Google+ 01/22/13 Gaudy or Godly Treasures?

1 Timothy 6:9-11

 

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 the root of all kinds of evil.

And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith

And pierced themselves with many sorrows.

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things.

Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 

 

Today our Scripture lesson deals with one of those subjects that believers usually would prefer to ignore or hope that ministers never talk about.  Yes, you guessed it!  Money is the topic of today's devotion, but probably not in a way you have heard it before.  During a rehearsal for our upcoming production of Godspell, God spoke to me through our cast about this subject in a unique way.  Thank you God for being so transparent to your humble servants.  Second only to the subject of Praise in the Bible, money is the most often talked about topic.  One-Third of Jesus' parables are about money.  God knew this one was going to be a problem for most Christians.  Why is this the case?  I believe our Scripture tells us why. The first line of our Scripture lesson today, written by Paul when he was in prison to his "minister in training" Timothy, warns of people that love money and long to be "rich."  Here is the first spiritual mistake that happens so often to individuals and churches.  Many times, even with good intentions, we treat money incorrectly.  Money is simply the world's currency.  Nothing more, nothing less.  If you are attempting to "save for a rainy day,"  all you are really doing is ignoring everything the Bible says about this earthly currency.  How many different ways does Jesus need to say these things about money?  The most important statement in our Scripture today is that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  It is not money itself that is the root of all evil.  It is the LOVE of money that causes the problem.  When we turn our earthly currency into "heavenly dollars," we have no problem.  Our world obviously boasts examples of many people who "store up their treasures on earth."  But remember what happened to the man that kept building storehouses for all his goods?  Yes, he lost it all in one night!  I have mentioned before to all of you, that the Lord's Prayer tells us to ask for our "daily bread," not a year of provisions!  Our Scripture goes on to warn us that when this "love of money" takes over, we lose our true faith.  This is so true.  In many churches, the entire focus of "giving" is centered around a mortgage payment and a "suggested budget."  Don't get me wrong, we all need budgets (by the way, if God ordained it, we probably don't need mortgage payments we can't afford!).  What is the driving force behind those budgets?  Too often in churches, the motivation is not God or the ministries that He has ordained.  It is misguided "leaders" who have lost their true faith, because of their love or fear of money, that drives those budgets.  Don't fall into these traps, personally or with your local New Testament Church.  Giving is a blessing from obedience, and the lack thereof is not a monetary problem, but a spiritual problem.  If your personal or church budget is driven exclusively by God, you will always have enough money for all the things God has ordained.  The reason we "run out of money" in both aspects of our lives, is because we have substituted our wants for God's needs, and as the Bible says, we can't serve two masters.  We would be wise to listen to Paul's last statement today and take it to heart.  Paul first reminds Timothy that he is a "man of God."  Paul reminds Timothy of this because Paul knows how easy it could be for his young minister to resort to a "love of money."  Paul tells Timothy to "run" from these influences.  The word used here for "run" in the Greek, literally means "to flee now."  Today, examine yourself and your local New Testament Church.  Is your budget, and theirs, driven by God and ministry, or by the love of earthly currency?  How do we know that?    Look over last month's expenditures.  Did a majority of your income go to build the Kingdom or the world?  Look at your church budget carefully.  How much of that church budget is actually going to ministry, versus the things of the world?  It's January.  Make some hard choices. I lobby the Bible is right.  "Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So is your treaure gaudy or Godly?!