THE SERVANT GENERAL
GOD OR MAMMON
November 8, 2014
Today’s gospel: Luke 16:9-15
You accept Jesus as master and Lord. You also accept Biblical
teachings about detachment, self-emptying, sharing of resources,
perhaps tithing (do you?). You claim not to love money, but
only to love God. But how do your actions stack up to what
you profess to believe? Might you be acting in pharisaical
ways? “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these
things and sneered at him.” (v.14). Do you, in effect,
perhaps without intending it, actually sneer at Jesus?
Do you neglect to give a full tithe, that is, ten percent,
back to God?
you forgo the opportunity to serve in order to do more secular
work and earn more money (assuming it is not done out of
you stop giving money to your community or church because
you have some unresolved issues or do not like some of your
you spend too much on yourself, on wants rather than needs?
you neglect to use your financial resources to help the
this thing about money is a serious issue, so do not just
brush it aside (more convenient that way, right?). First,
money is a direct and very strong competitor to God. “No
servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and
love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.” (v.13). Now you will
of course say that you only love and serve God and not mammon.
But go back to the questions above, and be honest.
is money bad? Is money to be shunned completely? No. Money
serves a good purpose. Like providing for our family. Like
supporting Christian work. Like helping the poor. So we can
make use of money. But look not to selfishness and materialism,
but to how to promote the Kingdom of God. “I tell you,
make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that
when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
(v.9). Money serves you as you serve God.
have been entrusted both with money and with the work of the
Kingdom. We are stewards of both. Do we use money to promote
the Kingdom? Or do we neglect the Kingdom because we are busily
enjoying our money? Is it Jesus who takes hold of our life
and priorities, or is it money? Can we continue to be stewards
of God’s grace, depended on to do divine work, working
for the very salvation of souls? Then we must subjugate money,
and not the other way around. “The person who is trustworthy
in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones”
entrusts the work of the Kingdom to His people. He provides
money for mission, but do you keep that money, that God is
providing through you, in your pockets? God sends you on mission,
but are you not responding because you are too busy making
more money? God wants to help His beloved poor, but are you
spending the money intended for them just on yourself instead?
“If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest
wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?” (v.11).
How tragic that we cling on to false wealth, when we have
been entrusted with true wealth!
go back to the questions and answer them truthfully. Why?
Your eternal life is at stake! Since you cannot serve God
and mammon, have you in effect chosen to serve mammon? What
truly is in your heart? “You justify yourselves in the
sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of
human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
(v.15). You value money, to the extent that it assumes great
importance in your life. God thinks otherwise.
if we serve mammon rather than God, then we are acting against
the interests of God. Then we are remiss in promoting His
Kingdom on earth. Then we are not acting as true and faithful
stewards. Then we preclude mission because we kept the money
intended for it to ourselves. How then can we expected to
be rewarded? “If you are not trustworthy with what belongs
to another, who will give you what is yours?” (v.12).
Money is from God, to be used for His purposes. His purpose
is that all experience salvation. That includes us. This is
“what is yours.” But if you do not give to God
what is His, then who will give you what is yours?
or God? Consider it carefully, for your response will determine
if you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.