Honoring God With Our Money: Does Money Buy Happiness?

This week’s lesson looks at what the Bible says about the love of money.  An apt subtitle would be, “Does money buy happiness?”

 Most of us dream at least occasionally of suddenly acquiring a great deal of wealth.  Perhaps your wealth would come through an inheritance, a law suit, or winnings from a game show or contest.  Pretend for a moment that you been given $1 million.  What would you do with the money?

The most common answers include:  buy a house, pay off debt, save for the kid’s college funds, and help my family.  I hope your list includes giving back to God through tithing and helping others who have been less fortunate. 

Would $1 million put you in a position to never work again?  Would you want to be in such a position?

Think About:  Would you do anything different if your winnings were $10 million?  Would such a large sum of money change your life?  If so, how?  Would you want to have enough money to be able to retire at 40?  50?

Some of the questions you should think about as you go through today’s Scriptures are

  • Does God want Christians to be rich? 
  • Doesn’t it seem that those raised in wealth have a difficult time finding their place in life and wind up frequently bored and in trouble? 
  • Does wealth equate to happiness? 

Read 1 Timothy 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierce themselves with many griefs.

 Question:  What is the root of all evil?  Not money, but the love of money. Money in and of itself is not a problem.  Problems arise when we ‘love’ money.  Many crimes have been committed over money. 

 Questiono: Why is the love of money a problem for believers? Having an excess amount of money leads to a spirit of self-sufficiency.  The Bible is clear that God wants believers to recognize their need for God and to be dependent on Him.  When we have more than enough money to meet our needs, we may not feel our need for God so deeply.

Read Ecclesiastes 5:10  Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.

The love of money leads to a spirit of discontent.  Wealthy people often hoard money, well above the amount they need for retirement.  Rather than using their money to care for others and share God’s love, they become anxious to have a larger and larger bank account.

This fact was borne out in a survey of 165 super-rich households.  The respondents in this survey had an average net worth of $78 million, yet most expressed that they did not feel financially secure.

Tomorrow’s post will look at the findings of that survey.

Honoring God With Our Money, Lesson 2

In Lesson 2 of our Bible study on Honoring God With Our Money, we look at God’s warnings to the rich.  We will consider the following questions:

  • Does God want Christians to be rich?
  • Doesn’t it seem that those raised in wealth have a difficult time finding their place in life and wind up frequently bored and in trouble?
  • Does wealth equate to happiness?


Opening Discussion:

If you won $1 million (ignore taxes), what would you do with the money?


  1. __________________________________________

  2. __________________________________________

  3. __________________________________________

  4. __________________________________________

  5. __________________________________________



Discussion:  What does 1 Timothy 6:10 tell us is the root of all evil?

Why is the love of money a problem for believers?

Read Ecclesiates 5:10:  What love of money leads to what?

Read the story of The Rich Young Ruler:  Matthew 19:16-30

Why was the rich ruler sad?

Why do you think it is so hard for the rich to be saved? 

Additional Warnings to the Rich

Look up the following verses and fill-in the missing words.  These verses are from the New International version (NIV) of the Bible.

1 Tim. 6:9 People who want to get rich fall into _______________ and a trap and into many foolish and ______________desires that plunge men into ruin and __________________.

Job 36:18-19 Be careful that no one entices you by _______________; do not let a large ____________ turn you aside.  Would your ___________ or even all your mighty efforts sustain you so you would not be in ______________?

Luke 6:24 Woe to you who are _____________, for you have already received your ___________________.

Luke 1:53 He has filled the _____________ with good things but has sent the rich away _________________.

James 5:1-5 Now listen, you _______ people, weep and wail because of the ___________ that is coming upon you…Your wealth has _____________, and moths have eaten your ____________.  Your gold and silver have _____________…You have hoarded ________________in the last days..You have lived on earth in _____________ and self-indulgence.

Discussion:  After reading these verses, why might you still desire to be rich?

Proverbs 22:7  provides one reason why we should desire to stay our of debt. It says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”

Life Application:

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”


Honoring God With Our Money: Lesson 1 Life Application

It is important to have a proper perspective on money.  If money takes on more importance than it should, we begin to desire money above all else.  This desire can lead people to engage in foolish, and often illegal, actions to obtain more money.  Many murderers, thieves, and embezzlers have been motivated by greed and the desire for wealth to commit their crimes.  Failure to place a proper value on money will lead to poor money management and the inability to meet the needs of our family.

Solomon provides us with a proper perspective on how much money we truly need. He wrote in Proverbs 30:8,  “Give me neither poverty or riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

Money is a necessary and important aspect of modern life.  We should desire to have enough money to meet the needs of our family and assist those less fortunate than us, without feeling pressured to engage in illegal activities.  We should also desire to never have so much money that we feel independent and self-sufficient.  God wants us to recognize that He is our provider.  He gives us talents and the ability to work and earn money.  We need to acknowledge His help and His gracious provisions for us.

How has God provided for your needs this week?   How have you seen His provisions for you in the past?

Honoring God With Our Money: Lessons from the Prodigal Son

Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son in the book of Luke.  This parable often used to illustrate God’s amazing love and grace towards His children.  However, it is a story that can teach us some important financial principles.  A synopsis of the story is below, and you can read the complete story in Luke 15:11 – 32.

The story begins as, “There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.”


The son left home and engaged in wild living.  He blew through his inheritance quickly.  About the time he ran out of money, a severe famine struck the country.  The son found himself without friends and in need of a job.  The only job he was able to get was feeding pigs. 


