Thanks for joining us on this journey of building a consistent habit of reading our Bibles every day. The Bible reading plan we are using this year can be found here: One Year Bible or here on the Bible app. As always, if you miss a day, don’t feel compelled to go back and catch up. Just skip it and start back on today’s date. I am reading the NLT this year, but feel free to use whatever version you prefer. Now here are some thoughts from today’s readings:
Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked.
– Mark 14:4
Many of the Gospels have accounts of the same stories from different perspectives. Later, in the book of John, we will read this same story with a different light shone and some new details illuminated. You can find some interesting truth when you put the different perspectives of the Gospel writers together, like we will today.
In John’s account of this story, he identifies the “some” in the verse above as none other than Judas Iscariot. So, if we insert Judas’s name into this account, something immediately jumps out. Judas got upset that this amount of money was being “wasted” on Jesus and then, what does it say happens next? That’s when Judas decided to betray Jesus. Judas didn’t like how Jesus was spending the money because he had his own plan for it. Money was such a big deal to Judas that he actually decided to get rid of Jesus because of it.
I wonder how many people today are betraying Jesus due to money? People get upset if a Church or pastor spends money in a way they don’t agree with (not even in sinful ways, just in “I wouldn’t do that” ways). Some people get upset because they think the Church should be paying them. Some people get upset simple when the Church takes up an offering! It’s easy for people to let these kinds of offenses happen over finances, but often that just shows us that money has become an idol in our lives, as we have explored in past days.
Money should never stand in the way of us loving or obeying Jesus. And we should never allow the use of money to cause us to be angry or bitter at another believer. Even if you gave that money, that money now belongs to God (actually, it belonged to God before you gave it, too). Unless the Lord has put in a position in your Church where you have oversight over the money, then how it is spent is not your responsibility.
That doesn’t mean it’s not your concern, however. You should be concerned about whether or not your church has the proper checks and balances to make sure money is stewarded well, like a lay person trustee board, an annual report, and maybe even independent audits from time to time. You can voice your opinions in love and humility, but if those things are in place, it’s not your job to decide how the money is spent. Even if your church allows all the members to vote, your right to vote doesn’t give you the right to be angry, to slander, or to disrespect others. Ask yourself this, if God wanted you to police the money in your church, or any area in fact, wouldn’t He put you in the proper place to do so? If He hasn’t, then you need to trust Him and not, as Proverbs says, “lean on your own understanding.” God is more than able to teach and correct the leaders He has put in place. And who knows? Maybe one day He will make you one of those leaders.
Have you ever been angry at a church or leader for how they spent money? What about how they led, how they spent their time, or other decisions they have made? What do you think the Lord would have you do about your feelings?