Show Me the Money!

(Part 2)

By Greg Quinn

September 29, 2013

In Part 1 of this teaching, I shared with you how the lure of money and possessions and things have taken over our lives, our nations, our generations.  I shared what Jesus said from one of his most famous sermons, the Sermon on the Mount as it is called, related to our attitudes toward money and things. “Show me the money!” has become more than just words, but an expression of our generation.  Our priority has become one of money, of material possessions, of things, more than of the things of God.  We have put our time into the acquisition of things that are not the best for us, and in doing so often have missed what God wants for our lives, which is the very best.  In the conclusion to this teaching, I want to share “the rest of the story” and what Jesus is teaching us as to what our attitudes should be toward the accomplishment of material things and possessions.

While speaking on money as outlined in Part 1, Jesus concluded the topic by addressing our concerns as it relates to money and material things.  Jesus knows that we work so hard to attain oftentimes because we are worried about not having.  Many of us have been without so we have the attitude that we will work so hard that we will never be without again.  Many of us put an inordinate amount of energy into worrying over whether or not we will have “enough”.  So our attitudes toward money and possessions get misguided.  But God knows our hearts and our thoughts, and has the best plan in place for us, if we will but listen.

It’s all about trust.  Do we put our trust in our money?  Do we put our trust in our bank account?  Do we trust our ability to achieve?  Do we think our business will solve all our problems?  Or, do we put our trust in God?

As Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”, we must look at our attitudes toward our money and things.  What is our “treasure”?  Whatever our treasure is, there is where our heart (passion, energy, time, abilities) will follow.

So if it’s OK to have things that God wants to bless us with, and its good to achieve and be successful, and it’s OK to even be rich, if we do all these things with the right attitude, then what does this “right attitude” look like?

Again, it’s all about trust.  Do you trust in yourself or your money?  Or do you trust in God?

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus gives us the answer.

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall wear.  Is not the life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much better than the birds?  Which of you by taking thought can add one inch to your height?  And why do you become concerned for clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore, take no thought, or be not concerned, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘How shall we be clothed?’.  (For after all these things do the unbelievers seek): for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Don’t worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall worry for itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

So what is Jesus teaching us here?  Jesus is saying that just as God takes care of the birds in the air, that God will take care of us.  Jesus is saying that God made the flowers in the field so beautiful, and being just flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, that His love for us is so much more that he will certainly take care of us.  Jesus is saying that the birds and the flowers don’t worry about food or how they look; God takes care of them.  And since God loves us so much more, that He will certainly meet our needs as well.  Instead of being worried if we have enough money, or we have enough food, or clothing, or “things”, we should focus on God and the fact that He loves us so much that He will certainly meet our needs.  Our faith and trust in God and His provision should overcome all our worry.  And if this worry goes away, and our trust becomes more in God than in our money, then all of a sudden our money won’t be as important.  Then we can attain the right attitude toward money as discussed in Part 1 of this teaching.

When our faith is more in God and His provision than in our money and what we can do on our own, then our “treasure” changes.  We no longer put the most emphasis on money.  We no longer put the most emphasis on things, on what we can attain.  Our jobs and businesses and bank accounts are no longer the utmost treasures in our lives.  Instead, with faith and trust put in God and in His ability and desire to give us what we need, we can be at peace in knowing that God will certainly take care of us.

We still work, and we still work hard.  We still strive to accomplish, but the reasons for our striving change.  We still do good business, but it’s not longer just “show me the money”; we find other reasons for our business success that are beyond just money.  Our treasures change.  In knowing God is taking care of us, and we put our trust and faith in Him, then we begin to think as God thinks.  We see people as more important than things.  We see our families as of greater value for our time than just making money.  The time at the ballpark with our son takes priority over the time-and-a-half overtime pay.  The opportunity to share our faith with another person becomes easier.  Giving of our money and our time is not a problem.  Helping others becomes more important than just helping ourselves.

As Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”.  With a change in our “treasure”, there will be a change in our heart.  Our desires will change.  Our attitudes will change.  Greater faith will grow within us.  God will allow us to use our talents and abilities to do much greater good than we could do on our own.  By putting our trust in God to meet our needs, and taking the importance for ourselves away from ourselves, then we are in a position to look at life differently.  Treasures change.  Hearts change.  Lives are changed.

