God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized, that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it. Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.
11 of 39 parables talk about money. 1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com
Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” . This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.
“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 (NKJV)
Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it. Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.
Since so many people heard the message that Jesus brought into the world, we have more than sufficient evidence to confirm His birth and His life. In John 1, we are told “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity became a living human being in every aspect except sin. The angels brought this message to the shepherds and it was confirmed by the many signs and wonders that Jesus did while here on earth. Then at the crucifixion of Jesus every sin ever committed or that ever will be committed was poured into Him. Those sins were properly punished by His death as His blood poured out from His body. After the Resurrection, Jesus was seen by many people and then His message was again confirmed by miraculous acts from God. The believers spoke the words given to them by the Holy Spirit. Amazing, awesome things happened as the disciples spoke the truth and thousands upon thousands were saved. That same miracle-working power is still available to us today. God has given each of us a spiritual gift that we are to use for His glory and the edification of His church. Our lack of faith and refusal to believe that God is the “same yesterday, today, and tomorrow” has limited God in what He can do now, just as the children of Israel limited what He could do in their wilderness journey.
None of us have reached perfection and we won’t as long as we inhabit these tents of flesh. Therefore, we need the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters just as they need us to pray for them. We need Spiritual and physical strength to carry on God’s Kingdom work here on earth. “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” so we need to pray and ask God to send laborers into the fields.(Matt 9:37,38 paraphrased). We need to ask God to guard our thoughts because the mind is the spiritual battlefield where our personal battles are won or lost. The Lord is faithful. He has promised that we will not be tempted above our ability to resist and that He will always provide a way out for us. We don’t always find the way out because the flesh gets great pleasure from wallowing in its old sinful ways. We need to pray for each other that we will continue to do the things that God has commanded us to do. When we practice doing the right things, we receive more understanding and patience which allows us to better show sinners the greatness of God’s love toward us and them.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
As Christ becomes more real to us, and as we learn to be obedient to the urging of His Spirit abiding in us, we realize more and more, the weaknesses we have and our inability to control them. Until we can say “I can’t but Jesus can”, we will always have these temptations of the flesh. We have to allow Jesus to control our urges and desires. The more we allow Him to do so, that much more of our sinful nature is stripped away and we put on more of His nature. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity or your past is. The only thing that matters is Christ in us. Since we are God’s holy people, we must clothe ourselves with His characteristics. Love, mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience is what Jesus looks like. What about us, what do people see when they look at us?
Paul tells us in Romans about the struggle he had with the flesh. He always wanted to do right, but found himself doing the wrong things. He knows what is right, but doesn’t always live up to that standard. We have the same struggle and as long as we are in this tent of flesh, we will always have it. We have to put to death our fleshly desires and focus on Jesus. The devil wants to keep us “sin-minded’”, but we need to follow after God’s Holy Spirit and be “Christ-minded”. If we have the mind of Christ, His attitude, and if we always try to see things through His eyes, then we can focus on things above and those fleshly desires will become less and less important. This does not mean that we live in some fantasy world, but rather, that the things of Christ become more real to us as we mature in our journey with Him.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Every day we are involved in spiritual warfare. This warfare will not be won by flesh and blood because our enemy is not flesh and blood. The enemy may very well come to us dressed in human form and looking beautiful enough to entice us into fighting the battle on his terms and his territory. We cannot and must not allow him to do that. The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s and we must allow Him to fight the battle through us and for us. Evil rulers, spirits, and authorities in the unseen world are stronger than we are. But they are no match for the One who lives in us. Do not fear the enemy unless you are not prepared to meet the enemy. Be prepared at all times. God has prepared the armor for us to wear when we are in battle and the battle rages 24/7. There is never a second when we are not engaged in spiritual warfare. The devil never rests, so we must always be on alert. Our belt is the truth of the Gospel and our breastplate is the righteousness of God. Our feet are shod with the peace of God, faith is our shield, salvation is our helmet, and the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Immerse all this armor in prayer without ceasing and we will be well able to resist the enemy and able to stand firm in any battle.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
24 God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. – Jude 24 GW Jude 17-24 GW
We can see the things that are spoken of here in these verses happening in our churches of today. We have church leaders who are leading their congregations astray by teaching them that they have the liberty to live their lives as they please. Their messages “tickle the ears” of the people. Instead of preaching purity and obedience, they are saying “live like you want to live”, fulfill the desires of the flesh, its okay. But God says we are to be holy because He is holy and we are to pattern our lives after Jesus. Do not be deceived by false teachers, we will reap what we sow. If we sow fleshly desires, we will reap the consequences of those acts. If we sow righteousness, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness and the fruits of the Spirit, we will reap the rewards of those actions. Love God and follow His commands daily. Then we will be safe in God’s love.