Summary: Your wallet reveals what is important in your life. What is in your wallet?
What’s In Your Wallet?
Part 3 – Money Matters
What’s in your wallet? I have mentioned to you that what you have in your wallet reveals what is important to you. Last time we dealt with family and in particular our children. I told you that in order for us to protect our nest we must cover our family with prayer & God’s Word, we must communicate with our family, we must confront & correct, and finally we must copy or reproduce ourselves in them. It is our responsibility and obligation to protect our house. Now I want to finish this series by talking to you about another very important issue in our lives. When you open our wallet you discover that one of the most important elements of our lives is our finances. Interestingly enough God already knew that this would be a key concern for us and has quite a bit to say on the subject. In fact, Jesus knew where our treasure is our heart would be also. So in Scripture there are about 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 on faith, but over 2,300 on how to handle finances! Jesus talked more about finances than any other subject! Jesus talked about finances in 16 of his 38 parables.
So it is fitting that we get bold enough to talk about money in church.
I want us to begin by looking at an odd portion of Scripture that seems to have nothing to do with giving.
Text: I Kings 18:2, 20, 22-35, 38
2And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And the famine was sore in Samaria. 20So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. 22Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, am left a prophet of Jehovah; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. 24And call ye on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Jehovah; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under. 26And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped about the altar which was made. 27And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god: either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked. 28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29And it was so, when midday was past, that they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening oblation; but there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me; and all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. 31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of Jehovah came, saying, Israel shall be thy name. 32And with the stones he built an altar in the name of Jehovah; and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it on the wood. And he said, Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt-offering, and on the wood. 34And he said, Do it the second time; and they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time; and they did it the third time. 35And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 38Then the fire of Jehovah fell, and consumed the burnt-offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
This familiar face off between Elijah and the prophets of Baal teaches us an important thing about God’s perspective on giving. It is imperative that we start with understanding the condition of the land. There was a severe drought. It had not rained one drop for 3 ½ years. Crops failed, cattle died, children died. It was severe. Now the Word of God comes to Elijah that He will send rain. So Elijah arranges for a show down. He allows the false prophets to go first and as you know through all their efforts, wild shows, incantations, spells and actions they are unable to produce fire. You also know that with a simple pray Elijah asks for God’s fire, it falls, the people repent, false prophets are killed, rain falls, and victory is won. However, I want us to back up just a little to what happens right before the fire falls because there is a lesson here that God teaches us about the most important things in our life.