The Money Factor

Bible Book: Isaiah  55 : 1-3
Subject: Money; God's Economy; Faith; Desires; Happiness and Money; Salvation, Free

The Money Factor

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Isaiah 55:1-3

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you -
The sure mercies of David."

Everybody needs things and we obtain them by spending money, which creates a problem. You have to have money to spend it, and once you have it you must carefully decide what is most important, since for almost all human beings there will be a very limited amount of money for you to use in your lifetime. God asked through Isaiah this question, "Why do you spend money" ... for that which will not satisfy. When spend money on bread that will leave you starving after you eat it.

Money presents many problems. In America, one of the leading causes of divorce - right after infidelity - is money. Surprisingly, it is not the absence of money that always leads to divorce, because at times it is the presence of too much money that leads to family failure.

Money causes many problems in business relationships as well. I have observed this in the lives of some church members over the years. Money can make people do some strange things - some things that are not biblical or even legal.

Let me share a funny story with you. A little boy name Billy was being teased by boys at school for being stupid. To show how dumb Billy was, they offered him a nickel or a dime. He took the nickel. They laughed and walked away. This went on day after day and the boys had a wonderful time making fun of poor, little Billy. Finally, one of the boys felt sorry for Billy and called him aside. He said, "Billy, the boys are laughing at you because you always take the nickel. A dime is worth more than a nickel, so you need to take the dime and show that you are smart. Billy smiled and said, "I know the dime is worth more, but if I took the dime they would stop giving it to me. I have kept taking the nickel and I now have $20.00." Billy go the last laugh!

Money is a tool and God knows exactly how we are to use it rather than allowing it to use us. I want you to think about this subject today from a biblical perspective. Doing things God's way always leads to a better outcome, even if the other boys and girls - men and women - think you are crazy.

In our scripture passage today, God calls on us to come to Him to find the true meaning in life, and He reminds us the greatest gift in life cannot be purchased with money.

First, let's think about ...

I. The Pleasure Factor

First, we need to acknowledge that money will not make us happy on its own. We read in Ecclesiastes 5:10 ...

“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.." (NKJV)

Again, look at Luke 12:15 ...

" And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” '" (NKJV)

Most people think that money can bring happiness but often the opposite is true. For example, In 1988 and man named William Post III won a jackpot worth more than $16 million dollars from the Pennsylvania Lottery. In just three months, he was in debt more than $500,000 and in the early 1990s, he filed for bankruptcy. By 2006, he was living on food stamps. What happened? He expected money to make him happy, to meet his needs and to provide a lifestyle he dreamed of. Certainly he did not follow a divine plan for using the money but rather allowed the money to use him.

Jesus told us that life is not made up of those things we possess. This is not to say that there is no pleasure in having money, but rather points out that money itself cannot produce lasting pleasure, nor can it deepen joy in your work, life or family.

In Psalm 127 we read:

"It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep."

The word "vain" is prominent in this Psalm. Three times in just two verses the Lord interjects the word "vain." This word means more than you might realize. It comes from a Hebrew root word which means "to rush over," by implication "to go over a cliff to destruction." Thus, it developed into a word that means some act or some thing that is empty, without meaning, and even evil in nature.

What vanity there is in working and worrying day and night but having no peace of mind and meaning in one's existence. God's purpose in one's life is what gives meaning and that begins by trusting Him to forgive your sins and redeem you through His Son, Jesus.

Why is it that money, though it is important and produces a measure of joy, cannot produce lasting peace and happiness? Because you were not made to find fulfillment in possessions, you were made for fellowship with God, and His fellowship produces the kind of peace you need, not the kind you think you need. You were created to live in His grace and His presence. Money and possessions can become a barrier to a deep, abiding, and fulfilling relationship with God.

Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, had a go-getter of a young man working for him. One day Henry Ford asked a rising executive what he most wanted out of life. The young automotive executive said that he wanted to make lots and lots of money. The next day Ford gave him a pair of glasses and asked him to put them on. The glasses had been especially prepared during the evening after their conversation. Ford had an optometrist take out the lens from a pair of glasses and put silver dollars in their place. As the young man donned the glasses, Ford asked, "Now, tell me, what can you see?" The man said, "I can't really see anything." Ford replied, "That's right, young man, and that is what money will do to you. It will blind you to everything in this world that is important. You had better get some better goals for your life."

