No discussions of God’s glorious government can be complete without addressing the practical issues of finance. The management of material blessings has always been a kingdom issue for sons of the kingdom. God, the Holy Spirit, inspired Moses to write this clear intention:
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which I swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Jesus highlighted the importance of the topic in terms of the kingdom:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Jesus then went on to detail how we are to trust our Father for all of our needs, summarizing:
“For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Faith in our Father for our material needs is bedrock for a new creation, and releases us into a new kind of Holy Spirit inspired and directed administration of any and all material gain. Inherant within divine governance are practical guidelines, boundaries, and directives:
Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.”
Can you picture this excellent metaphor? In many eastern countries to this day, the sheaves of grain lie open and expanded on the threshing floors, and the cattle continually move around them, and thus tread out the grain. If they are not muzzled, they are free to eat some of the grain. This is both an Old and New Testament imperative.
It has always been the will of God that His workers
are cared for from the produce of their own labors.
John Calvin wrote: ”Accounted worthy of double honor: Chrysostom interprets ‘double honor’ as meaning ‘support and reverence.’ I do not oppose his opinion; let it be adopted by any one that chooses. But for my own part, I think it is more probable that a comparison is here drawn between widows and elders. Paul had formerly enjoined that honor should be paid — to widows; but elders are more worthy of being honored than widows, and, with respect to them, ought therefore to receive double honor.”
This is a kingdom principle, a foundation stone in God’s glorious government.
It is more likely to be understood when considered in the context of God’s household. Steve Crosby writes:
“The Greek word for the KJV, ‘household’ is oikonomia. Literally, it means the rule, or law, or order of the family/household: ‘How the family is run.’ It is also exactly the same word which we derive the English word ‘economy.’
“God’s economy is based on the exchange of love and charis (gifts) in a family of relationships. It is not based upon money. Without functional relationships in which love and charis are exchanged, there is neither economy, nor can there be.
“In God’s economy, finances and material resources follow upon the exchange of love and charis. Gift exchange in the family is the economy of God. God’s economy cannot, and never will be, established upon finance. It is possible to have lots of finance and never touch God’s economy because the genuine relational infrastructure of love and gift exchange is absent. Rather in its place are the mechanics of money and the strong arm of human determination to build something for God, even using ‘biblical principles of finance.’
“The flow of finance is the logical fruit of an economy based on the exchange of love and charis. A lack of finance for legitimate kingdom efforts is not a lack of money. It is the fruit of a lack of love, and a lack of the understanding of the financial responsibilities of ‘one-anotherness’ in a functional relational community. Love expressed has an economic element.
“There are those today who think that a more ‘faithful’ approach to the ‘stewardship’ of money and finance, if overseen by ‘apostles,’ is somehow the magic key of the hour to open up untold kingdom opportunities in the present day. God’s economy is much more sublime than the ‘release of marketplace ministries,’ as valuable as that may be. I submit to you that Calvary’s plow must go yet much deeper than that if we are to even approach a semblance of a ‘kingdom economy.’
“Everything . . . and I mean every practice, belief system, theology, and value . . . every precious ‘conviction,’ up to and including our right to be ‘right’ in our ‘views,’ must be on the table for radical reassessment and reconfiguration to Christ.
“If we get the cart of spiritual money mechanics ahead of the horse of love-based family economy, we will experience the logical end of that order of things: nothing.”
Steve has provided us with a more-than-significant context. Abuse of neglect, or the abuse of irresponsible stewardship—careless giving without proper accountability—does not honor God. To simply respond to a financial need with finances may miss the point. The brother/sister may need your help in establishing a budget and some disciplines.
Unless and until we fully embrace this “love-based family economy,” it is unlikely that anything we do will survive the shaking of both earth and heaven.
“Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
Let brotherly love continue. There is no stronger evidence of God’s governance than the righteous and faithful care of one another—widows, elders, and one another. This way of living provides tangible revelations of Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider.
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
 Deuteronomy 8:18
 Matthew 6:19-21, 24
 Matthew 6:32-33
 1 Timothy 5:17-18 NET
 John Chrysostom, Doctor of the church, born at Antioch, c. 347; died in Pontus, 14 September, 407. (Chrysostomos, “golden-mouthed” so called on account of his eloquence.)
 Hebrews 12:26b – 13:1
 Hebrews 13:20-21