Wednesday, 1 June 2022

The Love of Money

 Scripture: 1 Timothy 6 v 10 - 11: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: Which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  

11 But thou, O Man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."

Philippians 2 v 7 - 8: "But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

We are the followers of Jesus Christ!  This means that we are endeavouring to become like Him.  To achieve this we must know Him and do and say the things He said were important.  

He says we must flee from the love of money and follow righteousness, because the LOVE of it is the root of all evil.  Money itself is not the problem, it's the power that the rich exert over the poor that is evil.  Crime is largely based on financial gain.

James 5 v 1 - 6: "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3  Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6  Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you."

From a Christian viewpoint what James has written is tough for the rich to hear.  They soothe their consciences by becoming philanthropists, doing great charitable things and making sure the whole world admires their generosity.  Our God says don't blow the hypocritical trumpet, let what you give be a secret.  Don't look for men to praise you, be humble in your giving.  The word "charity" means God's love.

The temptation to become proud and important is hard for a rich person to resist, but when that person is also an authority over the people of God, it brings harm and sorrow to those he is supposed to serve.  Wealthy pastors and evangelists become idol's, like rock stars, cheered and followed and emulated.  Jesus said, Beware when all men like you, for so did your fathers to the false prophets.

We are in the world but we are no longer of the world. We must draw a line for ourselves over what is acceptable in the Kingdom of God, and what is not.  A strong Biblical precept is MODERATION in all things.  Don't be mean and don't go overboard!  Find the norm that Jesus is satisfied with and stick to that.

The word 'satisfied' is the key to our lives. The life of Jesus satisfies us fully.  He says that His followers will never thirst or hunger again.  He fills us completely with everything we need.  He says in Luke 6 v 38: "Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For the same measure that you mete with all, it shall be measured to you again."

Jesus is all about fairness.  Every one of us is identical.  We are souls that are members of His Body.  Paul said is the knee better than the elbow, both are equally necessary for the body to function.  We need each other to keep the body supplied with what is required.  So be obedient to God and look at things differently to the world, or it will suck you back in before you know it.

Jesus was the meekest man who ever lived.  He was a King who became a servant to those who rejected Him.  When you truly understand what this means and choose Him over your flesh, you too will become despised as someone who is weak, needing a crutch.  

You need to pray for those unenlightened souls and weep before God for them to prosper and be in health.  And love them like He does.  Perhaps money is their idol and it blinds their eyes to the reality of what lies beyond death.  Only then will they realise your crutch was a bridge to Heaven, and how they wish they had listened, and not mocked.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to be like Jesus in every way, not counting the rejection by people as reason to dismiss them, but rather loving them as He does.  Let us not have a lust for wealth but rather use our blessings to further the gospel.  In Jesus' name. Amen.