On a practical and financial level, we have to. The cost of our ministry, staff, facility maintenance, our share of our common United Methodist missions and more costs money. These expenses support our mission in our community and beyond.
But on a spiritual level, Jesus had a lot to say about money. Why? Because money can so easily become an idol and stand between us and God’s desires for our lives. If we’re serious about following Jesus then we need to listen to him when it comes to how we use our money. Like it or not, as long as we separate our faith from our finances Jesus will never really be welcome in our lives.
Jesus and money…
Luke 16:13 (NRSV) ‘No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (NRSV) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:15-21 (NRSV) And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Mark 4:18-19 (NRSV) “And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing.”
Luke 9:25 (NRSV) “What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? “