Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in thi10:19s adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Time and again, the pattern repeats throughout the Word: our fellowship with G-d, righteous, pure, and joyful, clouds over with the distractions and trials of life by His design. When the curses start, we repent, and get back to righting our fellowship with Him.
Christ Himself tells us that we cannot serve two masters, for the love of one will result in hatred for the other (Matthew 6:24), but Solomon tells us that money is the answer to everything (Ecclesiates 10:19). And yet another disciple tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil .
So where does that leave us, who believe.
We are told on one hand by Jesus that we can’t serve G-d or money (Matt: 6:24) and the love of it is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10), but that it’s also the answer to everything (Ecclesiastes 10:19)
So where does that leave those of us who believe in this system that says anyone can make it, but not everyone does? If, in fact, the silver and gold belong to the Father, as He proclaimed because the Earth and everything in belongs to Him, we are commanded to honor Him with a tithe of our earnings, and offer whatever remains voluntarily. We are to do this in spite of our circumstances, however humble, even to giving out of our poverty as the widow did.
What remains, we are to steward wisely (Proverbs 10:22) and not spend ourselves into needless poverty. And if He so desires to increase our earnings, He will add to it with no anxiety.
We are to give without ostentation, making a show for the praises of men, or our reward is already given to us and has no value before G-d.
Our financial sacrifices, as with every other aspect of our service to Him is to be done in humility, silence, in secret, and with right motives that align with His will to love an help each other. He will reward us openly, according to Jesus, if we are faithful. (Matthew 6: 1-4)
In these times of disparity and greed we are always to re-align ourselves with His purposes for His provision, be it money, or talents to be used in His service for HIs glory.
We can’t honor Him with our lips and kneel at mammon’s altar. With all that’s going on around us, we are to remain steadfast in the one regard the Father asks us to test Him, to give the first fruits of our earnings back to Him so that He can open the storehouses of Heaven to bless us.
Take stock of where you stand, and who you honor with your earnings, however meager. We serve a G-d of abundant joy.
Therefore I pray:
Father in Heaven
As we return to You the portion of our wealth You provided, help us to remember that the Earth is Yours, and everything in it, including the silver and gold,
Grant us overflow that we might use to bless others, giving all with a grateful and humble hard, so that none who are around us are in need.
Let us, in the secret doing, do so with no thought of rewards or praises from men, for doing such cancels our blessing before Your throne, and our reward is given us, fleeting and hollow. It is of no value to Your kingdom.
Let us remember that Your Son does not give to us as the world gives, and tells us the truth that every good thing is from You. Let us remember too, that we are travelers passing through, and our wealth is stored up for the just if we misuse all that You have given us.
Our earthly gain is not worth our eternal inheritance with You, when we are one with You once more.
In righteousness, peace, and joy may we honor You.