Summary: A sermon on finances and stewardship from Luke 14:25-33, especially vs. 28-30 (Outline and material adapted from a transcript of a message by Gene Appel with Willow Creek)
Pass out Children’s Bulletins
From Sermon4Kids at: http://www.sermons4kids.com/count_the_cost.html
How many of you would like to play the piano? Wait! Not so fast! Before you raise your hand and say "yes" to that question, let's see what it would cost to be able to play the piano and see if you are willing to pay the price.
First of all, you would have to buy a piano. It would be rather silly to say that you wanted to play the piano if you weren't willing to go out and buy a piano, wouldn't it? So the first you would need to do is look for a piano. I found a used piano in the classified section of the newspaper for $700. The ad said it needed some repairs, so it probably isn't a very good one, but it's a start. Hmm....$700, do you still want to play the piano?
Next you need to find a teacher. After all, you can't teach yourself. Not if you really want to play well. I looked in the newspaper again to find a piano teacher. I found one for $25 a week. Let's see, that's $100 a month, do you still want to play the piano?
What else do we need? Oh yes, we will need some music! I went to the music store and found out that most of the music books cost $10-$15 each. If you want to buy a single copy of sheet music, they usually cost around $5.00 each. Do you still want to play the piano?
Now that you have a piano, a teacher, and some music you must be willing to practice. Most piano teachers require their students to practice at least one hour every day. That means that there will be times when other children will be out playing while you must stay in and practice. If you want to play the piano, you have to count the cost and make sure you are willing to pay the price!
Did you know that Jesus said that same thing to some people who said they wanted to be his disciples? Jesus told them that if they wanted to follow him, they had to count the cost. He said they had to be willing to take up their cross daily and follow him. To follow him, they might have to be willing to give up their family and friends. Jesus also said that people might make fun of them and call them names and that some people might even want to hurt them. They had to count the cost and make sure they were willing to pay the price.
A lot of people today say that they want to follow Jesus. They become part of the church and for a while you will see them every week, but when they find out how much it is going to cost, they fall away. Being a true follower of Jesus is not always easy, but it is always worth it, if you are willing to pay the price.
Few weeks ago talked about Luke 12. The foolish farmer wanted to build bigger barns to house all of his crops from a great harvest season. The problem was not necessarily his plan but that he never thought about things beyond his wealth, beyond this life. This guy tried to find life and meaning in his wealth. He died suddenly and all of it was taken away from him
Here Jesus raises another concern about stewardship, but he is talking about those who do not give enough attention to the management of their wealth. Mainly focus on vs. 28-30.
Jesus asks us, “If we want to build a tower, won’t we first estimate what the cost of the tower is going to be?” Too often the answer to that question is No in our world.
Money issues often cause stress. With more and more stress we might have stress fractures. Over time these stress fractures can lead to a broken financial foundation.
Thesis: Talk about 3 things: 1) where financial stress fractures come from 2) Practical suggestions 3) Questions to consider
Where financial stress fractures come from
1. Lack of effort
“He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19, NIV.
25% of Americans believe the only way they will make it financially is to win the lottery.
It is going to take effort and work. Reminds me of the wife who complained to her husband. She said, “I’m ashamed of the way we live. My mother pays our rent; my aunt buys our groceries; my sister pays our utilities. I’m ashamed we can’t do better than that.” And the husband said, “Well, you ought to be. You have two uncles that don’t send us a dime.”