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. 2 - Possessed
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. Dennis Rodman and politics. Tin foil and microwaves. Butter and deep frying. Lying and a believer. Apathy and a Christian And at least in the modern version, the church talking about money.
So last week we 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.
I want you to join me in an account you are very familiar with. We are going to talk about the possessed man. Instantly your mind probably races toward Mark 5 and 6 where Jesus encounters the demon possessed man living in the cemetery. However, that isn't the possessed man I am referring to. Instead I want to talk about the other possessed man. His story is found in
II. Text: Matthew 19:16-26
Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.” The man asked, “What in particular?”Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.” The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?” “If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.” That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go. As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.” The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?” Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
Before we deal with the money side of things may I remind your neighbor a couple of truths that I have shared with them before . . . partial obedience is complete disobedience. Obedience in one area doesn't cover disobedience in another area. This young man was obedient in several areas but lack of obedience in another area cost him his soul.
a. Your neighbor has to be on guard because what you hold on to can begin to hold onto you.
Notice the struggle here. Here is a young man who has done his best to live holy, follow the commandments, toe the line and yet he is so possessed by possessions that when given the opportunity to have life eternal he allows his love for the temporal to cost him the eternal. What he can see becomes a trap that keeps him from gaining what he can't see.
This man was possessed. He didn't live in a cemetery and didn't walk around dragging chains in the natural. However, although he was surrounded by abundance and supply, silk and caviar he was still living dead and abundantly bound.