And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. Luke 16:9 (NKJV)
Jesus tells us to use our worldly resources to benefit others so that they will welcome us when we get to heaven. I don’t really think that worldly in this passage refers to anything sinful as much as it refers to something that is temporary. God sees the money and possessions He gives us as tools that are to be used to help people come to know Jesus Christ.
Think about that for a second. When God sees the money and possessions that He has given us, He sees them as tools that are to be used to further His kingdom. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered why God has given you as much as He has given you? Think about this. We live in the most prosperous nation in the world. Despite the recession we hear so much about, we are still the most prosperous generation that has ever lived in America. We are so prosperous that we see high speed Internet access, laptop computers, smart phones, manicures and cable TV as necessities. Even more, we tend to think that it’s this way everywhere and it’s not. Let me show you something I read. It’s called How Do You See The World.
You have a world view. I have a world view. The way we see the world determines the way we live our lives. The great danger is that we will get caught up in thinking that the whole world is like the city we live in. Six billion people on the planet. If we reduce that population to a one hundred people, proportionately,
57 of those people come from Asia.
21 are from Europe.
14 are from North and South America.
8 are from Africa.
49 would be women.
51 would be men.
68 would still not be able to read and write.
6 of those people would own and control 50% of the world’s wealth, all of those six people would be US citizens.
1 of those people would have just been born.
1 of those people is about to die.
Only 1 of those people have been to college.
How do you see the world? Maybe in your world, almost everyone goes to college. But on planet earth…
Only one in one hundred people will have a college experience.
One third of the world’s population is dying from a lack of bread.
One third is dying from lack of justice.
How do you see the world? The way we see the world determines the way we live our lives. The danger is [getting] caught up in our own little reality. We need, from time to time, to step back and look at who we are, where we are, and what we are doing from a new perspective.
What we consider to be normal in our wealth, our possessions, our education and our extras would be considered lavishly extravagant in the majority of the world. According to http://globalrichlist.com/ if you make $30,000 per year you are in the top 7.16% richest people in the world. Not only that but a billion people live on less than $2 a day. We likely spend more on eating out for one meal then nearly half the world will make in a month. That is unreal to me.
The point of this isn’t to make any of us feel guilty. We shouldn’t feel guilty for living in a prosperous nation during a prosperous time. We didn’t have any choice in the matter. We didn’t choose when to be born or where we were born at. God was in control of that. The question I want us to think about is why? Why do we have so much while so many have so little? God has given us what we have so that we can use it as a tool to help further His kingdom.
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 (NKJV)
By the standards of Scripture and by the standards of the world, most all of us would be considered rich. One thing that is interesting to notice from this verse is that a part of the reason God has given us what we have is so that we can enjoy it. Seeing our money and possessions the way that God sees them doesn’t doom us to a monastic life devoid of pleasure. I would say that most of us have the use our wealth and possession for pleasure down. What we don’t have down as well is the rest of what Scripture says.
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 1 Timothy 6:18 (NKJV)
A part of the reason that God has given us the wealth and possessions we have is so that we can use it as a tool to spread the Gospel and advance the Kingdom of God. We don’t have time to look at all the references in Scripture, but take some time and read what the Bible has to say about being generous to those in need. God hasn’t given us all that we have just for our pleasure. He has given us all that we have so that we can use it as a tool to help those in need and show them that there is a God who cares about them.
storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:19 (NKJV)
As we use our money and possessions as a tool we store up treasures in heaven. According to Jesus a part of the treasure we will lay up in heaven are people that came to know Christ as a result of the way we used our wealth and possessions.
When we see as God sees we will be more inclined to do as God says. When God looks at our wealth and possessions He sees tools that He has given us to further His kingdom. Imagine how different your view of your money and possessions would be if you viewed it as a tool to further the Kingdom of God.
Do you see the money and possessions that God has given you as a tool to advance the Kingdom of God?
How are you using your money as a tool to advance the Kingdom of God?