By Tope Banso.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24 New Living Translation).
The story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-30 underscores this truth that you can’t gain eternal life when your heart is fixed on your earthly treasures. This man had approached Jesus to find out what good deed he must do to have eternal life.
Though his question was faulty because no good deed can procure eternal life for anyone, Jesus didn’t correct him. All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 New King James Version).
But the sad aspect was that the rich young ruler wasn’t even ready to do what Jesus told him to do after boasting about obeying all the commandments Jesus had told him to obey.
“Jesus told him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ But when the young man heard this, he went away very sad, for he had many possessions’” (Matthew 19:21-22 New Living Translation). The man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. He loved gold more than God.
But the truth is that he was possessed by his possessions not the other way round. You’re possessed by whatever you own but can’t give away. You must free your heart from your earthly treasures. If you’re entangled in the things of this earth, you won’t make heaven. God’s word is worth more than gold (Psalm 19:10).
If you’re heavenly minded, you won’t keep storing your riches on earth as if you won’t die one day. You won’t only use your money to meet your legitimate responsibilities and fulfil your divine assignment/destiny, your heart will also long for eternity with God. Therefore, you’ll invest your resources in the things of God like evangelism, missionary support, care for the less privileged including widows, orphans, the poor and the homeless. When you put your money, time, etc. where your heart is, your heart will always be where your resources are (Matthew 6:19-21).
Unrighteous mammon will always fail. There’s no business on earth that is immune from uncertainties. Even if you satisfy yourself by your earthly investment, that doesn’t assure you of real life. You’ll always want more, which can deny you enjoyment of God’s real life. Jesus said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own’” (Luke 12:15 New Living Translation). Only the blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow to it (Proverbs 10:22).
Hold lightly, not tightly, to the things of this world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work, save and invest. It means you make God number one in your life and serve God with your money rather than serve money or try to serve God and money. You CANNOT serve God and money. Love God more than gold.
●●Banso, an Abuja-based minister, can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com;
Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; or WhatsApp No: +2349081295947