Summary: Trust begins in recognizing that we have been entrusted as managers of God’s resources.
A Life of Trust
Brad Bailey – November 16, 2008
(Portions of the following were not shared due to time… but the notes have been maintained as a
Continuing series… entitled Spiritual Insight for Insecure Times.
I imagine each of us can sense something of the uncertainty in the air.
• As I watch the now global drama of economic news, I see our sense of security being shaken
• As I watch the value of homes and savings drop dramatically, I see myself staring into the true
uncertainty of wealth.
• As I watched fires engulf hundreds of homes in the Southland this weekend, I’m reminded of the
temporary nature of our possessions.
It is a time of very real loss for many… but also a time of reflective looking… of looking afresh at
the values that shape our lives.
As we saw last week… Jesus didn’t speak about money as much as our relationship to money
and material possessions.
• When money and possessions become our primary source of security and significance… we
will end up serving them as our god.
• There is a reason that terrorists attacked the Twin Towers… and the World Trade Center
before it. They believed that they were striking at our symbolic source of security.
And as such, while our nation fights a war on terror… and our leaders seek to navigate the
practical means to manage an economic crisis…. we do well to consider the spiritual
principles and practices that establish a right relationship with money.
Today I want us to engage the most central spiritual dynamic that relates to managing money…
that of TRUST in God.
I can imagine that some here might be a bit put off by what you perceive of as a religious
leader talking about money… and especially about giving. I probably can’t take away all the
discomfort… I’m not even sure I want to. But I do want you to know that I understand this is
sensitive….filled the potential for manipulation. So let me just tale a moment to express that I
have sincerely sought to be faithful to the teachings of the Scriptures and Jesus… and I’m
more than open to discussing this further as any may wrestle with that intent. I also want to note that
I am a fellow follower of Jesus’ way of life… and as such… I have sought to bring my own life
into the reality he teaches…including that of money and giving…. whether when I painted houses
for a living… or worked in social services… or served as a pastor. The following principles are as
personal as they are pastoral.
As a culture we deem money a material affair… separate from spiritual matters. But nothing
could be more misguided.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths
straight….. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your
crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim
over with new wine.”
Later God says through the prophet Malachi….
Malachi 3:7-10 (NIV)
“Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my
decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says
the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, ’How are we to return?’ 8 "Will a man rob
God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, ’How do we rob you?’ "In tithes and
offerings. 9 You are under a curse--the whole nation of you--because you are
robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food
in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not
throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you
will not have room enough for it.”
There is an intensity… a passion… in these words.
They reveal a significant dimension of life with God… of what God understands to be the type of
relationship we are to have with him…people who live in a dynamic and living trust with Him.
These words may not be new to anyone who has considered the relationship between how we relate
to money and how we relate to God….but may be striking to those who consider them for the first
time. They bear a challenge for us all.
The central issue in our relationship with God … and money… is TRUST.
The intensity of these words comes not from a God who seeks his pay… but who seeks the
trust that maintains His role in our lives… and liberates us from the false source of security that