2004-01-14 - Make Your Money Count

Part 1 - Storm Clouds Brewing

“We didn't bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6: 7-11 (New Living)

Our world bombards us constantly with the message that more of everything equals success. In contrast, God’s plan for money is designed to keep us from falling into a trap of despair regarding money. This trap puts a wall between us, others and God.

Success is not letting others define success for you. Success is not growing up to please your mother and father by entering the field that they wanted you to enter. Success is not doing a specific job, going to a superior school, majoring in a special field, joining a prestigious club, driving a particular car, living in a high-profile neighborhood or holding important volunteer positions because others think that defines success. Success is definitely not buying things we don’t need with money we do not have, in order to impress people that do know us and don't care. You cannot let success be defined by the world or those around you. It can only be defined by how well you use the gifts God gave you. Success is being all God intended for you to become.

The Bible has much to say about money. It never tells us money is evil, only the love of money. Let’s look at some verses and ponder about God’s plan to help us deal with our internal feelings and misconceptions about money.

“A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have.” 1 Timothy 6: 6 (God’s Word)
“Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” Ecclesiastes 5: 10 (New Living)

“Rich people trust their wealth to protect them. They think it is like the high walls of a city.” Proverbs 18: 11 (New Century)

“But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6: 9-10 (New Living)

“If your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life.” Psalm 62: 10 (New Living)

“The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” 1 Timothy 6: 10 (Contemporary English)

The past few years of stock market declines, economic and job uncertainties, terrorist threats and attacks have created within many people “fear fatigue.” We are worn out by fears about the world and money.

And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. For I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” Instead, the sailors tried even harder to row the boat ashore. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. Jonah 1:11-13 (NLT)

The more we try to do without God… the worse life gets. Just like the men in the boat in the above passage...the more they rowed, the more the storm raged. We need to slow down enough to hear that soft voice of the Holy Spirit say... “Hey open your Bible…spend some time with Me. Slow down my child. Be calm. Listen to me and not the world.” Storms do brew, but God is always faithful and honors those that honor Him.

Points to Ponder:

  • What are specific examples of the world’s view of money? How is this message being delivered?
  • What are some practical ways are we can steer clear of the storms that brew inside of us, with regard to money matters?

David Massey

[email david] david@e-devotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org
http://www.e-devotionals.org