Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't let money blind you!

"Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day." (Matt 28:11-15)

              These verses have a lot to say about money. There is a saying--"Money talks!" Money can blind you. Money can pervert righteous judgement. Money in itself is not evil, but it can be a tool to either do right or wrong. 
        As you read these verses, the guards that were watching the tomb of Jesus saw a miracle. They saw the stone where Jesus was lying moved by a  angel. Mind you, this stone was no light thing. It was heavy and secured, plus it was guarded. I can imagine when this angel came down, white and shining in countenance, took the stone. He, then, unsecured the rock and moved it aside. A sight like that would have anyone shaking in their boots.
           The word says that they became as dead men. They were, probably, on the floor hoping that this angel would do them no harm. As soon as it was over, the word says that some, not all, came to the high priest with that report. What happened to the ones that did not come to the high priest? Did some refuse the money? Did some stand their ground and joined the disciples in Acts 1? It is not clear what happened to the others, but I like to think that down the road, they might have joined the disciples and preached Jesus!
              This shows a tragedy. Tragedy because the men of the watch missed an opportunity to change their lives, families and community. They allowed the love of money to pervert their judgement. A soldier in those days were not paid much, so it is easy to understand their need of money. Another factor that might have affected their judgement was the religious leaders political connections. Those connections might have stirred the fear of man inside them and could have influenced their decision. The fear of man was bigger than the fear of God!
              The religious people, also, lost a great opportunity. They could have repented and accepted this miracle. It would have changed their lives, but they hung on to their religious traditions and beliefs. The control of the people and their political connections were more important than following Jesus.
               In life, money can change our judgement. I have seen it time after time, when a Pastor would preach against sin. Offerings and tithes would go down and the Pastor would change its message because his/her pocketbook was affected. Another example is a Christian who wants to change jobs because of not making enough. God may have a plan to use him/her, but because of not seeing the big picture, they change jobs and miss out on God's best. 
                 In this day, let's not allow the lure of money to blind us from God's will. Yes, God does not want us to have lack and he understands our need for money, but he will test us. He will say--"Stay in this job, trust me for provision for I have a plan for you!" Trusting God in the finances can be a bear of a challenge, but consider King David. Before he got promoted, there was a bear that he had to kill. (I Samuel 17:34-36) It is interesting that a Bear market in Wall street is one is in which it is, almost, impossible to make money. I am convinced that a lack of money and financial oppression is a Bear Spirit. We need to put out that Bear spirit in order to advance to the next level in our walk with Christ! Let us learn to trust God for our provision and not look at the world as our source.

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