More Than Money

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Matt 6:24 … you cannot serve God and mammon. NKJV

This verse is one that every Christian eventually runs into and its focus has always been limited to money; you can’t serve God and money. But the non-believing world says yes you can.” It just takes a little bit of compromise that they call diplomacy or tact, and you can accommodate both.

Like many, I simply focused on the definition of mammon as money. But the Greek takes the meaning a little deeper … “Avarice;” you can’t serve God and be a greedy person. Medieval writers commonly interpreted it as an evil demon or a god and the thought behind that was you can’t be good and bad at the same time. You can’t be friend of the god of this world and a friend of the God who created this world at the same time.

James 4:4 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. ESV

Another way of viewing Jesus’ statement comes in a statement made by Oswald Chamber in his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount: “What is mammon? The system of civilized life which organizes itself without considering God.” And that brings us back to the world’s system of compromise. We may not be guilty of compromising our walk with God with money, but Satan’s system has a multitude of substitutes that make it tempting and easy to say “yes I can,” which flies directly in the face of John’s thoughts about mammon …

1 John 2:15-17 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. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. ESV

Is mammon money? Yes, but it’s a whole lot more that is far more dangerous than money, and it surrounds us every day. And that is why we have to continually remember …

John 17:14-19 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. ESV

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