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For those listening or reading. This will be one of the hardest teachings to accept. Mainly because the very society that we live in revolves around it. For Christian it is made simple and direct by Jesus Christ Himself.
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
Nearly every single person in today’s social and economic structure has this dilemma. Which most fail to address properly in their lives. By the way. I am included in this as well. We all fall short in this area. Most more than they realize. I have hit upon it in the past. But today I will go even deeper and try to show why this is something that those that call themselves “Christian” must find a way to address in their lives and especially their relationship with God through our Savior Jesus Christ. This is what we see about money in 1 Timothy:
6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
Money is a snare that entraps those that have not been taught that in actuality it is a vice.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 – Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! 11 The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!
1 Timothy 6:9-10 – 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. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
As you can tell from these verses. This describes the mentality of most that love money within a wealthy country. It is also the mentality of those seeking this love of money that live outside a wealthy country and make efforts to move to a wealthy county.
Let’s look deeper into the KJV of Ecclesiastes 5:10:
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
Note that here they use the word vanity.
Vanity – H1892 – emptiness or vanity; something transitory and unsatisfactory
In addition, per Strong’s to quote: “the word represents human “breath” as a transitory thing: Job 7:16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity. (literally, but a breath)”
Seeking after money is perceived as pursuing a fleeting existence. Something that will result in sorrow and trouble.
Now before I go further and allow what you have just read and heard to sink in. I wish to share a snapshot of the United States nearly one hundred and seventy-five years ago.
It is 1847. The President of the United States is James K. Polk. Also, at this time a famine was devastating Ireland. A bill was sent through the Senate to spend $500,000 which equates to $15,950,121 in today’s dollars. To send relief to the people of that island nation. Polk, who was of Irish decent, threatened a veto if the bill if it was sent to his desk.
Because he saw it as unconstitutional to waste the people’s money in such a fashion. He felt that using federal funds was wrong. He did however donate $50 ($1595) to the relief fund that was created following the dying of this bill in committee. He also allowed two war ships to be used to help send the relief supplies to Ireland.
The citizens of the United States as a result started their own relief fund as noted a moment ago. Instead of raising $500,000. The resulting funds raised came to $545,145. $45,145 ($1,440,136) more than the federal government would had allocated. One hundred and eighteen ships sailed with cargo and funds raised to help the people of Ireland. This showed how people respond with their money on their own. Not just $45,145 more than what the government had proposed. However, the mere fact that $17,390,257 was raised. The average income in 1847 was about $120 a year. So, this was a significant amount in that time period.
What does this show about the United States in 1847? That money was not the focal point of the average American citizen. Then what was?
Hebrews 13:16 – And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Proverbs 19:17 – If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD—and he will repay you!
1 John 3:17 – If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
The last is the most important of these verses, and the question asked is also important. “How can God’s love be in that person?”
What does that say for most in today’s world, even those that call themselves “Christian?” They feel and believe that since they their pay taxes. It is the responsibility of the government to care for those in need. As was shown in 1847, this was not the mentality of those that lived in the United States at that time.
Most in today’s world. Especially in wealthy nations. Let the governments do what President Polk said was not the responsibility of the government. Those with the true responsibility responded above and beyond what the government offered.
Note again that what was donated by freewill was greater than what was demanded through government action.
Isaiah 55:9 – For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Now I have established two points here. One is: that which is blessed by God is always greater than what humans can do on their own. The other point is those that do not follow their responsibility as a person that says they are “Christian.” The question is asked by John. Are they truly Christian?
That is something that all must ask themselves. This is why all must ask who their true master is. Especially those that profess to being “Christian.”
Now I wish to show a verse from a parable that Jesus told when speaking of the end of days:
Matthew 25:5 – When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
What is the common factor that could cause all of humanity? Unsaved. As well as the saved that are wise and foolish to “fall asleep?”
What do they all have in common in today’s world?
This is the only common denominator that can explain why humanity has fallen asleep. Has forgotten God. Has forgotten the actions of Jesus Christ upon the cross, and His resurrection three days later.
Now just so you understand. In 2013 due to some situations beyond my control I lost all my possessions. Since then, I have continued to live a minimalist life. A life not focused upon money or possessions. I am even now planning to enter into retirement in this same vein. I believe that was God’s plan all along. To help me gain insight into this issue. To lose my focus on possessions, on money, on property. The problem is will you the listener and reader allow these words to sink in.
For those that have been paying attention to the world about them. They will accept and realize that the signs foretold by Jesus Himself. Reinforced by Peter, Paul and John are being seen throughout the world, and on a global scale. So, all of humanity is included.
Plus, as my example which I mentioned earlier the philanthropy that is an earmark of true Christianity is missing from today’s society. Does this not say there is a separation between the Christians in 1847 and the ones today? Does this not give an image of a type of sleeping on the part of today’s humanity? A separation from God?
Do these questions cause you to think to ponder?
Now what do I mean by I “live a minimalist life?” to answer that we must again look to the words of Jesus Christ Himself.
Matthew 6:25-34 – “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
My savings is not very large. I do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars in my 401k. I do not own a house. I live a modest lifestyle. Sure, I have some possessions but not a lot, nor do I wish to have more. In my retirement I plan to have even less. This will be my third downsizing since remarrying in 2015. Let me give you an example of someone I worked with. This person called himself a “Christian.” Yet all he talked about was his 401k, which I might add was worth a million dollars. A few days after he announced that he was finally going to retire. He lost $300,000 of it worth in a single day. It upset him greatly. Why? Because his 401k was his god.
Do I use the systems that are in place within the world we now live in? Yes, I do. Because everything that exists in this world is all part of God’s plan and design. I leave my life in God’s hand. He has fed me. He has given me wife that I love and is my best friend. We share the same likes and desire, as well as the same God.