Scripture Text: Luke 16:10-13 Title: God or Money?
Question of the Day: Why does Jesus tell His disciples that they will be serving either God or money?
Jesus’ clear teachings always ended up with a statement that forces us to evaluate our lives to see where we stand. Here He concludes this section of instructions to His disciples by making the statement, “You cannot serve God and money.” Why is it either/or and not both/and? Does money have such a great pull on us that when we to serve it, or if we spend our lives pursuing it, then we are not able to serve God too?
It is interesting to note here that during Jesus’ public ministry, the only recorded time that He touched money is when He asked them to bring a silver coin to Him and He asked them “whose image and inscription is etched into this coin”, and then he told them to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. Very little is said throughout His public ministry about Him or His disciples handling money. Peter caught a fish and used the gold coin in its mouth to pay their taxes; and it is also recorded that the one in the group who handled the little money that was needed was Judas—who ended up betraying the Lord for a little more money, and he also pilfered out of their stash of money.
So these twelve men had “left all, taken up their cross, and followed Him.” It is during this time of transition from their former occupations (fishing, tax collecting, etc.) and the rest of their lives that they would devote to following Him while He was here on earth, and spreading the gospel after He left which cost them their lives. It was during this time that Jesus spoke directly to them about how money can have such a stranglehold on them. We can easily understand this because our whole society is built on money and the things that money can buy and we even see having a certain pile of money saved as helping us now to be “secure”.
So, is Jesus telling them that money is bad or unnecessary? Not really. What He is speaking to them about is whether they were “serving God or serving money”. He clearly pointed out to them that you can’t spend your time and energy pursing money, making it, and using it to buy the temporal things of this world, and at the same time pretend to be serving God. While God may put it on the heart of a person to make money, invest it wisely, and then use it for His glory, the bottom line is this: does money have a stranglehold on me; or do I use it when needed to take care of the basic necessities of life? I must never “serve money” as I have determined to “serve God”?
Prayer: Lord deal with me thoroughly and clearly when I am tempted to “serve money” instead of giving my all to “serve You”. I desire to be 100% devoted to You and serving You with all my heart, and I know that I must always guard my heart so that nothing comes between You and I as we walk together down life’s road. I desire to leave the pursing of money to others, and to follow You with “all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Amen!