Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from August 24-30 are provided by Kate Moon who serves as a missionary in E. Asia.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Kings 12:13-16: The money brought into the temple was not spent for making silver basins . . . it was paid to the workmen, who used it to repair the temple . . . The money from the guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the temple of the LORD; it belonged to the priests.
With all the financial scandals that abound in both secular and Christian circles today, it is natural for people to want an honest, straightforward accounting of how organizational funds are used. It seems the people of King Joash’s day were no different. From the careful reporting of what funds went where, what they were spent on and not spent on, it seems the author is addressing concerns people may have had regarding how their offerings were put to use.
In general, we hold those who manage our finances to a high standard of accountability. When the financial reports are given, we examine them carefully to see whether the funds have been spent wisely; we check to see whether there are any glaring inconsistencies. Yet have you ever thought to turn that same high standard of accountability on our own selves? Have we ever thought about how one day God would be examining our financial report to him and asking us those same tough questions that we ask of our church treasurers?
The finances that He has given us to steward towards specific projects that build up His house and kingdom, are we releasing them in a timely manner? Or are they sitting idle in our bank accounts (not from wise saving but rather fear of not having enough or laziness in allocating), preventing His work from moving forward? Are the funds getting redirected towards other, less essential projects as we’ve got distracted from the task at hand? Or are we putting them to use – paying his workers, purchasing the materials (vv. 11-12) needed to build His kingdom here on earth?
Perhaps our mismanagement is not intentional, just as the priests may not have been grossly misusing the funds during the time the temple repairs were at a standstill. Perhaps they were simply saving the funds or using them towards other temple administrative needs. But they had lost sight of the main task at hand. In King Joash’s days, the priority was to repair the damaged temple. What is it that we are supposed to be focused on today?
Lord, thank You for entrusting me with more than just what it takes for me to have my daily bread. Help me to be a good steward, not passive when it comes to spending to build your kingdom. I want to be able to present to you a financial report that pleases You.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 19:12-13, 15, 20: He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ . . . 15 He was made king . . . and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it . . . . 20 Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.’”
Questions to Consider
- What did the master expect his servants to do with the money he gave them (v.13)?
- What did the master do when he returned (v.15)?
- The servant who returned his master’s one mina to him, had he done anything wrong (v.20)? If Jesus returned today and asked for an account of your stewardship, what would your report look like?
- Put it to work. Make use of it.
- He asked his servants to give an account of the money he had given them. God will indeed one day ask us to give an account; this theme appears often throughout the Gospels.
- Though he had not lost his master’s money, the instructions had been for him to put the money to work. By letting it sit idle, he had disobeyed. In your personal stewardship review, are there any resources of God that are sitting idle that need to be put to use?
How did I invest God’s resources today? The time He gave me? The energy or money? Though we won’t be asked to give a final account until the end of our lives, it’s good to review along the way to make sure we’re on track.