Summary: Message 2 of 5
November 5, 2006
November 5, 2006
We’re going to look at several key principles about building up treasure in heaven. This morning we’ll be looking at one. I had six in mind when I began this series but I’ve cut it back to five.
Are you ready? Here we go… Key principle #1
Treasure Principle #1: God is the owner; I am the manager
“‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
There are two pieces to this issue.
First, God is the owner. I am not the owner of anything that happens to be in my possession. All of the assets that I have in my control belong to someone else – my father God.
To fully comprehend this concept is to be changed in a powerful way. Possessions become a tool and a means to an end rather than being the end. Our attachment to them becomes weak and tenuous because they don’t belong to us.
This results in a really wonderful attitude shift – from being burdened to being free. None of this stuff is mine.
There was an occasion when John Wesley’s house caught fire and burnt to the ground. When the messenger arrived to give him the bad news he said, “Mr. Wesley, I’m sorry to tell you that your house burned down.”
Wesley weighed the news and then calmly replied, “No, the lord’s house burned to the ground. That means less responsibility for me.”
Wesley’s response was not denial. It was bold affirmation of reality. God is the owner of all things.
Whenever you begin to think and act like an owner – this is a red flag. We should be thinking like stewards, investment managers – always looking for the best way to use the owners funds.
Second, I am the manager and it is incumbent on the manager to find out what the boss wants and work to make it happen.
Shannon and the school teacher… stupid assignment. Do you want to be successful? Find out what the boss wants and give it to him.
Are you a student? – your boss is the teacher. Important to understand what the boss wants.
Are you an employee? Boss at work – find out what they want and give it to them.
Are you married? – figure out who is the boss and give her what she wants.
Here it is in a nutshell… Your name is on God’s checking account. Your name is on God’s stock portfolio. Your name is on God’s real estate, His clothing, and His title for the cars, RV, and the boat.
In the bulletin this morning I gave you a check… representing the fact that God has placed you over all the possessions in your life. Just print your name on the “pay to line” and you have it down. God has turned it all over to you.
You have unrestricted access to it and you are trusted to set your own salaries to pay your living expenses while you do manage his money.
As such, a manager is in a position to abuse his privilege – and some do.
One of our central spiritual decisions as a follower of Jesus is determining what is a reasonable amount to live on. What ever that amount is – and it will vary legitimately from person to person – we shouldn’t hoard it or spend the excess. Why? Because it isn’t yours. It belongs to the boss and is to be used to advance his agenda.
This kind of joy does not come except through understanding that what we possess – it all belongs to God and we manage it for his benefit.
Let me share two examples of this kind of attitude. The first example comes from the churches of Macedonia.
The Macedonian Churches
Take for example a group of churches in the days of Paul that just happened to be in the poorest part of Greece. These churches were in the mining districts and the gold had pretty much played out. Times were tough. Yet listen to what Paul had to say.
“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity…
3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.”
Severe trial = overflowing joy. How does this happen? It happens because you have some churches that understood that all they possessed belonged to God and was to be used for their well-being and the advancement of the kingdom of God.