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Finance has a great deal to do with our worship and devotion to God. Gold (money) is this worlds instrument of exchange,it is the measure of wealth and riches, access to status and glory. Our relationship with it directly defines our stance with God. This is because in itself it is capable of drawing our devotion and passion, and able to give direction to our lives. It dictates how we live our lives, spend our time and our God given treasure of grace, strength, life and relationships are often sacrificed on its altar.

 

Exodus 32 (ESV)

Luke 16 ESV Vs 9-13  

"And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

 

Our Lord Jesus says here that the attitude of the believer to the unrighteous wealth (mammon), will determine if he will get "true riches". He makes it clear that we cannot serve God and money, money seems to be the strongest contender for the heart of man, capable of outrightly replacing him in our hearts.

Are you at this point substituting our worship of God for the worship of money? Big brother Isreal did so...

The Ten commandments & the Golden Calf

Exodus 32 ESV Vs. 1-6

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden[a] calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.”

 

MAMMON

Mammon is the god of gain, it drives its enterprise through greed and fear!

Our attitude to mammon (money/gain) is influenced by our basic philosophical and ethical view of man and his role on earth. You must realize that wealth (empowerment) is an amplifier of purpose and identity, wealth reveals your innermost convictions about who you are and what you perceive as "success".

We pursue wealth, beva use we seek to use it to accomplish our desires. When God is not the center of your desires, Mammon will be! 

What are your current resources of time, talent, treasure and training empowering? Who are you magnifying? The World, Yourself or God?  

MAMMON IS A GOD, He demands worship and service.

 

It is interesting to note that the Gold Calf was made at the point when Moses was bringing down the commandments, the Law the people were to obey.

  • You shall have no other gods before Me.
  • You shall not make idols.
  • You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  • Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  • Honor your father and your mother.
  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  • You shall not covet.

 

The first commandment “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Interestingly the people declared “These are your gods, O Israel” in verse 4.

The second commandment “You shall not make idols.” And the people “made a golden calf” in verse 4.

Breaking the very 1st  and 2nd commandment. The Israelites used the God given resource, the Gold, abused its purpose turning it into their idol, and worshipped it. They served it with their hearts, bodies, and passion.

They made it the object of their affection and devotion, they put their trust in it, they rejected the God of Isreal who rescued them, they forgot him and corrupted their priest Aaron, they forced him to make them this idol and they bowed to it, they revelled before it and commited lewdness before it and practiced fornication.

This is what we have done today, our lawgivers in Zion have made us a golden calf, church has become more about the glitz, the glamour and the gold! Isreal was severely punished for this sin, the tablets of the law was broken by Moses, because the convenant was already broken by Isreal, the law is only good if the covenant is in force! How do we fare today as spiritual Isreal?

Have we made our Golden Calf too?

The drama engulfing the world 15 and 16 September 2008 was symbolically captured in the image of ‘The Golden Calf’, a dead calf preserved in a tank of formaldehyde with gold-plated horns and hooves. This work of Damian Hirst (a favorite artist among investment bankers) was coincidently sold at an art fair for a record breaking price, the very same moment when capitalism suffered a heart attack. It is interesting that the symbol on the calf’s head is a Babylon symbol. 

Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables of Jesus talk about money. One out of every ten verses in the New Testament deal with this subject. Scripture has 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but over 2,000 verses on the subject of money. Why such contrast? Because it is the most important subject in human affairs and even Jesus recognised that. 

Money in itself is a very little thing (Luke 16:10). Because money cannot buy real joy. Money cannot give eternal life nor real meaning in life (Isa. 55:1-3; Rev. 3:16-18). Yet, there is nothing that reveals our spiritual orientation and relationship with God like our attitude toward money. Jesus Christ made it clear that a mark of true spirituality was a right attitude toward wealth, please note that money is not evil, but the LOVE of Money is, it is the wrong heart attitude to money that is the root of all evil 1 Timothy 3:10

 

What can get a man or woman out of bed early in the morning? It's either the "greed for more money" or the "fear of the lack of it" these are the two emotions that drive our lives and activities, it defines our identity, relationships, purpose and our success.

