THINGS MONEY CANNOT BUY
A common temptation that people have is the desire to be rich. There is something about the thought of having a great deal of money that will drive some people to do things they never thought they would do. All kinds of evil things can happen when someone in the pursuit of riches. Some have been known to kill someone all for money.† As Paul wrote:
1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.† 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Judas is a great example of this because he was a thief and his desire was money. He was willing to sell out the Lord for 30 silver pieces. No wonder Jesus said:
Mark 14:21 Ö woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born."
Since we live in a materialistic world, we have to be careful because it easy for us to get caught up† in the hype that you have to have the latest gadgets or newest car or the newest house or best clothes. Now there is nothing wrong with have some of these things as long as we are not making riches or material things are number one pursuit. As Jesus said:
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.
When money becomes our master, we will allow it to consume us and we will neglect our families, friends and worse of all we will neglect God. Do you find yourself always wanting more and more things? If you answered yes, then you have probably made money one of your gods and as Jesus said you cannot serve God and money.
As Christians we should have different view about money and where are treasures lie. As Jesus said:
Matthew 6:19" Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;† 20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.† 21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We must never allow anything including money to come between us and God because nothing on this earth is worth losing our soul over. As Jesus said:
Matthew 16:26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?†
While having money is not a sin within itself, it has a way of changing people and making them forget what their priorities are. This can be seen with rich young ruler:
Matthew 19:16 Now behold, one
came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may
have eternal life?"† 17
So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but
One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the
commandments."† 18 He
said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,'
'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear
false witness,'† 19 'Honor
your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as
yourself.' "† 20 The
young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What
do I still lack?"† 21
Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and
give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow
Me."† 22 But when the
young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great
possessions.† 23 Then Jesus
said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich
man to enter the kingdom of heaven.† 24
"And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of
a needle than for a rich man to enter the
This young ruler love for his money caused him not to follow after Jesus because his love for his money and possession was greater than his love for God. Now let me give you a test. I want you to think about the first answer that comes to your head because it will help you to put things into perspective. If someone offered you a million dollars to not to pray, read your Bible, go to church, or do anything related to God for 30 days would you do it?
Was you first though no, maybe, or absolutely. I am afraid that many Christians would hesitate on such an offer because a million dollars is a lot of money. And they might think it worth the risk to remove themselves for God for just 30 days to have that large sum of money. If your answer was yes or maybe then you need to realize that you are allowing the temptation of riches come between you and God.
Daniel is a good example for us to follow because he had to choose between following God and staying connected with Him for 30 days or face a death sentence. In Daniel 6, king Darius had made Daniel one of three governors over the land, and he considering putting Daniel in charge of it all. Since Daniel was foreigner in their land the people did not like this idea so the came up with an evil scheme to take him out.
Daniel 6:4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.† 5 Then these men said, "We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God."† 6 ∂ So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: "King Darius, live forever!† 7 "All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.† 8 "Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter."† 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree.†
The people had their trap set for Daniel, now all they had to do was wait to see if he would take the bait and remain faithful to God.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel
knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his
windows open toward
I asked the question if you would separate yourself from God for a million dollars, but Daniels had a much more difficult situation to deal with because his life was on the line, but he did not care. As his custom was, he prayed to God three times a day and wasnít about to even let death much less money keep him from separating himself from God. We should have this same attitude as well. As Paul said:
1 Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.† 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.† 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Ecclesiastes 5:15 As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand.
We must never forget that heaven in our goal and no matter how much junk we collect, we cannot take it with us. If we are not careful our money give us a false hope that will lead us down a path of sin, which is why Paul wrote:
1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.† 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,† 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Proverbs 23:4 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!† 5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
Paul understood that when people get rich and put their trust in their riches that it can deceive them and even make them feel like they are better than everyone else. The writer of Proverbs give some good sound advice about not overworking to be rich. I have known some people that worked 3 or 4 jobs just so they could buy the things they want, but I do not know how they every had time to enjoy them because they were always working.
Again, there is nothing wrong with being rich as long as you have the right attitude and that use youíre the money you have been blessed with to help others or to the kingdom of God grow. When you use your riches as a tool for God, then you are storing up a good foundation for your eternal life.
Now that we have taken a general look at what the Bible teaches about positive and negative aspects of money. Letís not look as some things that money cannot buy.
Money cannot by good character or a good reputation.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment,
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.† 2 The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all.
