Money: Burning a Hole in Your Pocket or Heart?
“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.” Matthew 6:24
Your money can be a blessing; on the other hand, it can be a curse.
Your money and possessions will certainly produce a running battle between you and God in determining who your master is. You may constantly profess your master as God, but can your words and actions be regularly put to the test to prove your testimony genuine? Money can be a besetting sin, or it can be a significant blessing from God to many people. Money purchases the necessities of life, it feeds the hungry, it clothes the destitute. It also goes beyond the basics of life. It gives us far more than we deserve; like the lilies of the field or the sparrows of the air, you are beautifully adorned and cared for by a loving Master!
But the “love of money,” the obsession for it, the all-in pursuit of more and more, becomes the root of “all” evil and leads men and women, like a noose in the nose into deleterious pursuits and degradation of your spirit. The misuse of money corrupts the soul. Money has the capacity to separate you from God; it can do malicious things to your being, to your heart.
Money is necessary. In itself, it is the means of sustenance for living, for sustaining you in those things which make up life on this earth. In this commercial life of the modern age especially, money is the means of trade for what you eat, where you live, your transport, business and work, leisure, supporting children and family, education, and charitable endeavors to assist others. Money is involved with most every activity of life.
But it can be both blessing and curse. Money must be seen with a godly perspective. God reminds you of this necessity by requiring a tithe. His tithe brings the proper use and perspective of money before your mind. It calls for the organization of your money assets, the budgeting of your money in order for you to be responsible for your obligations, and to be accountable to God, to others, and yourself. How can you determine what 10% is unless you organize it to determine what you have? Money managed in a godly way becomes a great blessing both to you and to others, your neighbor to whom you owe godly service.
The Scripture tells you that “God loves a cheerful giver.” The following implication is as you give your money cheerfully and generously, it produces in you a cheerful heart, which in turn is the very essence of living joyfully. Such is a good definition of abundant living.
It begins with the fervent recognition that your money is not your own. Really? Really! All you have comes from God. He has blessed you with what you possess to use it wisely to bring glory to Him, and in that use, bless others. You are the primary steward of your money and possessions for which you must give account. The parable Jesus tells of the master giving talents (money) in various amounts to his servants to manage until he returns is an indicator that God blesses us each according to his own counsel. Some are blessed with more, and some with less. How it is managed is the real test of whether or not the master (God) is pleased. The servant who buries his talent is the one who is punished as an unworthy servant. Burial of the talent is most likely an indicator that this servant used his talent exclusively for himself and not for the glory of his master and the blessing of others in investing and increasing its worth to further just such a goal.
Do not allow your money to burn a hole in your pocket through mismanagement, that is, by not using it for His glory and truly blessing others. If you do, you also burn a hole in your heart. Your real treasure which captivates your heart is either God, with your money used to His end, or your money, used to please yourself. You cannot serve God, of first order, and your money in His place. Use your money to bring Him glory. He will bring honor to you if you do.
“All that I am I owe to thee. Thy wisdom, Lord, has fashioned me. I give my Maker thankful praise, whose wondrous works my soul amaze.”
(1st verse of The Psalter,1912, Psalm 139:14-24)
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