Read: Hebrews 13:5-6 

This post has been a long time in coming! There are a couple of reasons for the delay. First, Carol and I have been in the process of moving. It’s not fun! It seems to be a never-ending process. But to get from one chapter of life to the next, we often have to do the difficult things, and I’m told that “moving” is one of them. The second reason for the delay is that our text for the week has been working its way into my soul—with lots of twists and turns along the way. The topic is very straightforward, but the meaning (for me at least) is hard to embrace in a world that exalts material things. 

Read the text again and you will discover that the writer is talking about money. The structure of the passage unfolds as an exhortation (v. 5a), a contrast (v. 5b), and a rationale (v. 5c-6). In verse 5, the writer challenges the readers to “be free from the love of money.” Apparently the first century recipients of the letter were facing a variety of challenges every single day. Those challenges led to the belief that if a person had just enough money, then they wouldn’t have any difficulties. As a result, these persecuted saints developed a subtle love affair with money. We do the same thing, and that is one of the reasons this passage can be so convicting! 

In addition to the exhortation the writer presents an alternative way of living. He simply says, “Be satisfied with what you have!” He is not saying that money is a bad thing, or that we should stop working to earn a living. It is the love of money that gets us into trouble, and that is why we are to intentionally pursue contentment with what we already have. This does not mean that we should set aside all ambition or the practice of saving money to replace the things that wear out. Again, the issue is not money but an idolatrous love affair with material things.

And then you will want to notice that in verses 5c-6 the writer gives us the reason for his exhortation. Everything he says in these two verses is rooted in the believer’s covenant relationship with God. Just as God made covenant agreements with Israel in the Old Testament, Christians have similar covenant relationship with God in the New Testament. For instance in Hebrews 13, God says that He will never leave us or forsake us. Better yet, the living God declares that He will help us to sustain life wherever He places us. 

Over the past two weeks I have been anxious about whether our move will ever be complete. In a culture where the economy seems anemic and the future looks grim, I’ve often asked if Carol and I will have the resources needed to survive. I am not proud of what I’m telling you. But my guess is that many readers of this blog feel the same way. And that’s why this text is one of the most significant passages you will ever study as a Christian. You see, WE OFTEN TRUST IN MONEY, BUT GOD IS OUR TRUE SECURITY. Savings accounts, investment funds, and insurance policies are a necessary part of life. However, God alone is the One who provides all that we need, and has already been the One who has provided all that we have. 

There are a lot of ways that we can respond to this truth. Trust the Spirit of God to work the principle into your own life and circumstances. But let me suggest that you do a couple of things after reading the passage one more time. 
  1. Give thanks to the Father for all that He has provided for you. Start with your salvation in Christ, and then look around at the things He has given you today. 
  2. Consider what your most pressing financial challenges are right now. Do you need to make a tuition payment, a car payment, or do you need to catch up on the mortgage that is now overdue by a couple of months? Whatever the financial challenge, ask the Heavenly Father to provide for your needs. However, you will want to put an important cautionary note at the forefront of your thinking. When you ask the Father to help you, you may also need to ask for wisdom to curtail foolish spending. Our God wants to give us wisdom as well as resources, so ask Him for both. 
Yes, temptations to trust in money will always be stalking you. But God—not money—will be your true security for this life and the life to come.

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