mandag 23. januar 2017

... and along comes the money issue…

It is interesting that the focus on money is not a modern issue. When Jesus taught that it is impossible to serve both God and Mammon, Luke continued his narrative with an interesting piece of information:
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
Luke 16:14
It seems to be very human to love money, and there is much to suggest that the focus on money rapidly became an issue also in the early church. Paul warned Timothy against those ‘who think that godliness is a means to financial gain’, and continued:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 
It is possible that Paul has taken these thoughts from the book of Job, a man who after having lost everything said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (1); however, I do not have to lose everything in order to have the great gain of contentment. 

Many of the revival movements have emphasized the principle that "godliness with contentment is great gain" in a way that has become a hallmark for the movement. We saw it in the revivals in the 19th century in Norway, and I still see it in the Salvation Army in many parts of the world.

I strongly believe that God is our provider and that he gives us what we need, but I find little support in God's word for a theology built on prosperity and promises of financial riches for personal gain. On the other hand, Paul wrote that “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2) The purpose is for the benefit of His kingdom. I believe it and I have experienced that it is true, but that has nothing to do with worshiping Mammon.

Today 'manna':

God is my provider!
(1) Job 1:21
(2) 2 Cor 9:8

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