Summary: We need to break free from the spirit of Mammon, which causes us to crave more, having less to show for it. Mammon wants to keep you enslaved and distracted from following God fully, but God wants you to be free!
Breaking Free from Mammon
Luke 16:9-15 9 "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 "And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own? 13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." 14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (NKJ)
Intro: The word for mammon occurs 4x in the Bible, 3 of them in our text, and the other one in Matthew 6:24, which parallels this passage in Luke 16, and tells us to lay up treasures in heaven, which puts mammon in its place.
-We’ll look at the meaning of mammon in just a moment, but notice how Jesus portrays the relationship dynamic between us and wealth. Either we can have wealth and use it to honor God in the way that He tells us, or wealth can have us! Either you will master money, or it will master you. Either way, there will be a master and a slave. Which one are you? NLT 1 Timothy 6:9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.
-Today we want to take a look at the need to break free from the spirit of Mammon, which is to crave more, having less to show for it! Mammon wants to keep you enslaved and distracted from following God fully, but God wants you to be free!
1. Mammon Defined
-Christ warns against mammon in our text in Luke 16.
-Mammon was the name of the Syrian god of “riches and money” and the name of a demon in Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spenser’s Faerie Queene.
-In Paradise Lost, after Satan and 1/3 of the angels fall from heaven, a leading demon named Mammon advises Satan that further conflict with Heaven would be hopeless and reconciliation unbearable. Therefore, he suggests that the devils accept their present circumstance. He says that they should make their exile into a happy, fruitful existence by industriously building Hell into a place that might someday rival Heaven in beauty and splendor. Mammon states his creed, saying that instead of going to war against heaven, “[We will] seek / Our own good from ourselves, and from our own / Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess, / Free, and to none accountable, preferring / Hard liberty before the easy yoke / Of servile pomp.” Basically, Mammon is saying that they don’t need God or heaven, but can produce their own riches and do their own thing, making the most of their situation.
-Sound familiar? Tower of Babel – Who needs God? We’ll build our own thing! This is a prideful, arrogant spirit of confusion that breeds the idea of independence from God, never acknowledging that even the raw materials of wealth come from God. Mammon tries to replace God with things.
-In the biblical sense of the word, mammon is the spirit which rests on money.
-All money has a spirit impacting it – either God’s spirit or the spirit of this world.
When we redeem it, by giving the first fruits to God, through tithing, you remove the curse God spoke of in Malachi 3:9. You remove the spirit of mammon from your finances and invite the Spirit of God and His blessing on your finances.
The Rule of Mammon
-Mammon [Satan] is in direct contrast to the Spirit of God
-Mammon says “buy and keep” - God says “sow and reap”
-Mammon says “cheat and steal” – God says “give and receive”
-Mammon is looking for servants – it wants to rule your life and take the place of God (Luke 16:13). It promises everything but gives you nothing!
-Mammon promises what only God can give…