You Cannot Serve God and Wealth
by Manuel Vargas
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You Cannot Serve God and Wealth
What do we value most God or Wealth? What takes first place in our lives a plan to get rich quick and relax scheme or a Divine plan that will lead us to acquire what God has for us in the future to help build HIS kingdom on earth? Jesus said no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will standby and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in) (Matthew 6:24 AMP).
God vs. Money
Hi, Iím grateful to be back to share what Jesus was teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. My focal point is how Jesus taught this Sermon mentioning 19 different topics and how HE restructured the teachings to make it plain and practical so people wonít debate about it but, take the principles shared and simply apply them. Jesus also explained that this is what is PLEASING to OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
However, when Jesus goes into the 13th topic about us serving God or Wealthóitís amazing that He did not say, ďYou cannot serve YOUR FATHER and MammonĒ. Jesus said, you cannot serve God or Mammon (Matthew 6:24 KJV, NKJV) The New American Standard says, God and Wealth. The New International Version says, God and Money.
Deeper Meanings with Different Translations
Mammon- the old school word means Money; But what kind of Money? The Amplified Bible spells it out for us deceitful riches, (dirty money, illegal money, drug dealer money, bribery money, hit-man mobster money and possessions). Whatís the big deal about defining Mammon? Because we cannot confuse or mix up the money thatís being earned legally and by hard work whether youíre a carpenter earning $20- $40 an hour, or a baseball player earning $5-$25 million a year; Jesus was not referring to this type or kind of Money. Remember, itís God who decides what you will become in the future whether itís a trade worker like an Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter or an Athlete earning Millions. God is not against our legal profession or career. God is against us worshipping our career more than HIM and being involved in illegal means of obtaining deceitful riches.
Why God and not YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER?
When Jesus started His teaching on the Sermon on the Mount He would go on to point out several principles and say YOUR FATHER, or OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, or YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN after the point He madeówho desires us to live out the principle. Here Jesus said GOD and Money!
I believe Jesus had to make a bold distinction between us serving either or (God or Money). Secondly, if we take a closer look at what He said previously in the above verses we will understand why?
Where is Your Treasure Being Stored?
Jesus said do not store up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19 NAS)
I believe if the wealthy millionaires or billionaires really took this principle to heart there would be less robbery and tragic fatal killings among their families for the greed of trying to get a piece of the fortune. Close relatives will stop at nothing to come in and try to be friendly and loving in an effort to swindle or deceive loved ones, when enormous amounts of money is available.
Secondly, Jesus pointed out that the toys we accumulate will rust and be stolen. I went through this experience when I was really wealthy in my young adult years. Motorcycle stolen, cars were burnt, mis-management of funds disappearing by those entrusted to keep count of the cash. And the sad part was they were my own family members not some slick lawyers or CPAís. I lost a lot of material possessions. I wasnít a punk or an easy victim to rip-off. But the one closes to you will-do-it-to-you!
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; (Matthew 6:20 NAS).
When I read this verse I was left in the air as to--How in the world do we store up treasures in Heaven? I looked at various Bible commentaries but I did not get a full answer. So I meditated and said Lord, how do we store up treasures in Heaven? One commentary said, by Tithing and acts of obedience (L.A.B) Life Application Bible.
Jesus explained to the Rich Young Man on how to have treasure in Heaven. When the Rich Young Man asked Jesus what does he have to do to inherit eternal life Jesus said keep the Commandments and Jesus went on to mention 6 Commandments out of the 10 Commandments and the Rich guy said that heís been keeping them since his youth what did he lack? Jesus said to him, if you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow ME (Matthew 19:16-21 NKJV).
This may turn away many rich people who read this article but allow me to explain something. There are different sets of circumstances for everyone; For example there are men who fall exactly into the shoes of this Rich Young Man. There are rich men and women who evaluated this story prayed and fasted and God spoke to them directly on how to manage their wealth as not to fall under the category of a hoarder or an irresponsible person. And to use their God given wealth to build Godís Kingdom on earth. The key to this story is that the Rich Young Man wanted to enter into a new level of relationship with God but the Riches got in the way. Thatís why Jesus targeted the problem this Rich Young Man had.
This Rich Young Man passes up the opportunity to be trained to be a Man of God by JESUS HIMSELF. Think about the magnitude of the OFFER HERE in this story. This guy passed up how to learn to be a Powerful Minister, to be trained to do Miracles, Signs and Wonders by the Master HIMSELF. To witness Godís glory in a personal way that others did not have the opportunity too. Jesus gave him a special invitation to follow HIM. The only ones that had that special invitation were the 12 disciples.
We know that Jesus extended an invitation to all who heard HIM preach in various cities but in the case of this Rich Young Man he was specially invited.
So we learn that in order for us to begin storing up treasures in heaven is to do what Jesus personally said to you to do. Jesus did not say this to anyone else in Scripture in the same way He said it to this Rich Young Man. This tells us that we need to seek God ourselves to see what is hindering us from storing up Richs in Heaven. Is it that we are so focused on our wealth that it consumes us so much that we donít have time to pray, fast and seek God? Are we more money minded yet keep all the Commandments and fail to tap into the true purposes of God for our lives? There are holy rich people and horny rich people who live sloppy lives but we must consider who we are going to serve more God or Money?
Jesus told the Rich Young Man to sell all he had and give to the poor. Listen the instructions carefully Jesus said,
1. Sell all he had--Material possessions.
2. Give to the poor.
3. Jesus did not say give it all to the poor just what he sold. This is where we will miss it if we do not carefully read exactly what Jesus said. I believe the Rich Young Man was misunderstanding Jesus. Because wealthy people have more than materialistic possessions. If youíre a real rich person who is not a show-off you will have all the toys paid for and a huge bank account.
4. So Jesus said sell the possessions give the money to the poor and then follow HIM. (Not the bank account!)
5. Boy, I wish rich people would get a hold of this truth and not run from God or worship Money more than God.
6. God doesnít mind you being richóHE minds you being controlled by the riches and not being submissive to HIM. If we worship God we will learn the true value we must place on Money.
Jesus said for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21 NKJV). So the choice is ours, God or Money who will we serve?
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