January 28, 2001
Threat of Riches
Luke 16

KEY VERSE: Ye cannot serve God and mammon. -- Luke 16:13

Four truths emerge from biblical teaching about money:

  1. God expects us to be good stewards of all that He allows us to have. It all belongs to Him; we actually own nothing. If you doubt that, you could say to me, "Look, Walter, I own five thousand acres of land; it does not belong to God, it belongs to me." Then I would ask you, "Whose land will it be 100 years from now?" See what I mean? Whatever you have has been entrusted to you by God and He expects you to manage it as a good steward while you live.
  2. We cannot love both God and money. If you love money, then you do not love God. Period. You must choose one or the other. God expects us to love Him first and foremost. Once that love is in place, then we can use money to honor Him. Love money most of all and your life will be a disaster. There is no doubt about it. Examples are plentiful.
  3. God holds us accountable for our stewardship. Annually we must give an account to the Internal Revenue Service of how we have handled our money. One day we must give an account to God. While the right use of wealth is not a condition of salvation, it is an indication of our relationship to God. If we do not use our money wisely, in ways that honor God, then we demonstrate to ourselves and to others that our life is not under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
  4. God will reward our faithfulness. Our reward may not be an abundance of material things. He may reward us in this life by giving us a love for true riches, so that we become joyously satisfied with what we do have rather than coveting the wealth of others.

What, at last, could be a greater reward than to hear God say to us at the end of our earthly journey, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of thy Lord."