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.
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:13-15
Luke’s commentary on the Pharisees is helpful. They loved money. It helps us understand them and Jesus’ interaction with them. It helps us understand ourselves.
The Pharisees sneered at Jesus over His teaching about the love of money. They serve as an example of how we shouldn’t live. They were overtly the most obvious ones serving God but, because of their love for money, were actually serving Him the least.
This is a toxic combination: the service of God and the love of money. It’s toxic in it’s deception that it’s possible and also in the fruit it produces.
You cannot serve both God and money.
The Pharisees loved money and were devoted legalistically to serving God. They policed the Law in the lives of others and served themselves by taking advantage of others for their personal gain.
Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that they justify themselves to people (their devotion, holiness, purity) but that God knew their hearts. What people value is detestable to God. These are strong words!
Beware of the love of money. It is toxic to our souls.
What’s more, the love of money will lead us to eternal torment, separated from God forever. For some temporary pleasures on Earth we sacrifice eternal joy and provision with Christ. That is a horrible exchange.
You cannot get out of Luke 16 without Jesus’ teaching on the Rich Man and Lazarus.
The Rich Man had everything on Earth and nothing in eternity. Lazarus had nothing on Earth and comfort throughout eternity. If only the Rich Man had not loved his riches… this is a horrible exchange.
To love God with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22) will mean that I serve God and my neighbor with the money I have been entrusted with. I steward God’s resources for His glory.
So I hold wealth with open hands, willingly letting it go for the purposes of God and the blessing of others. Not haphazardly, but being wise… even shrewd in its use. Understanding money as a tool for the One I love, instead of loving it, will keep my heart devoted to Christ and His Lordship in my life.
Lord Jesus, provide for others through my willing and generous heart. Forgive me when I have worried or been stingy. I know that You hold all things together and that every blessing is a gift from Your hand. I live for You today.