Summary: Four Principles about how God expects us to use our money.
“How To Survive In the Real World”
Sermon # 5
“Controlling Your Money Before It Controls You.”
A frank examination would have to conclude that money is the basis of what the Survivor series is all about. What else would motivate contestants to endure bug bites, possible snake bites and perhaps worst of all back-biting that occurs as a part of filming in the Australian outback. It is the hope held by each of the contestants that he or she will be the ultimate survivor and take home the $1 million prize.
The key to our problems with regard to money, begin with our failure to recognize the Ownership of God. Scripture is clear on what belongs to God. Deuteronomy 10:14 “Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. “(NKJV) The Psalmist says, in (24:1) “The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” (NKJV)
Proverbs 30:8-9 “ Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches—Feed me with the food allotted to me; (9) Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the LORD?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.” (NKJV)
So what does God expect concerning the believers relationship to money. Today I want to share four principles with you!
I. GOD WANTS YOU TO ACCUMULATE IT CAREFULLY
The teaching of what is called the Prosperity Gospel saturate the airwaves with teachers who advocate that a lifestyle of wealth and opulence is evidence of God’s blessings. This teaching is wrong for two reasons. First, it is ignorant of sound principles of Biblical interpretation. Secondly, it is an attempt to justify the love of money by making it sound spiritual.
Paul warned Timothy about the danger of materialism in 1 Timothy 6:6-12, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. (9) But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (11) But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:6-12 (NKJV)
Paul gives Timothy some sound advice concerning materialism. First, he tells him that materialism is Foolish (v. 7) . It is not wise to spend a lifetime accumulating things that we can not really keep. The Godly attitude toward material goods is summed in the word “contentment” (v.8). Paul also tells Timothy that materialism is deceptive (v. 9). Those who live by a desire for the things of this world fall into temptation and a trap.” But it should be noted that Paul says that it is the “love of money” not money itself that is the problem. Paul also reveals to Timothy that materialism is Destructive (v. 10)
II. GOD WANT YOU TO ACQUIRE IT HONESTLY
God is not only concerned with what were have got but also how we got it. In the book of James (5:1-6) the reader is warned that dishonest acts are not forgotten by God! If we charge too much …if we sell a used car and don’t tell about the major repairs it needs…if you cheat on your taxes…if you waste time that you are being paid for.
We have nearly lost the Judeo-Christian work ethic on which this country was founded. Simply put it is, “a days work for a day’s pay.” Work is a biblical principle. Proverbs 28:19 says, “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” (alt. translation – “he who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty”) (NKJV).
2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NKJV) “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
Ephesians 4:28 (NKJV) “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.”
“Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.” (NKJV) “Wealth from get–rich-quick schemes quickly disappears, wealth from hard work grows.” (NLT) In the book of Proverbs we are warned at least six times not to get involved in get-rich-quick schemes.