Do We Need to Sell Everything? — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Do We Need to Sell Everything? — Morning Devotions

God instructs us in 1 Timothy 6:17 not to put our hope in riches which is so uncertain, but to hope in Him who desires our eternal prosperity.

By Chris WittsSunday 3 Dec 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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It was said that when Mother Teresa died back in the fifth of September 1997 and the only personal possessions she had were a metal bucket for washing herself and two cotton saris. Amazing, isn’t it? When she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize back in 1979 she wore her trademark $1 sari and convinced the organising committee to cancel a dinner organised for her, instead using the money, she said, to feed 400 poor Children for a year in India.

I think it’s very commendable, isn’t it?

There’s a question for you today. Are all Christians called to follow Mother Teresa’s example and to take a vow of poverty?

Now the Bible does help us. In fact, one of the most confronting stories from the Gospel is this story that I want to read from Mark, Chapter 10 – as Jesus was going down the road, Mark says, someone came running and knelt before him and said, ‘Good teacher, what shall I do that I can inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good, but one that is God. You know the commandments do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honour your father and your mother’ and this man answered and said, ‘Teacher, all these things I’ve kept from my youth’ and Jesus looked at him, loved him and said, ‘So whatever you have, give to the poor that you will have treasure in heaven and come and take up your cross and follow me.’

Well, there it is, this man, young man. And in financial terms, at least, he was very wealthy and thinking he could win God’s favour by all the good things he had done. That’s Mark Chapter 10.

As I said, so does that really mean as we think about that story? Does it mean that everyone should sell their possessions.

So rather than this story becoming a blanket teaching that everyone who follows Jesus, should sell their possessions, I think it’s a story about the things that get in the way of our relationship with God.

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Money is often one of the biggest obstacles to faith

When you have a lot of money, you tend to think well, I’ve got everything I need. Why? Why would I need God or why would I need Jesus?

I’m sure Jesus was aware of the seductive power of money, and many of the stories that he gave in the Gospels reflect that tension that it can cause in a person’s faith. No one can serve two masters. Remember, he said, that in Matthew 6:24, either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. He said, you cannot serve both God and money.

And Paul, one of the early church leaders. He echoes the words of Jesus. He said the love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much, he said, that they’ve given up their faith, and they’ve caused themselves a lot of pain and that that was the words he gave to Timothy. 1 Timothy 6:10.

Paul made it clear that we have responsibility towards our families. In fact, he said this. If anyone does not provide for his relatives and especially for his immediate family, he has denied his faith and is worse than an unbeliever. That’s a fairly strong word, isn’t it? 1 Timothy 5:8.

So ultimately, Christianity is tied to being generous.

Christians should be the most generous people around, not only in terms of money but how we use our time and the skills that we’ve got to help others. It was CS. Lewis, the author, who said, I don’t believe one can settle how much he ought to give. I’m afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. Not bad advice.

So for Mother Teresa, of course, it was simply a case of everything. Everything she had left was spare. She gave everything she had to others.

Let’s Pray

Well, Lord, we come to you with grateful hearts because of your presence in the world and we acknowledge the world is filled with love and kindness and comfort because of your presence. And people like Mother Teresa inspire us, Lord. So fill us with your love and compassion and keep us within the boundaries where your love can reach us to bless others. I pray for Jesus’ sake. Amen.