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Summary: Developing godly character requires that we eliminate all that competes with God for first place. Money is, by far, the most powerful force that competes with God in our lives.

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Character Counts! Money Matters

(1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Theme: A godly character keeps itself free from the love of money.

Purpose: What do I want to happen in the hearer when I preach this sermon?

A. Increased knowledge. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to state that:

1. According to our world character development is not really that important.

2. To a Christian disciple developing a godly character is more than merely ?an important part of life??it IS life.

3. Of all the things that compete for top priority in our lives, perhaps money is the most powerful.

B. Increased insight. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to discern that:

1. To develop a godly character we must diligently pursue it as the central purpose of life.

2. To develop a godly character we must vigorously guard against anything that would rob us of our goal.

3. In this battle for character the key is to put God first in all things.

C. Changed attitude. After I preach this sermon, I want the hearer to determine to put God first in all things and especially in money matters.

Need to be

Surfaced: Our world tells us that character development is secondary?that as long as we can ?get the job done? (whatever that entails) our personal pursuit of character should be kept private.

Solution to

be Offered: God tells us that we must pursue Him with all our hearts, souls, strength and minds. We must guard against anything taking top priority in our lives. Of all that would compete in this area, perhaps money is the most powerful. That is why we must give, not to needs of the church as if it were some secular institution (a social club to which we must loyally pay our dues), but to God Himself as the One who sustains us and provides for our every need.

Introduction. (Get attention, surface need, make a contract to deliver a solution.)

A. Some say that when it comes to being President of the United States of America character does not matter.

1. As long as you can ?do the job? personal integrity means nothing.

2. This reflects our culture?s values:

a) Life is to be enjoyed?that is the central purpose of life.

b) Character development is unimportant?an ethical side dish.

c) For those so inclined, character development is a matter of personal preference, something to be kept private, hidden, and inoffensive to the majority.

B. As disciples of Jesus Christ we say that character does count!

1. We must pursue godly character with diligence.

a) Why?

b) Because character development is not merely, ?an important part of life??it IS life!

2. We must guard our hearts vigorously.

a) Why?

b) Because there are literally thousands of forces at work against us.

(1) Forces that we cannot always see.

(2) Forces that don?t always play fair.

(3) Forces that compete for top priority in our lives!

3. What is the key to developing a godly character?

a) Putting God first.

b) Keeping God first.

C. Of all the competing forces at work against us perhaps none is more powerful than money!

1. Oh boy, here it comes!

2. The annual sermon on giving.

II. We?ve Heard this Sermon Before!

A. The particulars, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.

1. Who? Each one of us.

2. What? Lay by in store.

3. When? The first day of the week.

4. Where? In church.

5. Why? So no special contributions need be taken up when Paul arrives.

6. How much? As he has been prospered.

B. The wrong way to give, 2 Corinthians 9:7.

1. Grudgingly (with a sour or reluctant mind).

2. Out of necessity (under compulsion).

C. The principles of proper giving.

1. Give as God has prospered you, 1 Corinthians 16:2.

2. Give with understanding?we are stewards of what God has given to us, Luke 16:10-13, 1 Peter 4:10, 1 Corinthians 4:2.

NIV Luke 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? 13 "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

NIV 1 Peter 4:10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

NIV 1 Corinthians 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

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