Mammon

The human condition, man’s struggle, is a battle with himself — and against the other — over how to slice the pie.

The Age of Grace has been one of non-linear increasing apostasy associated with replacing the love of God with, essentially, the love of money. A final outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Latter Day Rain) will be part of a return to God for many (most), while others continue to scrap for a piece of the pie.

As far as my reading of scripture informs me, and the Lord commands us, we are meant to make money multiply and to use it wisely — but not to be ruled by it.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

…Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.

Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.

Do not charge your brother interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest.

Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  It is written, he said to them, ” My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely–be content with your pay.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales.

Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!”

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;  not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.

Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king,  therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;  for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;

Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.  Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.  Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.  You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.  You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

 

 

Featured Image: 1909 painting The Worship of Mammon by Evelyn De Morgan [Wikimedia Commons]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s