All that we’ve covered so far in this book is practical information on creating an emergency fund. However, at a deeper and much more profound level, we need to understand why having an emergency fund is important from a Biblical perspective. The Bible is the Word of God provided to the world so that we may know Him, His will, and how we ought to live our lives in a way that glorifies Him. The Bible is far from silent on the topic of money, and we will only scratch the surface of all that it has to say. The most important thing is to know God and to have a right relationship to God through salvation in Jesus Christ. Without this, nothing you do can please Him. Once you have been saved, you can begin living for Him and applying Biblical financial principles such as investing in things with eternal rewards, saving for the future, providing for your family, working hard, and being content.
The Bible frequently teaches that preparing for eternity is far more important that any temporal financial plans. Some example passages including Luke 12:19-21 “And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” and Matthew 6:19-21 “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.” We see from these scriptures that Jesus is clearly warning against focusing on earthly treasure (money, possessions, etc.) since they are temporary, and you cannot take them with you when you die. Jesus said in Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” and in Matthew 6:22-24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” James 4:13-14 says “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
Given the emphasis on the eternal over the fleeting temporal in these passages, it is clear the Lord wants us to look past the temporary things that make up this world towards things that will last forever. Practically, how do we do this? To please the Lord, we first need to know Him. We can learn about God and His will through creation and through His written words in the Bible. Creation declares that there is a God and powerfully illustrates many of his attributes. Romans 1:19-20 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” However, in the Bible, God reveals specific knowledge about Himself so that we may be saved from His wrath against sin and so that we may know how to live as believers that please and glorify Him. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
First, He is absolutely holy and just and therefore cannot simply overlook sin without violating that perfect standard of holiness and justice. 1 Peter 1:16 says “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” and Matthew 5:48 says “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
The standard for pleasing the Lord and obtaining salvation is absolute perfection. However, we have a fundamental problem since the Bible teaches that not a single person can reach that standard on their own. Isaiah 64:6 says “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” and Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. If that wasn’t clear enough, let’s look at Romans 3:10-12 which says “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
That is the bad news, but fortunately, there is good news. In addition to being perfectly holy and just, the Lord is also rich in mercy as it states in 1 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Additionally, Romans 5:8 says “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” and Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God mercy is great news since we would have no hope of reaching the impossibly high bar of perfection except through his gracious gift of salvation through the work of Jesus.
So who is Jesus? Who did He die for? and how can His death save sinners like us? The Bible teaches that Jesus is both fully God and fully man as it states in Colossians 2:9 “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” and in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” to list only a few. Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life, fulfilling all the commandments of scripture perfectly and became a sacrifice for sin on the behalf of those who repent and put their faith in Him. To put it another way, Jesus gives us his perfect record and takes the punishment for our sinful record thus satisfying justice. This profound loving act is shown in passages such as Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”, 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”, and in 1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”
To summarize, before considering temporary matters like an emergency fund, we need to make sure our eternity is secure. Acts 4:12 says “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” and Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him”. Without saving faith in Jesus and His work on the cross, we cannot please God with anything we do. That is a sobering thought if you have not been born again. Make sure you are saved before you go another hour and certainly before you concern yourself with an emergency fund.
If you are truly saved and living in obedience to Him and with a heart that desires what He desires, then you will be investing in the eternal by the nature of how you live and use the resources He provides.