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Summary: We are discussing different things we love more than God, and money is our focus in this lesson.

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This is my wallet. I have had this wallet since I was in 7th grade. I got for Christmas from our family’s German exchange student, Eike. She lived at our house for a year and this is the wallet that she gave me.

It is from Germany. In fact, it had a little German piece of paper in it until it went through the washing machine. It is still in here, but it is torn up.

I have had this wallet for 12 years this Christmas. I have never used another wallet, then this one.

But, that almost wasn’t the case. When I was in 8th grade, I lost my wallet. With $85 in it! And for about 9 months, I did not know where my wallet was.

I had recently gotten paid for my awesome job of chasing foul balls at baseball games. At that time, $85 was probably the most money I had ever had in wallet.

BUT… it was gone. I looked everywhere for it. I even offered a reward to my family to whoever found it. No luck. And so for about 9 months, I had no wallet. I had no $85. It was of sad.

But I learned a very important lesson during that time, money is nothing. It comes and it goes. Don’t worry about money.

Eventually, my older sister found my wallet in the side of the couch. It had slipped down somehow. So, I paid her the $5 reward and I had my wallet back.

But… I would be ok if I had never found my wallet. It is just money. And to this day, I don’t really worry about money.

I don’t like spending money. But, I never worry about it. There will always be more money in the world. And God will always provide.

So, we have been talking about I HEART New York. We have been discussing different things that we love. And sometimes, we love these things more than God.

We talked 2 weeks ago; about how sometimes God calls us to leave the safety and comfort of our home to go somewhere else. And often, we love our home.

We always want to be safe and always want to be comfortable. And many times, God tells us to step out of our comfort zone and move somewhere new and we say “no.”

Then, last week we talked about our cell phones. And how we love our cell phones. Our cell phones are our connection to the world and our communication with our friends and families.

If we were to be completely honest, there are times when we love our cell phones more than we love God. Our lives are wrapped up in these little, handheld telephone devices. Our lives need to be wrapped up in Jesus.

You can probably already guess what this week’s “I HEART” is. I HEART MONEY!!!

As Americans (and humans), we love money. Money buys stuff. Money is power. Money makes us popular. Money gets us friends. Money makes us rich. Money makes us happy.

Don’t be fooled when you hear that money can’t buy happiness. Money can make you very happy.

If you have money, you can buy whatever you want. You can buy clothes, games, entertainment, houses, cars… money can buy you anything that you could possibly want. And having what you want makes you happy.

But there is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a feeling because of what is happening to you. The situation you are in makes you happy. Joy is a constant emotion.

Joy comes from loving and being loved. Joy comes from relationships. Money can’t buy joy.

It is a proven fact that people who have less money are more joyful. They don’t have or want stuff to fulfill them. They have relationships with people.

Money can buy happiness, but it is only temporary.

We are going to look at the Bible today in Matthew 19. It is almost the exact same situation as 2 weeks ago. A guy comes to Jesus to follow Him, and Jesus gives him a crazy response.

Matthew 19:16… Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Why do you ask about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One that is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All of these I have kept,” the young man said. “What still do I lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

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