You were placed here on this earth for God’s purpose, not your own. This is fundamental to your Christian faith. Every minute of every day, your goal should be to please God and not yourself. This is not because God needs your service to Him; it is because God knows this is the path that will supply you with an eternal reward rather than a fleeting moment of pleasure. God wants you to understand and experience the difference between a bought and paid for joy and the overwhelming undying honest joy of serving the Lord. God wants you to understand why you cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:24 (NASB)
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Most of us are in a daily struggle to pay the rent or mortgage, cover the utility bills, make the car payment, and pay for insurance, food, medicine, health care, and any number of other regular and unforeseen expenses. The Bible makes it clear you cannot serve God and money; however, our lives depend on a large part of our day being devoted to earning the money we need to survive. In a real sense we are in service to our employer or our business to earn the money to pay for our necessities. But what happens after the necessities are paid for and our savings begin to grow? Understand that it’s not the accumulation of wealth that is the problem. In fact, it could be argued that having a large stash of money in the bank is a good thing. Money becomes a problem when you are more enamored with what it can buy than you are with your relationship with God. The reason you cannot serve God and money is because the devotion to money can inflict serious harm to your life.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 (NASB)
“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
When you are in service to God, your focus is on those things that cannot be bought or sold. Spending time with those in need, helping someone grow in the Lord, providing assistance to the elderly; these and similar endeavors provide a wealth that carries through this life into all eternity.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NASB)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Wealth is an enormous temptation that can quickly push you away from God. When there’s plenty of money in the bank it’s easy to forget about serving God and start serving yourself. This is why Jesus said it would be so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Matthew 19:24 (NASB)
“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
The devil’s temptation is a powerful force and money can fuel that fire better than anything. Keep in mind, God’s ideal for you is to live exclusively for Him serving others. If your life is centered on accumulating more and more cash in the bank, you will lose sight of Him. You will be blinded by the devil’s temptation – because you cannot serve God and money. While it may not be practical in the world we live in, God’s ideal is that we give everything away and simply follow Jesus. Our mission today should be to believe with all our heart that everything we have comes from God and therefore no longer belongs to us. God wants us to use our income to take care of our family’s needs; after that – follow Jesus.
Matthew 19:21 (NASB)
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
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