Read: Luke 16:1-13
You cannot serve God and money.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
This Bible passage is so simple we may think, “Of course I want to serve God! I’m a Christian!” But there’s a sneaky word in the passage— “and.” Maybe we want to serve God, but we also want the things money gives us. We want God… AND money.
We want to give our offerings… AND take the big vacation. We want to serve at our church… AND be involved in our other activities. We want to go to church… AND watch sports on TV. And. And. And… we want it all!
The thing is, we can’t actually have it all. God might give us some good things on this earth, but we don’t get everything. We live in a world where many people want worldly things before God. That’s because the devil wants you to fall away from God, and he knows that money and the things that money can buy can do that. How sad. The devil will use the lives of famous people and maybe even our friends to convince us that having money and a beautiful, fun life will make our lives better. We can easily become distracted from loving and serving God.
God doesn’t want you to love him and money. Just him. He wants us to serve him first. The tragedy is… we don’t. Not a single person has ever lived who perfectly loves and serves just Jesus. We all serve God “and” ourselves. What do we do?
In comes our great rescuer—Jesus. Jesus loves us. Not us “and” the world. Not us “and” living a beautiful, fun life. Not us “and” a long life in this world. Just us. Jesus gave up his life to love us and rescue our lives. So even when we do serve money first, we repent and remember that he saved us for the better life! So there’s no need to worry about our money! God has taken care of all of us. Rather than serving God and money (which is impossible), we can serve God with money by being “ready to give!”
Beautiful, pure devotion to God is backwards from what the world says. Don’t live your best life now! Our best life will be in eternity! Wait for that day. Pray for that day. Remember, your money will come to nothing on that day. Only true life with Jesus will remain!
Holy God, our hearts often return to a desire for things of this world and gaining material possessions. Forgive us. Restore our joy in your salvation and give us a willing spirit to serve you first. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What does Jesus love more: You? Or lots of toys?
- Our Bible verse says you cannot serve God and… what?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why will we never perfectly serve just God?
- When will you live your best life?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- In your own words, explain what our Bible verse means: “You cannot serve God and money.”
- How does regularly remembering your salvation in Jesus help you to think of your money wisely now?