Is it not the reason why we scheme, kill, lie, work, love, hate etc. The need and greed for more or the fear of lack drives the worlds economies, the basis of economics are scarce resources and unlimited demand. This scarcity is the reason we are programmed to grab, steal, kill and compete. It makes us lose respect for other human beings, it makes us use people to get things instead of use things to get people, the love of money is indeed the root of all evil.

Gods resources are not scarce, they are abundant, and Gods resources are to be spent on people who are his prime assets, or what does it profit a man if he gains the wealth of the whole world and loses his soul? The soul of one man is worth more to God that all the wealth of this world.

 

Why then does God give us Gold?

When the children of Israel were leaving Egypt, the lord himself commanded them to go and get gold from the Egyptians, it was the lord that gave them these riches and wealth.

As they travelled through the wilderness, they didn't have to buy food, they had heavenly manna and meat, their thirst was quenched supernaturally and they didn't have to buy clothes as their clothes grew on them. So, the big question is, if they didn't need to buy food, clothes, water and shelter Why did they need the gold?

God gave them Gold so that they can use it to build the tabernacle, that was the purpose, but they perverted it and worshipped it instead, they build a golden calf, the calf is a symbol of labor, don't we all worship the works of our hands? Don't we feel the need to rejoice in the "works" of our hands? Don't we often exalt our labour and its fruits above the lord who gave it to us? Don't we often think like the rich fool who was called home early because of his pride?

 

Do we labor for gold or for God?

Jesus admonishes us to take no thought for what we will eat, drink or put on, he said after such things do the Gentiles "seek" after, that is the reason they toil, but we should not be so...

We also ought to use our gold to build Gods house, and no! Gods house is not your church building! Gods house is his people, his community, his nation and his kingdom within which he dwells, our Gold was Given us to invest in the business of the kingdom, the business of enhancing men with the gospel, saving them and discipling them after Christ, we are meant to partner with him by making it available to build the structures and the systems by which his covenants and his law will be received, his culture spread and his dominion established, this is the reason for Gold. In our kingdom, Gold is used for pavement, the streets of heaven are paved with Gold, for those who are on the earth, it is their highest treasure.

 

The children of Isreal gave so much gold for the building and furnishing of the tabernacle that Moses had to tell them to stop. God has given his children enough for the work of the kingdom, but it often gets diverted into the building of idols, or monuments of our strength and labour, such as houses, cars, jewellery, clothes and other things our lusts and pride desire, these things that do not have eternal value, but perish within the century.

 

Once Jesus told a rich young ruler who desired eternal life that he should sell all he had, give them to the poor and follow Jesus, Jesus promised him he would have treasures in heaven...he went away sad, for he had much possessions the bible said, or more accurately "much possessions had him!"

 

We are stewards and not owners

When we give up all that we have and are, including our lives, it is all that we can afford, but the least that he deserves. We own nothing in this world, but are stewards of everything. The mark of a godly and righteous man is his preoccupation with God and heavenly treasure. Financial faithfulness ultimately flows out of the recognition that everything we are and have belongs to the Lord (1 Chron. 29:11-16; Rom. 14:7-9; 1 Cor. 6:19-20). Life is a temporary sojourn in which Christians are to see themselves as temporary residents, who are here as stewards of God’s manifold grace. All we are and have—our talents, time, and treasures—are trusts given to us by God which we are to invest for God’s kingdom and glory.

 

What are true riches?

Jesus spoke of true riches being granted to those who steward the unrighteous mammon right, the true riches are riches of his grace. They are heavenly resources, transacted within the kingdom of God, they are divine assignments, Privileges, responsibilities, resources, powers given to the saints to steward and use to co-labour in the kingdom with God. However, remember that in the kingdom of God, the most prized commodity is the human soul, never forget that. Whoever helps Gods system to bring souls to him and build them up in him is the God kind of business man/woman. God has a great deal of respect for such sons!

 

Your time, talents and treasures and life are given to you by God in hope that you will choose to serve him with them. How are you using the talents (resources) entrusted to you? Are you planning to yield a 30, 60 or a 100 fold increase?

 

What is your relationship with money... Master or servant?
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Posted: Monday, 2nd May 2016


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