Summary: We handle it, exchange it, spend it, invest it, need it and give our life away for it. Does money stain us, change us, make us do things we don’t want to do? We can make money clean!
Pt. 2 - Out of Order?
I don't know about you but one of the most frustrating things in life is to need to use a machine - drink, snack, register, ATM or any other type of machine only to discover a sign on it that says "Out of Order!" It was promising in appearance. It looked like it would provide relief to my thirst, my hunger, my need only to let me down because it was out of order. When something is out of order it doesn't work properly! It doesn't fulfill its purpose and can operate according to design.
If you have attended here more than just a few months, then you have probably mention order on more than one occasion. We have established that God is a God of order. Creation begins the revelation that God operates in steps. He creates sky then bird. Water then fish. Then this propensity towards order continues in patterns of worship. It penetrated how the Children of Israel marched from one place to the next with each tribe in their ordered place. It carries over to church in the New Testament and how services are conducted and positions of authority established. Order matters to God. Therefore, if order mattered to God it ought to grab our attention and make sure we understand and operate in lock step with the order He prescribes because we recognize that if we are out of order we will not see the intended results.
I want to submit to you that what is true of coke machines and cash registers is also true about our money. When it is out of order it doesn't work properly! I think far too often we don't get the order right in our finances and the result is we hope against hope, pray, believe and desire blessings that don't arrive simply because we are operating out of order while foolishly expecting the results that only come from operating in order.
So let's talk about how to get you blessed! I want to see you blessed beyond your wildest dreams. I want to see you have more than enough. I want to get something to you rather than something from you. So, in order for that to happen, we must understand two truths this morning.
Order dictates outcome.
Right order blessed. Wrong order cursed. If you don't believe that then build a house and then draw blueprints or then try to get permits. Go to a car lot and drive a car home then try to go in and work out payment details. Go to a bank and withdraw money then open an account. Go out to a garden and try to get a harvest before you plant the seed. Order dictates outcome. When you do things out of order the results change. We should have learned this truth in grade school. When our parents or our school gave us one of those combination locks. Remember 1 turn to the left, 2 turns to the right, then straight to the last number. It didn't matter if you got the numbers right if you didn't get the sequence of turns right. Order matters!
There is an intended outcome attached to the resources that God places in our hands. The intended outcome is blessed. God wants to bless the resources He has entrusted to us so that they will go further and accomplish more than we ever imagined. However, the order of how we handle them dictates the outcome . . . blessed or cursed. Clean or dirty.
God makes the order clear. Let's look and then talk a little more to make sure we get it and operate in order.
The order is established by Moses. Through the first five books of the Bible, Moses talks about resources a total of
thirteen times and in so doing not only gives instructions he gives revelation about order by what he calls them.
(ESV) - “You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. (So he begins teaching order by talking about the greatest resource we have . . . our children. It is funny to me that some people willingly give their kids back to God but won't give Him their other resources.)
Exodus 34:26 (ESV) - The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the