You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. (James 5:5)

ALDEN AND KIMBERLY RECEIVED a large inheritance from Alden’s uncle. They immediately bought a luxury car and new furniture. They remodeled their house, adding a family room. One year after receiving the money, it was gone. Financial planners tell us this commonly happens to people who receive a large sum of money.

What is the purpose of money? It is to provide for the necessities of life and to share with the poor. We do not make money to heap it upon ourselves and satisfy our every whim. While some people can’t feed their children, can we justify buying a sports car when we already have two cars in our garage?

There is a danger that our money and possessions will own us, taking control over our actions and thinking. Jesus talked about storing up treasures on earth or in heaven. When we spend money only on ourselves, we are laying up treasure on earth. When we give to our church, mission causes, and needy people, we are storing up treasure in heaven.

The choices we make about money are important. We can be selfish with our money, or we can pray about how we manage our finances. The happiest people are not the wealthy, but those who have found purpose. God’s blessing rests upon the person who systematically plans and includes good causes in his or her budget.

Review your budget to see that God’s work is included.

Jewell Johnson is a Bible teacher, a wife, and mother of six children, grandmother to nine. She enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.