Can I Love God More than Money? (Y1.T2.D5)
In the previous post, I wrote how we should pursue God over happiness. This post continues with that idea—but it is about loving God more than money. Remember how Hebrews 13:5 instructed us to "Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, 'I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you'"?
Over the last few years, I've been wondering what that looks like exactly. And in the summer of 2021, I felt inspired to write a book titled, 40-Day Financial Fast: The Love of Money Dare. (If you are reading this blog in early 2022, the book is not yet complete.) One chapter is titled, "Get Behind Me, Money."
Yes, that’s a misquote. In the actual passage we will read today, Jesus teaches his disciples about his upcoming suffering and death:
He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:31–33)
The outspoken disciple must have felt zinged. And the lightning-bolt zap probably hushed the entire assembly.
Thanks to the TV show The Chosen, I can picture Johnathan Roumie—the actor who portrays Jesus—sighing before sitting his friends down to explain what just happened.
He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:34–36)
It's easy to equate a desire to “gain the whole world” and a love for money.
We can love God more than money when we lower its importance in our lives. Anything and everything that doesn’t directly express how much we love God (with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength) or doesn’t motivate us to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves needs to be canceled.
Consider saying aloud, "Get behind me money" for the next twenty-four hours whenever concerns about it come to mind. Meditate on what Jesus meant when he said, "Seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).
God's Got You
18a As he was praying alone, the disciples were with him Luke 9:18a
17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17–19)
27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds. (Matthew 16:27)
Forgive me for the times I’ve served material things over you. Thank You for loving me more than birds or flowers. Help me not feel anxious about what I will wear or consume. Increase my faith surrounding material needs. With intention, I want to seek Your kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:24–33). Teach me how to watch and pray so I may not enter into temptation. I come and yield my willing spirit and weak flesh (Matthew 26:41). Today, with your help, I can be content with my circumstances whether I have plenty or little because I can do all things with Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:11–13).
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