What does it mean to bargain with God?

Peter said, “To hell with your money! And you along with it. Why, that’s unthinkable—trying to buy God’s gift! You’ll never be part of what God is doing by striking bargains and offering bribes. Change your ways—and now! Ask the Master to forgive you for trying to use God to make money. I can see this is an old habit with you; you reek with money-lust.” Acts 8:20-23 (The Message)

O.K! We live in the material world. Money and possessions are a part of our life and experience. Unless we deliberately take the steps to the life of a hermit or a monastic, we are tied into economy and consumerism. No choice!

How we take this on board as a follower of Jesus is another thing though. There is nothing wrong with having a decent income, enjoying the benefits of owning material possessions. How we use these, and the mind-set we adopt, is essential though. If we use what we have to influence and to build up our own part in church and faith then we have it wrong. If it is that we see that which we have as ‘ours’ to do with ‘as we wish’ then we are not truly following the way of Christ.

If we are to follow Jesus then all that we have is to be his and all we are used to his glory. Submission to the will of God, in Jesus, means not seeking our own glory but his. Giving our lives over to him may mean that we enjoy a good economic and material life in the world but we are to make every pain to make sure we seek his glory and not our own. What we do, what we say, how we do it and how we say it needs to be submitted to him. That is the way to know we are living fully in him and living fully for him.

May my mind be like that of Jesus today, following his will, speaking his words and giving everything I own and everything I am to his glory. Amen.