7 Things Jesus Said About Money

7 Things Jesus Said About Money

7 THINGS JESUS SAID ABOUT MONEY

There’s no denying that Jesus believed money was significant. Other than the kingdom of God, it was one of his favorite topics. Knowing what Jesus has to say about money can help shape our view of what’s in (or not in) our wallets and what we use it for.

Here are seven of the hard things Jesus said about money:

1 // No one can serve two masters

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loved to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” | Matthew 6:24

 

2 // For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” | Luke 12:32-34

 

3 // ENTERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD

“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” | Mark 10:24b-25

 

4 // A SEED FALLING ON GOOD SOIL

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” | Matthew 13:18-23

 

5 // Be on your guard against all kinds of greed

“Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” | Luke 12:13-15

 

6 // BE TRUSTED WITH TRUE RICHES

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” | Luke 16:10-11

 

7 // SHE PUT IN EVERYTHING

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” | Mark 12:41-44

All of Jesus’ teachings about money remind us of this central truth: money is a competitor for our hearts. Pick one of these passages and dwell on it today as you ask Jesus, “How can I become more obedient to your teachings about money?”

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Purchasing Power // The Ethics of Buying

Purchasing Power // The Ethics of Buying

PURCHASING POWER // THE ETHICS OF BUYING

Going to the store is an unconscious act for most of us because it’s so simple. Grab your wallet and your list and a short drive later, you’re wandering the aisles of your local grocery, home goods, or clothing store. There aren’t many steps between identifying a need (or a want) and bringing those items into our homes.

But if God cares about how we use all of our money—not just the portion we allot to His church—we should consider what we’re investing in when we make a purchase. Have you ever looked at a t-shirt at the mall or those out-of-season strawberries at the grocery store and wondered, “Where did this come from and who made it?”

Becoming a Conscious Consumer

Those kinds of questions may lead you to an uncomfortable answer. You’ll find that many of the companies we regularly patronize are involved in unethical business practices that are legal in other countries where many of our products are made or assembled.

As we discussed last weekend (link to sermon), we’re responsible for where we invest our money through our purchases. So, we have to look behind the product itself to discover what kind of unethical systems we might be unconsciously contributing to. As a “conscious consumer” our awareness of how ethically a product is made or developed affects whether or not we choose to buy it.

Would you still buy that dress or handbag if you knew it was made by workers in cramped and toxic conditions? What if you discovered that the expensive chocolate bar and coffee in your cabinet were picked processed by workers who aren’t paid enough to support their families?

If we choose to not let these realities contribute to our buying habits, we’re complicit in our contribution to the kind of systems James condemns when he writes to the oppressive rich, “Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” If the God of armies is on the side of the oppressed worker, where does that leave us, the consumer?

Understand Then Act

Once you begin researching your purchases, you’ll begin to realize that the cheap things we purchase—from fashions to furniture to fruit—might not be costly to us, but they’re costing someone else their life to produce.

Because they’re treating their employees with respect, fair trade and ethically produced items are often more expensive. So, you may have to buy less because of it. That’s ok. Consider buying some things secondhand to offset that cost and remember that your goal in life is not to live in luxury at the expense of others, like James’ wicked rich. Our goal is to love God and love people, and making sure that our purchases respect the life and honor the human dignity of those we may never meet is love.

6 Questions to Ask Your Wallet

6 Questions to Ask Your Wallet

6 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WALLET

In James 5, James paints a pretty bleak picture of the rich oppressors. They denied others what they owed them, indulged themselves, and harmed those they could have helped. While James was not describing wealthy Christians, it’s still worthwhile for us to ask hard questions about our money to make sure, as Christians, we’re living with financial integrity.

Matthew 6:24 reminds us that money can be a dangerous competitor for our heart, so we must take an honest account of how we give, spend, and save. Craig asked us to wrestle with this question: “If I were accused of being the wicked rich James is talking about, would my bank statement be evidence for the prosecution or the defense?”

Here are some follow-up questions to help us figure that out:

1 // What do I dream about financially, buying more for myself or for more opportunities to be generous?

2 // Do I ask God what he wants me to do with 100% of my income and not only the portion I’ve set aside to give to the church?

3 // Do I primarily use my money to make myself more comfortable or to further God’s mission to the world?

4 // As my income has increased, have I increased my giving year after year and become more generous than I was before?

5 // Do I ask God to increase my income or to increase my generosity?

6 // Does the amount that I’m giving require me to trust and depend on God more?