Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you." James 1:5

Does the Bible have something against rich people? Did Jesus! Should we?

Certainly, it is easy to pick on the rich if, for no other reason - envy. I don't think I have ever met a person who did not want to be rich. All of us wish we had more that we have. Rich people would like to be richer.

The founder of our movement, John Wesley once said in regard to money, "Make all you can, save all you can and give all you can." That doesn't sound like someone who was against having money. But he also said, “When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.” Obviously, he was aware of how easily money can corrupt us.
Jesus undestanding the nature of the human heart and the lure of money had much to say about money:

*Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined.

*Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

*11 of 39 parables talk about money.
*1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.
Preachers often get resented and criticized for talking about too much about money but it IS such an important and practical topic that Jesus dwelt on it. How can a pastor be Biblical and not talk about money when the Bible focuses on it so much?
This week we will be studying James 5:1-6 where James has some rather harsh things to say regarding wealthy people and the use of their money. So, to set the stage for that, let's spend a few moments considering the lure of money. Why is it so powerful?
1) Money brings security and who doesn't desire to have more security!?
2) Money brings power and who doesn't want to feel more powerful?
3) Money brings privilege and opportunity and who doesn't welcome more options?
4) Money brings popularity and esteem. Who doesn't want those things?
5) Money can allow us to gain possessions and having stuff makes us happy.
So, the bottom line is this: It is okay to have money but you cannot allow money to have you! God is faithful to provide for you as much as you can handle.
Think about it, when you have your heart and head right in regard to money then you will give tithes and offerings. That benefits both you and Him, so why wouldn't He want to bless you more?
Are you handling your money or is it handling you? Are you allowing money to be your god or are you trusting God to help you with your money? What do you need to do differently in regard to your finances?