When Jesus Causes you Pain.
A rich man came to Jesus and asked how he could ‘enter the kingdom of God.’ If the man didn’t have any problems he wouldn’t have needed Jesus. If his money was enough to solve his problems he wouldn’t have needed Jesus. In spite of the money he possessed, the man had big problems and he knew that only Jesus could solve them, so he came to Jesus.
A passage of scripture says, ‘money answers all things.’ “All Things” refer to money related things. Apparently it cannot give solution to all human problems, if it could then rich people will be the happiest on the planet. But sadly they are not. Money cannot solve issues relating to your emotions, mind and soul. Money cannot solve issues that have nothing to do with money. This man’s needs were beyond what money could provide.
The rich man asked Jesus, ‘how can I enter the kingdom of God?’ Jesus looked at him and saw what no other man could see. He saw what covetous and greedy pastors would never see. He saw what wolves cleverly disguised as pastors would never see. He SAW that the rich man was a SLAVE to money. Mammon, the god of money had imprisoned him in its dungeon. Jesus wanted to set him free from bondage to mammon. Jesus said you cannot serve God and mammon. You must choose who you will serve. You can’t serve them both.
‘Sell everything you have. Give the proceeds to charities. Follow me.’
These were not the words the man expected to hear from Jesus. These words cut deep into his soul and exposed the secrets of his heart. These words caused him pain.
On Whose Terms?
A rich, young man ran after Jesus, knelt before him and asked, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus told him to keep the commandments. He said he had kept all the commandments from his youth. Jesus looked at him and LOVED him, then said to him, : ‘you lack just one thing, give up your riches and follow me.’
The Bible records that the young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. You can read this story in Mark 10:17-27.
The Bible says in Hebrews 13:28, that we should serve God in an acceptable manner, with reverence and godly fear. Basically, it says that we should serve God in a manner that is acceptable to HIM, not to us.We should serve Him the way that He wants to be served, not the way we feel like.Whether you realise this or not, there is an ACCEPTABLE way to serve God.
1. Giving demonstrates your love for the Lord.
2. Giving is a sign of your control over money.
3. Giving breaks the hold of greed in your life.
4. If you can buy a pair of shoes for $500, but can’t give $500, money is your master.
5. Never complain about what you give. Give only what you have. Give joyfully. Give without pressure. Don’t pledge money you don’t have.
6. The offering plate is not a slot machine or a Gambling Point. If you want your money multiplied, give it to Bernie Madoff.
7. Your offerings are sacred. Honour the Lord with your substance.
Your giving should be motivated by Love, not greed. If your primary reason for giving is to multiply you money, your motive is wrong. The Lord judges our motives and weighs our actions.
In Genesis, the Lord first accepted Abel, then accepted his offering. Our hearts are more important to the Lord than our offerings. If your heart is wrong, your offering, just like Cain’s, will be rejected.
The primary reason why many are not blessed is because they bring their offerings with the intention of manipulating the Lord to do something for them. We must understand that the Lord loves us and is always ready to bless us. When we worship Him with our substance, with a pure, love motivated heart, then there is a release of grace and favour on our lives. Such release will open doorways of opportunity in our lives.