God put us all here for a reason.  We don’t always know what that reason is, but we should strive to find out.  God put within us certain talents, certain desires, certain attributes, which allow us to succeed in certain areas.  If we use what God has given us, and be the best we can be at what path God has us on (or change our path if God convicts us that we need to do so), then we can make a difference in the world around us.

If we begin to trust God more, we will begin to love God more.  If we begin to love God more, we will begin to love what God loves more.  God’s treasure becomes our treasure.  And what does God love?  Not new cars or new homes or large bank accounts.  God loves people.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  This Son of God is Jesus.  God loved you and I enough that He gave his very best, his only son, Jesus, to be the once-and-for-all sacrifice for our sins and wrongdoing.  We cannot become good enough to come to God on our own, as God is perfect and holy and we are not.  We cannot save ourselves.  So a sacrifice had to be made to cleanse us from our evil, and take on the goodness of God, in order to restore our relationship with God.  God loves us and wants to be our friend, as well as our Lord.  So God gave His son Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins.  All we have to do is accept this sacrifice made on our behalf, this free gift.  We accept the love of God through the acceptance of His son Jesus as the one who saves us from our sin and wrongdoing, and the only one who can restore for us the relationship with a God who loves us.  Once we accept Jesus, then God the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us, and directs us as to the things that we should be doing and how we should live.  We will gain a new passion to serve God, to serve others, to see the world as God sees the world.  We will trust God more.  We will learn more through looking at what God tells us in His Word, the Bible.  As we learn more knowledge, God will grant us more wisdom to live a good life.  And our trust is rewarded in knowing that God will take care of us in everything we need.  We no longer must rely upon our bank accounts, our money, our worldly treasures.  Our treasure changes.  We see the world through God’s eyes.  And in doing so, our world changes for the better, our lives change for the better, and everything becomes new and fresh and exciting and great.  Even problems don’t seem as big, as who or what problem is bigger than God?  So the answer for misplaced treasure or worry over finances and money is our trust in God, a God that loves us so much that He not only prepares the best for us today, but for all the tomorrows in our lives here on earth, and for eternity to follow.

I hope that as you read this two-part lesson that you begin to think about where your priorities have been placed.  Have they been on things of this world, or things of God?  Have your priorities and “treasures” been of big trucks and big bank accounts, or of living the right kind of life?  Have your priorities been on things, or on people?  Have you loved what the world tells you to love, or can you learn to love what God loves, other people?  Does your time reflect your priorities?  Can you trust God to meet your needs instead of your money?

Even the best of us struggle with this from time to time.  I certainly have struggled with success and making sure that I put my priorities in the proper place, and many many times my priorities have been way off.  This teaching is for me as much as it is for you.  We all need to constantly look at our “treasure”, where we place our priorities, where we place our time, and make sure that it aligns with God’s direction.  With more trust and faith in God, this becomes easier.

For me, I still work too much.  I still mess up with my priorities.  But I’m doing better.  My business success is now more about how our business can impact the world around us for the better instead of just making money.  My business is but a tool to reach people for God, to share the love of Jesus with others, and to open doors that otherwise would be shut.  As I prosper financially, I can give more to help others in need.  And as I study my Bible, I see daily fresh and anew just how much God really loves me.  And with God’s love, I know that He will take care of me and meet my every need.  So my reliance on myself, what I can do, what I can attain, what I can possess isn’t nearly as important anymore.  My reliance is on God, who loves me more than I love myself, and who always wants the best for me.  As God is no respecter of persons, meaning that what God does for one He will do for another, know that God loves you just as much, and the confidence I have in God’s love you can attain also.  This is my prayer for you, that you will understand the love of God, accept His son Jesus, and live a great life following God’s direction, and achieve great success, as God knows success, in the process.

Friend, it’s no longer “Show me the money!”.  It’s “Show me God!”.  We do this, and our treasures, and our lives, will change for the better.

May God richly bless you in your journey.

Greg Quinn