Summary: We are so far from Biblical stewardship. We need a course correction.

-You probably remember the old song, “War: What is it good for?” by Edwin Starr

-Kind of a rallying cry of the early 1970’s

-Today, our rallying cry sometimes is “Money: What is it good for?

-We see all sorts of people who get messed up by money

-I don’t mean people who want more and try to steal it

-I’m talking about people whose lives are messed up because they have too much money

-We’ve seen so much in the media lately about Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan

-Why do you think they are so messed up?

-Because they don’t have to depend on God

-There are some studies that came out recently that demonstrate this – the more money a person makes doesn’t necessarily make them happier or more financially secure

-A famous millionaire was once asked how much money would be enough. He said, “A little more.”

-We are taught growing up to work hard, be frugal, save our money so that . . .

-We can retire?

-When did that start?

-When did that become a Biblical concept?

-We are so far from biblical stewardship it’s unbelievable

-This how the first Xns lived – “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.” {PAUSE}

-Solomon writes in the Old Testament lesson today, “For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it.”

-About a year ago, Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, the third richest man in the world gave $30 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The foundation’s goal is to wipe the world 10 deadliest diseases off the face of the earth

-All three of them, Bill, Melinda and Warren were on the Charlie Rose show that evening on PBS. It was interesting to hear Warren, now 77, talk about how he came to the decision to turn so much money over to be distributed by the Gates.

-He realized that he had so much money that he could never spend it all, his entire family could not spend it all but more importantly he did not want to curse his kids and grandkids with too much money making them slothful

-He wanted to give them enough money to give them the opportunity to make different choices but not so much that they could become lazy

-The rich landowner did not have his life taken from him because he was greedy but he thought that he was going to enjoy all the benefits of his hard labor only to find out that his hard work was really all in vain

-Paul says it aptly to the Colossians, He wrote, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.”

-That puts things in perspective doesn’t it

-God says that greed is idolatry

-How’s that?

-Martin Luther in his small catechism explains the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods.What does this mean?--Answer. We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

-So what good is money? What should it be used for? What do you think?

-One theologian put working and money on its head and put it in proper perspective

-The work that we do it God’s requirement of us to serve others and care for their needs? I thought that we work to earn a living? So what about our wages?

-The money that we receive – notice I didn’t say work for – are a gift from God to provide for our needs and for the needs of others

-When we put it into proper perspective – we cannot boast if we have a lot nor can we be despondent if we have little – it is a gift

-We get the opportunity to serve those around us

-So money, what is it good for – a lot – not only does God take care of our needs but He encourages us to provide for the needs of others out of our abundance so that they too might know how much Jesus loves them by the way we treat them

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