Checkpoints of a Material Heart By: Dr. Daniel Dickard

C.S. Lewis famously said, “Wealth has a way of knitting a man’s heart to this world or knitting a man’s heart to God.” Did you know, of the 38 parables that the Lord Jesus Christ gave, 16 of them deal with our relationship to things – material goods? There are approximately 500 verses in the Bible on the subject of faith, another 500 verses on prayer, and yet nearly 2,300 verses on our relationship to material things. Here is the point: God cares a great deal about your finances.

How you handle your finances is not a wealth issue. It is a worship issue. How you use your money is not an earnings issue. It is an obedience issue. It is a heart issue. Nowhere does the Bible teach that money is the root of all evil. That is a common mischaracterization. Money is not evil. The love of money is the root of all evil. And there is a big difference. You see, it is not wrong for you to own possessions. It is wrong for possessions to own you. Let me be very clear. God does not need your money. He owns it all. Cash and credit cards are not the issue with God. Control of your heart is the primary concern. God wants your heart. And our Lord knows that consecration must reach your pocketbook if transformation will occur in your heart. When your wallet is not surrendered, neither will your heart be surrendered (Matthew 6:21). Your checkbook reflects the condition of your heart. Your wallet represents your worship.

When I have difficulty troubleshooting the motives of my heart as they relate to material possessions, I often ask the following diagnostic questions to discern my heart’s condition. I suggest that you do the same. Here are three checkpoints to discern if you have a material heart.

1. Checkpoint # 1: What gets my first? Jesus does not want a place in your life. He does not want prominence. He demands preeminence. Everything in your life ought to come under the heading of the Lordship of Christ. He must have preeminence in everything. Jesus will not be coequal with your finances. He demands lordship over your finances. He demands preeminence in your possessions. He requires worship through your wallet. He commands supremacy over your retirement plan. He has authority of your assets. You cannot have a Jesus that is Lord of your salvation that is not also Lord of your money.

2. Checkpoint # 2: What gets my best? Something in your life is getting your best. Something has top priority. What gets your best reveals what is truly God in your life. The problem of money is often symptomatic of a deeper problem of idolatry.

3. Checkpoint # 3: Who gets the rest? We can use resources or resources will use us. God did not intend for you to be a closed reservoir. He wants you to be a channel of blessing. If Jesus gets the leftovers of your finances, you are likely giving Him the leftovers of your heart.

The sad truth of today is that people have much to live for and not much to live with. Dear brother or sister remember your true wealth. You are wealthy when the things you are living for are worth Christ dying for.

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