Eventually the son became so desperate that he decided to return home and throw himself on his father’s mercy.  The father rejoiced to have his errant son home and threw a feast to celebrate.  The older brother became angry and refused to join in the celebration.  His father explained that he had to celebrate the younger son’s return and that the older son was entitled to anything that belongs to the father, all he had to do was ask.


From a financial point of view, this story illustrates the following principles:

1) Money was not the answer to the prodigal son’s problems and it is never the solutions to our problems.  We do need money to buy the things we need, but money will not make us a better person or bring lasting happiness.

2) Sometimes the Father gives us what we demand, even when it is not in our best interest.  I do not imagine the conversation between the father and the younger son requesting money to be a calm, cordial dialogue.  Rather, I envision a son pestering his father for weeks or months to give him his share.  Although the father does not think it is in his son’s best interest, eventually he gives in to his son’s demands.  We like to think that God only gives us what is good for us; however, the Bible clearly states that God gave in to Israel’s desire for a king.  God warned the Israelites that a king would oppress and tax them, yet they were undeterred in their demands.  God yielded to their demands and allowed them to learn for themselves that God’s plans are the best plans.

3) Wealth that is not earned is not appreciated.  The younger son did not value the money his father gave him because he didn’t work for it.  It didn’t cost him many hours of labor, so he thought little of wasting it on frivolities.

4) You cannot buy true friends.  Friends that like you for your money will scatter when the money is gone.  Unfortunately, many celebrities have had to learn this lesson the hard way.

5) All that the Father has He shares with His children.  If you are a child of God, all the riches of Heaven are available to you. This doesn’t mean that God is going to give them to you (reread point 2).  It does mean, however, that you should make your needs known to God and ask Him to meet them.  God does take care of His children.

I hope that you will take the lessons of the prodigal son to heart.  God desires His best for you.  Often we want things that are not actually in our best interest.  Trust God and allow Him to give you those things that will help you to grow and mature in Him and to withhold those things that will lead you away from Him.

Have you ever greatly desired something and obtained it, only to find out that it didn’t live up to your expectations?

Honoring God With Our Money: Purpose of Money

Before we can really consider how to honor God with our money, we need to consider the purpose of money.

Money serves to make transactions easier.  Without money, we would have to barter for the things we need and want.  Work is a form of barter.  I go to work for you and give up my free time.  While I am at work, I accomplish the tasks you assign to me.  In exchange for my time and labor, you pay me an agreed upon sum.  Without money, I would have to trade my services to you for products or services that I need and that you could supply.  Money makes the whole process much simpler than a bartering system.

Most of us work hard to earn our money.  We want to get the most for our money.  We use money to meet our needs and to make life easier and more enjoyable.

Isaiah 55:2 provides a good framework for money management.  It says “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labors on what does not satisfy?

In this verse, bread signifies necessities of life–food, shelter, clothing, and other things we truly need.  If we spend our money to buy the things we need, we feel satisfied and content.  When we waste our money on things that we don’t need, we feel regret and discontent.  All of us have purchased things we thought we really wanted, only to have them sit in a closet unused for years before we decided to get rid of them.  Our natural tendency to purchase items we don’t need has led to the rise of yard sales and thrift stores.

I believe we would waste much less money if we would stop and ask ourselves two questions before making a purchase:

1) Do I truly need this item?

2) Am I willing to trade ______ hour(s) of my labor to obtain this item?

This week I encourage you to pause before making any discretionary purchases and consider these questions.

Honoring God With Our Money, Lesson 1

I have just begun teaching a Sunday school class entitled Honoring God With Our Money.  Earlier this year, I read Dwight L. Moody’s book Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study. It inspired me to do a word search on what the Bible says about money.  That lead to searches on riches, wealth, poverty, giving, charity, tithing, and greed.

The Bible has quite a lot to say about money and finances.  These teachings are still valid today and can be used as a guideline for how to live in financial freedom.  As I studied, I felt impressed to write a Sunday school curriculum and teach these principals to some of my fellow church members.  In this space, I will also share this information with my readers.

At the beginning of each week, I will post the student worksheets.  Then, throughout the week, I will post the teaching notes.  This study is for anyone who is experiencing financial difficulties and for everyone who wants to know more about what the Bible says about money and finances.

 Please feel free to post comments, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with me.  I hope that you will find this study useful and that it will give you a better understanding of how we can honor God by the way we earn, spend, give, and share our money.  May God richly bless you, financially and spiritually, as you begin to apply these godly principals to your life.

Week 1:  Purpose of Money, Overview of Class

Think AboutWhat purposes does money serve?

Read Theme Verse:  Isaiah 55:2  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labors on what does not satisfy?

In this verse, what does bread signify?

When have you spend your money on things that brought no satisfaction?


Activity:  Make a list of a few of your biggest money mistakes.

  1. _________________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________________
  3. _________________________________________________
  4. _________________________________________________
  5. _________________________________________________

Why did you regret spending your money on these items?

If you could have back the money you spent on those items, what would the money allow you to do?

Read Luke 15:11 – 32—The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Think About: What does this parable teach us about money?

Read Proverbs 22:1  A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

According to this verse, what is the measure of true wealth?

In this Bible study, we are going to consider how we can Honor God with our money.  Honoring God with money involves

(1) earning money honestly,

(2) spending money wisely,

(3) giving back to the work of the Lord a portion of our earnings, and

(4) sharing with those less fortunate than us.

Accomplishing all four of these goals requires understanding how God views money and having a plan for managing our money.

Life Application:

Proverbs 30:8  Give me neither poverty or riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

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