Summary: Second sermon in a series on stewardship. What is it that owns you? You might not say many, but does your life show otherwise?
Stewardship II - Money: Servant of Master?
1. Sometimes a good test of love is finding out what you’d be willing to give up to possess it.
2. The entire NHL season is in jeopardy and today is the deadline. (Do a brief history of the hockey labor dispute leading to the cancellation of the 04-05 season) What if the two sides came together … with me … and gave me some kind of great task that I could undertake that would save the season?
· What if they asked me to give them $1000? I’d do it. I’d find a way. What if they asked me to collect 10,000 signatures on a petition and deliver it right to the front door of the Hall of Fame in Toronto? I’d do it. What if they asked for my pinky finger? I’d give it to them.
· I’d do it because I want to see the puck drop. I want it badly. I haven’t seen good NHL hockey since June 7th, when the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 in Game 7.
· But what if the lima bean farmers of the world were about to stop harvest of the 2005 crop of lima beans? What if the farmers got together and said, "Rich, only you can save the 2005 world crop of lima beans. To save the crop you have to crawl on your hands and knees from Portland to Washington D.C."
· No. From Portland to Louisville? No. To Nashville? No. To Taco Bell? No.
· Why? Because I couldn’t care less. I don’t care if I ever see another lima bean again in my life.
3. Let’s switch gears. What’s the "third rail" of American politics? Social Security. What’s the "third rail" of preaching? Money. You just can’t win.
4. One pastor said it like this;
"If there is one type of sermon that really bugs people more than any other, one sermon topic that really bends people out of shape, it’s when the preacher talks about money. He can talk about lying, not a problem. Stealing, adultery, lust … OK. When he preaches on gambling and whiskey and wild, wild women we cheer him on. But let him talk about money and well, he’s gone from preaching to meddling. It’s great to watch people when you talk about money because they frown, cross their arms look disgusted and hold unto their wallets all at the same time. I don’t know if it’s because it makes us feel guilty, or if we think the church shouldn’t dabble in such worldly things as money. And I don’t like men of God begging for money any more then you do, but fourteen chapters into the bible the tithe is introduced when Abraham gave Melchizedek, ten percent of all he owned. So God introduces the tithe in the first book of the bible and it’s there again in Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament. And Jesus spoke more about our money and how we use it then he did about prayer, bible study, or heaven or hell." (source unknown)
5. We’re talking about money today. How much power does it have over you? Is it your servant or is it your master?
6. Read Luke 18:18-30
· The young man starts by asking, "What must I do?" He was looking for a task, a mission, salvation by works.
· People still look for salvation by works today. They attend church. They volunteer for worthy causes. They write big checks to charity. They say the right things and do the right things.
· But Jesus wastes very little time nailing this guy to the wall. "You still lack one thing."
· The young man was willing to keep the commandments, he was willing to be a good guy, he was willing to be a Sunday School teacher.
· But his love for God was surpassed by his love for his money. The money had gone from servant to master.
· My Life Application Bible says this, "Jesus does not ask all believers to sell everything they have, although this may be his will for some. He does ask us all, however, to get rid of anything that has become more important than God."
· What’s more important than God in your life? Your money? Your job? Your security? Your relationships? Whatever stands in our way from a full walk with God, has become our master.
o I had a teenager in my youth group named Ryan. He had a beautiful red pick-up that he loved like a child. He cared for it and babied it. One night after youth group we were all outside and I put my Bible on the hood of his truck. In a very cold voice, Ryan looked at me and said, "Get that Bible off my truck." The truck had become his master.