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The Christian and Money
What really matters
The book of Ecclesiastes 10:19 declares that money answereth all things...money is very important because it pays the bills, it pays for our wants and desires, it pays toward helping others, but money does not answer everything. It can buy a house, but it cannot buy a home; it can buy things, but it cannot buy happiness, it can buy life insurance...but it cannot buy life. Money comes so close to God and what he provides...that Jesus said in Mark chapter 4 that the deceitfulness of riches could choke the very word of God, so that it would not bring forth any fruit to perfection. Many people view money as their God...and it is these people who will steal for it, kill for it, hurt their own loved ones for it, because they love it. The scripture that is often misquoted is 1 Timothy 6:10 which says... that the love of money is the root of all evil. Notice it says the love of it...not money itself! We must tread through all of the weeds of misconception, deception and other barriers that hinder from seeing what really matters in life. Taking a look at the actions of another biblical figure helps us to answer the question of... what really matters. In Mark 10 we see a rich young ruler who came running to Jesus and kneeling down to him and asks him, good master...what must I do to inherit eternal life? First of all the man is rich, young, and he has a prominent position, he is a ruler;and with all of that...he is not satisfied... because he understands its not what you have externally that matters...but internally. What must I do to inherit eternal life? he may have inherited some of his possessions (receiving something not earned) but he would need to do something for his request to be granted... and that would be to sell all that he had ...and feed the poor. Also the man ran to Jesus... because urgency, not procrastination is needed when one is unsatisfied. Jesus answered his question, because only Jesus and his word can answer what money and position cannot.Sell all that you have! and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven because where your treasure is there will your heart be also. This mans heart was in his possessions so Jesus tells him... one thing you lack...sell all that you have and give to the poor and come and follow me. No matter how much you have materially, you will always end up lacking when Jesus is not Lord over everything.
What really matters
And he walked away sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions (Mark:10:22).
If you really want to know where a persons heart is...money is a good thermometer to guage their emotions. For a person who has acquired it honestly, money equals time...and for a person who has spend many hours on the job...their money is hard to part with. Emotionally people may become angry, stingy, sceptical, sarcastic and even violent if they feel pressed into a corner concerning their money. Christians may become emotional when the word of God says to do a certain thing with money because they feel that what is about to leave their hand is going to leave their life never to be seen again. When giving...one must give in faith because if one does not believe in what the word of God says are the rewards for giving...then it becomes mechanical and commercial. This may even be some of the reasons why the world views our giving with complaint. When giving is done in a cheerful way and in a cheerful environment...there is always joy and excitement. Consider such events as sporting, musicals, fairs, Disney and such like; people give big money with anticipation of what's about to transpire. In fact it is the coming attraction that causes them to forget about the money they have just released. Compare this type of atmosphere with a typical Sunday morning atmosphere...and you can see why people tip instead of give in the offering. The coming attraction for the rich young ruler would have been Proverbs 19:17 which says he that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again...in other words Jesus would not have allowed himself to become a debtor to this man...and he will not become a debtor to us neither. The selling all that he had and giving to the poor was not to keep him broke...which is a mindset today, but it was to get eternal life to him (what he asked for in the beginning) by removing his trust in riches...and putting his trust in the true riches of the kingdom because Jesus told him to come and follow me...something he only told his disciples. Notice the above text says that he had great possessions...but actually his possessions had him to the point that he was sad. When people do not want to give, they may express anger, frustration, disappointment or no emotion at all...but the rich young ruler expressed sadness and grief, two emotions associated with death. Whenever a person over rides their convictions they may feel empty and alone because they know what they should do...but because of their possessions having them... they walk away decieving themselves that they will be happy regardless, but when you walk away from what you know in your heart you should do about giving...you may look back with regrets, with what should have been or could have been.
How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God:(Mark10:23)
Many people read the above text and automatically assume that a Christian cannot have wealth and get into heaven. First of all this cannot be true because God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34)...if one person in the bible was rich, then it cannot be wrong for us today. For starters Abraham was very rich (Geneses 13:2), 2Chron.1:11 shows that God gave Solomon riches...second of all this cannot be true because Jesus became poor that we through his death might become rich; this does not mean every christian will be a millionaire...but it does mean all of our needs should be met (Philippians 4:19). Third this cannot be true because the kingdom of God is not heaven...but it is Gods way of doing things because the kingdom of God is within us and is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Forth this could not be true because of the disciples reaction in verse 26...and they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?!! only people who fit the equation of what Jesus was saying would react the way that they did...because the disciple had money and they thought they themselves may miss the kingdom of heaven. The disciples had fishing businesses with" hired servants" (Mark 1:20)
Jesus was not poor!
Regardless to what religion says Jesus was not poor...And if he is our example that we should follow, we need to know that he had money... or christians may feel guilty for having it. 1Corinthians 8:9 says for ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. Jesus became poor when he laid aside his diety and came to earth and also when he died on the cross because Galations 3:13 says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law...for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. The curse of the law was poverty, sickness and spiritual death. Jesus did not remain poor because he was risen from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the father where he continues making intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus was not poor because as a baby he had a trust fund (smile) Matt. 2:11 shows that wise men came and opened their treasures and they presented gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Tradition says there were three wise men, when the bible says wise men (Matt.2:1)...so there could have been 2 to an unlimited number but the fact remains they (more than one) opened their treasures unto him.
Jesus had a treasurer:
Jesus was not poor, because he had a treasurer... and poor people do not have treasurers, because they have nothing to put into the treasury. There were certain women that funded Jesus's ministry...Luke 8:2 declares and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. It is also important to note that if a treasurer has someone constantly stealing from the treasury then the cause for the money will soon go bankrupt;but Jesus had a thief by the name of Judas who the bible says had the bag (John 12:6), and if he had the bag and he was a thief... obviously he stole money from it. How can someone continue to steal and it not be known? for most people and businesses as well...it becomes apparent that something is missing because more is being taken than what can be replaced. But Jesus treasurey was constantly being replaced because it went undetected by the disciples...in fact when he went out during the last supper when Jesus told him that what you do...do quickly and satan entered into him... the disciples simply thought that he was going to feed the poor (John 13:27-29), which in itself was another reason why Jesus was not poor;He made it a habit to feed the poor.
- What is God\'s purpose for money?
Whenever you know the purpose of something...it is less likely for it to be abused. Money is no different, and if God's purposes for money in the earth are to be accomplished...then we must take a look at His reasons for it. One of the best ways to l