We're one week away from LOVE REVOLUTION's Commitment Sunday!
Yesterday, I set the stage for God's moving to give us a spirit of unprecedented generosity by talking about the Bible's viewpoint on caring for the poor.
We looked at Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-22. Their conversation teaches us several things.
First, it is not just not doing bad things that defines walking with Christ, but also making sure that we are using good things in the right away. A relationship with Jesus changes the way that we relate to everything.
Second, money is one of the most dangerous good things that we can misuse - this was the case with the rich young ruler.
Third, money can be either a trap or a tool for us.
Here's how you know if it might be a trap for you:
1. You find it hard to give money away.
2. You get anxious if it looks like you will have less than you are used to.
3. Your mood and outlook are determined by your financial status.
4. You see someone who has more than you and that creates resentment in you.
So, how do we change so that money is a tool and not a trap.
Well, we start by believing that - as one writer has said - there are TWO rich young rulers in the story, not just one. Jesus is the second rich young ruler. He faced the same choice as the young man did - will you give up everything you have to be obedient to God? But he did. He gave up everything for us.
Fourth, believing in the Rich Young Ruler who is Jesus Christ changes our relationship with money. We get to use it as a tool to accomplish his purposes because we are so grateful for all he has done for us.
How can we know if money is a tool for us?
1. You are asking how much can I give away rather than how much do I HAVE to give away?
2. When you have a quiet confidence in spite of a difficult financial situation.
3. When you see giving as part of your worship of God, not something separated from it.
4. When you see yourself not as an owner, but as a manager of God's resources.