Devotions this week based on the Message: “Counterfeit Gods: The Heartbreak of Love”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
It’s a problem when a financial advisor mismanages the money that is entrusted to them.
In fact, some money managers have spent time in jail for misappropriating the funds of the investors.
Why is this a big deal?
Because it’s not their money! Their job is to manage the financial investments of people in a way that they have been directed. No matter if they feel differently, they cannot just buy or sell investments the way they want to or feel like it. They have to get the permission of the investor to buy, sell or move money out of one investment into another.
When it’s not yours, you can’t do what YOU want with it…you have to do what the OWNER wants with it.
That’s why yesterday’s point is so important for us to really let sink in: The wealth you have is GOD’S, not YOURS! So the fact that it is not yours means you have to ask a different question. Instead of asking, “What am I going to do with MY money?”, I have to ask, “God what do you want me to do with YOUR money?”
There is a big difference when you see yourself as a MANAGER instead of the OWNER.
But that’s what happens when the Spirit of God shifts my heart away from love of money to love of God. My heart begins to detach from the material things of this world as MY possessions to see and use them as God’s possessions. It’s like the parable that Jesus told in Matthew 25.
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
All three servants knew it was not their own money, but the two faithful ones USED it in the way that the master intended…investing it for the benefit of the master (more on that tomorrow…). For today, let God’s Spirit work these two truths in your heart: 1) Everything you have belongs to God. Because it belongs to God, 2) ask, “God what do YOU want me to do with it?”
Apply: Look at the things around you – home, cash, car, job, etc. Ask, “God how do you want me to use ____________?” What does he say?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for generously giving me all that I have. Help me to see it as yours and manage it in such a way that would honor you. AMEN.