Skip to main content

MinistryCPA Special Topic: The Rewards for Obedience Are Greater Than Any Material Blessings

Question: 

A 16-year old Christian becomes concerned that the violent and suggestive video games he owns and plays are damaging his relationship with Christ. Many are in the Mature category according to the ESRB rating system. But his collection includes some rare and valuable games that might be worth a good amount of money someday. Plus, a lot of his earnings from his part-time job has been “invested” (his word) in them. What are his alternatives? What could he do?

Answer:

Of course, our young man could simply ignore the conviction God has brought to him. But because he values his relationship with Him, he knows that he must make a God-honoring choice. Selling the games to someone else only shifts the temptation to others. Putting them away, out-of-sight, does not remove the temptation. He must accept the reality that the rewards for obedience are greater than any material blessings, even if it means discarding something that others would value.

One pastor has said, "Our delight must be more in God’s presence than in His provision."

In II Chronicles, King Amaziah had spent 100 talents of silver to hire additional troops who were not from the God-fearing tribe of Judah. When a man of God brought him God’s message that he was to send the mercenaries back to their homes, King Amaziah agonized with the prophet about the money that would be lost. The man of God’s response demonstrates God’s priority of obedience over possessions: “The LORD is able to give they much more than this” (verse 9).

Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield. He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if thou wilt go, do it; be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this (II Chronicles 25.5-9).

The man of God’s response demonstrates God’s priority of obedience over possessions. The rewards of obedience are much greater than any material blessing. When it comes to giving and receiving, God’s people must never think that they have a small God.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Housing Allowance and Form 1099-MISC Reporting

Question:

A church provides its minister a housing allowance, but for other purposes it believes that it must report the full amount of compensation (including the non-taxable housing allowance portion) on Form 1099-MISC (in order to demonstrate the full earnings of the minister). If the church reports his compensation,including the housing allowance, on Form 1099-MISC as taxable income, will he be able to deduct his housing expenses somewhere else on the Form 1040?

Answer:

This questions brings up a couple of issues. First, most ministers are properly classified as employees who receive Form W-2, not as independent contractors who receive Form 1099-MISC. On Form W-2, Box 1 for taxable compensation is reduced reflecting the church's designation of a portion of his pay as non-taxable. Then in Box 14, it typically reports as a memorandum item his additional non-taxable, housing allowance compensation. In the situation addressed in the question, this Form W-2 reporting may or may not a…

Review: Form 1099 Payments to 501(c)(3) Organizations

Question:

A church rented space from another church last year. Should it request a completed Form W-9 and issue Form 1099-MISC?

Answer:

We have written similar blog posts on this topic in the past (listed below), but we figured it was a good time for a review. 

Payments from one 501(c)(3) organization to another 501(c)(3) organization are not subject to Form 1099-MISC reporting. The 2015 Instructions for Form 1099-MISC state that "payments to a tax-exempt organization" are exempt from reporting a Form 1099-MISC. 

The following are typical examples of payments of $600 or more by a church which are subject to reporting a Form 1099-MISC:
Rent paid to an individual (non-corporation)Payments for services rendered by individuals who are not employees (e.g. janitorial service, facilities, snow removal, guest speakers)Support sent directly to missionariesHere are some similar blog posts that we have written in the past:

Form 1099 for Payments to Other Ministries
Form 1099 for Non-profit?
Fo…

Gifts Paid Out of Church Funds: Form 1099-MISC Requirements

Question:
 A church gave a wedding gift of $1000 to a couple who are church members. No goods or services were provided by the couple in exchange for the gift.  Is a Form 1099-MISC required? 
Answer: In the following answer, we assume that the couple are not employees of the church from whom the gift could not be viewed as compensation for their services. Also, the amount seems to be small enough to avoid any concerns of "private inurement."

Accordingly, no Form 1099-MISC is required. According to the 2017 IRS Instructions for Form 1099-MISC a Form 1099-MISC is only required for payment of goods or services. The requirements are as follows:
"File Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, for each person to whom you have paid during the year:  At least $10 in royalties (see the instructions for box 2) or broker payments in lieu of dividends or tax-exempt interest (see the instructions for box 8);  At least $600 in:  1. Rents (box 1);  2. Services performed by someone who is not your …