Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Love of Money

What is it that we are to love? How are we to respond to love when we receive it? Why do people sometimes neglect to look out for the needs of others? God is at the center of each of those questions.
In the first place, we are to love God with our whole heart and soul and might. There is to be no one or nor any thing that comes between our relationship with ourselves and our creator, sustainer and redeemer. For unless our relationship with God is in order, our relationship with our families, our neighbors and co-workers cannot be right.

But how many people do we know who boast of what earthly possessions they have or their ability to do this or that, or to go here or there.

In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he compares the life of godliness to that of seeking money for its own sake. (1Tim 6:6-12)-What Paul is getting across to Timothy is that while there is nothing wrong with wealth in and of itself, far too often wealth, the desire to be wealthy and/or the pursuit of it becomes a snare and trap for those who become enamored by its allure. Wealth is a desire that is difficult to satisfy and it becomes a stumbling block to those who seek to serve Christ.

In the Book of Acts, Ananias and Sapphira tried to hold back a portion of what the proceeds of a sale of real estate that they owned from the Apostles to their own destruction. (Acts 5:1-10). It was not that they were wealthy, but that they were attempting to deceive God by declaring that they had given their all, when they only gave a portion.

Look, God owns it all anyway. He doesn't need what you have. But if you want the best HE has, you must be willing to turn over control of what you perceive as yours to Him. As Americans, we tend to look at things and feel that we can accomplish anything on our own.
But as Jesus said in Luke 12:48, "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required..." or as is in some translations "much is expected".

But far too many of us have been guilty of answering the question that writer Denis Brogan asked in the mid-forties; if God was to be replaced..."What would replace Him? Could anything replace Him but 'Democracy' made into an object of worship, or business or success?"

And the business of business is to advance SELF interest. That is, the determination to make money is the overriding principle in the advance of the capitalistic ideal. Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko in "Wall Street" purring, "Greed is good", is now being transplanted into the real world by Bernie Madoff.
Compare the current hand wringing over our current status of the economy with what Jesus said to his disciples in Matt. 6:25-33. "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

"Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

"For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added to you."

And in that last line is encapsulated the entirety of the desire of the Christian; to seek the righteousness that God graciously gives to his subjects in His Kingdom, the gift that none can work for, earn, buy or deserve.

And if we submit to the authority of the only wise God, to whom be honor, glory power and majesty, now and forevermore, we have all our needs cared for.

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