At some point, people in the church became fearful of having material possessions. We must be careful not to blame the bad things that happen in our lives on money. It is a mistake to think that way because, as Christian people on a mission, we need wealth in order to effectively minister to others in the physical realm. Many people theorize that heaven is a place rich in wisdom and love, but it is also a place where the streets are paved with gold. The lesson here is that the problem is not necessarily money, but the spirit behind it. This spirit of mammon was responsible for the fall of Babylon, and it is still prevalent today. We are now standing between the spirit of God and the spirit of mammon, and we must decide which one to serve. First we must learn how mammon operates.A. Mammon uses fear to try and trick us into thinking its lies are true.
- He who is faithful in the least is also faithful in much, and he who is unjust in the least is also unjust in much. No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. The Pharisees, who were covetous, heard all these things, and derided him (Luke 16:10-14).
- Context is king, but Scriptures can be taken out of context and applied in another context. Although people may try to apply this particular Scripture to any other situation, it specifically applies to money.
- The Pharisees scoffed at what Jesus said because they were greedy and afraid his message would cause them to lose money.
- The spirit of mammon did not like the truth coming out. This is seen in many churches where the preacher will not speak the truth concerning money, out of fear.
- Tradition causes people to be afraid to give, but the Bible says the traditions of men make the word of God of no effect (Mark 7:13).
- The spirit of mammon not only causes us to hold on to money, but also to hold on to bad traditions in every other area of our lives.
- Do not love the world, or the things of the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The world passes away, and the lust thereof, but he who does God’s will abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
- This refers not to the physical earth, but the world’s systems and mindsets. The world’s norms and values do not take the Scriptures into consideration. They simply say that whatever the majority of people think, say, or do, is right.
- This Scripture alludes to the same thing that Jesus warned about in Luke 16:13.
- “The flesh” is a mindset that goes against God’s word. The lust of the eyes causes us to want whatever others have. Pride refuses to submit to God’s will, preferring instead to do whatever it wants to do at the moment.
- Peter began to rebuke Jesus, but Jesus turned and said, Get behind me, Satan, you are an offense to me (Matthew 16:22, 23).
- The spirit of mammon always opposes the will of God. Jesus had just finished explaining what God’s will was; Peter’s response indicated he was under the demonic influence of mammon.
- Ananias and Sapphira sold land and kept back part of the money for themselves. Peter asked Ananias why Satan had filled his heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. Ananias fell down dead, and the young men carried his body outside and buried it. When Sapphira arrived later, Peter asked her if they had sold the land for what they said, and she said yes. She fell down dead, and the young men carried her body out and buried it next to Ananias. Then great fear came on the church when they heard this (Acts 5:1-11).
- Ananias and Sapphira were motivated by the spirit of mammon.
- The love of money is the root of all evil. Some have coveted after it, erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10).
- Money is not the enemy. Whether it is good or bad depends on the spirit behind it.
- Wealth and riches will be in the house of the righteous (Psalm 112:3).
- If God controls the money, there is no downside to it (Proverbs 10:22).
- Charge those who are rich in this world that they not be high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
- Anyone who does not think it is God’s will for them to have possessions does not understand this Scripture. We do not have to be afraid of having money.
- Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand (Philippians 4:5).
- When God blesses us richly, those who misunderstand his word in this area will tell us we are being excessive. They take this Scripture out of context.
- The Greek definition of the word “moderation” is unselfishness, consideration, and forbearance.
- Jesus said to them, take heed, and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. He then told the parable of the rich man who pulled down his barns to build new ones to contain all he had, instead of giving to others. God said to the man, you fool, this night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:13-21).
- Life is not about collecting “stuff,” and Jesus warned against greed. However, there is nothing wrong with having nice things if we do not let the spirit of mammon control our thinking in this area.
- Fools do not acknowledge God (Psalm 14:1); they choose mammon instead.
- Sometimes we can stray so far from God when we listen to mammon that we think God left us. But he will stay with us and never leave us (Psalm 23:6).
1 John 2:15-17
Matthew 16:22, 23
1 Timothy 6:10, 17