Summary: As we look at how to be a better steward with our possessions, we need to manage our money
Money! Money! Money!
November 4, 2018
In 1991, James Peterson and Peter Kim co-authored a book entitled The Day America Told The Truth. The book was the result of surveys that were given to 2,000 people who were asked to answer a number of moral and ethical questions in complete honesty — with a guarantee of absolute anonymity.
One question was "What would you be willing to do for 10 million dollars?"
In response to that question ~
25% would abandon their family (spouse, children, or parents)
23% said they would become a prostitute for 1 week
7% said they would be willing to kill a complete stranger
Those are pretty astounding statistics. I wonder what they would look like in today’s world?
This shows the kind of power money has on so many lives. It's amazing what people will do for it.
Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6 ~
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. – 1 Timothy 6:10
He never said, as some people think - - that money is evil. He never ever said that. He said the LOVE of money. Yet, we need money to survive, to live and provide for our families. We need money to function in this world. How else are we going to pay the utility, phone bills, car payments, house payments, insurance, food, gas, clothes, not to mention to contribute to the church?
We’ve been talking about what it means to be a good steward in our lives. To be a good manager of all that God’s given us. Today, we’re looking at what it means to be a good manager with the money and possessions God’s given us.
This isn’t an annual money sermon, and yet it is. I’m not here to tell you what you must do, but to help you be more successful at managing your money and honoring and glorifying God. I know most people don’t like to hear about money in sermons, yet you might not realize it, but - - - you may not have realized that
16 of the 38 parables focused on how to handle money and possessions.
In the Gospels, 8% of the verses deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible has 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. So, you can see the importance of this topic, whether we like it or not!
The consequences of mismanaging our money can be devastating. According to Social Security, 85 out of 100 Americans will have less than $250 to their name when they reach 65. Only 2% of Americans reach age 65 financially independent.
The average American household with debt owes $172,806. This includes all credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and other types of debt. The average household that carries credit card balances owes just over $16,061.
Now most people assume their money problems stem from not earning enough. The truth is, most of us earn a good enough living to meet our needs and afford many of the things we want. In fact, a family which earns $50,000 per year will make about $2,000,000 in their lifetime. The problem for most people is not how much they earn but how they manage what they earn.
So money is significant for us simply because we exchange it for what we value. What you do with your money shows what you value with your heart.
We value our taste buds, so we give money for food. We value education, so we give money for books and tuition. We value entertainment, so we give money for cable TV, Netflix, sporting events, concerts and more. We value the ministries of the church and the spread of the gospel, so we give money to the church and other ministries. And that list of what we give money to can go on and on for each family.
Jesus said in Luke 12:34 ~
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Luke 12:34
Now, some of you won’t like this - - I’m just being real. Listen carefully, because - - where your money goes, signifies the movement of your heart. Where your money goes, your heart goes. You exchange money for what you value, for what you treasure.
If you value going to the movie, that’s where your money goes. If you value going out to eat, then that’s what you will do. If you value smoking or electronics or books or whatever it is, that’s where your money goes. If you value the church, your money goes to the church. If you value Habitat for Humanity, your money goes there. That’s kind of logical.
So, money can be hazardous and helpful. You can show that you value things more than God (which is hazardous), or that you value God more than things (which is helpful). Ultimately this is expresses the treasures of your heart.