WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 9, 2022
TOPIC: BEWARE OF THE LOVE OF MONEY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him” (Matthew 26:14-16 New King James Version).
For some time, the Jewish leaders had been looking for ways to arrest Jesus Christ and kill Him but they were afraid of the people. Their breakthrough came when Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples of Jesus, went to the chief priest and offered to betray Him to them.
In the book of Matthew, the event preceding the discussion between Judas and the chief priests was the anointing of the head of Jesus with an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil by a woman as He sat at the table in Bethany. Matthew 26:8-11 says, “But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.’ But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always’” (New King James Version).
As shown in this account, the disciples were angry at what the woman had done but the account of John specifically mentioned Judas. John 12:4-6 says, “Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (New King James Version). Even though it might be that all of them were angry, and Judas spoke, Jesus defended the woman.
The remark about Judas in John 12:6 reveals his character. It says that he was a thief and used to steal from the money box which was in his custody. Judas was supposed to be a minister (what you would call a Pastor today). He was among the original apostles, whom Jesus chose after praying throughout the night (Luke 6:12-16). And right there under Jesus’ leadership, he was stealing! Could you believe that! I am sure Jesus was aware of this and, maybe, the other apostles too. John recorded this for us to know.
There are still some people in the ministry today who behave like Judas Iscariot. How could someone become a great minister or fulfil his ministry with this kind of behaviour? He will end up becoming a thief because instead of pursuing God, he is pursuing gold. Gehazi became leprous instead of a great prophet after Elisha because of the two talents of silver in two bags and two changes of garments he fraudulently collected from Naaman (2 Kings 5:21-27).
Do you remember Achan? Because of a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels that he coveted and took, the rest of the Israelites stoned him and his household to death and burnt them. He couldn’t use the accursed things he took. They were brunt together with all that he had (Joshua 7:16-25).
You cannot serve God and money (mammon) (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). The Lord says the silver is His and the gold is His (Haggai 2:8). He can give His children. But some people think they must steal or do sinful things to acquire gold and silver. Beware of the love of money! “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” (1 Timothy 6:10 New King James Version). Verse 9 those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. Be careful! Money is not everything.
Judas Iscariot, moved by the love of money, sold his master for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). Eventually, he couldn’t enjoy the money. He returned it saying he had betrayed innocent blood. But it was too late. It wasn’t collected from him because the givers, the chief priests and elders, knew it was blood money. Judas died a miserable death (Matthew 27:3-10). He lost his soul and the proceeds from his treachery.
Ananias and Sapphira, husband and wife, died prematurely because they lied to the Holy Spirit about money. They pretended that the money they brought to the apostles was the entire proceeds from the sale of their possession. They didn’t have to lie because it was their possession and after they sold it, the money was still theirs. If they had wanted to keep back part of the price of the land, they should have told the apostles (Acts 5:1-10). Be honest in money matters and all things.
Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28). They could remove his coat of many colours, but they couldn’t dispossess him of his destiny! They could sell him into slavery, but they couldn’t sell his destiny! Joseph’s dreams still came to pass despite his brothers’ wickedness. Beware!
Exodus 23:8 says you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. Deuteronomy 16:19 says a similar thing: “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous” (New King James Version).
Beware of the love money! Don’t become a slave of money. Don’t worship money; worship God. Don’t pursue money and lose your soul. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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 Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on 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, I shall not worship money but You. I shall not pursue money and lose my soul. Father, I shall not engage in fraudulent activities, including financial, in Jesus’ name. I pray for the deliverance of all those who are possessed by the love of money that they will no longer worship money but the living God.
(For over 800 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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