Tuesday, August 02, 2011

August 3, 2011 … The Love of Money

Passage of the Day: 1st Timothy 6: 10 … 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

My Journal for Today: Today’s teaching from the Apostle Paul to his younger protégé, Timothy, has become one of the classic biblical teachings to all Christians about our attitude, as believers, toward money and materialism. Yesterday, John MacArthur in Strength for Today, helped us see from verses 6 – 8 of 1st Tim. 6 that having money or things is not evil because God is the provider. However, in verse 10 we’re confronted with a self-inventory question: “Do we LOVE our money or things too much?” Thankfully, MacArthur also helps us answer this question with five indicators to help us see whether our attitudes have tipped over into sin with regard to materialism.

#1 … BEWARE … if you are more concerned with acquiring money than using it wisely. I’ve read somewhere that it’s okay to use money and love people; but we should never love money and use people.
#2 … BEWARE … if you feel that you never have enough money or things. When the pursuit of material gain becomes our primary desire, God has been given a back seat in our heart.
#3 ... BEWARE … if you tend to flaunt or show off what you have or have bought. When you’re showing off your new car to the next door neighbors, who’s #1 … self or Savior? - Duh!
#4 … BEWARE … if you resent giving your money as God’s word teaches or to worthy causes. Do you find joy or agony when the plate is passed in church?
#5 … BEWARE … BIGTIME! … if you too easily sin to obtain money or things?
Robbing Peter to pay Paul would not be condoned by either of the Apostles.

Forgive my glib remark following #5; but I think all too often we find ourselves looking for situational excuses when we justify handling our financial woes by doing things which clearly move into the sinful realm. How often have Christians excused their impulse or compulsive buying, feeling that they NEED or DESERVE something that is clearly a WANT or desire and not a need? How does a Christian justify obsessive shopping; or how does a Christian excuse buying lottery tickets week after week, desiring to become “rich” quickly?

Jesus clearly taught [in Matt. 6: 24] we cannot serve God and money; and today’s verse warns us what can (and will) happen when the scales of life become tipped toward the love of money over our love of God. And taking Jesus at His word (which we should always do!), our pursuit should always be things which advance the Kingdom of God (from Matt. 6: 33) rather than the pursuit of or flaunting of personal gain.

So, our pursuits need to be for the NEEDS which God will always provide; and then any blessings beyond our needs can be our gift back to God as we use His providence for His glory!

My Prayer Today: My pursuit is You, Lord! Amen

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