†A person character is defined by who they are and what is in their heart, not by what is in their wallet. There are have been those that have had more riches than what all of combined have, yet their character is no good because they spoiled and have an haughty attitude. So not amount of money can make you have a good character or a good reputation because that must come from within. The best way to develop a good character and a good reputation is to live your life according the word of God. As Peter wrote:
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;† 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
When we train ourselves with the Word of God and allow it to be our guide, we will have a character and reputation that will please God and that others in the world will respect.
Another thing money cannot buy is true friends.
Proverbs 19:4 Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend.
The idea behind this is when you have wealth you will have many people that will hang around because you are rich, but they friendship only runs as deep as your wealth. If you become poor then those friends will disappear because they were only interested in your wealth. However, a true friend will stay next to your side whether you are rich or poor because they are friends with you and not your money or lack of money.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times
A great example of this comes from the friendship that David had with Jonathan.
1 Samuel 19:1 Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David; but Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted greatly in David.† 2 So Jonathan told David, saying, "My father Saul seeks to kill you. Therefore please be on your guard until morning, and stay in a secret place and hide.† 3 "And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak with my father about you. Then what I observe, I will tell you."† 4 Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, "Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you.† 5 "For he took his life in his hands and killed the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great deliverance for all Israel. You saw it and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?"† 6 So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed."
Saul was very jealous of David and wanted to put him to death, but his own son had developed a deep friendship with David and he did everything he could to protect his friend from his own father. In the verses we just read, he stood against father and convinced him that he should stop trying to kill David because David had done nothing wrong to deserve death.
This is what a true friend will do. They are willing to stand up for you and be there for you, not because your rich, poor, famous, or unknown, they do it because of who you are.† So, money cannot buy a friendship. Instead, friendship is something that is developed between two people who share with each other and add to their friendship.
Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
As the MasterCard commercial says, some things are priceless, and friends fall into that category.†
Another thing money cannot buy is true happiness. Many have the false idea that if they had lots of money that they would be happy, but that simply is not true. The prodigal son thought this way.
Luke 15:11 Then He said: "A certain man had two sons.† 12 "And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood.† 13 "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.† 14 "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.† 15 "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.† 16 "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.† 17 "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!† 18 'I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,† 19 "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." '
The prodigal son thought he could find true happiness if received his fortune early. While he had a good time for a season, he quickly found out that he had only been experiencing temporary pleasure instead of true happiness. When his money ran out so did the temporary pleasure.
Once he hit rock bottom, and he began to remember where he had experienced true happiness and that was being in his fatherís house. Of course, the parable teaches us that true happiness comes from being under the protection and care of God. We cannot buy this kind of happiness because it is not for sale, but you can have it by accepting Godís grace with an obedient faith.
We must understand that true happiness cannot be found in material things or money as:
Ecclesiastes 5:10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.† 11 When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?
Solomon is a great example of this because he had all the riches a person could desire, but he did not find satisfaction in things because there is nothing new under the sun. Solomon knew what was important as writes at the end of his book, he says:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.† 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
True happiness can only come from becoming a Christian because it only then that we blessed by God. When we have the blessing of God, which includes the promise of eternal life in heaven, then we cannot help but experience true happiness.
Psalm 146:5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
There are many things that money cannot buy, but I want to look at one last point. Another thing you cannot purchase is immortality.† Many will be willing to give all they had to live a little longer, but money cannot buy that because when it is your time to go, it your time to go. Granted, some may extend their lives for a few years if they have enough money to pay for an organ transplant, but in the end everyone one of us will die and no amount of money will change that. As I said earlier, we cannot take it with us.
Jesus illustrates this point with the parable of farmer:
Luke 12:15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."† 16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.† 17 "And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?'† 18 "So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.† 19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." '† 20 "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'† 21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
As Jesus has clearly pointed out, money cannot buy immortality and we cannot take our money with us when we die. So, if do not want to suffer the fate of this farmer, we must not make money are treasure. Instead, we should make heaven our treasure because when we pass from this earth the last thing we should want it to be forever separated from God as the rich man was in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. The rich man had his fun while he was on the earth, but now he is that horrible place of torment, where he will remain until the day of judgment, then things do not any get any better for him because he will be cast into the lake of fire with the devil and his angels where he will spend the rest of eternity, but Lazarus who was poor was taken to paradise and at the day of judgment will find himself in heaven because he understood that money will not buy you immortality in heaven.
Instead, immortality is given to us by God, but you have to decide where are you going to spend eternity in heaven or hell. The decision is in your hands and I hope that none of us will every let money or anything else prevent us from going to heaven.