WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 15, 2021
TOPIC: ARE YOU SEEKING AFTER GOD OR ONLY AFTER MONEY?
BY T. O. BANSO
“So they come pretending to be sincere and sit before you listening. But they have no intention of doing what I tell them. They express love with their mouths, but their hearts seek only after money” (Ezekiel 33:31 New Living Translation).
The Bible describes the Pharisees as lovers of money (Luke 16:14). That would mean that money was their overriding interest. They loved money more than they loved God. In that case, there are many Pharisees today, because there are many lovers of money. 2 Timothy 3:2 says that in the last days perilous times would come and men would, among other things, be lovers of money.
Do you love God or do you love only money? Money is important for transactions on earth but it is not the most important thing in life. Indeed, Ecclesiastes 10:19 says, “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything” (New King James Version). Many people have misunderstood this scripture to mean that money answers everything in life, which is not true. This is not what this scripture is saying. If you consider the context, you will see that it refers to money providing everything needed for a feast or party. Money will answer everything needed for a feast but it doesn’t answer everything in life.
The love of money must never replace your love for God. The only thing that is important to some people is anything that will bring them money. This even determines their church membership or attendance. To such people, no preacher is highly anointed or worth listening to if he does not have the anointing to make them millionaires overnight! Some people have been exploited by charlatans in the pulpit because of this.
The prophet Ezekiel prophesied to the Jews in exile in Babylon. They were insincere about hearing the Word of God from him. “So they come pretending to be sincere and sit before you listening. But they have no intention of doing what I tell them. They express love with their mouths, but their hearts seek only after money” (Ezekiel 33:31 New Living Translation). The only thing that mattered to them was money.
What place does God occupy in your heart? How important is the Word of God to you? Do you love only money, but not God? Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things” (Luke 12:15 New King James Version). Explaining the parable of the sower, Jesus said the thorny ground represented those who heard the Word of God, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choked the word, and they became unfruitful (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19). Beware of the love of money. Although money is important, don’t let the love of money replace the love of God in your life
Sometimes, when some people are given a Christian publication to read, they’ll say, “I don’t want. What I want now is money.” If you invite some people to Church or a Church programme, the next question is, “Are they sharing money there?” The reason some joined some denominations is money! That’s how some people ignorantly joined a cult, called church!
Some preachers are also guilty of promoting money above God. To them, money is the essence, objective, and goal of ministry. The Bible says false teachers are men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain (1Timothy 6:5). “They think that serving God is a way to get rich” (1Timothy 6:5b New Century Version). They use God to make money!
Your pursuit of God should not be because you want Him to make you rich. Serve God with money, not God and money! You cannot serve God and money. “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13 New King James Version). Matthew 6:24 says the same thing. You cannot serve God and money.
One of the requirements for being appointed a bishop is that one must not be greedy for money (1 Timothy 3:2-3; Titus 1:7). 1 Peter 5:2 says the elders in the churches should shepherd the flock of God, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.
Beware of the love of money. It is the root of all kinds of evil. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1Timothy 6:10). The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5 New Living Translation).
Money is not the root of all kinds of evil; it is the love of money. While you must seek scriptural and legitimate means to make money, money must never replace God in your life. You must first love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 say a similar thing. This is the first of all the commandments.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 says “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (New Living Translation). 1 Corinthians 5:11, one of the people Paul warned the Corinthian Christians not to company with are swindlers or extortioners. “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase” (Proverbs 13:11 New King James Version). Also, Proverbs 15:27 says he who is greedy for gain troubles his own house but he who hates bribes will live.
Seek God first. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. He’ll add all other things to you (Matthew 6:33). Do not love the world or the things in the world; if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15). Paul said, “If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!” (1 Corinthians 16:22 New Living Translation).
Don’t pursue money-making at the expense of your relationship with God. The writer of Psalm 119 says, “Help me to prefer obedience to making money!” (Verse 36 The Living Bible). The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, his son in the ministry, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17 New King James Version).
Seek after God, not only after money. What will it profit anyone if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Mark 8:36). Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, my heart will not seek only after money but You. Help me not to seek only after money in my relationship with You. Deliver me from the love of money. Holy Spirit, help me to prefer obedience to making money. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches will not choke the word of God in my heart; I will be fruitful in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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