It’s official. Our $1.5 Billion PowerBall lottery dreams are gone. All of the hopes and plans for that money, or even just a small part of it, are no longer. But it sure created a buzz while it lasted. What would you do with all of that money?
Did you know that Jesus taught more on money than on any other subject? There are more than 2000 verses in the Bible about money. That’s more than prayer, more than faith, more than forgiveness, heaven, hell and the Kingdom of God. Check out some of the “financial” words that God uses to describe His relationship with us:
1) we are redeemed (Is. 44:22, Lam. 3:58, Gal. 3:13),
2) we are reconciled (Rom. 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:18-20, Col. 1:22),
3) our debt is cancelled (Luke 7:41-43, Col. 2:14),
4) Jesus became poor so that we might become rich (2 Cor. 6:10 & 8:9),
5) we cannot serve two masters, both God and money (Matt. 6:24, Luke 16:13).
And that’s just a small sampling.
There’s a hymn that describes the gospel of Jesus this way:
“He paid a debt He did not owe,
I owed a debt I could not pay”
–He Paid a Debt by Ellis J. Crum
Let’s take that a step further. What if Jesus is more powerful than PowerBall? What if He died so that all of our debts would be forgiven, literally? What if our mortgage was paid, our cars were paid, we had no credit card debt, no student loan debt, or any debt at all, and all of the food, clothing and shelter we would ever need were provided for us?
Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:24 about not serving two masters and goes on to say:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
-Matt. 6:25-26 (ESV)
Our heavenly Father knows that we need food and clothing, and He provides them for the birds and flowers. Why wouldn’t He provide them for us? We’re so caught up in making money, saving money, spending money, moving money around, worrying that there won’t be enough money, trying to figure out how to get things without money (lotteries, loans, credit cards, getting you to give me something), anxious and distracted.
What if we never had to think about money again? What if wealth and power and greed had no meaning? What if I didn’t need to be concerned about what you had (envy, jealously, keeping up with the Jones’s), because I had everything I needed? What if I were content down to my bones? What would my life be about? Would I go to work? Would I strive? Would I do anything? What would define me?
The Apostle Paul says this in his letter to the Romans:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
-Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)
What if Jesus is the one who takes away the debt of the world? What if believing in Him and receiving Him means that we get to see the world through His eyes? Would our entire focus change? Would we no longer be slaves to the “stuff that makes the world go round”? Would we instead be free to love one other, because that’s what Jesus does and that’s what He wants to do through us? Would that be Heaven on Earth?
1) If someone from Heaven could talk to you, what do you think they would say?
2) If someone in Heaven was praying for you, what do you hope they’d be praying for?
Do you think they’d tell us that we should focus on accumulating more while we’re here (“whoever dies with the most stuff wins”?) or do you think they would pray that we would focus on what really matters? PowerBall or the Power of God? It’s only by His power that we can truly love one another. We don’t have it in us. But if He is in us, we have all we need.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matt. 6:33 (ESV)
There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain
All sufficient sacrifice
So freely given
Such a price
Bought our redemption
Heaven’s gates swing wide
–Break Every Chain by Jesus Culture