by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Several years ago, people were asked what they would be willing to do for $10 million.
The results were tabulated in a book entitled The Day America Told the Truth.
25% said they would totally abandon their family.
23% said they would become a prostitute for a week.
16% indicated they would leave their spouse.
3% said they would put their children up for adoption.
Hey, folks, it’s only money.
Jesus’ emphasis here is on the word “and.”
You cannot serve God and money.
He is saying you cannot live to make money and live to serve God at the same time.
If the reason you are living is to make money for the sake of the things money can buy, then that is your god, and you do not and cannot serve the living and true God.
On the other hand, you can love God, and He can gift you to make money, as He has done for many.
There is nothing wrong with making money or being wealthy, even being a millionaire or a billionaire.
But the proof that you love God first, and that money only is an instrument of your love for him, will be that you use that money to help others without seeking recognition for yourself.
That will indicate you love God and you are rightfully serving him with the money He gives you.
4. MONEY IS TEMPORARY BUT GOD’S WORD NEVER EXPIRES (VS. 14-18)
Let’s pick up with verse 14: The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law"
In verse 9 Jesus said one day money will be gone, and it will.
When you die, worldly riches will cease to exist for you.
Once two preachers were talking about a wealthy man who had just died.
One said, “He started out with very little and he died a millionaire.”
The other replied, “No he didn’t.”
“Yes he did, he was worth millions.”
Then other preacher said, “He might have made millions, but when he died he wasn’t a millionaire anymore–he was exactly like the poorest beggar.”
We bring nothing into this world, and we take nothing out with us. You’ve never seen a U-Haul in a funeral procession.
Money is only temporary, but the Word of God lasts forever–it never expires.
Have you noticed food and drugs have an expiration date?
It’s sometimes called a “use before” date.
The Word of God has no expiration date–but it does have a use before date–use it before you die or before Jesus returns.
After that date, it won’t benefit you.
I’ve heard it said, “You can’t take it with you...but you can send it on ahead.”
Jesus spoke about laying up treasures in heaven.
Jesus said we should invest our money in people because people have eternal souls and can go to heaven.
But Jesus is pointing out there is something else that is eternal–the Word of God.
There are only two eternal things we deal with in this world–the souls of men and women, and the Word of God.
So that’s where we should be investing our money.
In I Timothy 6:17-19 God says, “Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage–to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.”
Are you investing your money in ways so that when you get to heaven there will be people there to greet you because of your gifts?
Will there be some people there because of how you lived, what you said, and how you gave your money?
When you are giving to God, you may not even realize how far your money is reaching with the good news.
I love the song that Allan sings from time to time entitled “Thank You.”
It starts out with him having a dream of being in heaven, and you are standing beside him.
As you are standing there in heaven someone calls your name.
Someone walks up to you and says, “Friend, you may not know me,” then he said, “But wait–you used to teach my Sunday School Class when I was only eight. Every week you would say a prayer before the class would start. One day when you said that prayer, I asked Jesus into my heart.”
Then in the second verse, Allan sings, “Then another man stood before you; He said, ‘Remember the time? A missionary came to church, His pictures made you cry. You didn’t have much money–But you gave it anyway. Jesus took that gift you gave, And that’s why I’m in heaven today!’ Thank you for giving to the Lord. For I am a life that was changed. Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave.”
I encourage you to manage God’s resources in a way so that when you arrive in heaven, there will be people there who will say, “Thank you for giving to the Lord.”
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