Serving God or Money?
“No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13 NIV).
If God told you to give something away right now and you said, “God, I could give anything else away, but not that,” then you don’t own that thing—it owns you. God will test what’s really first in your life by asking you to give away the very thing you’re holding most tightly.
Luke 16:13 says, “No one can serve two masters . . . You cannot serve both God and money” (NIV).
You’ve got to decide whom or what you’re going to serve, and your giving will reflect your decision. If God is Lord of your life, then he should be Lord of your wallet, too.
There once was a wealthy man who gave to Christian causes far above his tithe. He said he met with a financial planner years ago. After they had talked for a while, the financial planner took a sheet of paper and drew a box, and outside of it he put a dollar sign representing money and a cross representing Christ. He said, “I hear two things vying for your attention. I can’t help you plan your life until you tell me which of these things you want in the center of that box, which represents your life.” The wealthy man thought about it a moment and then said, “I want Christ at the center of my life.” That was a turning point—that was when he started investing in eternity.
If somebody drew a box and asked what’s in the center of your life, what would you say? Would you place a cross or dollar sign inside the box? Would your bank statement support your answer? You can say something holds first place in your life, but the way you spend your time and money reveals the truth.
There are two key choices in your life when it comes to your finances: who will be your master and where you will put your money—eternity or here and now.
“Store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are” (Matthew 6:20-21 GNT).
God doesn’t need your money. He wants what it represents: your heart. You can show God that he has your whole heart by surrendering control of your money to him and committing to give what he tells you to give in service to him and others.
Talk It Over
What do you want at the center of your “box”? How would that require you to make some changes in your life?
What can you start doing today so that your giving reflects who or what you want your master to be?
How does knowing God doesn’t need your money affect your attitude about tithing?
Why do we often hold on to money so tightly?
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.