• December 28, 2014

Money should be your servant, not your master

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Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 4:30 am

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I know the Bible says we’re not supposed to be thinking about money all the time, but I’ve been fairly successful in my business and I admit it’s all I think about. But why is that so wrong? Doesn’t God expect me to take care of my family? — D.S.

DEAR D.S.: Yes, of course God wants you to provide for your family; He gave them to you, and you have a God-given responsibility to do all you can to provide for their needs. The Bible urges everyone “to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for urgent needs” (Titus 3:14).

But God also doesn’t want us to constantly worry about money or make it the most important thing in life. When that happens, money becomes our master instead of our servant — and before we know it, other things get crowded out. In our frantic search for financial security we end up ignoring the needs of others, and sacrificing time with our families and friends.

Most of all, we lose sight of God and our need to trust Him. We think everything depends on us, and we lose sight of our dependence on Him. What others think of us becomes more important than what God thinks of us, and we forget that everything we are and everything we have comes from Him. No wonder the Bible warns that “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

Has this happened to you? Stop and evaluate your life — and then open your heart and mind to Christ, and make Him the foundation of your life and your family. Then be grateful to God for all He’s given you, and ask Him to help you use your money wisely, and for His glory.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: My cousin is a very superstitious person, always worried she might do something that will bring her bad luck, or spending money on charms or other things that are supposed to bring her good luck. Is this just a harmless hobby, or is it something more? — Mrs. J.K.

DEAR MRS. J.K.: No, this is not just a harmless hobby — not at all. The reason is simple: Instead of trusting God (which is what we all should do), your cousin is putting her trust in things that cannot help her. The Bible bluntly declares, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people” (Ezekiel 13:20).

Think of it this way. Our lives are filled with uncertainty and danger; none of us knows what the future holds for us.

But how will we respond? Will we respond with worry and fear, constantly anxious over the future and wrapped up only in ourselves and our problems?

Or will we learn to trust God, committing our lives to Him and asking Him to guide us and give us the wisdom to deal with life’s uncertainties?

Which will it be — fear or trust? Sadly, your cousin has chosen fear, and she lives in a constant state of anxiety.

But God shows us another way — the way of trust. God loves us; He loves us so much that He wants us to be part of His family forever. And he made this possible by sending Jesus Christ into the world to die for us. Once we understand how much God loves us, our lives will never be the same. Pray for your cousin, that she may commit her fears — and her whole life — to Jesus. The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I know you say God will forgive every sin we’ve ever committed, but you don’t know what I’ve done. I’m in prison for drug dealing, and I know I probably messed up thousands of lives before I got caught. I can’t even forgive myself, let alone think God might forgive me. I feel so guilty. — S. McL.

DEAR S. MCL: What you did was terrible; God doesn’t take it lightly, and neither should you. Illegal drugs cause immeasurable harm in our society, and no one creates more devastation than a drug dealer. One reason I’ve reprinted your letter is because I hope it will stop others from going down that road.

And yet one of the Bible’s greatest truths is that God is willing to forgive every sin we’ve ever committed — no matter how horrible it was or how much hurt it caused.

This, after all, is why Jesus Christ came into the world — to make our forgiveness possible.

Jesus didn’t come just to tell us how to live; He came to die as the perfect and final sacrifice for our sins.

Think of it: He took upon Himself the penalty for every sin you and I ever committed — without exception!

I often think in this regard of the Apostle Paul. At one time, he hated people who followed Jesus, and his efforts often led to their imprisonment and death. But then he met Christ — and God forgave him. Later he wrote, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Don’t delay, but repent of your sins and by faith put your life into Christ’s hands. He came to take away your guilt and heal your soul — beginning today.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.

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