Summary: A look at how the love of God affects every area of our lives, including how we give of our time and our money. What does love do? Love by nature gives freely. (Thoughts taken from a sermon series entitled Give It Up by Pastor Craig Groeschel of LifeChurc
This week- 2nd and final part of a series on money.
As w/last week- talking about money within bigger context-making God first in every area of our lives
Review from last week
Last week looked at principle- First Things First.
First things are important to God.
Looked at what can we learn about- heart of God and principles of the Kingdom- extend across OT/NT.
(cross platform word- runs on PC/Mac- OT/NT)
We looked at principles of first things first …
1. God is to be first in our lives
God must be number one, first/foremost in our lives.
2. God’s Kingdom is to be first in our lives
Kingdom speaks of how we live- Kingdom principles.
3. The first born belongs to God
God gave- first born son to us before any guarantee that we would receive Him as our Lord.
God asks us to give ourselves up to Him first, then He will prove Himself faithful to honor what we give.
4. The first tenth belongs to God
OT- first 10% holy- belonged to God, NT- all holy.
When we give- returning what belongs to God.
Give It Up- Love Made Me Do It!
In other words, Jesus is saying …
I am going away to my Heavenly Father, to be seated at His right hand in heaven, and I am trusting you to take care of my affairs on earth, Kingdom affairs, while I am physically absent.
Remember in school- pop quizzes-how we hated them
God is testing us- will we be faithful with what He has given us to manage while He is gone?
God uses money/wealth-test the condition of our heart
Jesus said we cannot what? Serve two masters.
We will always end up serving one or the other, one will be our master and govern the way we live.
Satan is well aware of this and works hard to allure us away into his camp with …
money, materialism, possessions, being at ease, serving self rather than others/God, etc.
Money, wealth, convenience, materialism, are all seeking worshippers/servants.
Wonderful blessing of- USA- can become our God.
1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. NASU
You could translate this as- not just cash, but the convenience, things money buys, comfort.
Is money/wealth evil? NO!
The problem is when wealth/possessions, get such a place in our hearts that we begin to serve them.
Mk 2:27 Jesus said to them, " The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
You could also say …
Money was made for man, man was not made for money.
Man was not created for money to become his master.
If I hoard money/possessions- never willing to give or share- I am loving money- submitting to greed/fear
If I cheat on taxes, fudge on expense reports- I am loving money- allowing it to rule over integrity.
If I believe my current problems can be solved by having more money- it has become my master.
Money is not the answer to our problems. God is always the answer to our problems. Money is a cheap imitation of the reality of who God is. What does money do? Money promises us what only God can give.
Three things money promises- only God can give …
If I just had more money I would feel secure.
Lk 12:19 ’And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."’ NASU
Only God can bring true, lasting, eternal- security.
If I had more money- feel better about myself, I would feel more important- dress better, drive a nicer car.
The reality is- you are important because of who God says you are- not what your possessions say.
There is the allusion that if we had more money we would have more freedom.
There is a sense in which money/wealth bring a freedom to do things you could not do otherwise.
However, the only real, internal, freedom that we are looking for, comes from God.
Jn 8:36 "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. NASU
Here is the struggle that we all face ...
There are two natures within us that are at war.
Fleshly side- self-centered, greedy, what is best for #1
Spirit side- generous, gives freely, other/God focused.
My fleshly side is driven by selfishness.
My Spirit side is driven by the love of God.
What does love do? Love by nature gives freely.
How many men here did unusually strange things for the young woman they were in love with? You gave freely of your time and you spent money on the one you loved.