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The Love of Money

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

June 2, 2022

Mark 4: 19 says, The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Jesus’ warning in the Parable of the Sower teaches that the love of money makes us useless to the Kingdom of God. We’ll talk about how to avoid that today on MoneyWise. FINANCIAL LESSONS IN PARABLES Jesus talked about money second only to the Kingdom of God. So it’s not surprising that the subject of money and possessions is so prevalent in His Parables. Not everyone agrees on the exact number of parables in the Gospels as the definitions of what constitutes a parable differ, but 40 is probably a safe number. Of those 40 parables, nearly half directly address money. Think of the pearl of great price, the lost coin, the silver talents and of course, the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4. THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER In that parable, Jesus talks about four kinds of soil where the sower casts his seed. Let’s look at each of them and what they mean. In verses 3 and 4 we read, Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it The hard soil in this passage is usually seen to represent someone who is hardened by sin. He hears the Word but doesn’t understand it. It sits on the surface and becomes bird food. The birds, of course, are usually seen to represent Satan, plucking away those lost in sin. Then in verses 5 through 7, Jesus says, Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Here, the stony soil represents someone who at first seems to take great delight in hearing God’s Word, but his heart doesn’t follow along. He has no foundation, so when trouble or hardships come along, he loses his faith. Hardship, of course, can be many things, but very often, it takes the form of financial difficulty. It could be a job loss, a business failure or in so many cases, debt. Without a firm foundation in God’s Word, particularly God’s financial principles, what seemed to be rock solid faith disappears in the rocky soil. Okay, now we come to the third soil. In Mark 4: 7, Jesus says, Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. At this point, we might not think Jesus is talking about finances, but several verses later he goes into more depth about each type of soil. In verses 18 and 19, He addresses the third soil, saying, And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. So there’s no question that Jesus is talking about the danger of loving money more than God. The Gospel is choked out not only by the worries of this life, and more specifically by the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things. The warning is that achieving great financial success can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than having financial difficulties. That’s because when we acquire wealth our sin nature makes us want to believe that we did it all on our own. So while we may have great wealth, there’s no fruit. We’re proven unfaithful. There’s nothing wrong with acquiring wealth. Money itself is neither good nor bad. More on that in a minute. THE FOURTH SOIL Now, you can avoid becoming any of these first three soils by being the fourth. Jesus describes it in verse 20, saying, But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. We want to bear fruit in all of our Christian walk, but we should pay particular attention to our finances because Jesus did so in this parable. We have to remember that God owns everything and that He is sovereign. We have to remain grateful and generous with those resources. The more generous we are, the less of a stranglehold finances will have on us. Giving breaks the hold of materialism. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What is a good option for an online savings account or loan? ● Does it make sense to break up I-bond purchases in smaller increments? ● How can you invest in a way that is consisten with your values? ● As a government employee, should you invest money outside of a TSP? ● How do you go about starting a nonprofit organization? ● Should you prioritize building up an emergency fund or paying off credit card debt? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Ally Bank ● Capitol One 360 Checking ● Marcus ● BankRate.com ● NerdWallet.com ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor ● Christian Credit Counselors

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