Thursday, May 03, 2012

Do you LOVE money?

30 Days with Jesus

Day 18 - Matthew 19 v 16 - 30

In this passage Matthew recounts an encounter between Jesus and a very moral very rich man. Ultimately the guy walks away because he chose to worship money rather that Jesus. Here is an article originally published on The Resurgence by Jamie Munson.

I recently finished my first book, Money: God or Gift, in collaboration with The Resurgence. It was initially created and published for Mars Hill Church community groups, but the book is truly for everyone: 

For people who love money. 

 “No one can serve two masters,” Jesus said, “for 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 God and money” (Matt. 6:24). There is no middle ground.

For people who hate money. 

It’s not money’s fault that we’re prone to love it, live for it, and even die for it. God’s provision is a gift (Deut. 8:18; 1 Cor. 4:7), the Lord grants wealth (Prov. 10:22; Eccles. 5:19), and “money answers everything” (Eccles. 10:19). If our hearts belong to Jesus and our lives are devoted to his mission, we need not avoid, demonize, or fear money. We can love God, love people, and use money to enjoy life and do ministry.

For the church. 

New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg calls stewardship of material possessions “the most important test-case of one’s profession of discipleship,” and names materialism as “the single biggest competitor with authentic Christianity for the hearts and souls of millions in our world today” (Neither Poverty nor Riches). As a pastor, I want to see our church—and all churches—filled with people devoted to Jesus, not money.

For new Christians. 

We have so many new Christians at Mars Hill Church. I was once one of them. Before I met Jesus at age nineteen, money was my god. I couldn’t wait to get rich, so I racked up debt by spending money on myself. When I learned how to worship God with my money rather than worshiping my money as god, Jesus’ grace changed my life. I want to encourage new Christians, and help them learn what God says about money, so that they can experience more of his goodness as well.

For longtime Christians. 

 1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Watch your life and doctrine closely” (NIV). I want to exhort every Christian in both areas: know the biblical teachings on money and apply them to life. We do this “closely” through ongoing repentance, wise counsel, life in community, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Without discipline, help, and grace we’re all prone to reject or abuse the gift of money. For the millions of people who don’t know Jesus. God works through his people (the church) to reach others with the gospel. If we use our money wisely and give faithfully, more people will meet Jesus—and we will love him more.

If you’re not sure about Jesus, I pray that you come to love and understand him. He is a good God. For your joy. Men and women, rich and poor, young and old—everybody has something that they treasure, and “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34). Point your heart, your treasure, and your life to the source of all joy, goodness, and love: Jesus.


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