Today we continue our series entitled, “Expecting the Word to Work!” This is part 27.
We have been studying the parable of the sower for over a month now. Within this study we have looked at the first two types of soil and we are looking at the third: thorny weeds. Let’s get back to it this morning. Jesus said:
“Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.” (Mark 4:18,19)
We have been focusing in on the phrase, “the love of money.” Many Christians don’t like to talk about money. But the Bible actually says more about money than it does about heaven. We need to talk about it. Especially as it relates to the improper “love” many people develop towards it. Money, in and of itself, is not evil. I would say that NOT having money is evil. If you think that having money is evil, you must have never been poor. Money can, and should, be used for all sorts of good. It’s the love of money that is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10), not the money itself. Paul said, “The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow.” (1 Tim 6:10 ERV).
In my typical teaching fashion, I am going to drive this home until I the Lord releases me to move on. We spent over a week on the phrase, “the cares of this world.” We are going to give careful and prayerful consideration to the phrase, “the love of money.” Like “the cares of this world,” “the love of money” is a weed that can choke out the Word from working in our lives. Jesus warned us against it, so we must seek and understanding concerning it.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. God is not opposed to you having earthly possessions. As a matter of fact, the Bible is full of evidence to the contrary. God Himself made many believers wealthy in scripture and He still does so today. Unfortunately, however, I have seen Christians tear down other Christians for having earthly possessions and they attempted to use scripture to justify their vitriol. This is a shame. God wants us to build each other up, not tear each other down (Eph 4:29). Never ‘put your mouth’ on someone because of what they have or do not have. Use your words to minister grace, not hurt. Further, you may be criticizing something God is doing in their lives. People criticize what they do not understand. Just because you do not understand it, does not mean you are to criticize it.
2. Pulling the string on the thought that people criticize what they do not understand, a member of my church, LaShawne Holland, posted the following on social media yesterday: “People who lack vision get offended when they see possibilities. Because their mindset is contaminated with negativity, they back bite instead of saying, “I can do that too.”” Social media has taken on a life of its own. There are Christians who are casually posting pictures of whatever God has blessed them to do, and other Christians are tearing them down, publicly, on social media, because they deem the lifestyle to be excessive, over-the-top, or wasteful. You never truly know what someone else is doing with their finances. You don’t know what percentage of their income goes to tithes, offering, Kingdom projects and the poor. And if you do not know, then you should not allow your lips to criticize out of ignorance. Christians, who are called to operate in love, are tearing each other down on social media daily, all because of a wrong relationship with money. When your heart is right with God and you have a right relationship with money, what others do with the money God puts in their hands does not bother you. When you walk in love with God and you are NOT in love with money, you can celebrate one another without jealousy.
3. Don’t criticize others for what they have or do not have. God will judge us all. If God tests their heart and finds that their heart is in the right place where money is concerned, He will bless them with more. Don’t allow envy to fill your heart and to cause you to be upset with someone who has what you don’t. Allow God to judge their heart and you search your own. God will give you all you need to accomplish your divine assignment, and He will even bless you richly to enjoy the life He has given you, but your heart needs to be right where money is concerned.
4. God can give you wealth. God made Solomon wise and rich. He was a trillionaire, by the grace of God, and this is what he said concerning earthly wealth and possessions: “I have seen what is best for people to do on earth: They should eat, drink, and enjoy the work they have during their short time here. God has given them these few days, and that is all they have. If God gives some people wealth, property, and the power to enjoy those things, they should enjoy them. They should accept the things they have and enjoy their work—that is a gift from God.” (Ecc 5:18-20).
a) The Lord can bless you with wealth, property and the power to enjoy it. And there is nothing wrong with enjoying all God places in your hands.
b) You can and should enjoy the things God blesses you with, just don’t develop an improper love for them.
c) Thank God for your house or your car, but don’t “love” either. Some “love” their possessions so much that it keeps them away from the God who blessed them with it. This is a major problem.
d) God wants you to enjoy the things He blesses you with, but if you start loving things, instead of loving God, then the things God blessed you with actually become idols that keep you from Him.
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. My expectation is tied to Your Word. Your Word teaches me to make You my #1 priority in every area of my life. So I bring my life into focus where money is concerned. I don’t allow money to cause my heart to go astray. You can bless me with wealth Father, because I will use the wealth You place in my hands for Your Kingdom plans and purposes. I don’t love my house, I am thankful I get to enjoy it. I don’t love my car, but I do enjoy it as I drive to and fro. I love You and I am thankful for whatever You trust me with. My heart is in the right place concerning money. So Father, You can trust me with more so I can fund Kingdom projects all over the world. I will never develop a love for money. Money is a tool, You are my Lord, and I will never confuse the two. I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!