Money. Some say it makes the world go round. No, it doesn’t; God does. A little statement is printed on our money that says, “In God We Trust”. But most people aren’t thinking about God when they think about money. However, our money really does reveal whether it is in God we trust.
Of all the topics we’ve covered about in this blog series, money has the greatest potential to rob you of the life God has for you. If we are going to talk about how to make the most of this life, we have to discuss how to make the most of our money.
First, we have to realize that life is about more than our possessions.
Let me tell you a story. Once there was a young man who graduated from a local university in Raleigh-Durham. After graduation, he got a decent job offer from a company in the Research Triangle Park. He worked hard and things went well. He caught a few breaks and started making more money than he imagined he would. He eventually leaves and starts working for another company that pays him even more. He thinks to, “What should I do with all this money?” One day he’s on an airplane flying to meet with an out of town client and he says, “I know what I will do. I’ll buy more expensive clothes. I need a new car. I need a better place to live. I need to eat better food.” He reads Skymall magazine and sees they’re having a going out of business sale and realizes he needs stuff he didn’t even know existed before reading that magazine.
Then God speaks to him and says, “You fool. You are living like life is all about this life. You are living like eternity is not a reality. You are living like all that matters is the 80 or so years you will spend here. You are a fool.”
Most of us would agree that life is about more than possessions, but do we live like life is about more than just this life? This story is based HIGHLY on the story Jesus tells in Luke 12 about a rich farmer. The farmer lives like all that matters is this life. He says eat drink and be merry. That is much like the modern day statements, “Grab all the gusto, you only go around once” and “Get what you can get.” If all you have is here and now, you should live for the here and now. However, if you honestly believe that there is more than this life, live like there is more than this life.
Money has the potential to change our focus and make us believe life is only about this life. The Apostle Paul warns, People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
What should we do, then? Give everything away, move to a monastery and forego any material possessions? No. God has entrusted these things to each of us. He uses godly and wealthy people throughout the Bible like Abraham, Job, and Joseph of Arimathea. If we want to make the most of our money we need to invest it. I read a quote from John Piper that said, “God is not against investments, He is against bad investments.”
If all your investments are based on the next 80 years, you are living like this life is it. However, if you truly believe in eternity and that your investments during these 80 years impact how you live when you are 80,000 years old, you invest differently. We become like the man in Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” It was his joy to give up what he had to get what he wanted. He was willing to give up what he had because he was convinced that what he was gaining was better. Many of us hold our money with a tight grip because we are not convinced that an eternal investment is worth letting go of the money. Jesus says that how we handle our money is actually a test to see if we can be trusted with true riches.
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:9-11
We need to do the opposite of the rich fool in Luke 12 and, instead of becoming rich toward this life, use our money to become rich toward God.
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20-21
You become rich toward God by using your money to make eternal investments. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Do I really believe in eternity? If so, then how you live during this 80-year time span should reflect how you believe you will live when you are 80,000 years old. Your money should be a reflection of your belief in eternity. Is yours?
Coming up next in this series: The Truth about Tithing
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