Do I Love God More than Money? (Y1.T1.D46)
Over a year ago, I asked myself the following questions:
Approximately how many hours per week do I focus on money (earning it, paying it, collecting it, etc.)?
Approximately how many hours per week do I focus on God (praying, Bible meditation or study, serving, etc.)?
Since I wasn't a full-time pastor or paid to do ministry, my numbers were definitely out of balance:
Money = 58 hours (50 work, 1 banking, and bills, 1 shopping, an average of 6 dealing with material things broken or needing to be fixed.)
God = 9 hours (3 prayer, 1 Bible study, 4 church services or outreach).
This was sobering. Could I really proclaim I loved God more than money when most of my thoughts were spent thinking about the other?
Jesus warned us, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon [material things]” (Matthew 6:24).
I had to find a way to tip the scales. But how?
As a human, I need to eat and a place to sleep, which means I need money for food and shelter. Add that to things like transportation, clothes, utilities—the list is endless. The good news is my access to God is equally endless.
Jesus said, "Work first for God's kingdom and what he calls good. Then you will have all these things also" (Matthew 6:33). And the starting place is prayer. I’m not talking about sophisticated invocations, but moment-by-moment conversations.
One of my favorite parts of being married was at the end of the day when my husband and I would lie side-by-side and pray over each other.
Sometimes those prayers would lead to conversations about life. Shared concerns or dreams could keep us up for hours. Our connected history and future plans made the moment satisfying and safe.
After the divorce, I discovered I could do the same thing with God. At any time during the day, I can clasp my Savior’s hand and casually speak to the God of Isaiah 54:5 who said, “he himself would be my husband.”
In those moments, I share my concerns and accomplishments. I ask him what he thinks and how we are doing. He reveals his grand plans and I'm enveloped in the fullness of his love. Like Adam and Eve, I can fellowship with my Creator throughout the day.
And the more time I spend with God, the more I can "be free from the love of money, content with such things as (I) have, for he has said, 'I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you'"(Hebrews 13:5).
I encourage you to give it a try. Carry Scripture in your pockets to meditate on during working hours. Before opening the mail, ask God to give you direction. Before you shop, go over your list with the provider of all things. Next thing you know, thoughts of money will become secondary and your life will be richer for it.
Lord, I Love You More
19 “Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19–21)
33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. (Luke 11:33)
35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light.” (Luke 11:35–36)
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouth of fools gush out folly.
3 Yahweh’s eyes are everywhere,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but deceit in it crushes the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father’s correction,
but he who heeds reproof shows prudence.
6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure,
but the income of the wicked brings trouble.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so with the heart of fools.
8 The sacrifice made by the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh,
but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to Yahweh,
but he loves him who follows after righteousness.
10 There is stern discipline for one who forsakes the way:
whoever hates reproof shall die.
11 Sheol and Abaddon are before Yahweh—
how much more then the hearts of the children of men!
12 A scoffer doesn’t love to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but an aching heart breaks the spirit.
14 The heart of one who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15 All the days of the afflicted are wretched,
but one who has a cheerful heart enjoys a continual feast.
16 Better is little, with the fear of Yahweh,
than great treasure with trouble. (Proverbs 15:1–16)
1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. 4 He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’
7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
“He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’
8 “When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ 9 “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, 12 saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. 15 Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 20:1–16)
You choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which You promised to those who love You (James 2:5). I want to be one of the chosen by answering Your call (Matthew 20:16). Forgive me for running after an income over my pursuit of You. Help me store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves don’t break through and steal (Matthew 6:20). Please help me take a step back and make You first in my life.
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