In the last part of this series, we finished looking at God’s View of the World, Money, and our lives so we can start to focus on serving Him instead of serving Money. Today we’re going to start talking about practical applications. How should we act and what should we do when we take on God’s View and live out His will?
The scripture today comes from Luke 6:20-38, and we’ll be looking at it in three parts. The first part we’ll look at is Luke 6:20-26:
20 He lifted up his eyes to his disciples, and said,
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the Kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.
24 But woe to you who are rich!
For you have received your consolation.
25 Woe to you, you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe, when men speak well of you,
for their fathers did the same thing to the false prophets.”
Luke 6:20-26 (WEB)
God doesn’t want us worried about our situation in this life. Even if we’re poor, hungry, and hated by men, we have an eternal reward in Heaven. Once we start keeping that in the front of our minds, we can see that we really are blessed, apart from our outward condition, and we are to be envied among men. Wealth and happiness in this life are only temporary rewards. If we focus on having those things in this life instead of being true to God, then we’ll have already received our reward.
So what’s the practical application here? Stop worrying about your wealth, pantry, and reputation as men view those things, and instead focus on being rich in good works, full of God’s Word, and true to God’s will.
The next part we’ll look at is from Luke 6:27-36:
Love for Enemies
27 “But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. 29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don’t withhold your coat also. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and don’t ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.
31 As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful.”
Luke 6:27-36 (WEB)
While this section has very little to do with personal finance (apart from giving), it does show us just how different our lives will be if we take on God’s View of the World, Money, and our lives. Jesus is telling us here that instead of being focused on wealth and plenty in this life we should live out these few instructions. I think Jesus is showing us that contentment acted out in life ends up focused more on doing good and showing love than earning money and gaining wealth. I’ll let you contemplate how this applies to your own life, but it’s a good example of what actions and thoughts should replace our desire and efforts for wealth.
Finally, we’ll look at Luke 6:37-38:
37 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:37-38 (WEB)
Jesus tells us we’ll be greatly rewarded if we follow His teaching. Many take this to mean material rewards (a.k.a. the Prosperity Gospel), but I’m fairly certain Jesus is speaking in terms of spiritual and eternal rewards. If we are truly content and focused on God’s ways, are we going to care about being greatly rewarded in this life? Not at all—we’ll realize we already have a great reward in Heaven with Jesus. But think of the great reward we could have in this life if everyone took Jesus’ teaching to heart and lived it out. Can you imagine the peace, calm, and happiness we would all have if this happened? Now that would be a great blessing indeed!
Want to read the entire Bible study series on Contentment? Download your free copy of Contentment Is Wealth: A Bible Study on Contentment now!