Summary: Your neighbor attends church wanting instruction and supernatural response in every important area of life . . . relationships, direction and success, but we they don't want anyone to talk about money.
Other People's Money
Pt. 4 - Dollars & $ense
I have learned there are certain things that just don't go well together. Some of this I learned in school and others just by observation. Some of you will learn this in a month or so . . . being a teenage boy and having a girlfriend at Christmas. Having a wife at Christmas is entirely different. A donut shop next door to a Planet Fitness. An aquarium store next to a sushi restaurant. A believer and hopelessness. A believer and lack of love for the church. And at least in the modern version, the church talking about money.
So have said that even though money issues are the number one reason couples get divorced and if the truth was told It is the number one reason most of you are struggling, afraid, and stressed out in your life right now we still seem to get very nervous and even angry when the church addresses money! I understand that the church has brought some of this on itself due to the crazy and outlandish things preachers have said in order to line their own pockets. However, I think we also have used that craziness as an excuse to keep the church from addressing this area because most of us struggle mightily to allow God to speak to this area of our life.
So, since I know that this topic makes people nervous and I also know that Jesus addresses finances more than any other topic (twice as much as heaven and hell combined), have titled this series "Other People's Money"so that as we talk about this topic you can relax because I am not talking about your money. I am talking about your neighbor's money. Touch your neighbor right now and tell them, "Hey you should really listen because he is talking about your money not mine!" OK, now that you are off the hook maybe you can relax and listen. In fact, make sure you take good notes so that your neighbor doesn't miss anything that they might have needed to hear.
So let's wrap this up by talking about "Dollars and Sense"! Now before we read the text and you fear that your pastor is taking a passage out of context let me say that I do realize that when Jesus makes these statements He is directly talking about discipleship. At the same time I would say that you really can't be a disciple without dealing with money correctly and that Jesus' statements do in fact have implications financially as well.
Text: Luke 14:25-32
One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.
28-30 “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’ 31-32 “Or can you imagine a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other? And if he decides he can’t, won’t he send an emissary and work out a truce?
Jesus asks this question . . . is there anyone here who plans to build a house and doesn't sit down and count the cost? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding yes! What He is really asking is there anyone here who doesn't live on a budget.
Jesus is saying to live like that is a crazy way to live and that we become the butt of the joke if we do.
Let me see if I can prove that most of your neighbors don't live on a budget . . . Average American makes $50k and accidentally or randomly gives away 6% of their income. They don't even realize they do it.
The average American home in 2009 spent over $2600 a year on eating out!
The result is that when our neighbor lives with no budget we continue to run out of money before we run out of month.
So Jesus is trying to get us to learn to live two ways:
a. Live On a Budget
The bottom line is that our neighbors don't like to budget because living on a budget requires discipline! Jesus is trying to teach us that in order to succeed we must count the cost and live within our means.