Saturday, August 30, 2008

Money is Spiritual, Not Just Practical (Part 3)

Money is good that can become bad.

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (I Timothy 6: 9, 10).

The love of money – the love of money. Not money itself, but the love of money. That’s how money, which is a good, turns to bad in any person’s life. Yet, people tend to love money. They’d kill for love of money. They’d steal for the love of money. They’d commit crimes for love of money. They’d corrupt or prostitute themselves for the love of money.

Money is not spiritually harmless. It can be a very seductive, addicting idol to a heart not in tune with God. Jesus warns, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12: 15)

Money cannot buy happiness and security.


“If I only had a big house … if I only had a $100,000 a month … if I only had a new car … if I only had a better education … and on and on.” In themselves, there seems nothing wrong. Trouble is that people tend to think that this is what life is really about, that money ultimately leads to happiness.

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

Whether poor or rich or somewhere in the middle, if money is driving us, we will never be happy and satisfied. The desire for money will continue to dominate us whether our income is $100,000, $500,000, 1 million dollars, or 100 million dollars. Indeed, as we desire more, that desire itself may change us.

Another lie is the belief that security comes from building up “financial security.” Well, why? It’s logical to feel secure when I have 1 millions dollars in my bank account. Why not?

The Bible gives 2 reasons why money can never be our security:

1.) Even in this life, even in this life, money is fleeting. Riches disappear. “Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone. For they will certainly sprout wings and fly off like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23: 5). Our Lord Jesus Himself said that treasures on earth are destroyed by moth and rust, where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6).

2.) We entered this world with nothing, and we leave it with nothing. That’s what Paul wrote to Timothy. Jesus also made this point very forcefully to the rich man in Luke 12 – “ ‘But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life would be demanded from you…. This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (vv. 20, 21). This man’s problem is not his success or wealth, but thinking of this wealth as his security. He was not using the wealth that God had given him for His purposes.

Would you feel unhappy and insecure because of lack of money? Our happiness and security should come only from God.

How you spend money reveals where your treasure is.

I once read of the Christian testimony of the owner and founder of Quaker Oats. He did not tithe. He gave 65% to 70% of the income of his company to Christian causes. Thus was built great Christian ministries worldwide such as Moody Memorial Church, Moody Bible Institute, and numerous others that reach out around the globe up to this day.

Christians are called to handle money with eternity in mind. We need to reflect on the proper use of material gifts God gives us that lead to eternal gain. Our Lord Jesus calls it “storing up treasures in heaven.”

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store 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 will your heart be also… No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6: 19-21, 24)

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