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Spirit of Mammon (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 8 of 10
So it's a spirit. There is a spirit behind that. Does that mean that money is evil? Not at all.

Some of you may understand that terrible dread and fear. You may know what that's like, you know; and when the next bill comes, how are you going to pay it; the sickening feeling, when they open them up, and there's all these unexpected expenses come; all of the fear of living like that…

1 Timothy 6:8 - “Having food and clothing, let's be content with these.” Contentment is a huge thing.

Verse 9 – “Those who desire to be rich (or who have greed), fall into temptation and a snare; many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destructive perdition; for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”.

Notice this: ‘the love of money’; not money itself.

Money is not evil, its just a form of exchange, that can either have God on it or something else on it. But it's the love of it, it's that greed, that desire, that longing for it, that in the end gets a hold of your life.

It says: the love of money, is the love of a substitute for God. When you love, or you have a substitute for God - that is the root of all many problems; and we don't realise just how much that gets a hold of us.

The love of money is a root.

If there's a love of money, it means: you have a fear of being without it; and: it controls all the decisions you make.

If a decision comes up: I can't afford to do that.

We made a decision we would never tell our kids we were poor, even though we felt it at times. We'd never say “we didn't have enough”; we'd just find a way to do the best with what we had.

So the love of money is a root that controls people; but money has no power. It's the spirit behind you, that makes you afraid; by telling you that: you may not have enough. That's the spirit.

It's a spirit that creates fear, anxiety, dread, lust, and greed in the heart.

Money has no power; it's ‘the love of it’ that creates it; and it says: “some have strayed from the faith in greed, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”.

He's saying that some Christians, having started well, when God comes on their life, and they begin to prosper and get blessed - have a greed for more; and in the end, they lose what they have - they go off the rails. They lose it.

When they were in need, they prayed and sought God. When they were prosperous, they didn't need Him, and other things took over.

Luke 16:9 – “I say: make to yourself friends of the unrighteous Mammon, so when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. He who is faithful in what is least, is faithful in much; unjust in least, unjust in much. If you're not faithful in unrighteous Mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches”?

Jesus said: “make friends with unrighteous Mammon”.

That doesn't mean: “use your money to buy people”, because the key word here is: “when you fail” (or when you die) “they may welcome you”.

So what it's saying about Mammon, or money, or riches is: use your wealth to win people for Christ; because when you die, when you come into heaven, you will have people come to greet you, who will say: “thank you that you sacrificed, and I was saved, because the gospel went out”.

They will greet you with gratitude, with tears of thankfulness and joy; appreciation that you used money you had, to win people into the kingdom of God.

This is why, over the years as a church, we have had such an emphasis on missions - global missions.

That's why we've poured money into Cambodia, Uganda, and Philippines; and more recently of course, into Pakistan, into the television station; and it may seem at times like it's just another project that we have to give money to, but understand: we're taking money to win friends for eternity.

Maybe we go through lack, and there's not enough quite at the moment; but remember: there will be a day where you'll enter heaven; and on that day, for us as a church, there are going to be heaps of people who will say: “thank you Bay City - you were so generous”.