Proverbs 23:4-5 – Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; stop giving your attention to it. As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky. (HCSB)
As Christians we like to say that money isn’t important to us, but we all need it. We need to pay our bills, feed our families, have shelter that’s warm in winter and cool in summer, ….. the list goes on. Money is important but should not be so important to us that getting more of it is all we think about. In Proverbs 23 Solomon warns us not to put all our focus on getting more money. When can we stop collecting it? When we get enough. How much is enough? John D. Rockefeller answered that question “Just a little bit more.” Benjamin Franklin said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has, the more one wants.” Solomon also warns us that money flies away. I have heard that verse used with gambling or self indulgent spending, but there are constant
News reports of someone losing all their possessions in a tornado or hurricane, a flood or a fire. Large financial investments have been lost because of someone else’s misconduct. A health crisis can bring large medical bills that drain your bank account. Years of accumulated savings can be gone in an instant. Money is fleeting and so is the security it provides. Luke 12:16-21 tells of a man who found such security in material possessions that he stored up more and more and more. The money stayed around but he did not. Both Matthew 19 and Luke 18 tell about the rich young ruler who chose a life with money over a life with Jesus. We are very critical of that young man, but I wonder how many people today would make that same decision. Even Solomon acknowledged in Ecclesiastes 7:11 “Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life.” (NLT). People often quote a scripture verse that is not a scripture verse at all – “money is the root of all evil”. Actually 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” (HCSB). There is earthy security in having money, but there is eternal security in having Jesus. Job 11:18 tells us that we will be secure because there is hope. Matthew 6:33 says to first seek You. Philippians 4: 19 reminds us that You will supply all our needs according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Lord, we pray that we will not walk away from eternal riches for fleeting satisfaction
Romans 13:11-12 – Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (HCSB)
When I think of someone sleepwalking, I have the Hollywood vision – someone gliding through the house, arms outstretched. In recent years a certain medication has been in the news because those who took it were sleepwalking, sleep-driving, and even sleep-shopping! Dictionary.com defines sleepwalking as the act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep. While Christians have been physically awake, I am afraid that we have been sleepwalking far too long. There is a story about a man who had a broken cuckoo clock – sometimes it chimed correctly, sometimes it didn’t know when to stop. One night this man was entertaining some of his drinking buddies when the cuckoo bird began to announce the time, but rather than stopping at twelve, that little bird kept right on going. One of the buddies present, jumped up, grabbed his coat, and began to scramble for the door. When his friends called out to him, he shouted back “I need to hurry … its later than its ever been before!” Paul is telling us in Romans 13:11-12 that its later than its ever been before. We need to wake up from our sleepwalking. Judges 16 tells about Samson being physically awake but totally asleep to Delilah’s schemes. Just as Samson needed to wake up to what Delilah was doing towards his ruination, we need to wake up to what God is doing towards His return. Romans 13:13 tells us to wake up to our obvious sins, to wake up to our hidden sins, and to wake up to our attitude sins. So many of us were wide-awake and active as new Christians, but as Christ lingers, we have begun to loiter. We talk about what should be done, what needs to be done, and even what we plan to do, but Benjamin Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said” and Dante Alighieri said “The secret to getting things done is to act!” Now is the time to wake up from our sleep! Lord, I don’t want to be sleepwalking through life. I don’t want to become so focused on getting through today that I forget about eternity. Sleepwalkers have no conscious control over their actions but help me today to be aware of my surroundings and my actions. As that out of control cuckoo clock reminded the drunken man, help me to be aware that it is later than its ever been before.