Luke 16:13 (NIV) “No servant can serve two masters. 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.”
Mat 6:19-21 (TEB) “Do not save riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, save riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are.”
- It is easy enough to “explain away” one or two verses to come to the conclusion we want. But what you are about to read is more than one or two verses: Scriptural teaching about money isclear, consistent, and radical. All is required, and the flesh must die to obey.
Be Content With Your Needs Being Met – Beware Of Materialism
Heb 13:5 (RSV) “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.”
Ps 37:7,16 (NAS) Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way… Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked.
Prov 23:4-5 (NIV) Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
The Test of Riches and The Test of Poverty
1 Sam 2:7 (NIV) The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.
Prov 30:8-9 (NIV) …Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
- If poverty is accompanied by physical dangers, prosperity is accompanied by spiritual dangers. God will often move us through both for the purpose of testing us.Phil 4:11-13 (Phi) …For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of eating well or going hungry–of facing either plenty or poverty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within me.
Phil 4:12 (NAS) I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
Phil 4:12-13 (Jer) I know how to be poor and I know how to be rich, too. I have been through my initiation and now I am ready for anything anywhere: full stomach or empty stomach, poverty or plenty. There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength.
Will We Follow if Jesus Asks Us to Enter Poverty For a Season?
Mark 10:21-27,31 (Jer) Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, “There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, “My children,” he said to them, “how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were more astonished than ever. “In that case,” they said to one another, “who can be saved?” Jesus gazed at them. “For men,” he said, “it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God… Many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
- Is it likely, with all of his contacts and experience, that this man would have remained poor for long? And yet he was unwilling to obey Christ with all these advantages, even temporarily.
Loosening Your Grip
Acts 2:44-45 (Phi) All the believers joined together and shared everything in common; they sold their possessions and goods and divided the proceeds among the fellowship according to individual need.
Acts 4:32,34-35 (NIV) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had… There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
- God is calling all of us to let go of our possessions. We may even get to use them in the future if we “loosen our grip”. If we do not do this willingly ourselves, God will. It is a sure sign that we are sons. We should thank the Lord when He wrenches a dangerous thing from our hands. Maybe we could even cooperate a little! If we don’t, moths, rust, and thieves will do their job.
- A.W. Tozer: “Never Own Anything–Get Rid Of The Sense Of Possessing!”Luke 14:33 (Phi) “Only the man who says goodbye to all his possessions can be my disciple.”
Luke 14:33 (TEB) Concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has.”
Luke 14:33 (RSV) “Whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 3:11 (NIV) John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”
Luke 6:30 (Jer) “Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you.”
Jesus Gives Investment Advice…
Luke 16:9-11 (Phi) “Now my advice to you is to use ‘money’, tainted as it is, to make yourselves friends, so that when it comes to an end, they may welcome you into the houses of eternity. The man who is faithful in the little things will be faithful in the big things. So that if you are not fit to be trusted to deal with the wicked wealth of this world, who will trust you with true riches?”
Luke 16:9-12 (NIV) “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings… If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”
Luke 14:12-14 (NIV) “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Mat 6:24 (NIV) “No one can serve two masters. 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.”
Luke 12:33 (NIV) “Sell your possessions and give to the poor… “