Every summer I like to dig into a good, purpose-filled book, and while strolling though my local library, I stumbled upon this book titled, Jesus, Money, and Me. I was skeptical at first, as money is always a debatable topic, as is in our own home. But, I thought what could it hurt? If I come to disagree with the author in multiple occurrences, I can always stop reading.
So, over the past week, I have found myself glued to this title. To my surprise, Dr. Ron Jones does a beautiful job relating scripture to the ever so touchy subject of money. It has moved me and my own view of finances so much, I thought I would share some of the key highlights. This can be especially helpful to those who may not enjoy reading books, or just don’t have the time 😉
So, back to money. Does it make your cringe when you hear the word? What about developing a sense of fear or worry? Do I have enough in the bank? How much is enough? Do I really need a budget? What does God think of my expenses? Does God even care about money? These are all common questions we may ask ourselves as we become an adult and gain our own responsibilities. Let’s break down some of these questions and study them in detail..
Does God care about money? Did you know 16 of the 38 parables Jesus told have a money or stewardship theme to them? 1 out of every 10 verses in the Gospels, 288 altogether, deal with the subject of money. It is said that someone counted almost 2,300 verses on money, wealth, and material possessions. Let’s compare that to 500 verses on prayer, 500 on faith. So, I dare you to ask that question again. Go ahead… Does God care about money? You bet He does!
Scripture says this: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24
Money is so important to God, that He warns us of it becoming a god. He says we have a choice, we can either serve Him or we can serve the green paper we carry in our pocket. It is impossible to serve both.
Do I have enough? The key word here is “I’. We need to realize that money was never ours in the first place. The first problem with our view of money is that we think that we are the owners. God desires us to think of ourselves as the investor. Rather than piling up treasures on earth, Jesus wants us to invest in eternal things. Think about when you invest in the stock market. You take a chance, you are uncertain of the return you will receive. Your investment in stocks will eventually rot, rust, or fade away. An investment in heaven, on the other hand, is eternal. Never fading,and yields a huge return. That’s right, you shall receive a hundred times as much when you inherit eternal life. Don’t believe me? Read God’s words in Matthew 19;29. God trust us with his money. How will you invest it?
They say a quick look at your checkbook is also a simple glance at one’s heart. Go ahead, take a look! Where is God’s money going? Are you buying a handful of material possessions? How much are you giving? Are you even giving? This leads us to our next question..
How much is enough? Since you can’t take the cash with you to the grave, the alternative is to give it away! Yes, give it away! God doesn’t place a price tag on giving. It does come down to the condition of our hearts. Jesus is very clear in scripture that if we give to God, He gives to us in return. You can experience the pleasure of God when you give.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
As piercing as that may sound, it is true. The book gives a multitude of examples of normal people, like ourselves, who have truly experienced an indescribable joy when they gave. Giving will lead us to ultimate financial freedom- yes freedom to give generously. According to Jesus, the next purchase we make is not what guarantees happiness, no matter how amazing that item may be. Lasting joy and fulfillment in life is truly made by those who give with their whole heart.
So are you telling me it is bad to purchase material things? What if I already invest in stocks? Will God frown upon such things? The answer is no. Think about it, everything around us was, at some time, bought at a price. Even ourselves were bought at a price! Christ died on the cross and paid the penalty of our sins, so we can live. That is the greatest purchase of all! What makes it even better is that, He bought us without expecting anything in return. We received an undeserved favor from God, and the least He expects us to do is use His money wisely. God purchased our redemption, is not the Kingdom of God worth the investment of our time, lives, money, and material things? God knows the condition of your heart each time you are in the checkout. Just think before you swipe or hand the cash to the clerk. Ask yourself, what am I hoping to gain from this purchase? Trust me, it will change the way you shop (in a good way).
Last, but not least, how do we truly become financially free? Dr. Ron Jones does a beautiful job answering this question. Of course he had the help of scripture 🙂
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 1 3:5
Ron says, “There you have it. A person is financially free when he or she is free from the love of money. Contentment-not consumption-is the path to financial freedom.” Are you sick of money constantly being the fixation of your heart and mind? God is enough. He is the one true source of all we need. The first step, is believing and trusting that truth. It’s up to you. Who or what will rule your life? God or money…
Inspired and quoted from the book-Jesus, Money, and Me: Discovering the Link Between Your Money and Your Faith