I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!
- Andy Catts
Day 25, January 14, 2014Readings: Psalm 24, Genesis 23, 1 Chronicles 28, Luke 16:1-31, Luke 17:1-10
Does America have a problem with money? That's an incendiary question, especially depending on what side of the table you're on. Social activists would say we do. That we have too much. That others don't have enough - that we are hoarders and selfish and that income equality should be our goal. Then again, there's our 17+ trillion dollars of debt. For all our supposed wealth, it sounds like we're spending money that we don't have.
But what is the real issue here? I believe Jesus addresses this directly in the gospels - and he covers both sides of the issue. It bears consideration.
"No servant 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 both God and money."
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:13-15)
No servant can serve two masters. Now surely, most of us do not literally call money our master, or bow down before a dollar bill (or many of them.) But money can, and often does, control our lives. We feel security when we have more money, when our stocks are doing well (if we have any) or we're living in that big house, and our job is paying us what we think we deserve. We also feel tension, frustration, apprehension and despair when things are not going as well as we'd like, financially.
Now I don't know about you, but if something is significantly affecting the actions I take, the feelings I have, the way I treat my friends, family and co-workers, I'd say it has a significant amount of control over me. And if I sacrifice my relationships in order to have more money, or feel more secure, I'd say that I'm certainly serving money instead of God.
God calls us to serve Him, and only Him. Because He is the only security. He is the only one deserving of our service. All the money spent, whether for ourselves or for the good of others, holds no guarantee of success. No amount of money in our bank accounts can provide eternal security. Notice that Jesus doesn't say money is bad. Jesus says that serving money is bad. Serving money leads to disappointment and failure.
We need to lay our money at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to direct our finances. Sometimes that will be things for our family. Sometimes it will be things for others. Sometimes it will be for things we don't understand. But when our money is in God's hands, it is no longer something we serve. It is something we get to use for His service.