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Why Money Is the Smoking Gun

They were lovers of money.

Judas loved money. In Matthew 26:14ff, he bargained to betray Jesus into the hands of the authorities for silver. John 12:6 says Judas was a thief, which explains everything. (So much for noble motives, the way some novelists, movies and even scholars have tried to attribute to him. Those who knew him—and I’d venture that their assessment should be given greater weight—said, “He loved money.” Period.)

Ecclesiastes 5:10 tells us, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver.”

And I Timothy 6:10 calls the love of money the “root of all evil.”

There is a huge problem, as you know.

I love money.

And so do you.

Just out of college and working to support my little family, when I used to get a paycheck every two weeks, I anticipated it. When the boss said he had given me a raise, that thrilled me.

When I opened the mail and found that someone had sent me a check for something or other, that was pretty wonderful. If I do a revival and the offering is unusually generous, that is extremely pleasing.

The old joke is, “I don’t like money; I just like what money can do.” Same difference.

When the foundational slab on which your life rests is a love for money, you do many things you wouldn’t have done otherwise …

You scoff at One who teaches that money is not the true riches (Luke 16:11).

You are constantly trying to justify yourself, as the Lord said the Pharisees were doing. “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your heart” (16:15).

You fail the greatest test of all, investing your life in perishables. Jesus said, “For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (16:15). It’s as though you withdrew all your savings and invested the money in the garbage which trucks were hauling to the landfill.

You scoff at anything instructing you to give money away, to invest it in people, to lay up treasure in Heaven. “Scoff” here in Luke 16:14 literally means to “turn up the nose.” They sneered at Jesus.

If money is the supreme thing in your life, everything about you freezes at that point. There is no more growth, no further spiritual insight, no usefulness to God, no spiritual blessings.

Those of us who need money and depend on money and look forward to getting money and who grow depressed when the money does not come and yet call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ must fight a never-ending struggle to keep money in its place.

“Without money, we can’t do anything.”

Those startling words came from the lips of a well-known evangelist who had taught faith and faith principles for decades. And yet, because his vast television ministry and huge investments of buildings in colleges and hospitals needed a constant inflow of cash, he appeared to lose his focus in his latter years and made this audacious statement.

How to kill this lust for money:

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.