Summary: This morning we want to deal with some of the tensions, some of the prisons that we put ourselves in because of finances.
Show two videos on possessions
Willy wonka and the chocolate factory
In December last year the reserve bank of Australia released figures which indicate that the average Australian household has doubled their debt in the last five years. Today Australian families owe 720 billion dollars because of a surge in personal and housing loans. We want it now, we are not prepared to wait, and if it costs us later, too bad.
When Melinda and I first had Clem, our first son, we were in a serious financial situation. Melinda had finished work from her school about 4 months prior, and we had gone from two salaries, to one.
We had just moved into a new house with no carpet, not much furniture, and no back garden at all.
We had to purchase or obtain, clothes, cot, bed, nappies, paint and carpet for his room
He was born just after Christmas, with all the costs associated with that.
The water authority had failed to notify us of an outstanding bill from our previous residence, and we owed them about $1000, and they put us on restricted water until we paid
Can anyone relate to me and my story, or do you all have plenty of money to spend whenever you need it?
Maybe some of you can share some good stories about how God has provided for you, maybe some of you are very careful with your money, and always have been, and always have enough. That’s great.
This morning we want to deal with some of the tensions, some of the prisons that we put ourselves in because of finances.
Slavery is a really interesting word with many connotations. The natural word that counters slavery is of course freedom. This morning we want to start off our three week series talking about money, and we want to start it off with talking about money and freedom.
Of course not everyone has the problem Melinda and I dealt with when Clem was born. We were under slavery to money because we had not planned as we should have for our changing lifestyles.
There is of course another type of bondage. That of chasing after money, for its own sake.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, celebrity Brad Pitt reflected on his lead role in the movie Fight Club, which is about a man who has the American dream and yet remains unsatisfied:
Pitt: Man, I know all these things are supposed to seem important to us—the car, the condo, our version of success—but if that’s the case, why is the general feeling out there reflecting more impotence and isolation and desperation and loneliness? If you ask me, I say toss all this—we gotta find something else. Because all I know is that at this point in time, we are heading for a dead end, a numbing of the soul, a complete atrophy of the spiritual being. And I don’t want that.
Rolling Stone: So if we’re heading toward this kind of existential dead end in society, what do you think should happen?
Pitt: Hey, man, I don’t have those answers yet. The emphasis now is on success and personal gain. [smiles] I’m sitting in it, and I’m telling you, that’s not it. I’m the guy who’s got everything. I know. But I’m telling you, once you’ve got everything, then you’re just left with yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it doesn’t help you sleep any better, and you don’t wake up any better because of it
In a recent interview, Madonna, the self-proclaimed "material girl," commented on her material wealth:
Money is like everything. Money is like sex. It’s like food. They’re all manifestations of God. They’re blessings that we get, but they’re not what’s going to make us happy.
They’re not real. They don’t last. There’s only one thing that lasts, and that’s your soul. And if you don’t work on that, and you don’t pay attention to that, then all the money in the world is not going to help you.
The comedian George Carlin said, "The essence of life is trying to find a place to put all your stuff.
15% of all Jesus had to say, and which was recorded in the bible deals with money.
Can we read together from 1 Timothy chapter 6, verses 1-10
The book of Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul, who by this stage had a lot of runs on the board. He was an experienced missionary, someone who Jesus had spoken to directly, someone who had set out and purposefully planted a whole heap of Churches. IN fact through what God did through Paul, the good news about Jesus had gone to most of the known world at that stage. Here he writes to a younger man Timothy, a young Pastor, starting out in his ministry life, and the concluding chapter, chapter six has a lot to say about money.