In doing some research for my upcoming book I stumbled into something I can’t believe I had never heard in all my years of being a Christian. It really makes a connection between discipleship and our wallets in a way I had never seen before.
John the baptist calls people to “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” They are convicted, or perhaps just scared and ask “What should we do?”
John calls them, not to a generic love, but to a specific material act:
“Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:12-14, ESV)
John’s answer to each group was one dealing with money or material possessions.
This has me really wondering, more than I normally do,] about how much of a connection there is between your heart and your wallet. Maybe what Jesus was trying to communicate with us when we said “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” is much more serious than we would like to believe.
Jesus challenges us to understand the pull that material wealth and possessions will have on us in this life. If not checked these possessions will pull is hard enough to make us act in ways that are contrary to our profession of faith.
I can remember when our church was moving into a new building and my wife and I had saved up a decent amount of money we intended to use to pay off our second mortgage. When I realized we were going to need a lot of money fast to move into our new building my first thought was pretty selfish:
I need to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible so I wont have the money to give it to the church.
I know I am the only one who would have thought this way, right? The fact in my heart was in paying off my debt and not in furthering the progress of the Gospel in our city. Is it bad to pay off debt? Absolutely not! But is is bad to be so focused on doing so that you give up being generous? Yes.
How we act with our money is a direct indicator of our much we treasure God and his plan over the things of this world. You always have enough money for the things you love and put first.
How do you think the church needs to work toward showing this fruit of repentance?
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