Summary: Money makes a good servant but a lousy master... God’s will is that we master our money.
Title: Get a Grip by Letting Go
Text: I Chronicles 29:10-17
Thesis: Money makes a good servant, but a lousy master… so if you want a life that counts, master your money.
(I used a sermon written by Bryan Wilkerson titled Finding Financial Freedom as a springboard in developing this message. I have noted when I used an illustration from his text and I adapted his points into the conclusion of this message.)
If you want a life that counts:
• You have to learn to master your time… your involvements and activities.
• You have to learn to master your money… your resources or the things you own, possess, or control.
• You have to learn to master your gifts, talents and skills… the things you can do.
We generally personify the term “master”. The owner of a dog may be thought of as a master. The headmaster is the principal or dean of an educational institution. A master is one who holds a degree higher than a bachelors but lower than a doctorate. The captain of a ship may be thought of as a master. An artisan may be described as a master craftsman. A master is thought of as one who has control over others and things.
In his poem Invictus, William Henley declared, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
It was his way of declaring that it did not matter to him what he could or could not see… he alone was responsible for who he would be, where he would go and what he would do.
Those of us who have been around a while know that…
When we are young, we think we will be that master of our fate and captain of our soul… but we eventually learn that we will be fortunate if we can be master of our weight and captain of the bowling team.
Along the way, we all develop the perspective that having money and things is important and we set out to get it and to master it. The DENVER (AP) reported on January 10th that a Pueblo, Colorado ticket holder had won a multimillion-dollar lottery ticket for the second time in three years. He first won $1.3 million in 2003 and then another $3.4 million on December 20, 2006.
Many of us plant ourselves in front of the television set to watch Howie Mandel host NBC’s Deal or No Deal? It is probably the most totally lame, luck of the draw game show on television. It requires no skill but is indeed an indicator the daring and greed on the part of the contestants.
G. K. Chesterton wrote in his book, A Miscellany of Men, “To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it.”
I must confess that I am sometimes stupid enough to want it. I am capable of daydreaming about what it would be like to win the lottery twice in three years or be fortunate enough to be holding the million dollar brief case on Deal or No Deal. And, if per chance, I should come into such a windfall… would I be master of that money or would that money be master of me?
The uncomfortable fact for most of us is that we like to think we are masters of our money but I suspect in reality, our money is master of us.
I make that statement based on two observations:
1. Money masters us if we cannot control our spending it. If we cannot hold on to it… it is master.
2. Money masters us if we cannot control our keeping it. If we cannot let go of it… it is master.
This morning I want to lift up four principles that I believe will be helpful in putting some perspective on what it means to master our money.
The first thing we need to learn is…
I. Everything is God’s and God rules everything!
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours… riches and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything.” I Chronicles 29:11-12
Bryan Wilkerson tells the story in his message on mastering money, about how he and his family bought “a full-sized, customized, conversion van with reclining bucket seats, personal reading lights and cup-holders galore.” As is often the case when you own a van… the youth pastor of their church took note and asked if he could use it to haul a bunch of kids on a youth outing. He and his wife talked it over and they decided that it really was God’s van so they let the youth pastor borrow it.