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Summary: Money is the top three reasons for divorce, suicide or murder and for divisions in the church. We will be looking at the instructions handed down by God through Moses to the Israelites then in Matthew we will see Jesus also instructing the people regardin

Money and the Church

Deuteronomy 8, Matthew 6:19-24

Money is always a very touchy subject in any church and it is the number one topic that most pastors will stay away from preaching about but since I am young in my ministry and do not know any better today we are going to search what the scriptures say about MONEY AND THE CHURCH.

Three Pastors were discussing how they decide to give part of their income to the church. The first pastor said, "When God tells me so, I just empty my wallet in the collection plate." The 2nd pastor was quite impressed and almost ashamed to tell of his approach. He says: "I draw a 3 foot circle around me, I throw the money in the air and everything that land within the circle, I put in the collection plate." The 3rd pastor, greedy and a penny pincher said, "I throw all of my money in the air and everything that falls to the ground I keep, because if God wanted it he would take it while it was up in there.

Out of the 38 parables that Jesus gave during his time on earth, 16 of those were about money. There are over 2000 scriptures references throughout the bible regarding money and earthly possessions.

For a few moments I would like to examine the history of money and its transformation over the centuries.

The first glimpse of the value of money is found in Genesis 13:2 where Abraham came back from a visit in Egypt, “rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold”. As soon as ancient people stopped living the lives of wandering hunters and began an agricultural system, a medium of exchange became necessary. A system of barter, or trading of property, preceded the creation of any formal currency that can be called money. In Old Testament times, land itself became an immediate asset. It was a possession that could be traded. But produce, and especially livestock, was more convenient, because it was so moveable. Gradually, as communities became more organized, tradesmen traveled between these settlements. Products circulated from one region to another. Soon metals began to replace goods and services as items of exchange. Copper or bronze was in demand for weapons (2 Sam 21:16), for farming tools, and for offerings (Ex 35:5). The early Egyptians, Semites, and Hittites shaped gold and silver into rings, bars, or rounded nodules for easier trading. The children of Jacob used "bundles of money" (Gen 42:35), which may have been metal rings tied together with strings. Silver was so commonly used as money that the Hebrew word for "silver" came to mean "money" (Gen 17:13).

In their early use as money, metals were probably in their raw form or in varying stages of refinement. However, in that form it was difficult to transport them and to determine their true value. Thus the metals were soon refined into the form of a wedge or a bar (Josh 7:21) or various forms of jewelry. Gold and silver were also kept as ingots, vessels, dust, or small fragments that could be melted and used immediately. These small pieces of metal were often carried in leather pouches that could be easily hidden.

Before coins with stamped values were introduced, the pieces of precious metal for transactions had to be weighed on a scale. Eventually pieces of metal were standardized, then stamped to designate their weight and value. Coins still had to be weighed, however, since their edges might have been trimmed or filed. Ancient coins often show other marks, indicating they may have been probed to assure their silver content.

The Greeks soon adapted the Persian and Babylonian coinage, portraying animals, natural objects and Greek gods on the coins-which were called drachmas (Greek for "handful"). Greek coins generally bore religious symbols. They may have been minted at pagan temples, which served as business centers for granting loans and receiving estates.

The only Jewish coin mentioned in the New Testament is the "widow’s mite" or lepton. These were very small copper coins worth only a fraction of a penny by today’s standards. Yet, Jesus commended the poor widow who gave two mites to the Temple treasury, because "she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood" (Mark 12:44).

Seeing the transformation of how money could become a problem over the history of time. God forewarned his people the dangers of money and the control it could have over the individual and how easily it is to replace the love of God for the love of money or the possessions that it buys.

Money is the top three reasons for divorce, suicide or murder and for divisions in the church.

We will be looking at the instructions handed down by God through Moses to the Israelites then in Matthew we will see Jesus also instructing the people regarding money and the church

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