GAINESVILLE, Ga. (BP)–Here in the South, we are starting to see the beginnings of spring’s arrival. The first flowers are blooming, buds are starting to sprout on trees, and tiny blades of green grass are poking up through the brown left behind by winter. The world is beginning to awaken from its winter sleep.
Spring is also the time of the Easter season, and Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate our Savior’s sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection to bring salvation to the world.
As I watch the world around me awaken to new life and meditate on the new life brought to me by my Savior, I think about how the principle of new life can apply to many parts of our lives, in particular, our finances.
In the film, “Lifted Up,” (part of Crown’s God Provides Film Learning Experience), we see the story of Nicodemus, a member of the religious sect called the Pharisees (see John 3:1-17). Schooled in the history of the Hebrew faith and religion and considered a leader among the Jews, Nicodemus found himself seeking answers from a new prophet, the one called Jesus, whose teachings were causing a stir among the Jews.
Fearing the judgment of his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus arranged to meet with this controversial leader in secret and questioned Jesus about His teachings and about the idea of being born again. Jesus explained the necessity of being born again, born of the Spirit, in order to be a part of the Kingdom of God. Yet, Nicodemus fell back on his religious education and practical human understanding, and he did not quite understand what Christ was trying to teach him at that time.
Later, after Jesus was crucified, the Scriptures tell us that Nicodemus brought materials to aid in the burial of Jesus’ body. We know that many religious leaders were present at the crucifixion of Christ, so it is possible that Nicodemus was part of that group. What he saw there may have brought a new understanding of Jesus’ teachings to his mind. He was challenged with new ideas and a new way of thinking as Christ became the fulfillment of Scripture right in front of him.
For many of us, our ideas about finances and our very financial security have been shaken in the past couple of years. The things we thought were indestructible have fallen to pieces, and beliefs we once held as solid have crumbled. The failure of banks and financial institutions, government bailouts, and the housing and unemployment crises have rocked the foundations on which many of us have placed our security.
It is a time for new ideas for managing our resources. It is time to start living in God’s Economy. It starts with recognizing God as the owner of all things. We are simply stewards of His resources. Once we believe this truth, we begin to see money in a different light. Money becomes a means to accomplishing God’s will for our lives. We learn to make financial decisions based on biblical principles rather than the world’s perspective.
By following God’s financial principles, we can experience new birth in our finances, to leave behind old habits and ways of thinking, and embrace money management principles that lead to a financial freedom we may have never thought possible.
By falling back on the principles we have been taught by man’s economy, we will continue to experience pain, frustration, and insecurity if we put our faith in money itself. God’s Economy is a way of life that brings about peace, joy, and freedom as we put our faith in the Ruler of all things.
This Easter season, I challenge you to take a hard look at your beliefs and practices of money management. Are you following God’s principles? If not, learn what God’s Word teaches about finances and begin to embrace new ways of managing the resources which God has entrusted to you. Visit www.crown.org to learn more about God’s financial principles and get started on the road to freedom today.
Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries and executive producer of the new God Provides Film Learning Experience. (Learn more at Crown.org.) Co-founded by Howard Dayton and the late Larry Burkett, Crown Financial Ministries (Crown.org) is an interdenominational ministry with 200 staff and over 10,000 volunteers dedicated to equipping people globally with biblically based financial stewardship tools and resources through radio, film, seminars, small groups and individual coaching.