Martin Luther wrote, “Every Christian needs two conversions ...one for his soul and the other for his pocketbook.” The story of the rich young ruler makes it clear that nobody can follow Jesus unless that decision includes choices about what we do with our wealth. If Jesus is king, his sovereignty extends to our finances.
P.T.Barnum once said: “Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant.” The subject of wealth is a sensitive one, but an important one. That’s why the Bible devotes over 2000 verses to address the topic. Scripture describes the love of money as the root of all kinds of evil (1Tim 6:10); but it also says that “money is the answer for everything” (Eccl 10:19). As a master, money is a tyrant which has ruined many people. As a servant, money is an instrument which can play a significant part in serving God’s purposes in the earth.
It is not wealth that is, in itself, evil. If that were the case, God would be the most wicked being in the universe, for he “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”; in fact he lays claim to everything, for “the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof”. So it is no surprise that he shared that wealth with many of his special friends, like Abraham; that was a key compnonent of the idea of “blessing”. But of course “the love of money” is a different matter.
When wealth becomes the focus of our affections, it is truly a snare. But when it is appropriately acquired and put to good use, it becomes an invaluable tool in the purposes of the kingdom. And by God’s grace, we get to enjoy its benefits along the way!
So in this, the eleventh chapter of The Treasure in the Field, we will think about The Kingdom and Wealth. Here’s what we will see:
- Riches without reproach: it’s OK to prosper
- Acquiring wealth: right and wrong ways
- Investing in the Kingdom: appropriate uses for wealth