In our consideration of the biblical teaching on the use of money (157) we have noted that there are two kinds of thinking about money. There are those who think that what money they have is theirs to do with what they please. These people are what the Bible calls idolaters. People whom God will reject in the day of judgment because they have rejected Him.
Then there are those who realize that what money they have is a stewardship granted to them by God for their faithful pursuit of His stated agenda for their money in this world. These are those whom the Bible calls good and faithful servants who will be welcomed into the joy of their Father in heaven when the days of their stewardship are over. People whom God delights to welcome because they delighted to do His will on earth.
Now, though the Bible clearly says that our reception into heaven will be based entirely upon our response to Jesus and His activities on our behalf, it is yet true that Jesus pointedly said that those who accumulate material possessions would have a very difficult time getting into heaven. How can this be? If heaven is a grace-gift based upon faith in Jesus, how can our use of money enter into this picture?
The answer is, of course, that one cannot exercise faith in Jesus while he is exercising faith in money. Jesus said You cannot serve God and money. He also said that it is easier for a camel to go through the needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into heaven. And the interesting thing about Jesus is that He isn't fooled by all the god-talk that surrounds man's faith in money. People who trust in money are often too aware of Jesus' words to ever put their trust into actual words. They talk about trusting in Jesus, but when they lose money they sink into a deep funk. They talk about being blessed by God with their material things, as though they recognized His grant of material prosperity as a stewardship, but when the grant is removed, they become very angry because they can no longer indulge themselves in the things money can buy. In other words, they honor God with their lips, but their hearts are all bound up in the cash they have on hand. Jesus isn't fooled by all the talk. He sees the attitudes of the heart. He hears the complaining that goes on when we lose money on something. He knows those who love Him because He is worthy of love; and He knows those who love Him because of all the benefits He graciously gives. He isn't nearly as deceived as we are.
Therefore, faith, if it is a genuine expression of trust in Jesus, is unmoved when financial reverses occur. Money is nothing more or less than God's stewardship-grant to us to see how we will use it to pursue the agenda He gave us in the Bible. It has no power over life. It has no power in the face of death. Those who depend on it are depending on a brittle reed that will shatter and pierce their hands as they lean on it.
Let me ask you. How is your life going? Are you contented and satisfied that God is actively engaged in your experience? If not, let me ask you to look at your checkbook. Your malaise may have its answer right there.