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This is a Test

Friday, August 25, 2017

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, esv).

Money is neutral. It’s not good; it’s not bad. Loving it is evil, the Bible says (1 Timothy 6:10), but money itself is not evil. Nor is it necessarily a blessing. As odd as it may sound, financial success can at times be a form of God’s judgment on a person. Money is a tool in God’s hand for Him to bestow or withhold as He sees fit.

But money, like everything else you have, is always a test—a test of where your loyalty is, a test of where your allegiance is, a test of where your heart is.

It’s not how much money you have, but what you do with it that matters.

So it’s not how much money you have, but what you do with it that matters.

And the Bible is full of examples. For instance, among the many things we could find not to emulate about Judas Iscariot (the apostle who betrayed Jesus), is that he had a money problem. “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” he asked the chief priests (Matthew 26:15). “How much?” Consider the pain that flows from that question.

And when Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, emptied a jar of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet as an act of worship, it was Judas who objected to the so-called waste. “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (John 12:5). Yet as John went on to explain, “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6).

Judas was in bondage to money. It’s where his heart was.

That’s one of the things money can tell you—because money is a test.

  • A test of your work ethic—whether you’re proving responsible with your opportunities to invest yourself in earning a living.
  • A test of your self-control—whether you’re willing to live on less than you make.
  • A test of your integrity—whether you can be persuaded to cut corners on things like your taxes, your tithes, and other commitments you’ve made.
  • A test of your love for people—whether your compassion extends all the way to your wallet, or your concern ever inspires an outlay of non-deductible expenses.
  • A test of your love for God—whether you’ve yielded Him ultimate jurisdiction over all the possessions He’s given you.

So take out your wallet and see what’s there (or not there) through new eyes. It’s a test. How you use your resources will indicate whether money’s become too great a treasure to you, or perhaps even your greatest treasure.

And where you find your treasure, there you will find your heart also.

Journal

  • Which of the five “tests” is the context for your greatest struggles with money right now?
  • What two or three actions could you take that would indicate you’re passing the test?

Pray
Lord God, thank You for what You’ve given me, and for giving it as a test of my heart’s true condition. I want to prove to be loyal and devoted to You above all. So change the way I think of money. Help me see it as a tool for honoring You and investing in others. Help me use it under Your authority alone and not take pride in its accumulation or effects. I bow before You today not only with open hands but with an open wallet, surrendering to be spent for Your glory and Your kingdom, in Jesus’ name, amen.


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