You and I need to know that money will never satisfy us. Money cannot ever make us truly happy. Possessions are nice when kept in their place, but they blind us when they become too important.

Now, look with me at ...

II. The Provision Factor

Money is not what your home, family or children need most. Look at Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ...

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

It was lunch time at Columbine High School and 17-year-old Cassie Bernall decided to skip lunch and study in the library. She was reading her Bible when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold burst through the door and started shooting students one by one. Spotting her, one of the gunmen said, "Do you believe in God?" She answered, "Yes, I believe in God." The gunman asked her, "Why?" Before she could answer, he shot her in the head.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold just walked into the high school in Littleton, Colorado, and began shooting. After they had finished the rampage, they shot themselves as a last violent act. They killed 12 students and 1 teacher, wounding many others. Immediately the experts began to look for answers to the massacre. They were shocked to discover that the two students came from well-to-do homes and lived in fashionable neighborhoods. When placed in juxtaposition with the rest of the world, those young people were wealthy. Why were the psychologists surprised that young men from nice communities could do such things? The answer is quite simple. The experts think that only kids from poor families get into trouble and commit crime.

Crime is the result of the corrupt human heart. All the money in the world will not make a family honest, trustworthy, or free of crime. A person can drive the best car, have the best digital gear, and watch television on a ten foot 4K television screen every night but still not be happy or fulfilled.

What the heart needs first and foremost is a foundation. Jesus pointed that out in Matthew 7 when He talked about a home built on sand and a home built on the rock. Jesus is the Rock. No wonder the Psalmist was inspired to write, "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it."

What everyone needs most is love, beginning with the Love of God. Even in daily life, love is critical to true happiness. A young teenage boy, 14 years old, asked his dad one day how much his dad made per hour. The father asked why the son wanted to know. The boy said he just wondered how much his father earned each hour. The father admitted that he made about $30.00 an hour. The boy then said, "Dad, can you give me $10.00 bucks?" The father gave his son the ten dollars. Then he asked what the young son was going to do with it. The boy asked his father to follow him to his room. When they arrived, the teenager pulled $20.00 out from under his pillow, put with the $10.00 his dad had given him with it and handed it to his father. Then the son said, “There, I have enough. Dad, here is $30.00, would you spend one hour with me?"

You might be interested to know that Michael Jordan, the last year he played basketball, made $300,000.00 a game. That translated to $10,000.00 a minute. When Michael Jordan went to a movie, he was making $18,000.00 just sitting there. When he played a round of golf, he as making $33,000.00 during that round of golf. When eating out in a restaurant, he was making $5,600.00 during that meal. In fact, Michael Jordan made more money that year than all the former Presidents of the United States COMBINED!

But don't get too excited about that. For you see, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is so rich that Michael Jordan would have needed to play basketball 270 years and save every cent he made just to have what Bill Gates owns. Looks like the nerds beat the jocks after all! The owner of Amazon, Tesla and Facebook have more money that some countries produce in a year. But all that money and more will not make any difference if a terminal illness without a cure struck their children, spouse or their own lives! Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, proved that!

One day we will stand before God and you can be sure that one question He will not ask you is, “How much money did you make?”

Now, look at ....

III. The Peace Factor

Here is a principle - Money does not produce peace.

Let's go back to Psalm 127 for a moment. In that Psalm God spoke of building a house that is erected in vain. The picture is of a city in which homes are being built, and all the while a watchman is up nightly checking the horizon for enemies. God is saying that the watchman is watching in vain, unless there is a dependence upon God for the security of the homes being built. If war and death is all around you, what good is a new home? If enemies are storming the gates, who wants to be building a house? In fact, you never see people building houses in a war zone. You see them fleeing their houses for places of safety. When I was in Vietnam during the war there, I did not see one American soldier looking for land to build a house.

