The Attitude of Ownership
Sermon shared by Jeff Strite
Summary: Who owns my money determines not only what I give to God, but how I treat God. Who "owns" your money and what difference does it make?
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: Believer adults
Now, this idea that God has given us everything is NOT ONLY true… it is pivotal. It’s critical. It’s highly important. BECAUSE it effects how we behave
It not only effects how we give our gifts to God.
It effects how we TREAT God.
ILLUS: Several years ago at a conference John Maxwell told the story of a congressman who took his son to McDonald’s. The father bought his son a Coke and a large order of fries and they went and sat down at one of those table not built big enough for people to sit in.
The father took a drink of his Coke and reached over to get a fry from his son, and his son put his hands around the fries and pulled them back.
The father said, “That’s okay, son.” But as he sat there he started thinking to himself,
“Doesn’t my son realize I’m the one who gave him those fries in the first place?
Doesn’t he realize I can take those fries away from him any time I want?
Doesn’t he realize I can go up to the counter and I’ve got enough money I can buy all the fries I want? I can tell the people at the counter, ‘Go out there and bury my son in French fries.’
Doesn’t my son realize I doesn’t need any of his fries? I can go get my own.
Doesn’t he realize all I wanted to do was share a couple of fries with him?”
And then the congressman said it hit him: his son was simply acting like he’d been acting with God.
His son had forgotten who bought the fries to begin with. And BECAUSE he had forgotten who really – by right - OWNED the fries he treated his father badly.
That doesn’t just happen to young boys. It can happen to any one of us when we forget that God truly owns all that we possess. And there are two reasons why this is true.
1. The “Golden Rule” – He who owns the gold makes the rules
That little boy thought HE owned the fries, therefore he believed he had the right to decide whether his dad deserved them.
If we who are in the church believe we “own” our money then we get to decide NOT ONLY whether God gets a share… but what is done with that share.
ILLUS: I once heard about a preacher who was approached by a fairly rich man in the congregation. The member was angry. A decision had been made in the congregation that he didn’t agree with. In no uncertain terms, he let the preacher know that until the church changed its policy he was going to withhold his tithe.
The preacher tried to reason with the member for a couple of minutes… but to no avail.
Then he said “You know, this is so important a matter that we really ought to talk to God about this.”
And before the member could even agree, the preacher took hold of the man’s hand and pulled him down to kneel right there in the aisle.
And he looked up toward heaven: “Dear God, we come before you and ask for your guidance in this matter. This brother has decided that he is unhappy with a decision this church has made and so he intends to refuse to give you any of his money until he can get his way. He intends to rob you Lord of your tithe until the church makes a decision that he favors….”
At about that time the rich man literally dragged the preacher to his feet protesting that that wasn’t what he intended at all.
But that was what he had intended. That rich man believed that he who OWNED the gold had the right to make the rules.
The 2nd reason we MUST believe that what we own
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