Summary: I talk about the right place of money in our lives.
Introduction: What would you do for a million dollars? Watch this video and listen to how people in our community answered that question. (WATCH VIDEO)
In their book, “The Day America Told the Truth” James Patterson and Peter Kim reported that for ten million dollars, 25% of the American population would abandon their family, 23% would become prostitutes for a week, 16% would give up their citizenship, 16% would leave their family, 10% would withhold evidence and let a murderer go free, 7% would kill a stranger and 3% would put their children up for adoption. And as most of us are aware of people would marry an absolute stranger for 1 million bucks. Sociologist Pepper Schwartz noted, “There are people out there who would marry a chair if it was wealthy
Will one million dollars or 10 million dollars truly make us happy? Our culture (specifically, American culture) has been doing all it can to convince us that. We see it in television and magazines. We are constantly bombarded with images of the rich and wealthy and the seemingly prestige that comes with it. Many of us live with the hope that if we just hit the jack pot or simply came across a lot of money that it will be the answer to all of our problems. If I just made a little bit more then…..(you fill in the blank).
Don’t get me wrong. Money is not bad. We need money to survive. We have to pay the bills we have to feed our families. We have to put gas in our cars. Money is necessary. The Bible tells us what the problem is. It is found in 1Timothy 6:9-10. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” It is the love of money that is the issue here—the pursuit of it. When it becomes our chief aim in life it causes all kinds of problems. For so many money becomes such a concern that people will stop at nothing to get as much of it as they can. Even willing to compromise beliefs and convictions.
Money was never meant to become what it is for so many today. It was never meant to be a god. Read Matthew 6:22-24 in the Message translation: “Your eyes are windows to your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.”
That’s why Paul said to Timothy, “some have wondered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” You cannot worship God and money at the same time.
But it is important that we talk about it, especially in the church. Did you know that this topic is not a side-issue for Jesus? As a matter of fact 15% of Christ’s teachings were about money and possessions. That means he taught more about money than heaven and hell combined. Here are some of the things Jesus said:
• Luke 6:20, 24—“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”
• Luke 14:33—“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
• Luke 18:25—“Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
• Luke 12:15—“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
• Matthew 6:33—“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
• Luke 12:33—“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
• Matthew 13:44—“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
• Luke 21:2-3—“But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you prepared for yourself?” This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”