I’m on a journey to discover the truth of what it means to “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over…” (Luke 6:38). The message of Jesus’ teaching in Luke is to “Give!” In this passage, Jesus is not only speaking of money but He’s revealing a principle that applies to every area of our lives (read verse 37). God looks at the heart attitude and motive of the giver. I am a tither and a giver, but I want to be sure I have right heart motive when I give and comprehend God’s Word in the area of giving. There is a reward that comes from God when we allow Him to work in our hearts in the area of giving. We learn to give for the pure joy of imitating Jesus and the Father! Give, give, give and give some more (not just money, but time, love, mercy, forgiveness and kindness, etc.), and when you do, your Father makes sure you get much more in return. I am reading a great book entitled “The Blessed Life: The Simple Secret of Achieving Guaranteed Financial Results” by Robert Morris. The focus of the book is on God and others and very little on self, with lots of scripture references.
There was one chapter that caught my attention and gave me an eye-opening revelation, “Breaking the Spirit of Mammon.” We’re all familiar with the word mammon in the New Testament. Jesus mentions it a few times, for example He declares in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” According to Jesus in this passage there is no middle ground you can’t serve both, there’s no half and half. But what is mammon? Strong’s Concordance defines it as 1) mammon 2) treasure 3) riches (where it is personified and opposed to God). Webster’s dictionary defines “Mammon” or “Mann” as: 1) the false god of riches and greed. 2) riches regarded as an object of worship and greedy pursuit; wealth as an evil, more or less personified. Winston defines it to mean: 1) wealth, worldly gain; 2) greed for riches; cupidity. Oxford defines it as: god of wealth, regarded as evil or immoral; ‘those who worship mammon’ are equivalent to greedy people who value money too highly
First let me make it clear that money and mammon are not one in the same. Jesus did not tell us to hate money. Money is not inherently evil, it’s the love of or worship of money that is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). The things of this world are the unrighteousness mammon, or the false mammon, not only because often they are obtained by fraud and unrighteousness, but because those who trust in the things of this world for satisfaction and happiness will certainly be deceived; for money and things are perishing possessions, and will disappoint those that raise their expectations from them. Greed, covetousness and selfishness are the manifestations of the spirit of mammon. Mammon stands in direct opposition to the Spirit of God. At the heart of its attitude mammon says: Man doesn’t need God. We’re self-sufficient. Trust in riches!” What an eye opening truth that we need get a hold of. Money that is not submitted to God has the spirit of mammon on it by default. It has either the Spirit of God on it or the spirit of mammon. Mammon causes people to think that money can bring them happiness or fulfillment and it causes them great fear about their money (i.e., being broke, lack, not being able to meet financial obligations, never having enough, etc.).
Mammon wants to rule and is looking for servants. It will promise you everything but deliver nothing. Mammon tries to take the place of God in our lives. There was great quote in the book that said “Mammon promises us those things that ONLY GOD CAN GIVE…security, significance, identity, independence, power and freedom.” There are other things I can think of that mammon cannot give you….peace, joy, self-control and a generous heart, these come from God alone. Mammon says it can shield us from life’s problems and money is the answer to everything. This is in sharp opposition to God and His methods. God says to sow and reap, mammon says to acquire and sell. God says give and receive, mammon says to deceive and steal. Mammon wants to rule you. Mammon says to take; God says to give. Mammon is selfish; God is generous. Mammon can get religious too, it says, “If you just had more money, you could really start helping people, you could give more to your church. But Jesus never told anyone the answer is more money. Money is not the answer to our problems or needs, God is! 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” He’s our supply.
God says money must not rule you. Money that’s submitted to God and His purposes has the Spirit of God on it which is why it multiplies and cannot be consumed by the devourer. When our money or increase is devoted to serving Him rather than replacing Him, the Spirit of God blesses it and causes it to increase so we can provide for the work of the ministry, help others and supply our needs. When Jesus took the two fish and five loaves of bread and lifted them up, gave thanks then gave it to the disciples, the food multiplied in their hands and supplied the needs of the people and themselves. We must be ruled by God, His Word and His way of doing things and all our needs will be supplied, all the time!
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10