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Summary: 4 of 4 on the Treasure Principles. Based on 1 Timothy 6:17-19 this message empahasizes why we need to give to break the hold of things in our lives.

Treasure Principles

For such a time as this

November 19, 2006

Treasure Principles

The tyranny of things

Lets say that someone gives you a free TV... Now what? You have to get an antenna or subscribe to cable. You need a vcr, a dvd, a TIVO box, and surround sound speakers to make the experience grand. Then to truly have the best experience you need a new plasma TV with High Definition. This all costs money but even more than that – you have to actually sit and watch the TV. It takes up your time. It becomes an investment of your life.

This is time you could read, spend with the kids, or even invest in prayer and reading the Bible – not that I would go “spiritual” on you! So what’s the cost of the free television?

How about that new boat or the quad-runner, the jet ski, or that new four door, V-8 belch fire SUV with 6 disc CD changer, DVD player and individual headphones? When you buy this stuff you have to insure it, put gas in it or load it with CDs, DVDs; you have to change the oil in it, service it at the dealer, wash it, clean it, polish it, store it, and then after everything else you have to actually use it.

The problem isn’t TV, boat, or a cottage. It’s us. It’s the law of life and the tyranny of things. Solomon called it chasing after the wind…

Chasing after the Wind

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless…”

As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?

The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.

I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him.

Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.

Ecc 5:10-15

Ok. Stuff is a challenge and a problem we face that directly affects our lives – spiritually, financially, emotionally, as well as physically. It creates all kinds of pressures and stresses in our lives and on top of that it does not make you happy!

We all know this! We all know that mammon, stuff, things, shopping, and materialism does not satisfy the hunger in our soul for happiness.

But… we still feed the hunger with the wrong food. We do it all the time. We’re addicted to stuff!

We are like heroin addicts except we are mainlining DVD’s, digital cameras, and designer jeans. It’s like we have an IV attached to our arm pumping in “stuff” – lots and lots of stuff.

So how do you break the addiction? What is the answer to materialism? How do we fight this plague? If affluenaza is the disease, what’s the cure? If materialism is the poison, what’s the antidote?

Are you ready? There is only one answer and it’s drastic. Some of you might go into shock. Everyone hold onto the arms of their chairs right now. Grab hold of your mate’s or your friends hand right now! Got a good grip? Are you ready?? Here it is…

Key #4: Giving is the only antidote to Materialism

When Paul wrote to a young preacher named Timothy and gave him sound advice for leading the church here is what he said about money:

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Key #4: Giving is the only antidote to Materialism

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

The answer is to learn the grace of giving. Paul says that being generous and willing to share allows us to take hold of the only true life.

The act of giving is a vivid reminder that it’s all about God and not about me. It’s saying that I’m not the point. He is the point. God does not exist for me. He is a not my spiritual butler.

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