Reflections
 

By Sharon van Arneman

Look for Sharon's
Saturday Weekly Column
in the


The Daily Hearld



How's Your

Relationship

With Money?

Part 3

 

August 7, 2020

Perhaps the grimmest indictment against those who love money inordinately is that it will eventually cost them their soul. To the person in whose life money has taken precedence over pursuing a right relationship with God, Jesus asks, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”


Jesus told this story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods and I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

It is true that we cannot serve God and money simultaneously. “No one can serve two masters,” Jesus said. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Of course, we’ve already established that money in and of itself is not intrinsically evil, but we must know that the heart that is set on money will always be at variance with the heart that’s devoted to Christ. Remember the rich, young ruler in Matthew’s gospel?

This rich, young ruler was a slave of his money and could not bear the thought of parting with his wealth. Not even the promise of accumulating treasure in heaven was enough motivation for him to choose serving God over money. The passage tells us “he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” Observing this, Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again – it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

This much is clear: The pursuit of money is a good indicator of one’s spiritual condition. God is not a priority in the life of the person who has made the pursuit of riches his passion. When we find ourselves preoccupied with money, pursuing riches to the detriment of everything else, it will only lead to spiritual bankruptcy. The craving for more and more money can lead us so far off course, that sometimes it takes losing everything that’s truly meaningful in our lives, to wake us up and make us realise that money cannot bring fulfilment. That’s why Jesus said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

A FAMILY AFFAIR

It's A Family Affair!

Don't you see that children
are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand
a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.
~Psalm 127:3-5 (The Message)



When it comes to church work and Christian service, it has always been a family affair for the van Arnemans. Forever grateful to God for their Christian heritage, Pastor Erick and Sharon have always felt divinely mandated to pass this Christian heritage on to their children, who will then hopefully pass it on to succeeding generations.

Today, they are overjoyed to not only have their daughters (both of whom got saved as tiny tots) serving right alongside them in the ministry, but also their son-in-law,             Denfield Jamaul Hastings, as the new Assistant Pastor of Grace International Baptist Church.

Read Pastor Denfield's testimony below:

As a recently ordained pastor to the work of the gospel ministry, I am so psyched to be the new Assistant Pastor of Grace International Baptist Church and to serve alongside Pastor Erick, who also happens to be my father-in-law. I still can’t believe I am married to his daughter Joy-Ann. My wife has beauty and brains and although I knew she was way out of my league, I couldn’t help falling in love with her. The day she agreed to marry me was the happiest day of my life. 

Born on April 22, 1992, on the island of Antigua, I grew up in a Christian home where I was exposed to the gospel of Christ at an early age. At the tender age of eight, I became aware of my sinful state and repented by faith, acknowledging Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I later got baptized as a teenager and served in the youth ministry as assistant youth leader.

I felt called to preach in my late teens, but it wasn’t until 2010, when I attended a youth conference where I was challenged to live more visibly for Christ, that I started to truly respond to the call. At this youth conference, I delivered my first message. Over the next few years, the desire to not only preach, but to also shepherd and disciple others as a pastor, grew stronger within me, and confirmed the initial call I had felt on my life.

To further my formal training and preparation for the ministry, I completed a number of online courses and attended classes at a local institute in my homeland Antigua. Most of my practical ministerial experience was done at All Saints Baptist Church – the church I grew up in, and also where I served as the formal aide to the pastor. I’m always glad to take up every opportunity afforded me to preach God’s word whatever the setting, and I give God thanks for the opportunity to serve at Grace International Baptist Church.