There are people who reason, If I give generously, I’ll have to worry about where the money will come from to replace what I’ve given. But Jesus actually says the opposite. Immediately after He commands us not to store up treasures on Earth but store them in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), He says we are to adopt the right perspective (verses 22-23) and serve the right master—God, not money (verse 24).
Our Lord immediately follows this statement by saying three times, “Do not worry” (Matthew 6:25, 31, 34, NIV). Anyone who is investing in the right treasury, adopting the right perspective, and serving the right Master has nothing to worry about. In contrast, those who invest in the wrong treasury (Earth, not Heaven), adopt the wrong perspective (the temporal, not the eternal), and serve the wrong master (money, not God) have every reason to worry.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15, ESV). Since we can’t serve two masters, our fear of not having enough reveals our true master.
Jesus specifically tells us not to worry about life’s necessities—food, drink, and clothes. Then He says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). According to our Lord, giving isn’t what leaves us short of material provision. In fact, it’s part of the solution to our material needs. God promised to provide for givers in Old Testament times (Malachi 3:8-11). And Jesus promised the same in the New (Luke 6:38). When we give away our treasures, we are seeking God’s Kingdom first. And therefore, “all these [material needs] will be added to” us.
Paul told the Philippians, “I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you provided—a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18, CSB). Their financial gifts were gifts to God. Since they gave so generously to provide for him and his work, Paul was confident God would provide the same for them: “My God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, CSB). This is a familiar promise, but most people don’t realize that in context, it is specifically for givers who have stretched themselves to become sacrificial partners in Kingdom ministry. “For even in Thessalonica you sent gifts for my need several times” (v.16).
In some cases, God’s provision is obvious—we get an unexpected check in the mail or are given something we thought we’d have to buy. One time Nanci and I discovered an error we’d made in our bank balance, finding we had significantly more money than we realized.
In other cases, God’s provision is less obvious but equally generous. A washing machine that should have broken down a decade ago keeps working. A car with more than two hundred thousand miles runs for three years needing no repairs. A checking account that should have dried up long before the end of the month somehow makes it through. As God miraculously stretched the widow’s oil supply in Elisha’s day (2 Kings 4:1-7), and as He made the Israelites’ clothes and sandals last forty years in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 8:4), I’m convinced He sometimes graciously extends the life of things that would normally need replacement.
The God who fed a million-member family in the wilderness for forty years, fed five thousand with one boy’s lunch, and who is perfectly capable of turning water into wine and stones into bread, will not have any trouble providing whatever He knows you need.
In this video, I talk about what it means to be fearless and not worry about money, but trust that God will provide:
By Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, www.epm.org. Used with permission.