What if We Believe Jesus? part 1

”  You cannot serve two masters:  God and money.  For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around.”  Matt 6:24

Jesus said this as part of the famous Sermon on the Mount, possibly the most widely quoted of His speeches.  Do we believe that?  What would life look like if we served God before money?

I think often of those missionaries, ministry workers and pastors who take a vow of poverty.  They have the necessities of life, but no more.  Some never own a home or a car, or much of anything but their clothes, a few books and perhaps a personal computer.  They live in ministry supplied housing, usually quite plain.  Life for these people doesn’t consist of owning things, or pursuing pleasures that cost money.  Life is very simple, and revolves around relationships, and their interior life with God.  I have family members in the Salvation Army.  They have little, and while their old age will be provided for,  they will always have little.  I know other people who are supported ministry workers.  They also live simple lives, and have to depend on the support of others to do their work.  All of the above are some of the happiest people I know.  They work harder than a lot of people, but aren’t trying to climb the career ladder or compete in the rat race.  They do what they do out of love for God and others.

I also am aware of Christians who try to excuse their materialism as God’s blessing or God’s providence.  They are sure that abundance is God’s will for them, never mind they have spent a large amount of time and energy acquiring their material blessings.  To them, prosperity is a sign of God’s favor.  Well, it may be that God allows some to prosper monetarily without a lot of setbacks, but Jesus also taught that “To whom much is given, much will be required.”  Those who have wealth will use it for God’s glory if God indeed has first place in their lives and is their true master.

For most people not in ministry, we need to ask ourselves if God owns everything we have, or if we do.  If God is our master, He does own it, and we are just the managers of that amount He has trusted to us.  We need always to seek His will as we invest what He has given us for the good of others and to further His Kingdom.   As someone once said, we need not ask God how much to give Him, but how much we should keep for our own needs.

 

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