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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Four Things I Shouldn’t Do with My Money

In review of Luke 12:15 it says, “Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” (NLT).

Today's verse comes from Luke 12:13-21, where Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool. It tells of how someone called from the crowd, "Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father's estate with me." Jesus replied, "Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?". Then he said, "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."

Instead of answering the question, Jesus pointed to a higher issue, the correct attitude toward the accumulation of wealth. For life is more than material goods. What is more important is my relationship with God. So in his response, Jesus put his finger on this questioners heart. Likewise, when I bring problems to God in prayer, I’m learning that he will often respond in the same way, showing me how I need to change and grow in my attitude toward the problem. This answer is often not the one I might have been looking for, but will be far more effective in helping me trace God's hand in my life.

In his response, Jesus is telling me that a good life has nothing to do with being wealthy. So I need to be on guard against greed (the desires for what I don't have). This is the exact opposite of what society usually says. Advertisers spend millions of dollars to entice me to think that I should buy more and more of their products to be happier, more fulfilled, and more comfortable. Today, I should consider how am I responding to the constant pressure to buy? I need to learn how to tune out expensive enticements and concentrate instead on the truly fulfilled life, living in a relationship with God and doing his work.

The Bible tells a story in Luke 16 of a rich man who enlisted a manager to take care of his property. When the manager was accused of mishandling his master’s money and was called in to give an account of his stewardship, the manager devised a plan. He knew he was going to lose his job but decided to make some friends who would take care of him when he was fired. So he summoned everyone who owed his master money and lowered their debt; if someone owed 800 gallons of olive oil, he told them to change their bill to 400 gallons.

When the master heard what he had done, he “had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light” (Luke 16:8 NLT).

In the parable, Jesus doesn’t praise the manager’s dishonesty, but he does praise his shrewdness. What is shrewdness? To be shrewd means you’re smart, strategic, and resourceful. You see a problem clearly, you know what needs to be done, and then you figure out how to do it. God wants me to learn how to be biblically shrewd with your money for the rest of my life.

From this story, I can learn four things that I shouldn’t do with our money.

First, don’t waste my money. Luke 16:1 says, “A report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money” (NLT). Because everything I have belongs to God and is a gift from him, including my money, I have to be careful not to waste what belongs to my master.

Second, don’t love my money. I’ve got to decide if God is going to be number one or if making a lot of money will be my number one goal in life. I cannot make both my top priority. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money” (Luke 16:13 NLT).

Third, don’t trust my money. It doesn’t matter how much money I’ve got, I can always lose it. The manager learned this pretty quickly in Luke 16:3: “Now what? My boss has fired me” (NLT). If I want to be secure, the center of my life has to be built around something that can never be taken from me. And there’s only one thing that I can never lose: God’s love for me.

Lastly, don’t expect my money to satisfy. If I think having more will make me happier, more secure, or more valuable, I’m seriously misguided, because money will never satisfy: “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NLT).

This is why Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” (NLT).

Bottom Line:
Guard against greed. True life is not measured by how much you own.

What this means to me:
I need to beware! I shouldn't always be wishing for what I don’t have. For real life and real living are not related to how rich I am.”

In summary, I'm warned by Jesus to guard against every kind of greed (the desires for what I don't have), as like is not measured by how much I own. Life is more than material goods. What's most important is my relationship with God. God wants me to learn how to be bionically shrewd with my resources (money) for the rest of my life. There are something I shouldn't do with my money. First, don't waste it, it doesn't belong to me, it belongs to my master. Second, don't love my money, it can't be my top priority. Thirdly, don't trust in my money, as it can always be lost. Lastly don't expect my money to satisfy.