Hi, it’s Mick here and welcome to Thursday’s Podcast. Our aim in this week’s Podcasts has been to help us reflect on our relationship with Jesus . To LOOK to him, BE with him, LEARN from him. Today’s theme builds on what has gone before, as our focus today is TRUST in Jesus.
There are many areas of our lives where we need to trust Jesus and his purposes, but today we focus on one in particular – money. It’s often the elephant in the room in our walk as a disciple! It’s one of the areas of our lives as Christians the Lord really brings challenge, because if we can learn to TRUST Jesus in this area of our lives, we can TRUST Jesus in any area of our lives!
Money is a key part of our lives today – we would find it very difficult to live without it. We not only talk about money but sing about it too! Perhaps the iconic money song is Abba’s ‘Money, Money, Money’ – nearly 40 years old but still guaranteed to get people on the dance floor & singing at a wedding reception! Interesting how the lyrics still reflect today’s culture: ‘all the things I could do if I had a little money, it’s a rich man’s world.’
Jesus once spoke to a rich man about money. At its heart this is a story is not about money, but TRUST. Here was someone who seemed to do all the right things – good deeds, went to church, prayed, believed in God, what else? Listen to what Jesus said to him:
Luke 18:22-27 (MSG)
Jesus said, “Then there’s only one thing left to do: Sell everything you own and give it away to the poor. You will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me.” This was the last thing the official expected to hear. He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go. Seeing his reaction, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who have it all to enter God’s kingdom? I’d say it’s easier to thread a camel through a needle’s eye than get a rich person into God’s kingdom.” “Then who has any chance at all?” the others asked. “No chance at all,” Jesus said, “if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
It’s not wrong to be rich; it’s certainly not right to be poor. Money in itself is not a bad thing – the issue is when acquiring and keeping it becomes the focus of our life. Jesus recognised the hold money had over this rich man, and challenged him as he challenges us today on this same issue. Dealing with our money is a key to learning how to TRUST the Lord with every part of our lives. Sort this one out and you’re on the right track to being a disciple, an apprentice of Jesus. Three top tips…
Firstly, be content. St Paul has challenging words for us in Philippians 4:11-13 (MSG):
Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.
Secondly, be generous. Again, a simple truth from St Paul: Acts 20:35 ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Generosity releases TRUST – we give & the Lord gives us more so we can give more and so more are blessed – a great heavenly financial plan!
Thirdly, be real. Always remember that money is a tool not a relationship! In other words, if you want to find security, peace, affection, acceptance, love you will never find them in acquiring more money. That plan leads to disappointment! We find these attributes only in relationship – as we TRUST Jesus for everything every day. You cannot trust money but you can TRUST God!
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Lord Jesus, Thank you for all the many blessings you pour into my life. Help me to TRUST you today and every day not just with money but with every part of my life. Lord, lead me closer to you this day. Amen