Summary: This sermon takes a look at problems associated with handling money and then explains God’s plan for handling money.
How does money affect you? Money is a subject with which all of us struggle. For some it is lack of money. For some it is the desire for money. For some it is wrong use of money. For some it is poor investment of money.
A man named stumpy illustrates how money affects people. Stumpy and his wife Martha went to the state fair every year and every year when Stumpy saw the antique bi-plane he would say, “Martha, I’d like to ride in that airplane.” Martha always replied, “I know Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs 10 dollars, and 10 dollars is 10 dollars.
One year Stumpy and Martha went to the fair and Stumpy said, “Martha, I’m 81 years old. If I don’t ride that airplane I might never get another chance.” Martha replied, “Stumpy, that airplane ride cost 10 dollars, and 10 dollars is 10 dollars.
The pilot overheard them and said, “Folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won’t charge you: but if you say one word it’s 10 dollars.”
Stumpy and Martha agreed and up they went. The plot did all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word was heard. He did all his tricks over again, but still not a word.
When they landed, the pilot turned to Stumpy and said, “By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn’t.”
Stumpy replied, “Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but 10 dollars is 10 dollars.” (Taken from Great Stories; vol. 6/Issue 24; p. 8)
For Biblical instruction and direction I invite you to turn to Mt. 6:25-34. Verse 24 summarizes Jesus teaching in this passage. ``You cannot serve two masters: God and money.” (TLB) In the previous verses Jesus had discussed earthly treasures. From that he launched into a discussion about worry Jesus used money as the launching point for His teaching about worry. Money is often the main concern when we worry. I want to lead you in a simple study in order for you to examine money’s affect upon your life. First, I want to discuss the problems associated with handling money. Second, I want to discuss God’s plan for handling money.
1. First, the problems associated with handling money.
Several years ago actor Sylvester Stallone was asked what effect money had on his life. Stallone said:
"Money does not bring peace of mind. Actually it brings more problems. Everything is magnified one hundred thousand times. That’s not to complain. But once you make a fortune, you’d think it would be all green lights and blue skies. But that’s not true. As a matter of fact it brings out some of the most vile characteristics that you can imagine.” (Taken from Great Stories; vol. 5/issue 17; p. 9)
Money has a powerful affect on people. Sometimes the impact can be negative. The Bible instructs us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Tim. 6:10 NKJV) It was the love of money that caused Judas to betray Jesus. It was money and insecurity that drove the looting in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina.
Sometimes we have blind spots when it comes to money. In one of the Dennis the Menace cartoon strips Dennis catches his friend Joey trying to get a paper out of the machine without paying any money. He said, “Wait, Joey. First you have to put in the money... and then you can get all the papers you want.” (Contributed to Sermon Central by: Greg Yount)Obviously Dennis had a blind spot.
Sylvester Stallone, Judas and Dennis the Menace illustrate the powerful force exerted by money. It can create problems for us.
A. The first problem we face in handling money is that it can cause worry (vs. 25). "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (NKJV) Jesus indicated the concern for life’s basic needs: food, clothing and water can cause us to worry due to money.
Jesus wanted to help His followers overcome worry. That is my desire today. One church blundered on their church sign by posting this message “Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help.”
Ill- What is amazing about worry is that most of what we worry about never materializes. John Haggai tells the story of a woman who worried for 40 years that she was going to die of cancer. Every pain in the stomach was cancer, and she was running to the doctor over each little hurt. She died at age 73 of pneumonia. She had worried for over 40 years over the wrong disease! Worry is a waste of time and energy. (Contributed to Sermon Central by: Timothy Smith)