Money, Money, Money
Without You, Lord, where would I be? I would be desperately empty. I can’t thank You enough for bringing Your love to me.
Read Luke 18:18–30
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Wealth and honor come from you… In your hands are strength and power to exalt and to give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name” (1 Chron. 29:12,13).
I was once asked whether, in becoming a minister, I had sacrificed much for the sake of God’s kingdom. I honestly could not say that I had. Not only did I not have much to sacrifice, except possibly an unknown future, but I felt I had received so much back already from following Christ (29,30). God will not be in debt to anybody.
Today’s central character, a wealthy man, did have much to lose. He was sincere in seeking eternal life and could genuinely say he had lived the commandments Jesus cited, but Jesus perceptively omitted the last of the commandments, “You shall not covet…” (Exod. 20:17), and so skewered the man. This was the man’s problem: “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10).
Jesus probably had as much to say about the danger of riches as about anything else. He regarded wealth as spiritually dangerous, a hindrance to entering the kingdom (25). He identified with the poor. Somehow we manage to ignore this aspect of Jesus’ teaching and find reasons why what he said to the young man need not apply to us. Perhaps it does not, at least not in the direct and tailored way Jesus applied it to him, but it must challenge us about our aspirations, our patterns of consumption, our stewardship and our liberality. Making money is one thing, spending it lavishly on ourselves is another. How much do we really need? How can we ensure, through both systematic and spontaneous giving, that we are free from covetousness and greed?
Jesus was addressed as “Good teacher” (18). Of course he was good, but he was more conscious of God’s goodness than his own (19). Such un-self-conscious goodness is a mark of true goodness, one that we might rightly and properly “covet” for ourselves. After all, with God all things are possible.
It has been said, “The really rich have no idea how rich they are.” What are some of the riches God our Father wants to give to us his children?
Great and Mighty God, Your Word reminds me that to have Your Kingdom, You must be first in my life. I desire above all else to seek first Your Kingdom.
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