Summary: our attitude to money can be a real block to God’s blessing in our lives. We need to recognise 1) "The Power of money"... work towards 2) "The Pacifying of money" and see 3) "The Potential of money" for blessing in our lives and the Kingdom of God
Moving on with God: the next step with money
2 Cor 9:6-15 WBC 15/6/3pm
One of the golden-sticker-laden sweepstake entry forms and magazine sales pitches that show up just about weekly in most Americans’ mailboxes has just been sent to God!
American Family Publishers sent its computer generated entry form to "God of Bushell", at the Bushell Assembly of God, a church in central Florida.
"God, we’re searching for you. You’ve been positively identified as our $11 million mystery millionaire," the form read.
The fine print showed the Creator was merely a finalist, but the letter encouraged Him to try His luck.
"Imagine the looks you’d get from your neighbours.... don’t just sit there, God, come forward now and claim your prize".
Bill Brack, the Church’s Pastor, told the Tampa Tribune that he had not yet decided whether the church would enter the sweepstakes. "God already has $11 million," he said.
Reuters Ltd, cited in Leadership magazine, Summer 97
The Power of money
There are all kinds of things that will try and control you in this world
- have ‘power’
- are good things, but can suck you in and control you
o ‘destroy your soul’
o ‘wage war against your soul’
(where is that term from? ‘watch out for things that wage war against your soul’
• has been going through my head these last few weeks)
God created a GOOD world- but it is most definitely fallen… as are we…
- and so these god things get distorted… and become DESTROYERS
Richard Foster describes 3 of the main ones as money, sex and power
- and he’s right
And so- in a series on ‘moving on with God’ we need to… it is right to… have a sermon on ‘the next step with money’
- as we ALL need to learn how to master mammon, money to move on
- Illustr: it’s one of the biggest issues in the west. Philipino lady who visited Ken in USA and was so looking forward to ‘spiritual richness’ of USA, but realised that just as their poverty in Philippines is financial… scrapping on rubbish heaps… so USAs ‘richness is also their poverty’. They are impoverished.
o Have SO much!
o So do we!
Paul says 1CO 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both.
I’d add- money for needs and we need money- but I will not be mastered by anything.
Let me ask you
- does money, possessions own you… or you own it?
- Are you free to do what you like and God wants with money
o Or does it wield a power over you?
- Do you own it or is it your master?
They say a Christian needs 2 conversions- one for their soul and one for their wallet
Illustr: man holding money as baptised.jpg saved in Ills folder. @Everything that goes under the water belongs to God’
I believe all of us… me included… would have to say
‘it is for freedom that Christ has set us free… if the Son sets you free you shall be free indeed….
…. But I’m still working at being free from… WITH… this one’
- there are times when I have been free, and times when sinfully bound
o now- I want to work towards complete mastery of it and freedom in it
‘Jesus as Lord of all’
If we can find this freedom… generosity… we shall know
- God’s contentment 1TI 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
- God’s blessing
o As it IS more blessed to give than to receive
o God is no man’s debtor. He gives back more than we can give
So- how do we manage this one? Move forward with this one?
The pacifying of money
I know no other method than obediently giving it away… as God directs
But how much should we give… and how… and to whom… and what if we don’t have much?
Listen- God does not expect us to give what we do not have,!
- and here (v7), He does not want you to give under duress, or to please others, or reluctantly
o rather freely and generously. Lit ‘hilariously’
- so, if your attitude is ‘humph! Here! Take it, GOD, then!’
o you’ve missed the point… and will miss the blessing!
o It’s not so much about what it does for God and His kingdom, as how it benefits US!
- If that’s your feelings- start small, feel the freedom and reward… and in time you’ll be motivated to give more
And if you feel you don’t have much:
1CO 16:1 Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.