Let me tell you something. If you have peace with God, you are already rich and stand a chance of being rich in the things of the world as well. For you will not panic in a crisis. You know where your hope is placed. You and your family can pull together rather than pulling apart when hard times come. Money will not divide you when you are wrapped up in the cords of God's love and grace.

There are seven rules concerning money that that my wife and I made years ago. They have provided us with peace and with a measure of security. You might want to write these down:

1. Put God first - tithe and give offerings to Him out of the first of all the income you receive.

2. Be honest with money - never cheat, lie or steal in order to get or gain anything.

3. Pay your debts - and remove all debt as quickly as you can. Get out of debt and stay out of debt when at all possible. When in debt, stop borrowing till you pay off the existing debt.

4. Never hide financial dealings or money from your spouse. It is "our" money - not "my" money!

5. Never, ever, put trust in money or things. It is a good that our currency in America reads, In God We Trust. It is wise to remember that.

6. Always, and I do mean always, live BELOW your means. Never buy things that stretch you to the limit or that create tension in the family. Don't use credit cards for things you can't pay off in the month you buy them.

7. Possess your possessions, NEVER let them possess you! Never love anything more than you love God and view all you have as His blessings in your lilfe.

These seven steps have guided our family finances from early in our married life. It is one reason we have never had a disagreement about money in fifty-nine years of marriage. I can testify that these principles are biblical and they work!

Now, think about ...

IV. The Possession Factor

Money is not yours, you are only a manager.

Psalm 24:1 states ...

"The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."

The earth and all in it belong to God. Sometime ago I read that most funeral homes that provide suits to the deceased dress the person in a suit with no pockets. That is not surprising. What would a dead man do with pockets?

We are told in Ecclesiastes 5:15 ...

"As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand.."

You came here with nothing and you will take not one earthly thing with you when you leave! You don't own it, God owns it. This is the first and greatest principle in God's economy.

Jesus told the story of three men given different measures of money (Matthew 24:14-30). Then He told how the owner went away for a time and came back to see what the men had done with that which He had given them. This is a perfect example of our lives. God gives us what we have and He will one day ask for an accounting.

One day we will give an account for what we have done with money and possessions. After all, everything you have comes from God. I know, you have worked for it. But it is God who made work possible for you. Look at Deuteronomy 8:18. It is God who has given you the power to get wealth. Honor Him with it!

Lastly, look at ...

V. The Passion Factor

Lastly, we come to the passion factor. You see, money is not evil in and of itself. It is the love of money that creates problems. What evils can this produce? Greed, hatred, jealousy, stealing, lying, and many other such evils rise up out of a heart of a person who places too much emphasis on money and possessions.

Some people wrongly say that money is the root of all evil. The Bible does not say that, rather the scripture states that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Money itself is not evil, but the love of money leads to many evils.

A National Geographic magazine told recently about the strange behavior of a primitive tribe in India. This tribe had experienced an earthquake and they did not know what to do, so they did something they thought might help. The men of the village went around driving nails into the ground to make it firm again. That is what modern people are doing when they think that money will create a firm foundation in life. Assuming that money is security for you is like driving nails in the ground during an earthquake.

God provides what we need most without you spending a dime. Jesus went to a cross to die in your place and pay the debt for your sins. You can't buy this gift. You can't earn this gift. You can only receive this gift by placing faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ. He died for you and rose to assure you abundant life now and eternal life in the world to come.

We live in a day when people know the price of everything but the value of almost nothing. Place value on the very thing God placed value upon - salvation. He gave the best heaven had. You can drink from the Water of Life, you can eat of the Bread of Life, and it doesn't cost you a cent. It cost Jesus everything!


I read somewhere about a queen who was dying. In desperation it is said that she spoke to her physician saying, "I'll give you half my kingdom for another day of life." All her money and all her power did not yield her another day, for that night she passed from this world to the next.

When you have Jesus, you are eternally rich. All the days on this earth He will be with you, and all the days after this earth, you will be with Him. Let us recommit ourselves, our families, our homes, and all we possess to Him and His glory today. Come eat and drink of the fountain of life, paid for through the Blood of Jesus Christ. How rich every Christian really is!

And come today and commit or recommit your financial life to God's principles. In His will you can find joy and peace.