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Summary: How we view and use money does in fact, impacts our relationship with Almighty God. We have to look, but do we worship our "stuff" or God?

Video: The Truth About Money (3:03 min available on SermonCentral.com)

What every Christian Needs To Know About Stewardship: This is the concluding message on Stewardship. This is also the most important message about money. We have touched on it all along through out this series. Yes, we established that God owes it all, and we therefore are stewards or managers of the things in which God has entrusted to us.

It is important to see the reality of money and possessions.

ILL: When John D. Rockefeller died, one man was curious about how much he left behind. Determined to find out, he set up an appointment with one of Rockefeller’s highest aides and asked, “How much did Rockefeller leave behind?” The aide answered, “All of it.” [1]

We cannot take any of it with us when Jesus calls us home. Jim Elliot, a missionary who was martyred in Ecuador in January 1956 once wrote in in personal journal: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Can we begin to understand that Our Relationship with Money Impacts Our Relationship With God?

Our focal passage deals with one such individual, the story of the Rich Young Ruler. The same story is repeated in Matthew 19 where we learn the man was young, and in Luke 18, where we learn the man was a ruler. All three passages confirm that he was rich.

Mark 10:17–22 (NKJV)

ILL: The story is told of a prosperous, young investment banker who was driving a new BMW sedan on a mountain road during a snowstorm. As he veered around one sharp turn, he lost control and began sliding off the road toward a deep precipice. At the last moment he unbuckled his seat belt, flung open his door, and leaped from the car, which then tumbled down the ravine and burst into a ball of flames. Though he had escaped with his life, the man suffered a ghastly injury. Somehow his left arm had been caught near the hinge of the door as he jumped and had been torn off at the shoulder. A trucker saw the accident in his rearview mirror. He pulled his rig to a halt and ran to see if he could help. He found the banker standing at the roadside, looking down at the BMW burning in the ravine below. “My BMW! My new BMW!!” the banker moaned, oblivious to his injury.

The trucker pointed at the banker’s shoulder and said, “You’ve got bigger problems than that car. We’ve got to find your arm. Maybe the surgeons can sew it back on!” The banker looked where his arm had been, paused a moment, and groaned, “Oh no! My Rolex! My new Rolex!!” God gives us material possessions so we will enjoy them, not so we will worship them. [2]

Jesus said:

Matthew 6:24 (NKJV) “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Mammon is simply the Aramaic word for riches or wealth. The fact is very few people can properly handle wealth. William Mc Donald (writer of the Believer’s Bible Commentary) said, “It was true in the OT that riches were a sign of God’s favor. That is now changed. Instead of a mark of the Lord’s blessing, riches are a test of a man’s devotedness.” [3]

Such is this story of the rich young ruler, which is not unlike many today, rich or poor. The rich will worship their possessions, the poor will covet what they do not have. The results are the same: God is displaced by the worship of stuff. Let’s examine this rich young ruler, or I prefer to call him, “the man who had everything.” More on that later.

Mark 10:17 (NKJV) Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Our initial encounter with this man is impressive. Here a man of means, running to see this penniless intenerate preacher. His actions indicate that he overcome by the emotion of the moment. He is a good man, well respected. Obviously pious, very religious. There must have been some need to justify himself.

He ask the question: “what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” As if there was some good deed, some monumental task, some quest or achievement he must do to get that assurance of eternal life. He was a man a means, and whatever that requirement or task was, he could well afford to do it. He was a believer of the big scoreboard in the sky. That quest is still being assumed today. What must I do to get more plus marks than minus marks on that scoreboard?

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