Summary: Our Attitude toward money is often the pulse of the heart of our discipleship
“Better Than Gold”
Sunday Morning Sermon
July 6, 2003
FCC – Piggott
“Our Attitude toward money is often the pulse of the heart of our discipleship”
In 1928 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present: The president of the largest utility company, The greatest wheat speculator, The president of the New York Stock Exchange, A member of the President’s Cabinet, The greatest "bear" in Wall Street, The president of the Bank of International Settlements, The head of the world’s greatest monopoly. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to these men:
The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke.
The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent.
The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison.
The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.
The greatest "bear" in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide.
The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide.
The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide.
All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live.
Someone asked Willie Sutton, the notorious bank robber why he robbed so many banks. "Because," replied Sutton, "That’s where the money is."
Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.
Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation; a passport to everywhere but heaven.
In Matthew Chapter 6 Jesus gives an excellent sermon. He’s speaking to the disciples. He talks about topics like murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, love of enemies, giving to the needy, prayer fasting and money. I think so many times we shy away from the money part. We are all about Jesus talking about murder, because we’d never murder anyone. We are all about Jesus talking about adultery, because we’d never commit adultery. I wonder how many of us would embrace Jesus talking about money. Let me suggest that we might embrace this topic with caution because of the many times we’ve seen the abuse of money in the church. We’ve seen the air conditioned dog houses and preachers in towers saying God will take them away if you don’t give $$.
Turn with me this morning to Matthew 6:19-24 (Read)
Jesus speaks about:
I. A Single Treasure (19-21)
a. Jesus speaking about the wallet and the heart
Our Attitude toward money is often the pulse of the heart of our discipleship
i. I have a book that’s entitled – The hard sayings of Jesus
1. This should be in the book.
b. Great misunderstanding about the teaching of money and rewards in heaven.
i. One misunderstanding
1. The balance of my checking account has to do with the amount of faith I have.
This is completely false. I read one statistic that said over half the church is funded by people who make less than $30,000 a year. The people who make the most seem to give the least. It’s hard to gauge by stats anyway.
ii. Another misunderstanding
1. God hates rich people
You could read the Bible and come to the conclusion that if you are wealthy (as far as money goes) you will – for a lack of a better way to say it, not see the kingdom of heaven. That somehow if God has blessed you in this life he will not bless you when it comes to eternal life – Again that’s just not true.
iii. Still another misunderstanding
1. God needs your money
a. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills
b. Everything you have from the shoes you wear to the hair spray that you fixed your hair with this morning – is his.
Let me make something clear God doesn’t need your money, he needs your heart. This section of scripture has little to do with money, and more to do with the heart.
c. What this is speaking about
A literal translation of the first phrase in verse 19 would read: “do not treasure up treasures for yourself”
i. The idea
1. stacking up coins for a rainy day