Summary: We may not like having our cages rattled when it comes to issues of money and especially when it comes to giving. People are often offended by the question, ‘How much do you make?’ The question God is most likely to ask us is ‘how much did you give?’
There are things we do now that matter later more than we realize they will. Mickey Mantle once said, ‘If I would have known I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself’. A healthy faith is knowing now what will matter then.
This morning is a very important moment in the life of Holly Brook Baptist church. You have hopefully seen and heard the information regarding our 4 year campaign with commitments being renewed each individual year.
Not everyone enjoys hearing a message where the central theme is about giving.
Several years ago, the largest Assembly of God Church in Denver Co. asked their radio and T.V. audience, and their congregation to tell them what they wanted their minister to preach on. Over 7000 people responded. The pastor wrote a book about those sermons, and then he wrote the last chapter on the sermon that no one asked for.
Not one person in 7000 asked for a sermon on giving.
We may not like having our cages rattled when it comes to issues of money and especially when it comes to giving.
People are often offended by the question, ‘How much do you make?’
The question God is most likely to ask us is ‘how much did you give?’
While our status on earth is based upon how much we make our status in heaven will be determined by how much we gave away.
AW TOZAR wrote, ‘If the rich man with difficulty enters the kingdom of God, then it would be logical to conclude that a society having the highest percentage of well-to-do persons in it would have the lowest percentage of Christians’.
The truth is that what pastors talk the least about the Bible says the most about. MONEY. Both Jesus and Paul talked and wrote much about money.
16 out of 38 of Christ's parables, deal with money.
More is said in the New Testament, about money then about Heaven and Hell combined?
Five times more is said about money than about prayer. Over 2,000 verses out of over 7000!
There can be extreme consequences when we don’t discuss money:
I know one MARRIAGE ENDED OVER MONEY:
A man named stumpy and his wife Martha went to the state fair every year and every year when Stumpy saw the antique bi-plane he would say, “Martha, I’d like to ride in that airplane.” Martha always replied, “I know Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs 10 dollars, and 10 dollars is 10 dollars. One year Stumpy said, “Martha, I’m 81 years old. If I don’t ride that airplane I might never get another chance.” Martha replied, “Stumpy, that airplane ride cost 10 dollars, and 10 dollars is 10 dollars.
The pilot overheard them and said, “Folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won’t charge you: but if you say one word its 10 dollars.”
Stumpy and Martha agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word was heard. He did all his tricks over again, but still not a word.
When they landed, the pilot turned to Stumpy and said, “By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn’t.” Stumpy replied, “Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but 10 dollars is 10 dollars.”
1. Jesus warned about the eternal consequences of the wrong use of money.
Matthew 6:19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
I am amazed at how significant the investment in this world is by most believers. We live in a very materialistic society which exceeds any culture in history. WE ARE CONSUMED WITH CONSUMING.
Money magazine - not only do we consume like no culture before us but we pursue money like no other culture.
"Money," the magazine said, has become the number one obsession of Americans,
We want the money and we want the stuff the money buys.
Americans seem to be afflicted with the flu bug…the AFFLUENCE bug.
Americans today give an average of 1.9% of their income away. In the midst of the Great Depression in the 1930’s Americans then gave an average of 3.3% away.
A study of 30+ denominations said that although income increased 31%, giving has gone down 8.5% in the same period of time.
What does it mean when God has entrusted more earthly treasure to professing Christians, who have greater wealth than ever had in human history, and are giving proportionately less to the Kingdom, because they are consumed with the culture.