundance and give the leftover (what's left ; the scraps) to the needy. He's saying just the opposite and so is the Word of God. It says God gives us riches (abundance) so that we can be generous to others.
  • Piper goes on to say:

"The issue is not how much a person makes... The evil is in being deceived into thinking a six-digit salary must be accompanied by a six-digit lifestyle. God has made us to be conduits of His grace. The danger is in thinking the conduit should be lined with gold. It's shouldn't. Copper will do." [emphasis mine]

  • 1 Timothy 6: 17-19

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

May God's Word speak the fresh warm breath from God's mouth that it truly is. May it settle on you today and penetrate all the way to your heart... where God changes us into HIS image!

Choosing JOY,



Rob and Becky said...

I agree. Only by the spirit's leading can I determine what copper looks like.

We can't go so far as to argue that no one should have a 6 figure lifestyle. That would be gross legalism. God has obviously blessed some with the ability to have just that. My guess is, and maybe I am wrong, that even Piper has a 6 figure lifestyle (what ever that looks like!). Many have just that. To much is given, much is expected. Think of the story of the talents parable in the NT. The guy that had the most was quite wealthy, and God blessed him with even more!

This is tough stuff. Is it wrong to own a BMW? If so, how about an Acura? A Honda? A Dodge? To make a point, I ask...Maybe we should all be monks and wear robes. Maybe we should give everything away.

I think it comes down to the fact that we have to hold on to nothing and give as God leads. The fact is, none of us do this enough and we need to heed your challenge.

Keep it going, I am enjoying your words...

Calixto & Brenda Arce said...

Stephanie I have enjoyed reading your blog it is always encouraging or challenging in someway. I have been blessed by your passion and love for Christ. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! I linked your blog on mine for just that reason...I hope that is ok?!
{On a side note I do have to correct my cousin Rob...Piper doesn't live a 6 figure lifestyle, he gets no royalties for his numerous books, he drives a not-new car and dresses modestly (money wise). As far as we can see he teaches only what he has wrestled through in his thinking and lives out}
Brenda (Thompson)

Rob and Becky said...

I appreciate the correction. I have the deepest respect for Piper. I was excited to read what you wrote. Just to make it clear, it wasn't meant to be a knock against Piper in any way, but it was more intended to be a statement about the possibilities. So Piper is practicing what he preaches. But would he be wrong if he did live a "six figure lifestyle". Not necessarily. Maybe, but maybe not. That is between he and our God. There are many people that are both wealthy in in their relationship with Christ and wealthy financially. The 2 aren't necessarily at odds. Probably usually, but not always. I just want to make sure we are not being judgemental about one's chosen, maybe God granted lifestyle. There are just to many angles to look at the issue from. Piper's integrity is refreshing, and also not surprising.

truthsharer said...

Since you two are having fun going back and forth, can I jump in the middle with a thought? It's a matter of the heart and we need to be looking at scripture and what it says about this. Piper shows us in the Word. We need only to be examining our own hearts - not the next guy's. It not even about looking at every angle - it's just about looking into my own heart! Love you both... Choosing JOY, Stephanie

Rob and Becky said...

Right on. That is exactly what I meant the first time around. Why couldn't I have said it as short and to the point?