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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of August 29, 2016

I can't give away what I don't have: If I can't love others, it's because I don't know that God loves me.

It is obvious that in order to give away money, you must have money to give away, and in order to give away a car, you must have a car to give away. Likewise, in order to give away love, you must have love to give away.

That love -- true love -- can come only from God, for he is the only source of unconditional love. As followers of Christ, we are instructed to let God's love flow through us to the world: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).

You are to love others as God loves you. However, if you don't know how much God loves you, then you can't love one another.

Leviticus 19:18 says, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Again, if you don't have love in you (for yourself and for God), then you can't love others.

So, if you're having trouble loving others, it's probably because you don't know how much God loves you.

Are you so hungry to own more money that your money owns you?

In Mark 10:17-22, we read the story of a man who asked Jesus, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" The man had followed all the commandments; however, Jesus told him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus told him that he lacked "one thing", which is implied to be a relationship with God. The man had followed the commandments; however, he didn't know God. He knew the laws, but not the God who made the laws. Interestingly, that "one thing" is exactly the same as what David wanted (see Psalm 27:4).

In order to inherit eternal life, the man needed a personal relationship with Christ. However, Jesus knew that the man's money was holding him back. When Jesus told him to "sell everything" for the Kingdom, the man went away -- he turned his back on a relationship with God.

The reason that he turned his back on a relationship with God was because he owned so much money that, really, his money owned him. That is, he loved his money more than he loved God. His face fell and he went away sad, because he didn't want to give up his money. So he picked money (wealth and worldly possessions) instead of a relationship with God.

In this man we clearly see the principle that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). His treasure (that is, what he valued) was his money; so, when Jesus asked for his heart, the man refused the offer, and, as a result, he went away sad.

Are you so attached to your money and possessions that they have become more valuable to you than God? Do you want money so much that it dictates how you use your time? If so, God requires that you put Him first, but in exchange you get the most valuable thing in the world -- a relationship with God. Therefore, examine your life and make sure that you're not so hungry to own more money that your money owns you.

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