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(Note: To date, this is the most read post of all our posts. There is definitely a reason you have been drawn to this topic of God vs. Money. Please do share any comments you have about this post after you have read it. We GREATLY appreciate hearing from any of you…even if you choose to disagree).
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
(I John 4:16)
One of the most shocking teachings of Jesus I can think of is the choice He gives us in this verse:
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)
Consider this verse for a while. The word “serve” is used twice, and it implies the concept of working for someone. You can’t work at two different jobs at the same time, right? You can either work at the restaurant, or you can work at the clothing store. But you cannot possibly work at both of these jobs at the exact same time.
Jesus uses very strong, clear, expressive language here to really bring this point home to us. Why would Jesus place God and Money at opposite ends of the spectrum? Most people who have any rough idea of some of Jesus’ teachings assume that Jesus would say it was a choice between us serving God or the Devil. But no, that’s not the choice we are presented with here. Again, we have to really wonder, WHY?
A lot of religious folks try to interpret this saying of Jesus to mean something like: “Well, you gotta put God first in your life.” True. But then these same people will try to further soften the impact of this amazing teaching by stating things like: “You know, ANYTHING can become an idol in our lives, and God sees it all the same.” To some extent, there is some truth here as well. If someone, most often a professing Christian, tries to put forward this argument to me, it really does seem like they are trying to do everything they can to avoid dealing with the straight forward choice Jesus is giving us in this passage. It bears repeating: NO ONE can serve (i.e., work for) God AND Money. According to Jesus, we HAVE to choose, working for one or the other, remembering that God is LOVE.
If we understand that “serving” is typically defined as “working for”, how do we choose to work for God instead of money? For example, can you serve Satan without working for him? In the context it’s clear that “serve” and “work for” have the same meaning.
Think about how we have come to accept that working for money is simply a fact of life. We spend time at our various jobs, and are then given a certain amount of money in order to compensate us for services rendered. This seems so unbelievably natural to us, doesn’t it? But the amazing truth is that the idea of working for money is a system that humans designed for themselves. And now we are enslaved by this very ideology.
People usually respond to us at this point by saying that there is no other choice; this is how we have to survive these days. But is that really true? Jesus lived in times similar to what we live in now, with regards to people working for money. He obviously knew exactly what money meant to the world around him. However, if one is perceptive enough, they will take note that Jesus had no job as he spent those three years as a wandering Teacher. Moreover, He even told those who wanted to follow Him that they would have to quit their jobs as well! He taught His followers that God would feed and clothe anyone who chose to let go of their own lives, and begin working for God.
Compare these two verses:
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals.” (Luke 10:2-4)
“Then Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ they answered.” (Luke 22:35)
And then there’s this:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren’t you? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet [King] Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Don’t worry and ask yourselves, ‘Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?’ Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
What if we seriously believed that a loving God would literally take care of all of our material needs (not wants, but needs)? We have found that trusting God to take care of our needs is well worth the leap of faith! Of course, this necessarily implies that instead of wasting our lives working for money, we are now free to spend our time working for God. This can take on many different forms, but the bottom line is sharing the Teachings of Jesus with a world that is desperate for real answers. And believe us, serving God is infinitely more rewarding than serving Money. Another benefit is that there are plenty of positions available to begin working for God right now, and you don’t have to ever worry about losing your job when you work for the Creator of the universe!