Monday, December 20, 2010

The Jesus Fund

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt. 6:24)
This next week we will celebrate Christmas, and while Mammon would always compete for your affection and service, he rears his ugly head at this time of year with particular enthusiasm. Jesus goes on to explain that serving God means a lack of worry. Those who love God and despise Mammon do not worry about what they will eat, what they will wear, what they will drink. Those who place their hope and trust in God do not worry. But Mammon drives his slaves with the whip of worry and fear. And this worry manifests itself in countless nagging questions: Have we spent too much? Have we been generous enough? Have we saved enough? Isn’t that too expensive? How will we ever afford that? How can we spend this much when others do not have any at all? But these fears and worries are satanic. Jesus said, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.” Instead, Jesus says, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Seeking first the kingdom means loving God with all that you are: mind, body, soul, strength. It means that all that we have belongs to Jesus. Every cent in our bank accounts, all of our assets, all of our abilities, all of our talents, they all belong to King Jesus, and we lay them all at His feet. And then, because we love Jesus and hate Mammon, we open our hands and we give. We give generously and extravagantly. We give gifts and presents as though we have an endless supply; because we do. Because our King owns everything; He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He doesn’t need a single cent from us, but He loves it when we live like He is the Extravagant Father that He is. So it’s almost Christmas time, and we should want our homes overflowing with presents, and our neighbors should know that we have enormous bank accounts by the generous gifts we give them. It’s not our money, of course, we should explain to their astonished faces, Jesus has a fund that has no end, no limits. Of course, don’t spend money like a slave; don’t spend and grasp like the Gentiles who charge up their credit cards as though we are storing up treasure under the tree. No, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. But when your treasure is in heaven, it is in a bank account that will never run out. So give to the poor, give to missions, give to your children, give to your wife. Give because you love Jesus. Give because everything belongs to Him. Give because God gave His Son, and in Him we have an inheritance that cannot fade away.

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