by Kevin Burton
Where is your treasure this morning?
Happy Sunday and welcome back to class! Let’s not dawdle, as they say, time is money.
In our Earthly School for the Spiritually Blind (ESSB) we start the second semester today. We started this school because spiritual blindness is the worst, most dangerous condition to be in.
We’ve been looking at school subjects from a spiritual point of view. We talk money today, in a first-period Economics class.
The Bible talks about money a lot. Some say more than any other subject.
The biblical teachings on money aren’t the ones screamed in the major media. For example, here’s Jesus giving financial advice, recorded in the book of Matthew.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21 NASB).
Read this passage and answer my opening question. Which bank are you most intent on pumping treasure into? Is it in Heaven or on earth? This is Jesus separating true riches from fool’s gold.
Here’s King Solomon, talking about generosity: “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty,” (Prov. 11:24 NKJV).
A truth emerges from that and similar passages: God owns all the money. Your name is on the bank statement, but you are a temporarily holder.
The laws of interest and wealth accumulation, the ones that will last for eternity, are not found in the fine print of a bank document. They are found in the Bible.
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38 NKJV).
Money is a tool, given or allowed by God, so we can conduct business on earth. It should not be treated as a goal in itself.
The wrong attitude about money can derail a life. The Apostle Paul put it this way in a letter to his protégée Timothy:
“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Tim. 6: 9-10 NKJV).
That’s the passage you have probably heard the most, only misquoted as “money is the root of all evil,” instead of “the love of money is a root of all evil.”
The passage is not a blanket condemnation of money, nor is any such blanket condemnation found in all of scripture.
If you twist the scripture into something as ridiculous as money being equal to evil, that makes it easy to dismiss the whole Bible. That’s how that works. Don’t be fooled by that.
“Money itself is a-moral, it’s not good and it’s not bad,” said Dr. John McArthur on the Grace to You radio ministry Sept. 20. “But depending on how it is used it either becomes good or becomes bad.”
“Money can be a great blessing and the key to it is what you think of it,” McArthur said. “It is a question of attitude. When a person loves money he is useless to God.”
He is even useless to himself, according to Solomon, writing in Ecclesiastes.
“One who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor one who loves abundance with its income. This too is futility. When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look at them” (Ecc. 5:10-11 NASB).
The proverb writer Agur, having seen others chase money and knowing his own heart, prays that God would remove him from the process.
“Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God. (Prov. 30: 8-9 NKJV).
Class notes, first period, Economics: Jesus says riches stored in heaven cannot be lost. Money is a tool on earth, best used when you realize God owns it all.
One for the spiritual road: “Giving is not God’s way of raising money. Giving is God’s way of raising children,” John McArthur.