THE DECEITFULNESS OF MONEY
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of richeschoke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. " Matthew 13:22
When I was in 6th grade, I vividly remember an unfortunate experience that taught me a lot about the world in which I live. I was out and about one Saturday afternoon with a friend. We stopped at the arcade to play some games. (It was mostly pinball, back in the day.) An older kid was there, and he told me that he had put a number of quarters in the machine but couldn't stay to finish playing. He was going to "sell me" his time for half price. I thought it sounded like a good deal. Since I didn't have any quarters to pay him, he offered to make change ... but in the process he had to use the restroom. I never saw him again. Although I lost a few dollars that day, I learned a valuable lesson on deception.
Have you ever been deceived? Have you ever had the wool pulled over your eyes? Have you ever been lied to in such a convincing fashion that you were stunned and embarrassed when the truth finally came to light? It is not a good feeling.
The Lord tells us that money is just like the older kid in the arcade. Money deceives us. It promises things to us, and then it doesn't deliver. It slips out the back door and leaves us depressed and bewildered. Multitudes of people have been scammed by the deceitfulness of riches. Have you?
The truth is there are untold millions of people who love money, long for money, lie for money, and sacrifice their very souls for money. Why? Because they believe the lies of money.
1. Money says, "I will satisfy you. I will make you happy." It won't make you happy. It is not able to make you happy. King Solomon had more money than anyone has ever had. His net worth would make Bill Gates look like a street beggar. Solomon said, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money" (Eccl. 5:10). Solomon was sitting on billions, yet he was one of the most miserable, unsatisfied guys on the planet. Interesting.
2. Money says, "I will fix all your problems." No doubt money can fix financial problems, but that is the extent of it. Money can't fix an incurable disease. Money can't buy you true love. Money can't mend a broken heart. Money can't bring you inner peace. Money can't make you right with God or secure your place in heaven.
3. Money says, "You need me." While it is true that all of us need some money to make it in this world, the deeper issue is our desperate need for God. Money doesn't meet our needs, God does. Jesus talked a lot about money, because money tends to be the thing we treat as master. Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters ... You cannot serve God and wealth" (Matt. 6:24).
God wants to free us from the lies and love of money. He wants us to see that love, joy, peace and satisfaction don't come from money, they come from Messiah. If you and I will daily surrender our lives to King Jesus and let Him really be Lord of all, we will see Him meet our needs and fill our hearts to overflowing.
Victory over the love of money comes by giving your money generously and cheerfully to the Lord and His work. It is fine to have things, so long as things don't have you. Giving keeps money in its rightful place, as your servant and not your master. Let me encourage you as I encourage myself, be a generous giver to the cause of Christ and the needs of people. It is the best investment you can ever make. It pays big dividends in this life and in the life to come.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
The Bible says, “The Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding” Proverbs 2:6. GOD’S WISDOM FOR TODAY is a beautiful, leather bound, keepsake devotional book written by Pastor Jeff Schreve and other Christian leaders that will help you explore the wisdom of God found in Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Each day is filled with scripture, daily devotions, commentary and journal opportunities in this 52-week study with practical examples for daily living. It’s available for your gift to FHH in December, 2013.