Sin is any feeling or thought or action that comes from a heart that does not treasure God over all other things. The root of all sins, is such a heart, one that prefers anything above God; a heart that does not treasure God over everything else, and everyone else.
The way you think and feel and act about money, and power puts your heart’s treasure on display—either God, or something he made.
Power is a capacity to pursue what you value.
Money is a cultural symbol that can be exchanged in pursuit of what you value.
Therefore power, and money are God-given means of showing what you value. All your power, and all your money are God’s gifts for putting on display the supreme worth of God’s glory.They are given by God as a means of worship.
Think about how you have felt, thought and acted in regard to money, and power in the last 24 hours… week… month…. What does that suggest about what you are treasuring? What would it look like for you to use power, and money to display the supreme worth of God’s glory?
1 Timothy 6:9-10 NIV Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
It's strange that despite Paul's warning many Christians still pursue wealth. Paul warns that desiring to be rich is deadly. However protection from those desires comes when you are content.
Philippians 4:12 NIV I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
What was the secret?
Philippians 3:8-9 NIV What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
In other words, to put it in modern terms, when the stock market goes up or you gets a bonus, you say, I find Jesus more precious and valuable and satisfying than my increasing money. And when the stock market goes down or you face a pay cut, you say, I find Jesus more precious and valuable and satisfying than all that I have lost. The glory and beauty and worth and preciousness of Christ is the secret of contentment that keeps money from controlling us.
Proverbs 29:2 NKJV When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.
When great power is wielded in the pursuit of great good, we stand amazed and rejoice.
God has appointed human government to wield power for good. When power is wielded to do justice, we rejoice. On the other hand the people groan under wicked authority.
Power may pursue great good, but it may also pursue great evil.Morally, power is no better than the goal it pursues. It is “good” only in the way that a saw is good—and one can use a saw to cut firewood but also to deface an heirloom.
Not only is power dangerous because it can be used to bring about evil, but also because it can be used to exalt the one who has it. Since all humans admire glory, and power can be part of glory, we are all tempted to seek this admiration by getting this power. We love to be admired and praised, and so we bend what power we have toward getting applause. In other words, our power is employed to exalt ourselves. This is a great danger.
Romans 1:18-23 NKJV For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
The reason we abuse power is because we don’t delight in the glory of God’s right to all power. When we are blind to the glory of God’s passion to be known and loved as the source and sum of all power, we take it for our own, and use it for ourselves. That is not why God created the universe—or us.
Putting It All Together
The preference for other things over God is like replacing the sun at the center of the solar system of our lives with an inferior planet—such as money, sex, power or simply self—so that the planets of money and sex and power, which were once held in their God-glorifying orbits, are flying wildly and dangerously out of orbit.
Money is zigzagging everywhere, awakening covetousness and greed, and becoming the currency of “pride in possessions”
1 John 2:15-17 NIV Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Power is thrusting itself through everything in every manner of self-exalting control and domination and exploitation.
All of this ruin and destruction come because we have exchanged the glory of God—the blazing sun—for other things—things that cannot hold our lives together. We find more pleasure in these other things, and other persons, than we do in God. We were made to live with God as the center of our lives.
Psalm 16:11 NIVYou make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
But there is deliverance. In spite of the way we have all insulted God by our preference for other things, God, in his unspeakable mercy, has done what we cannot do for ourselves, to give us a future and a hope in him.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Your Work and Your Worth Are Two Different Things
By Rick Warren
“I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have”(Ecclesiastes 4:4 GNT).
We can come up with many excuses for overworking. Sometimes we blame it on providing for our family. Other times we insist our work is so important that to slow down would be negligent.
But usually, it’s a values problem. We start valuing the wrong things. Specifically, we value the acquisition of stuff above all else.
The Bible says, “I have also learned why people work so hard to succeed: it is because they envy the things their neighbors have” (Ecclesiastes 4:4 GNT).
God says we have two options: We can either spend all of our time keeping up with the Joneses, or we can forget them and reduce our stress level. But we can’t have both.
That’s how this becomes a question of values. Do you want more stuff, or do you want less stress and more time with your family? The choice is yours.
Jesus said it like this: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36 NIV) To put it in modern language, “What good is it for a man to become president of his company but lose his kids or his wife?”
The simple answer? It’s not good at all.
Your work and your worth are two different things. Many of you grew up being told you’re worthless, and you’re out in the workplace trying to prove everyone wrong. In the back of your mind, you’re telling yourself, “I’m going to show them. I’m going to prove them wrong.” You work harder and harder, but no matter how hard you work, it’s never enough. Just about the time you start to relax, you hear a haunting voice telling you, “Keep pedaling. Somebody’s catching up!” You need to get rid of the voice. It’s feeding you a lie.
As a pastor, I’ve been by many bedsides as people have died. I’ve seen many people take their last breath, sometimes at a hospital, sometimes in a home, and sometimes at the scene of an accident. Among all of the people I’ve watched die in my life, I’ve never heard anyone say with their dying breath, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”
Don’t you think it’s time to adjust your values? Don’t be a rat. Jump out of the race.