Luke 16:9 (NIV) "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."It is all too clear what this verse means, perhaps embarrassingly clear. <smiles>
I liken it to this. Suppose you are in a heated Monopoly game and are winning big-time against people you love--say including your spouse--and they are getting rather irritated at you. It is only a game, after all, so rather than rub it in their faces you might find it wise to cut them some slack. At the very least you ought not gloat. It is only a game, after all, and these silly colored bills will be worthless in a few moments when the "game" is over. Perhaps you should allow free passage on your "Railroad", or give your spouse your boardwalk card? For which is more important, the game or the reality you will have to live with afterwards?
The "mammon" we think so important here and now will soon be kindling for the fire of judgment. While we have it, if we do, we might barter some favor with the spiritually rich people who don't have so much; so that when the game is over... we have shown ourselves smart enough to have won for ourselves friends who are truly rich.
Jam 1:9-10 (NAS) But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.Do not think you are giving down to the poor in Christ, this is a sound investment with incredible returns. It is like giving a penny and getting back 1000$. Only a idiot would not take advantage of such a "deal". Thus, we should give with joy and thankfulness as the Spirit leads. We should "cash in our mammon chips" for something real before this silly game is declared "over" by God.
1Tim 6:17-19 (NIV) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.