Friday, January 26

Money, Power and Love

Money and Financial Freedom study #8

This passage has a very exciting message for anyone concerned with money. Paul addresses the very roots of why we need money, what money can do for us, and what it cannot do.

Passage: Ephesians 3:14-21
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Why do we want money? What is its purpose and value? Obviously, no one wants money just to have a pile of fancy bills with watermarks, except a collector. No one needs a bunch of numbers stored on a bank's computer hard drives. We want money because it gives us power. Money gives us power to buy a powerful new laptop computer or a fast new car. With enough money we can hire architects and builders with earth moving machines, raze a building, clear and level land, and build a new house to live in or even a cathedral to worship God in. With money we can establish a school in a poor village in Ghana, hire teachers, and begin to break the cycles of poverty in hundreds of families through a program of education, nutrition, health, and spiritual care (

What can money not do? In the words of the Beatles, "I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love!" You can buy a diamond ring with money, but not a person's heart. You can pay for a wedding ceremony, but not someone who will be committed to you and cherish you for life. You can hire people to clean and cook and drive for you, but not someone to love you with a mother's unconditional love.

We can imagine many things money can do. God, however, has power to accomplish abundantly far more than anything we can ask or imagine.

How will you fulfill your dreams? One path: to amass as much wealth as possible; vision, plan and strategize; and see if you can bring your dreams into reality. The other path differs radically: allow Christ to dwell in your heart through faith. You will be rooted and grounded in God's vast--incomprehensibly vast--love, unconditional acceptance, being treasured, which money could never buy. Your dreams will change. You will be filled with more and more of God until finally you are filled with all God's fullness--a mind-blowing possibility! You will have all power to accomplish all the good works God has prepared beforehand for you to do.

Follow the first path, and I hope you will find contentment, though many have tried and many have failed. I hope you will find meaning. I hope you will find love. But I doubt you will. Follow the second path and you will received unconditional love, contentment, meaning and purpose--all the fullness of God! And all his power will undoubtedly accomplish everything he intends to do.

Principle in a nutshell: God can do anything money can, and far more. Money cannot provide love, security, faith, or meaning.

Applying this to my life practically:
I have been doing better at thinking of Jesus during each transaction: remembering I'm stewarding Kingdom money, checking in with Jesus, paying attention to whether it's offering a true or false consolation. I want to keep doing that. I need to keep meditating on the truth that God can do far more than money can--I think I know that deeply, but it would be good to keep doing that to get it rooted in my heart much, much deeper.

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