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God teaches about money, part 2

God teaches about money, part 2
God teaches about money, part 2
The Rev. Kathy Brumbaugh
By the Rev. Kathy Brumbaugh, Special Writer

Background text: Proverbs 10:22
Devotional text: Matthew 6:19-21

In last week’s column, we looked at the scripture found in 1 Timothy 6:10 that tells us this: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

It is important to note that it is not money that is the root of evil, but the love of money.

I looked up this verse online and was surprised and unhappy to find how one site called “money is the root of evil” a shortened version of the Timothy scripture. Not so! When you drop the word “love,” you change the whole meaning of this sound advice given by Paul to his friend Timothy.

Last week, as we looked at 1 Timothy 6, we found Paul’s letter continues by saying in verses 17 to 19 that the rich should not act haughty because they have money. They should not think of themselves as better than other people just because they have more. Instead, Paul says they should “do good, be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share … ”

It’s not having money that is a problem; it is when money becomes an idol to the rich and leads to unhealthy temptations. This is what we are to be aware of: not letting wealth take the place of God.
Today, we are continuing along the same theme.

Let’s look at Matthew 6:19-21, as found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

We see more of what Jesus had to say about money as we go onto Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters, 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.”

Here, Jesus is speaking to us in plain language the truth about anything that takes God’s first place in our lives. Whether its money, possessions or the love of shopping or traveling, if, in your heart, these are the things you are obsessing about, then you must ask yourself, “Where do I place God in my life?”

King Solomon was a king of great wealth. After his father, King David, died, Solomon built the temple to God in Jerusalem. Even though he had great wealth, this is what he had to say in Ecclesiastes 5:10: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”

The translation for the word vanity is clearer identified as smoke, nothingness, here and then gone. Solomon, who had it all, knew that the love of money meant nothing. His heart was to be a man of God, where true wealth and wisdom come from.

In Luke 12, Jesus told the Parable of the Rich Fool (you can read it in Luke 12:16-21). In Luke 12:15, as Jesus made answer to a young man who was asking Jesus to tell his brother (the brother of the young man) to split his inheritance with him, Jesus said, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

The Bible tells us as we become believers with our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, it is God who helps us in this life we live. We read in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

In Hebrews 13:5, the writer tells us, “Keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.”

Not only that, but we should be givers as well as receivers. This is what we read about being givers in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

These are good scriptures to keep in mind day to day. There will always be temptations to buy more, possess more and otherwise make use of the money that you do have, and even the money you do not have. And, of course, that leads us into even more serious problems.

God is good to us. He expects us to help one another. These are Paul’s words to the believers in Corinth in connection with giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-8): “Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

“Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

You see, God doesn’t hold back on us. He wants us to be cheerful givers. I love that statement. I use it in part of my church’s offertory prayer. Don’t give because its your duty. Decide in your heart what to give and give it cheerfully as unto the Lord.

God helps us and leads us in the way we should go, and, by following his teachings, we can have a good, peaceful, content life, as much as it is possible. Money, wealth, possessions come and go. Don’t let them take the place of God in your life.

So, is money evil? No, but the love of money certainly can be.

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