Word from Scotland: Who are we going to serve and how are we going to give? –
Matthew Chapter 6 verses 1 to 4 – where Jesus Christ is speaking to His disciples about giving, and like the previous sentences, He is very practical, and if you look on further Jesus is also very practical regarding praying and fasting and how to handle money and worry.
There is a slight switch in emphasis. Much of Matthew Chapter 5 is ‘hard going’ and this is not any easier, but it is slightly clearer, I hope!
Jesus turns to Worship – and how disciples should live and worship. There is far more to the Christian life than trying to be nice, and not doing wrong. We cannot shut out God from any area. Rule God out and we are no longer living a Christian life!
Giving, Praying and Fasting were three pillars of Jewish piety, and Jesus takes these three topics on which to teach.
Some religious people act as if money was not important. “Don’t preach on that”, is suggested in some places – but that is not the way these same people act outside, particularly where certain areas of business are concerned.
Some preachers make more enemies from preaching and teaching on this topic than on any other subject, but if we do not preach and teach on this we are being spiritually delinquent.
Jesus Christ has a lot to say about money, because money has a lot to say about us. We need to be reminded that Jesus Christ speaks more about money than about any other one subject.
Do you know how much so-and-so left when he died? Yes. Everything! All he had.
The first thing Jesus says about giving is – be careful. Do not be like the hypocrites. Do not do things for show, or human applause. Do not draw attention to yourself. We are dealing with practical foundations here.
What we do with our material wealth determines how much spiritual wealth we end up with. You can send it on ahead – verses 19,20.
Also – Matthew Chapter 22 verses 37 to 39. Note these two commandments and note their order.
And Hebrews Chapter 11:24 to 26 – Moses turned away from all this, not settling for poverty – he chose better riches.
Is money or wealth good or evil? Revelation Chapter 5 verse 12 teaches us that HE is worthy to receive wealth. Wealth is not evil – but like everything else, wealth can be misused or abused.
2 Corinthians 8,9 have much to teach us about money and how to give. Chapter 8 verses 7 to 9 – “excel in this grace of giving”. Chapter 9 verses 7,8 – “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”. That is fairly comprehensive. Please, take time to read these other passages because they flow from what Jesus taught, and they reflect the spiritual experience of others.
Remember how God gave the Holy Spirit, and that day when He created the water – He was so generous.
Matthew Chapter 6 verse 24 – The whole counsel of God included how we handle our money, and how we give.
St Paul’s Cathedral used to be one of the largest buildings in London, and now it is dwarfed by all the surrounding banks. Mammon represents an evil spiritual force which controls and enslaves people through money. We have to choose. There is a choice.
There is no choice about serving. We will serve one or the other. It is not whether – but who?