Did you know the Bible has a lot to say about money? Over 800 scriptures deal with money. One of every seven verses in Luke talks about money. Jesus talked about money more than heaven and hell combined. That isn’t to say Jesus meant money was more important than the two. I just think He knew money would be a problem for us so He put it into eternal perspective.
Almost half of marriages that end in divorce are over money issues. Why is talking about money from a Christian perspective necessary? Eighty percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Over half have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. Consumer debt is at an all-time high and has become a normal way of life for most people. Most people would have to use a credit card to pay a $1,000 unexpected debt. Christians need to get a right perspective on money because you cannot serve both money and God (Matthew 6:24).
Let’s get this straight from the beginning. God is not here to make you rich nor is He here to keep you poor. Proverbs 11:28 says, “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” It was a great idea for us to put “In God We Trust” on our money because most people live “In Money We Trust.”
Our security is not wrapped up in finances. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” We can only find security in God. He is our provider and gives us the ability to make money (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Not only is your security not found in finances, you identity isn’t found in it either. Luke 12:15 says, “Then he said, ‘Beware! Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own.’” Don’t measure your life by how much you have or don’t have. The real measure of your life is if you lost all your money, what would you be worth? What is so valuable to you that you’d never sell it for money? Your health? Your family? Your salvation?
Money can’t buy you happiness either. I like new stuff just like the next guy. But one thing about new things – they get old quick. Especially when the bill comes in (if you’ve charged it). Solomon, the wisest (besides Jesus) and probably richest man that ever lived said this in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” Someone once said, “Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation; a passport to everywhere but heaven.”
Money isn’t evil, but the love of it is (1 Timothy 6:9-10). When you serve it, it becomes your master. Here are three quick steps to keeping money from mastering you:
First, give God the first part. This will show God you love Him more than you do money. Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with your first fruits.”
Secondly, be a good steward of the rest of your money. Use your possessions for God and His Kingdom, not selfish desires. If you can be trustworthy of little and someone else’s, then God can trust you with your own (Luke 16:10-12).
Lastly, remember, true riches are not found on this earth but in heaven. Store up treasures in heaven that will last forever. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
Stephen Harrison is the lead pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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