Prepare your Heart
Spend some time reading today’s verses multiple times. Make sure to read them in context of the verses around them, the chapter they are in, and the book they are in. Before beginning today’s devotion, take time to prepare your heart before the Lord in prayer. Ask that God, through His Spirit, would bring to life the truths of today’s verses and help you see how they apply to your life. While this journal is a tool to guide your time with the Lord, nothing can replace the power of personal prayer and preparation.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
—1 Timothy 6:10 (CSB)
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
—Luke 16:13 (NIV)
Others are like seed sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, but the worries of this age, the deceitfulnessof wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. …Again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished, saying to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.”
—Mark 4:13–20; 10:24–27 (CSB)
In our pursuit of Christ, one of the “weights” we must throw off is the love of money. As 1 Timothy 6 points out, money isn’t evil in and of itself; instead, the love of money is. Some might call this greed. Others might call it the American obsession of accumulation. However you phrase it, Jesus has a big problem when money dominates our heart, our thoughts, and our actions. He makes His position clear when He says no one can serve two masters.
Scripture gives us two reasons money isn’t as trustworthy as the Lord. First, by being dominated by the craving for more money, 1 Timothy 6 tells us many have “wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” The pursuit of money often takes us down a different road than the one that leads to God. On it, we run into many things that cause us great grief apart from Him. Second, Mark 4 says the word of the gospel is “choked out” when we get distracted by the “worries of this world,” especially money. But why? Not because of the presence of riches, but because of the “deceitfulness” of them. God doesn’t want us getting duped! Obsessing about wealth often springs from lies we believe—that money will make us happy, that if we serve it long enough it will eventually take care of us, that it will love us back after all our years of service to it, or that it can bring us security. The truth is that money could leave us in total grief at any time; the market could crash, our identity and nest eggs could be stolen, or we could lose our family and friends in the endless pursuit of it.
Money is good tool, but a horrible master. It makes all the promises God does, but in the end, it is counterfeit every time. Nothing can offer us the security, the assurances of being taken care of, or the comfort of being loved in return except serving God. Indeed, Jesus was insightful to say that the rich (usually meaning people who find their identity in their money) won’t likely make it into God’s kingdom. But we can take hope in His final words on the matter. Though it seems impossible to untether our grip to money and instead grasp the Lord, nothing is impossible for God. If we repent of this idol, He can save us from it and all the potential grief that comes with it.
Questions for Thought //
1. How often do you think about your finances? Is this the same amount you think about God? Do you give the same amount of energy pursuing God as you do a “secure” amount in your bank account?
2. Take some time to pray right now about the trust you’ve been putting in money instead of God. Repent of this idol and ask the Lord to help you make Him your security instead of wealth.