15 Feb 2013 by Tony Dibble-
Judas’s betraying Christ involved money (Matt 26:14-16). The Pharisees who confronted Christ on legal issues to damage his ministry were described as lovers or identifiers of money (Luke 16:14).The first recorded sin in the early church happened when Ananias and Sapphira retained money against the agreement of the Christians (Acts 5:1-3).
In Ecclesiastes 10:19, the preacher described the world’s answer to everything as money. The Bible does not condemn money but considers the love of money as one of the roots of all kinds of evil (1Tim 6:10). Money is necessary but must be properly obtained and used. Like everything in life, its source and use must be directed by GOD (Heb 13:5). However, it is the love of money that is a source of all types of evil.
Christ pointed out that man had a choice of serving Him or the god of riches (Matt 6:24). Money cannot be our idol in competition with GOD. There are things that GOD prohibits with the use of money and there are things required of it. Cheating, being greedy for gain, imposing excessive interest rates, engaging in bribes, and refusing to pay taxes are unacceptable in the Bible.(Prov 1:19; 15:27; 16:11; 28:8; Luke 21:25). At the same time, the poor and the needy must not be ignored by us (Deut 15:11). Spiritual gifts cannot be bought with money either (Acts 8:18-21) as they are given directly from GOD. To deny GOD tithes and offerings is equal to robbing Him (Mal 3:8).
GOD looks at our attitude in giving as He wants us to give cheerfully (2 Cor 9:7). GOD also looks at our giving to see if we give him from the excess of what we have, or from the little that we desperately need but part willingly with just for Him (Mark 12:42-44).
Christ told a parable of a rich person who died the night that he made plans for business expansion (Luke 12:16-21). He left GOD out of his plans. His repeated use of the word “I” was similar to satan’s rebellion (Is 14:12-15). GOD cut the rich man’s life off that night, calling him a fool (Luke 12:20). A fool is one who has no belief in the existence of GOD (Ps 14:1). And Christ had warned us never to use the word “fool” ( Matt 5:22 ). That is how seriously GOD took the man’s self-centred attitude, from the parable.
An account is given of Christ meeting a rich young person of some significance. This was an important event to learn from as it was recorded in three of the four gospels (Matt 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 18: 18-27).The man’s wealth was a block to him following Christ. And sadly in this case, because Christ loved him (Mark 10:21) and did not call him a fool.
"Again I tell 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."
GOD has no objections to wealth. The Bible says that it is GOD who gives us the power to obtain wealth (Deut 8:18). However, when we act as if GOD does not exist or when we are so badly trapped by wealth that we are unable to follow GOD, then wealth has become our idol, replacing GOD.
All things belong to GOD (Job 41:11; Ps 24:1 and 50:12). GOD is first and foremost before our life’s details (Matt. 6:33). GOD will prosper us if we trust Him (Prov. 28:25). GOD will never desert us and He will bless us many times over (Job 42:10). Without living in GOD, we can achieve nothing (John 15:5). Enoch, walked with GOD for over three hundred years (Gen. 5:22-24).That is success.
The danger in life is to mistake money and wealth for success and prosperity. Success is more than money and wealth. In Josh 1:8, GOD reminds Joshua that he would be successful and prosperous if he did not let the law (word) of GOD depart from his mouth, if he meditated on it day and night and was careful to do everything in it.
Note: Tony Dibble worships at Endeavour Christian Gathering in Mullaloo Perth, Australia for about 7 years. Prior to this, he was at Church of Our Holy Saviour, Labuan, East Malaysia. When he is in Kuala Lumpur, he now worships at Faith Oasis Fellowship Subang Jaya, Selangor.
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