Read: Luke 16
“And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?” (Luke 16:11, NLT)
It has been said that Jesus talked more about money than about heaven or hell. Many of his parables centered around that very subject, as did his other teachings. That’s because Jesus fully understood the death-grip money could have on the human soul.
Whether or not there was (or is) a literal god of money, I don’t know. Some have supposed that is what Jesus referenced when he spoke of “mammon”. But for sure, the love of money leads to all sorts of problems in this world, and in our lives: Greed, materialism, selfishness, worry, just to name a few. Worst of all, the love of money always crowds out the love of God. That is why Jesus said in Luke 16:13 (NLT),
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
In other words, we are to love God and use money—not vice versa.
Yet as critical as what Jesus said about God and money is, there is yet another facet to this teaching that you as a Christ-follower need to understand: How you use money now will have a direct bearing on the Kingdom authority God wants to release to you in this life, and in his eternal kingdom. That is what Jesus meant in Luke 16:11 when he said if you can’t be trusted with wealth in this world, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?
How you are handling your wealth—your money, home, cars and possessions—is not just isolated to the physical world of the present. It is, in reality, a test-run that will determine the extent to which God will entrust to you authority in realms much more important—the spiritual realm of the Kingdom Life now and the eternal realm of the ageless world to come.
Ask yourself this question today: Who has me? Money or God? Am I loving God and using money? Or in reality—and just take a look at your checkbook register or your Quicken summary if you are unsure what reality is—are you bowing at the altar of Mammon?
“One verse in every six in the first three Gospels relates either directly or indirectly to money. Sixteen of our Lord’s forty-four parables deal with the use of misuse of money. A loving, joyful, liberal giving to the Lord’s work is an acid test of a spiritual heart, pleasing to God.” ~William Allen
What If God Took Over?
Lord, help me to use my money, to the very last cent, in a way that is pleasing to you. When I stand before you some day, may you say of me that I loved you and used money to store up wealth in the eternal kingdom.