Now that I have your attention!
I read something today on a blog that got me thinking. It was a post, or rather an ad on a post, for a “Biblical system” to amass wealth and retire early. Hmmm…sounds interesting.
Money and religion have always made a controversial combination. Some equate poverty with Godliness referring to the humble birth and life of Jesus. Others use the commonly misquoted verse that money is the root of all evil as a way of accepting their lot in life while judging those more fortunate. In actuality the quote is found in 1Tim 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil; and while some have coveted after it, they have erred from the faith. Yet it is true that Jesus overturned the table on the money changers in the temple it wasn’t just because of the money. But that’s a discussion for another time. Still others have taken the approach that wealth is our right as Children of the King and that God is just waiting to shower money down on us if we just exercise our faith and claim it. The pendulum swings too far both ways unfortunately and the truth is often found after it comes to rest.
There are many things said about money in both the old and the new testaments. Time does not allow me to list them all but I would like to share enough on the subject to kindle a fire in you to search the Word and find the truth for yourselves. God has no problem with a person being wealthy. From the beginning He gave great wealth graciously. To Adam and Eve he gave dominion over the Garden and everything in it. To Noah He gave salvation from His judgement and the new world after the flood. To Abraham He gave the new land and the promise of children innumerable.
Moses records in Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Wait! What? Did I read that right? Yes, you did. God gives us the power to get wealth and He does to confirm that we are His!
To Solomon, God gave treasures untold ( the Bible records that Solomon was and is and always will be the richest man in the world – move over Bill Gates!) 2 Chron 1:11-12 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.” But, did you see the reason why? yes, Solomon was given all that wealth because he didn’t ask for it. God saw that his heart was more concerned with the responsibility of governing Gads people rather then personal gain. So, clearly God has no problem with a person being wealthy. It the why and what of it that concerns Him. Why do you want wealth? What will you do with it when you get it. For that matter what do you do with the money you have now?
The Word of God expresses God’s hatred of unequal scales (unfair trading), excessive usury (excessive interest rates on loans), and the covetousness of being dissatisfied with what you have now while wanting more money, cars, and stuff like that guy over there! I could go on and on but will bring this to a close by reminding us of the woman with two mites. She gave to God all that she had and she drew Jesus’ attention more then those who gave a small portion of their great wealth. So, it’s not the MONEY that concerns God, after all, its all His anyway its just passing threw our hands today. More importantly it’s how we feel about it (Jesus said you can not serve two masters [both God and money] because you will love one and hate the other). It’s what we do to gain the wealth – lie, cheat, steal, rob God and our families of our time with them, etc. It’s what we do with it once we have it. Do we give back to the church so that the ministry can continue and expand? Do we give to the poor and widows? Do we save for our children? If we do not consider the thoughts and intent of our hearts concerning money we will only deceive ourselves into thinking that we are in control of our finances.
Did you know that the only time God actually tells us to test Him is in the area of Money and giving? Read it for yourself – Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Looks like a challenge to me. What’s the matter – you chicken?!?!?