Give to Live
When you think about guardrails: you typically don’t actually need one, until you need one. Guardrails keep you in line and keep you away from the danger zones. We need to remember that Jesus is the best guardrail we could ever consider having. We need guardrails for our character. We should have a character of integrity to be like Jesus. However, our heart should also be a priority. It should be in line with God and what His plan is for us. If our hearts aren’t in sync with the Lord, the world’s influence can creep in and corrupt us. Then world will promise you comfort, it will tease happiness, it will cause us to believe that we don’t need Jesus when in reality, he is all we need. Set up a guardrail to protect your heart against the many things that can get in the way of you living the life Jesus wants you to live.
Matthew 6:24 ESV
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Nobody can serve 2 masters. Now, we know you have to have money to live. But what we talked about Sunday is that we can’t let money, or the idea of money, consume us.
Do you know who/what your master is? What you will find is that your master is either the Lord, or it is something of the world. How do you know if something like money is your master? In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus tells us to store up treasures not on the Earth, but in Heaven. Where are your treasures??
As humans, we can get focused on living first, saving next, and giving last. We want to live: go on vacation, buy a new car, etc. Then we might save and put some money back. We usually end up giving last, when we have enough left over. We are called to give cheerfully. It should really be the opposite. We should be giving first, saving, and then living. The way we give can be evidence of where we stand with the Lord.
Matthew 6:19 ESV
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The one you love the most is your master. God or Money?? Don’t get us wrong, money is not evil. We need money. The love of money is what is dangerous. What we have to be careful about is that money doesn’t overtake us.
A great example of this is Judas. He was willing to betray Jesus for money. He was willing to deny Jesus and compromise his faith. That’s what loving money will do to you. It will cause you to be a part of the world instead of focusing on what Jesus has called you to do.
The holiday season is a time where we tend to let money be the master. We spend lots of money on gifts to prove love to our families, our spouses, our children. Many people over extend themselves around this time. Now, there is nothing wrong with giving gifts at Christmas, or anytime. We just have to make sure that we aren’t using that money or those gifts as a crutch to prove love. Use Jesus to prove love. Jesus IS love. He is the best kind of love there is and if he were more prevalent than the love of other things, the world would actually be a better place.
When you give first, you are prioritizing our relationship with God. You are trusting Him with what he has given you and showing Him how big your faith is. When you put that kind of trust in God, He will bless you in ways you can't even imagine!!