Summary: Simple message on dealing with finances in God's way
Handling Finances God’s Way
August 11, 2013
"Money often comes between men and God. Someone has said that you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes, and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes--the mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye."
It doesn't take large quantities of money to come between us and God; just a little, placed in the wrong position, will effectively obscure our view.
Money does odd things to our lives and to our minds. We often do not think that we are wealthy. According to a worldwide survey, if your household makes above $47,000 per year, you are among the top 3% of the world’s wealthy. The problem is that as Americans we have more wealth than we realize.
Our perspective on money is often influenced more by the world around us than by scriptural principles. Many people sitting here this morning are more wealthy than they realize and often we are poor managers of the money we are blessed with.
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself ?' 21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." Luke 12:13-21
Notice the focus of the man who is given the good crop.
I – Six times
What shall I do?
I have no place
This is what I’ll do
I will tear down
I will store
My – four times
Greed removes a spirit of gratitude
The truth is simple, when we are greedy it is impossible to be grateful. The man was blessed in amazing ways and had been given great material wealth. The man focused on the wealth and not the means that the wealth came to him. The good crop was given by God but the man never gives thanks to God.
The man had a focus on the blessings that was self centered. The blessings were about what he gained and not what God had given. The blessings were about how they would benefit him. Notice how the man refers to the bountiful blessings of God – my crops and my goods.
We hear the same kinds of things today – my money, my house, my job, eve my church. The blessings that we have been given are exactly that a gift. The Lord chooses to give us His divine provision.
The man felt that the blessings would bring a life of ease. A life filled with personal desires. A life filled with abundance and indulgence.
Look at what the rich man said: "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."
You have plenty of good things
Laid up for many years
Take life easy
Eat, drink and be merry
1. Honor God with the management of money
There are two ways in which a Christian may view his money--"How much of my money shall I use for God?" or "How much of God's money shall I use for myself?"
God is the source of every financial blessing we possess
One of the myths about money that so many people buy into is that the things they possess and the money that they have belongs to them. From a Biblical standpoint, this is the first departure from worldly thinking about money. Biblically, nothing belongs to us. Absolutely everything that we have is a direct result of God’s provision. God is the creator of the universe and everything in it belongs to Him. He is the owner and we are the caretakers or stewards.