Jesus said we cannot serve both God and mammon (Luke 16:13, KJV). That word mammon had no direct translation in the English language, so the translators of the King James Version of the Bible simply did a transliteration: they took the Greek word and carried the same word into English. The translators of the New International Version did something different with this word: they made it Money, with a capital M.
The idea behind this word is placing our trust or reliance in anything except God. For us, the means of our security and basic living needs seems to be money, so Money (with a capital M) seems like an appropriate way to translate mammon.
Jesus recommended giving an offering – above and beyond our tithe – as a way to defeat the Mammon Monster. Giving our tithe is simply obedience to God’s commands. But giving our offering shows our trust in God’s provision.
Giving an offering to God is counter-intuitive. After all, less money is less than more money! If I receive money, I tend to hang on to it. I tell myself, “This might come in handy if the economy nosedives, or if something unexpected comes up.” When I start thinking this way, I start to make money Mammon, because I see money as my provider, instead of God.
What an appropriate way to wrap up our Live Dead series yesterday, as we made faith promises to God. We said, “God, I believe You will provide the amount of money I should give as an offering. And when You do provide, I promise to give it.” Placing my trust in God not only helps me to live dead to the pull of Mammon, but also Jesus promised —
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)
I don’t give just to get. I give because I trust God to provide.
P.S. By the way… All of the offerings that come in as a result of these faith promises will be going directly to missions. Calvary Assembly of God will not be keeping one cent of these faith promise offerings.