Monday, April 21, 2008

Money, money, money

An edited version of my Morning Thought, for BBC Radio Wiltshire
This isn’t a subtle plea for Graham Seaman [show presenter] to play a certain Abba song. Please don’t. And no, I'm not proposing to devote today’s Morning Thought to giving listeners the benefit of my financial advice. If you want to know how best to invest your hard earned dosh, a Baptist minister probably isn't the man to consult. I can tell you all about the unsearchable riches of Christ, but just don't ask me for an opinion on stocks and shares. However, money does matter. Recent news bulletins have focused on the impact of global financial instability. The Prime Minister tells us that his first waking thought is how he can help hard working people weather the economic storm.

Listeners of a certain age might remember a group called the Beverly Sisters. They were a kind of 1960’s version of Girls Aloud. I’ve only heard of them because my mum liked them, honest. Anyway, they had a song called, "Money is the root of all evil". But that’s not quite right. It is an unavoidable fact that we all need money to get by in life. Without it we could not provide for our families. Apart from monetary gifts, charities would cease to function. Money builds schools and hospitals. We may use cash to buy gifts that express love for our nearest and dearest.

Money then can be the means of doing great good. The old song lyric was fact a misquotation of a verse in the Bible. What Scripture really says is, "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). Some people begin to love money. The pursuit of riches is the be all and end all of their lives. But that is not a wise way to live because greater wealth does not guarantee greater happiness. Also, we can't always rely on money. One of the Bible's many proverbs warns us, "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven." [Proverbs 23:5]. Quite!

The Christian faith teaches us work hard to provide for ourselves, to be contented with what we have, and to trust God to supply our needs. Jesus said to his followers, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. [Matthew 6:31-33]. If we look after God's concerns, he will look after ours.

A wealthy man died and someone asked, "How much did he leave?" The response was "Everything!" How true. The Bible reminds us that, "we brought nothing into the world and it is certain we can carry nothing out." [1 Timothy 6:7]. The only wealth that will last forever is treasure in heaven - eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t it time you made a sound investment in your eternal future?

You can listen again here, about 45 minutes into the show.

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