Summary: Whether you know it or not, money serves as a test of God’s will against your life. Don’t believe me, let’s walk through the Bible and find out the many ways money tests us.
How Money Tests our Liberality in Giving
Theme: Looking at the various ways money tests us as Christians
A. In the previous sermon we noted how important it is that we abound in the gracious act of giving:
1. How the Macedonians serve as a great example in liberally giving while in great affliction and poverty.
2. How giving liberally demands a hard look at our priorities and the need to look selflessly beyond ourselves.
B. In this lesson we shall see just how much money tests us as Christians today.
1. Where our true love resides.
2. How we behave as stewardship over our earthly wealth.
3. The level of trust in God.
4. Our character.
5. Ultimately: if we’ve been genuinely converted to the Lord.
I. MONEY TESTS WHERE OUR LOVE RESIDES
A. Your love resides either with God or with earthly wealth (mamonas). Matt. 6:24
a. Aramaic root (mn): that in which one trusts. Jewish writings expressed it as dishonorable “earthly possessions.”
b. Jesus used this concept of mammon as a false god in contrast with the true riches from God.
2. Our affections are either on one (earth) or the other (heaven).
3. We cannot have a divided loyalty and still expect heaven as our home. Cp. Rev. 3:15-18
B. Our actions “prove” where our love/loyalty resides. 1 Tim. 6:6-10
1. How much time and energy is spent on work and ways to increase our riches on earth?
2. How much time and energy is spent praying; worshipping; reading, studying and sharing God’s word; helping others in need? Cp. Acts 4:32
II. MONEY TESTS THE LEVEL OF OUR TRUST IN GOD
A. Where your love is, there your trust is as well.
1. Many place confidence/trust in money to take care of their worldly needs/wants/circumstances and not enough trust in God. . Cp. Lk. 12:16-21
2. It is our trust in riches – by virtue of our attitude and practice toward material possessions that will condemn us in the Last Day. Jas. 5:5
3. It is not wealth that in itself is wrong, but practical trust in it, thus making it hard for those who are rich to enter heaven. cp. Matt. 19:23
B. One’s level of trust in God is often inversely correlated with their confidence in money. Matt. 6:25-33
1. The more we place confidence in our money, the less we depend on God.
2. The more we depend upon God (Matt. 6:33) the easier it is to use our money selflessly to God’s glory. 2 Cor. 8:1ff
3. We need to trust that God will always provide for our needs even as we strive to give liberally to Him and to others (for His glory). Cp. 2 Cor. 8:3-5
III. MONEY TESTS OUR STEWARDSHIP
A. While we may own things here on earth, we are really stewards over the possessions God ultimately has given to us. Matt. 25:14-28
1. It is not only important on how much we give to the Lord, but how use what we keep.
a. In our rich country we often use our earthly wealth to buy so many things.
b. We buy and buy (for “fun”, pleasure, convenience, or “just because” we can) and fail take what we’ve earned to help others in need. Cp. Eph. 4:28
c. Sometimes – to make ourselves feel good – we may practice “token giving.”