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Summary: Giving, Joyfulness, Motivations

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I WILL – “I Will” Give Generously

Matthew 6:19-21 (pg. 679) November 8, 2015

Introduction:

You can always see the priority of someone’s life by looking into two places...their calendar and their bank statement.

Our time and our money are two of the most precious resources we have here on earth...and in many ways you can’t get either back once they’re spent.

In the book “Don’t Waste Your Life” John Piper writes, “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader's Digest: A couple 'took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells. . . .' Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: 'Look, Lord. See my shells.' That is a tragedy. "God created us to live with a single passion to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives." Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin.

As I’ve shared with you before, Frances Chan’s quote captures the essence of what Jesus and John Piper also are conveying:

SHOW FRANCES CHAN PIC

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

I know this sounds simplistic but there are really only two lives you can pursue...a life where you try to get what you desire with your time and money...or a life where you try to glorify God with those things.

From the “get go” Satan has tempted us to pursue the perishable and God calls us to the eternal.

I. MOST PEOPLE WILL MAKE A LOUSY DEAL!

[Let me show you what I mean. I’ve got this rope, on one end of it is a tiny bit of red...Now let’s suppose that this rope represents your existence...in fact let’s imagine that one end of this rope keeps going and going and never ends...but this tiny bit of red represents your life here on earth. A time line of your existence...all we are consumed with is this little piece of red...I’m gonna eat good...I’m going to live to make myself comfortable...I’m going to enjoy myself...most people make a really lousy deal because you spend it all on this little tiny bit of your existence...most people don’t think about the millions and millions of years to follow. People think I’m stupid because I invest in what follows the red tape. No you’re stupid if you don’t. You think I’ve made a lousy deal...People who don’t invest in the eternal have made a lousy deal...because what we do in this little bit of red determines the forever of our existence!]

Jesus teaches with astonishing clarity and amazing authority...in fact in His sermon on the mount “the crowds were astonished at His teaching because He was teaching them like one who had authority and not like the scribes.” (Matt. 7:28-29)

Why wouldn’t He...He knew what waited after the red tape on the rope...he understood His eternal purpose for being here...He’d been to the restaurant and He knew how good the food was when He recommended it!

And in this context He “gets real” and starts to talk about money...you can almost feel the “discomfort” as He speaks with authority about “bank accounts.”

He says “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded or worse! Stolen by thieves...stockpile treasure in heaven where it’s safe from those things...the place where your treasure is, is where you’ll long to be.”

Jesus isn’t saying we should save money...He’s focusing on the heart issue of money and the place it has in our lives...in fact, He clearly says, You will either have Him as Lord, or money as your Lord...you simply can’t have both as your Lord.

“If you are obsessed with money He isn’t your Lord. If your focus is on money instead of Jesus He isn’t your Lord. If you’re not generous with your money He isn’t your Lord.

Money isn’t the root of all kinds of evil...but loving it is!

“No one can be a slave of two masters, since He will hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.” (Matthew 6:24)

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