Friday, October 9, 2020

Matthew 6 - Part 3


Read Matthew 6

So, Jesus began to talk about treasure.  Even in this time, much of anyone’s treasure was money.  So what do we know about money?

Money is the root of all evil, right?  No.

The love of money is the root of all evil, right?  No again.

The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.  That’s the counsel.  If money were the root of all evil, then the elimination of money might be a good cause.  If you can kill the stickers at the root, you do it.  You don’t want any more stickers.  Kill the root!

But if the love of money is the root of all sorts—not all but a bunch—of evil, then you could eliminate money but still have some evil.

So, what do we do?  Don’t fall in love with money.  It can be your servant.  Don’t let it become your spouse.  Your relationship with money should not be that intimate.

Understand that money is functional in our world.  We buy essentials and nonessentials and even luxury items.  Money is functional.

Money helps us feed someone on the other side of the planet.  It helps us buy shoes for the shoeless and sometimes even a goat and two chickens. 

Because of your offerings to our missions to Africa, some of your money bought Bibles for Kenya and Uganda.  After lugging some very heavy luggage full of Bibles, we realized that it didn’t cost that much more to just send money to the Bible vendors and have nice Bibles—sometimes in Swahili—waiting on us when we arrived.

Money is functional.  It can also be saved.  We don’t have to spend all of our money as soon as we get it, though that’s a hard sell these days.  Some spend it before they get it.

We are told that a wise person leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren.  You have to save something to leave something behind, right?

As I brought up this proverb, let me remind you that the Gospel, not money, will be the best inheritance that you can leave your children and their children, but let’s get back to money.

So, can we save money or not?  If we save money have we forfeited what God has in store for us? The question is not whether you save or spend or leave an inheritance.  It’s what is your relationship to your money—to your treasure.

If you are the master and the treasure is your servant, you have a good relationship.

If you live for money—money is your master—then you are a slave and not in a good relationship.

If you are storing up treasures for yourself now, then you are serving your money.  If you are saving with purpose—not gratifying your greed—then you are being wise with your money.

If you are saving with purpose but you ignore using your money to help others when you can, then money is trying to change your relationship.  Money is tired of being your side chick.  Money wants more. Money wants to be the master.

There is nothing that you can do to the money to change this status.  Cash, electronic funds, bitcoin, bitlesscoins, sliver, or even gold don’t define are all inanimate objects.  They have no virtue or fault in and of themselves.

You must look inside yourself.  Do you see light or darkness?  The condition of your heart, mind, soul, and desire to serve and please God is what defines your relationship with money.

In just over a dozen chapters, Jesus will warn about the pitfalls of being rich and how riches on earth can seem more appealing than the kingdom of heaven, but we will stick that camel through the eye of a needle when we get there.

God wants to bless you.  That includes blessing you with money, but that blessing is given so that you may be a blessing.  That includes with your money.

There is nothing wrong with having a nice home, a nice car or two, money in the bank and other material blessings, unless they replace God as the first and most important thing in your life.

How do you know?  Are you happier when you put away some extra money or when you help people with your money?

You can do both, but storing up treasures for yourself is a short-term investment.  All long-term investments are made in heaven. 

So, make regular deposits to what you store up in heaven.  It’s fine to have money and things to leave your children and their children.  Mine will receive their inheritance in unsold copies of my books.  That’s surely as good as gold.

Let’s consider for a moment what Jesus said about the security of our investments here on earth.  They may be consumed or corrupted or stolen or the federally insured bank in which our money is held might be shut down.

What is on deposit in the kingdom of heaven cannot be stolen or corrupted and God’s kingdom will not shut down.  We can’t see these deposits now, but Jesus told us that our deposits are safe.

Jesus left us with a simple dichotomy.  It’s a Joshua sort of question.  It’s a choose this day whom you will serve sort of question.

Do we serve God or do we serve money?  Who is our master?  Is it God or is it money?  Who do you serve?

We know the answer.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.


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