Crackerjack Greenback Prudent Advice for a Prosperous Future

November 16, 2008

Personal Finance Bible Study: Contentment (Part 2 of 12) – The Problem with the World’s Message

Filed under: Contentment,Personal Finance Bible Study,Personal Finance in the Bible — Paul Williams @ Crackerjack Greenback @ 4:00 am

       Last week, we talked about The World’s message – if we can just get more of what The World can offer us, we’ll be happy and satisfied. God has told us The World’s message is wrong and clearly shows us in the Bible that only His Message is true. Only God can bring us true happiness, satisfaction, and security.

       This week, we’re going to look a little more at why The World’s message is a problem.

It Keeps Us from Serving God

In Luke 16:13-15, Jesus tells us:

       13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
       14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

Luke 16:13-15 (NIV)

       If we’re focused on The World and the things it offers, then we’re effectively serving Money. And Jesus tells us when we are serving Money, we absolutely cannot serve God.

Deep Emotional Attachment by baslow on Flickr       God knows our hearts, and if we value the things of This World above Him then we are detestable in His sight. Putting more faith in the “wisdom” of The World than in God’s Wisdom means that we have demoted God to a lesser status. And we Christians know that the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind – our entire being. If we place The World’s message above God’s Message, we cannot keep this greatest commandment.

It Cannot Provide an Eternal Reward

       In Psalm 49, David does a wonderful job of explaining why we shouldn’t believe The World’s message. The wealth of This World cannot save us from death; and once we die (as we all must), we cannot take any of it with us. Slowly read this passage and reflect upon it as you ask God to reveal the lies of The World and teach you His Truth.

   1 Listen to this, all you people!
   Pay attention, everyone in the world!
   2 High and low,
   rich and poor-listen!
   3 For my words are wise,
   and my thoughts are filled with insight.
   4 I listen carefully to many proverbs
   and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.

   5 Why should I fear when trouble comes,
   when enemies surround me?
   6 They trust in their wealth
   and boast of great riches.
   7 Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death
   by paying a ransom to God.
   8 Redemption does not come so easily,
   for no one can ever pay enough
   9 to live forever
   and never see the grave.

   10 Those who are wise must finally die,
   just like the foolish and senseless,
   leaving all their wealth behind.
   11 The grave is their eternal home,
   where they will stay forever.
   They may name their estates after themselves,
   12 but their fame will not last.
   They will die, just like animals.
   13 This is the fate of fools,
   though they are remembered as being wise.

   14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,
   where death will be their shepherd.
   In the morning the godly will rule over them.
   Their bodies will rot in the grave,
   far from their grand estates.
   15 But as for me, God will redeem my life.
   He will snatch me from the power of the grave.

   16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich
   and their homes become ever more splendid.
   17 For when they die, they take nothing with them.
   Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.
   18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate
   and are applauded for their success.
   19 But they will die like all before them
   and never again see the light of day.
   20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;
   they will die, just like animals.

Psalm 49 (NLT)

Tree and Gravestones by Jim Frazier on Flickr       I especially like the last three verses. How often do we admire the wealthy for their success? Yet despite all their success, if they trust in their wealth they will die just like wild animals. God is the only one who can save us from death, and He can only do that if we give up believing The World’s message and seek His Truth.

       Next Sunday, we’ll start talking about how we can ignore The World’s message and begin understanding the Truth.

Want to read the entire Bible study series on Contentment? Download your free copy of Contentment Is Wealth: A Bible Study on Contentment now!

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