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Who rules, gold or God?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
Our modern civilization gives the impression that money is the gateway to success, achievement, pleasure and profit. The world says: 'Strive to surround yourself with money and success. Live for the present.' It has a message of economic independence from God with a complete disregard for eternal life. Money (Mammon)usually excludes God. The Bible agrees that the relationship between God and money is a tricky one. It says in Matthew 6:24, ‘No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and money’. Does that mean that a Christian should be devoted to God and ignore money altogether? Should he become a pauper, beg for alms, live like a monk and pray all the time while he concentrates on serving God? That is the popular picture which the devil would like to portray. Fortunately it is like all the devil’s ideas - incorrect.
God does demand absolute devotion and love: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength’ (Mark 12:30). God is not afraid of money, as He created it. He is very rich owning the cattle on a thousand hills. He knows, though, that money cannot give man an eternal home after death. Only God can, therefore He is infinitely more important than money. The principle is this: first God (eternal life), then money (temporal life). God doesn’t mind if a believer is affluent. He may be a millionaire, have ambitions, improve his lifestyle and be successful. God likes it. He is not a stingy father who wants his children to be poor. One can do precious little without money, and the more millionaires God has, the more can be accomplished in His kingdom. But God loves people and does not want them to live only for this life. He knows that there is an eternity waiting and that there are two possible destinations, heaven and hell. If a person becomes totally engrossed in working for money, he neglects his relationship with God and his preparation for eternity.
When Jesus said that it is difficult for a rich person to be saved, it is because wealth usurps God’s position of first importance. ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:10). But God is not cowed by money. A wealthy financier, reading his Bible first and then the Financial News, pleases God. His priorities are right. What problem did the rich young ruler of Luke 18:18 have then? His problem was not that he was rich, but that he treasured money more than God. Remember the lesson: money excludes God, God doesn’t exclude money. If God had been against money, why did He give the businessman the talent to make money? God will never exclude rich people from His kingdom, but the rich man who loves his money more than God excludes himself. It is so much more profitable to love God first, and then to be a good businessman. That is an investment that will bear very good dividends.
To summarize: money excludes God, but God doesn’t exclude money. God has a standard: Love for Him is first.