As part of Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian Elders, the Apostle feels the need to give a financial accounting of his ministry. Luke records his words:
33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.34 You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs, and for those who were with me.35 In every way I’ve shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:33-35, HCSB)
There are three things that can ruin a ministry in a jiffy: theological error, infidelity, or financial misdealing. Paul deals with the third here. (By the way, New Life Church has strict financial policies we follow and we hire an outside auditor to check our books every three years. We have always received great reports.)
Paul lived under some simple financial policies that worked for his life and ministry. They will work for you and me. They would even work for our government…
- Be content with your belongings
- Work hard to earn a living and provide for yourself and family
- With the finances we receive, we should be generous
That’s it: contentment, hard work, and generosity. Jesus promises to bless that kind of life.