Ezekiel 36:26“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
In this new year, the Lord longs for us to have a new heart that is obedient and loves the Lord. A heart that loves Him more than anything in this world. If we love the world more, we must repent and ask Him for a new heart. Loving the world includes the love of money.
There are two reasons why we must be careful to not love money and the world more than God. First, money is God’s main competitor. Remember the story of a rich young man. One day, he came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, how can I have eternal life?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, sell all of your possessions and give to the poor. You will have treasures in heaven. Then, come and follow Me!” When the young man heard this, he sadly left because he had a lot of possessions. From this story, we can see how this young man’s heart loves the world more than Jesus. Thus, he could not see or experience the Kingdom of God.
It was different with Zaccheus. He was a wealthy man and a chief tax collector. But when he met Jesus, his heart was locked in Him. He loved Jesus more than his possessions. Without being told he said, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” It is not easy for a wealthy man to do something like this. And what did Jesus say? “Today salvation has come to this house because he also is a son of Abraham!”
The second reason: money will shape our character. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty…” Many of those who are rich (not all) are arrogant and prideful. This what the Word of God says. “… don’t put your trust in uncertain riches” The rich typically relies on their riches and not on God! “… be ready to give, willing to share.” If we are warned like this, it means that rich people do not like to give and are stingy.
God wants us to be blessed. But, the secret to gain riches from the Lord is to seek first the Kingdom of God, Matthew 6:33. All things come from the Lord! The Bible says, “Set your mind on things that are above, not on earth.” What does this mean? It means that everything we do, whatever it may be, business or any other kind of things, everything must be based on the Lord’s will. As we enter the Year of New Birth, we will receive new things – new miracles, new blessings that our eyes have not seen, our ears have not heard and what has not entered our hearts. All of these things will be provided for those who love Him! Amen.
Source: Sermon of Pdt. Niko Njotorahardjo, an article from GBI Gatot Subroto