Welcome to a world of credit cards, debit cards, checks, check books, receipts, loans, stocks, debt, and something called the “economic crisis.” With all this stuff floating around our lives on an everyday basis, it certainly seems as if money makes the world go ‘round.
The reality is, since the beginning of known history, money has been a prevalent force in the world. Starting off as a bartering system, money simply represented the exchange of objects of seemingly equal value between two people or entities. Quickly, money developed into explicit objects designed for trade, such as metals, beads, food, or shells. Relatively soon afterward, coins and, eventually, paper money developed and thrived.
However, throughout every stage of monetary development, one thing has remained exactly the same. The acquisition of wealth has been the main human driving force for most people in this life. This, simply, shouldn’t be. Roman philosopher Seneca, somewhat saner than his pupil, the tyrant Nero, quoted “For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.”
Keep that in mind, the pursuit of money as the most important aspect of life will lead you into some heavy difficulties. Just ask Solomon. Credited with being the most successful, not to mention wisest, human to grace the world with his presence. He provides his, quite grim, viewpoint in Ecclesiastes 5:10. “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”
Paul, known for living meager after his conversion to a powerful Christ-follower, speaks of the matter at hand. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” he says in 1 Timothy 6:10, following with “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Ironically, no one had more experience with dealing with the surrounding effects of people’s love of money than Jesus himself. From kicking out money changers improperly using the temple, citing multiple parables involving currency, and even being betrayed because of the motivation of a few pieces of silver, Jesus certainly had a firm grasp of the effects that wealth and greed had on the people around him. He summarizes in Matthew 6:24, simply stating “You cannot serve both God and money.”
Benjamin Franklin, famous inventor, writer, philosopher, scientist, and, well, basically everything else, once stated, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” He’s right, but nothing in this life, this world, or this economy will fill that void.
Instead, you must look to God’s economy of mercy. He sent his currency of grace, Jesus. Taking the form of a human, incomparable agony awaited him on that day at Golgotha. The world’s Breath of Life, lost. The hope of a messiah seemingly shattered. Then, three day’s later, one glorious Sunday, the tomb was visited, and it was found empty. Hope, peace, majesty, love, and glory all filled the universe! Jesus was alive. He had risen and he had freed us from eternal hell!
I suppose it could be referred to as the world’s greatest economic recovery. Driven by this new acquisition we must store up our wealth in Heaven using the savings bonds of love. That is the only way to truly be rich.
This is the closest to a sermon you will ever get from me. This is a modified speech I made about four years ago.