Summary: Money is not the answer. We cannot buy spiritual power. The people of God must pray and repent for our nation to be healed. It is our responsibility.

If my people will…Give it away October 28, 2008

Money is not the Answer: We Cannot Buy What We need the Most: Spiritual Power

I was at a football game and ready to eat my lunch. I have been trying to eat better, so I brought some peanuts. Peanuts are like dessert when you are trying to eat well. Before I could get to my lunch, a squirrel ate my peanuts. He even tore a hole in my duffle bag. Not only that, he left the shells for me to clean up. This just shows how easy it is to lose your peanuts!

That is how a lot of people are feeling right now, only it is not peanuts they are losing, but money, retirement accounts, houses, jobs, and peace of mind. By the way, the government is sorry about the economy and mistakes the made – if that makes you feel better. It is amazing that those who caused much of this mess are now telling us how bad it is. Their comments are like a football coach who said, “We need to focus on what we are doing wrong and get better at it.”

What does this crisis prove? Money is not the answer.

The answer to our nation and world’s troubles does not lie in the hands of presidents or millionaires, the answer is found in the House of God, on the knees of the people of God. The most critical factor in where our nation and world goes from here is the response of the people of God. Will we respond with repentance and prayer?

THE PROBLEM…Money cannot buy spiritual power. Acts 8:14-24

Simon tried to buy spiritual power, but it didn’t work. The world has tried to buy power and it doesn’t work.

Kenny Chesney sings a song called “Everybody wants to go to heaven:”

“Said preacher maybe you didn’t see me Throw an extra twenty in the plate. There’s one for everything I did last night And one to get me through today. Here’s a ten to help you remember next time you got the good Lord’s ear. Say I’m comin` but there ain’t no hurry I’m having fun down here.”

Another popular song was “Can’t buy me love…”

The government cannot do the Church’s job. We cannot look to the world or government. God says that we are responsible – we need to quit pointing fingers and blaming everyone else and take our responsibility seriously.

Greed has crippled our world: We have bowed down at the altar of mammon

Reuters Life! reported that a man died just as he was about to win a university binge eating contest in Taiwan, scoffing down two buns filled with rice and cheese as well as some of his teammate’s food, all to win $60.

Luke 16:13 says that we cannot serve God and money. Malachi 3:8-9 asks, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me when you do not bring the tithe into My House.” When we put money before God, our whole nation is cursed.

We are guilty. We have bought into the corruption of greed:

1 Tim 6:10, speaking to Christians, says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” The American Dream has become the American Nightmare.

Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas commented that we do not really own anything. You might own your house, but just stop paying property taxes and see what happens. Haggai 1:6 says that the people who put their own house before God have holes in their pockets!

Leadership Journal quotes John Ortberg about happiness, he says, “One theme that keeps cropping up is the happiness paradox: ‘the more directly one aims to maximize pleasure and avoid pain, the more likely one is to produce a life bereft of depth, meaning, and community.’ The article goes on to explain the principle of indirection: “happiness, by its nature, cannot be obtained by direct pursuit. You have to sneak up on it. Or rather, you have to let it sneak up on you while you’re pursuing something more important.”

Even the church has bought into greed by making buildings and programs more important than God. We have promoted easy Christianity. We have made salvation cheap. We have failed this generation by making Christianity so easy that it is easy to quit. We have not challenged our children to a real faith that is compelling.

Bill Hybels says the largest gap is not between seekers and believers, but between less mature Christians and "Christ-centered" Christians. The less mature, he says, believe that "God is for me, my plans, and my agenda in this world." But the truly Christ-centered have given up their lives and dreams in complete surrender to him." (Leadership Journal)

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