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Summary: A call to pursue God instead of money and possessions.

Introduction:

- Jesus talked a lot about money. In fact, 16 of the 38 parables He gave are about money or possessions. Out of all the important issues needing addressed, almost half of His parables speak to the issue of money and possessions.

Move #1:

Most people would say, "I really didn’t mean to get caught up in chasing after money. I really didn’t mean to get so far in debt. I really didn’t mean to put such an emphasis on things."

- Someone once wrote: "Too many of us spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like."

Move #2:

Maybe this morning, as we look around at all the craziness going on around us, we simply need be begin by stating the obvious: Money cannot buy happiness.

- An international study based on information gathered in 39 countries and published in the journal "Social Indicators Research" concluded that the more money people make, the more they want, so happiness keeps eluding them. The study said, "Neither increasing income at the individual level nor country level were accompanied by increases in subjective well-being." In fact, the researchers found that rapid increases in wealth resulted in less, not more, happiness.

- The problem is not that money itself is bad or evil or demonic; the problem is simply that money has a tendency to get in the way.

Move #3:

In our passage for this morning, this young man seems to be sincerely seeking after God. He is offered the amazing opportunity to be with Jesus and learn from Him. But he walks away sad because he will not give up all that he owns.

- The problem is not that his money was bad or evil or demonic; the problem was simply that his money got in the way.

Move #4:

The true tragedy of so many people in our culture running after money is that, in focusing on money, they have never realized that there is something beyond that, something far greater than money.

- So many people settle for what C.S. Lewis called "a shadow happiness" and never experience true joy and abiding peace.

- In February 1928, a female blue whale who roamed freely throughout the Antarctic for decades was killed. From measurements taken at the time, some scientists are convinced that she was the largest creature ever to have lived on Earth - bigger than any known dinosaur or leviathan. But the people who had the privilege of seeing her never saw her. They were in such a hurry to harvest her blubber and find other family members of her huge species that they salvaged nothing - not a single picture, not a single bone. (Stephen Mills, "The Rhyming Whale")

- Too often in our running after making a living, we fail to make a life. In our running after money, we fail to see the larger purpose of our time on earth.

- We have a lot of money, but we have very little of God.

Conclusion:

Late last year, I was the fourth car in a five car pile-up on I-64 coming into Charleston. My car was totalled, but thankfully, I walked away unhurt.

When I got myself together, I got out of my car and saw that the woman in the car behind me was weeping. "She must be really hurt," I thought.

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