Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | July 13, 2023 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

July 13, 2023


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!


No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.


Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?


And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Matthew 6:19-34



Said the robin to the sparrow,

“I should really like to know,

Why these anxious human beings

Rush about and worry so.”

Said the sparrow to the robin,

“Friend I think that it must be,

That they have no Heavenly Father,

Such as cares for you and me.”


The Robin and the Sparrow

by Elizabeth Cheney



God does not give us money to make us feel safe. Money can’t make you feel safe—at least it shouldn’t.


J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Dear friends.


I am now on my third letter giving bits and pieces of the premarital counseling my daughter and her fiancé have been receiving. If you would like to read the other two, you are very welcome to. (One and Two)


Gospelizing Giving


Studying the ethical teachings of Christ without keeping it tied to the reason for His death and resurrection is sub-Christian. Any reduction or ignoring of the cross that puts the Gospel in the margins and not center stage diminishes the glorious Good News to mere religion and our highest motives to obey Jesus mere duty or personal advantage, especially considering money.


Therefore, we need to be careful. Paul was. It was almost in the middle of encouraging the Corinthian church to be generous when the Apostle gave the Gospel. He inspires generosity through grace. Consider the following verse.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor,

so that you through His poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9

It’s a beautiful way to live and give. The logic is sound. Did we deserve the grace of God given in the Gospel? No. But God still gave it. Jesus became poor for us as He emptied Himself at the cross, taking on our incalculable debt of sin, rebellion, and wickedness.


As a result, we are to follow His same model in our giving. No one necessarily earns our generosity. Yes, we have the freedom to give where, to whom, and how much we like, but we do not have the freedom not to give nor base our choices on how deserving those whom we decide to give are. (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)


The principle is simple and Gospel. God gives all things to us by way of His grace. We should mimic Him and give to the church, others, etc., in His grace also.


Perhaps some Christians may find Paul's teaching strange and naïve, but it is a very Gospel (Biblical) way to think about giving.


What do you have that you did not receive (1 Corinthians 4:7) was another foundational truth Paul taught the Corinthians. The argument at its root is something like, if we know we receive all we have from God, why boast of it as if it were something you had achieved or earned ourselves? The logic then of the grace of giving is obvious. It all stands and falls on the Gospel. And God can make it stand.


Don't forget it was the hyper-religious Pharisees who loved money and related the lion's share of their life with God and others through it.


Gospelizing Money Worries

7.13 (2)

I wonder if all this talk about giving makes us anxious about living! Not to worry, one of the first things Jesus said about life as He began His public ministry was just that—do not worry about your life.


It is a wonder as you think about it because many of us would admit we spend a lot of time thinking about life and money (For example, if we will always have enough). Some might think it would be wrong, irresponsible, or naïve not to worry about our lives.


The Greek word translated worry means being pulled apart or divided in mind (a mind that is all over the place is the idea). Stressed or anxious as well.


And to deal with our anxiousness, Jesus says, look at the birds of the air. Come again? Yes, it's true and written as a command. So, I obeyed His command. One of the things I came across was the life of a bird named the Common Swift.


You can read what I read about the Common Swift here. The gist of the article is these small birds spend up to 10 months in the air! Think of it sleeping, eating, mating, flying, and gliding on the winds, all while in the air. Look at the birds of the air!


Jesus said, if that is true of birds, are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life? The answer is no worry does not add life. It steals life, and yes, you are more valuable than birds.


Gospelizing Thinking


One clear thought which comes to mind when considering these things is that Christian living is by design, even when it comes to personal wealth, keeping us dependent on God and discovering, again and again, that He is faithful.


When Thomas Chisholm wrote these words in the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me. It came out of personal experiential knowledge of God’s faithfulness to him.


The second and final thought (for this letter) is as we move along with Christ, money will become less and less significant. To be sure, we will still buy, sell, save, give, and invest. Therefore, it will matter. It’s just that it won’t matter very much.




I am writing first to two lovely people who work hard, are professionals, and, I think, are exceptional. But please remember, any unhealthy pursuit for wealth is another long terrible story of men and women trying to find something other than Christ to give them peace, significance, and security. Money is dead. It can't do that. Jesus is alive. He can, He will, and has at the cross.


Grace and peace—in Christ alone. With all my love.

Pastor Joe


P.S. Remember Mr. Krabs from Sponge Bob?