Summary: This message focuses on the rich man who asked Jesus what must he do to inherit eternal life and the widow's mite.
Godly Financial Management Part 2
Paying God Part 4
In my message last week I shared with you two situations Paul addressed as it related to the Gentiles and their relationship to the Law (which they did not have) and how some tried to make them come under the Law. I shared with you that tithing, as we practice it today, was part of the Law and therefore once again is not applicable to the New Testament Church as a requirement of the people. I also talked about Jesus’ parable about the talents and how God views our stewardship of the finances He places within our control. During our bible study lesson on Thursday, we spent some time discussing Paul address to the Corinthians pertaining to their support of the poor Christians in Judea. He did not ask them to tithe, he asked them to give from their hearts and through that type of giving they would be blessed.
I. Aligning Our Hearts
As a Christian I proclaim the blessings of God over my life. Each of us, when we accepted Christ and came into the knowledge of what that meant, came into the knowledge that our lives were in His hands and He was responsible for us if we chose to follow where He leads us. This decision requires us to place everything in His hands (once again becoming a slave) and believing that everything we receive comes through Him and belongs to Him. Once we have this mentality we change how we view, manage and release our finances. Our finances becomes a means to an end, not an end just for our needs, but an end to accomplishing what Christ would have us to do in this life for Him. As it relates to our giving back to God, we should be in a position to give freely because of the riches we receive from God through His grace. We know we do not deserve it, but because we are receiving it by grace it should motivate us to not waste it. What would we say to our child if we gave them their allowance and they spent it all in one day and then came back asking for more? We would use that opportunity as a teachable moment about managing their money better. God is trying to teach us the same lesson in order to stabilize our lives and to help us be in a better position to fulfill what He is requiring us to do for His kingdom. We are called to a life of service to Him; sharing with others; and being great stewards of whatever He places within our control. Let’s review one lesson Jesus taught us about money. Turn to Luke chapter eighteen and we will begin with verse eighteen.
“A ruler questioned Him, saying, ‘Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.’ And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.” (Vss. 18-21)
A rich man came to Jesus and asked Him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminded him of what was written in the Ten Commandments and the man replied that he had kept them since his birth. It appears on the surface that this man is like many of us. We think about the things that we do and rate ourselves as righteous based on those things. But as the word of God tells us that God looks at the heart and in this situation Jesus looked at the heart of this man. Even though this man was keeping the commandments and feeling good about himself, his heart was not still fully aligned to God. You see, we sometimes feel that if we do some things well that is enough and we do not have to do some other things. God looks at what is driving the behavior and more important, what we truly value. Jesus knew what this rich man valued. Let’s continue on with the story.
“When Jesus heard this, He said to him, ‘One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor; and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Vss. 22-25)