Summary: This is a sermon on giving to the work of the Lord.
Please Let God Double Your Money And Your Joy
Today, we’re going to talk about money. Money is one thing that can cause us to lose our minds. Jack Benny was a comedian in years past, and Jack prided himself on what a cheapskate he was , when it came to money. It was hard to get money out of him. He tells the story of one day when he was walking through a park. A mugger surprised as he passed a group of bushes.
The guy pulled out a gun, and looked at him and said, “I’m not playing. It’s either your money or your life.” Jack froze as he looked at the barrel of that gun.” The mugger begin to get angry, he said, “didn’t you hear what I said, what are you waiting for. For the last time, as he shoved the gun closer to his head, it’s your money or your life.” Jack said, “well I’m thinking about which one I want to give up.”
It’s easy to laugh at Jack and see how ridiculous he was being. After all, if the mugger shot and killed him, Jack would still leave the money behind and his life would be gone as well. It’s a little bit harder to laugh when we realize that Jesus said almost the same thing to us, when he said your money or your soul. Well the way Jesus said it was, Matthew 6:24 (NIV) "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Let me tell you about Steve. Steve had decided to go into business for himself. And like any self employed person, he found out there was a lot of work involved. The hours were long and sometimes disappointing. But Steve was determined to make his business succeed. He read books, he went to seminars, he networked, and he did everything he could to make his business a success. Steve was at the top of his game. His hard work began to pay off. The money started to come in. Steve was able to provide a comfortable life for his wife and children.
Barbara, Jackie and Steve Jr. didn’t get to see much of him because so much of his time went into being a success. That night his wife, Barbara, wore a very pretty night gown to bed. She wanted to get him into a good mood. As she lay his arms, she said, “Honey, look. We’ve got a nice home and a great life, why don’t you start spending more time with me and the kids? Why not come and go to church with us once in a whil?. It would help relieve some of the stress you’ve been under. Your doctor said, “you need to slow down.”
Steve replied, “my love, I’m on the verge of making a big deal tomorrow that can double our money. This house is nothing compared to the house I intend to give you and wait until you see the car that I’m going to buy you. I do plan to spend more time with you and the kids, and eventually I might even think about going to church with you. But let’s not talk about all that right now. You look to good in that gown for us to argue. I promise you after this big deal goes down, I’m going to change.
Steve had a great vision for his company, for his family, and for his future. He planned to double his money and double the joy he had in his life. There was just one problem. He didn’t know, that God above had already decided that this night would be Steve’s last night alive. He didn’t know God had made a judgment on his life by declaring, “you fool, tonight your very life will be demanded of you. What’s going to happen to all your wealth and your big plans.”
Steve was facing the question of “your money or your soul”, and he did not even know it. He was planning on getting his soul right one day, but for now he was choosing the money.
Let me ask you this? Is God opposed to money? Is God opposed to you having money? Is God opposed to you having lots of money? Can God trusts you to be faithful in giving to Him out of the money He has given to you?
The smallest amount of money God has ever requested of his people in the Bible is to give him a tithe which is one penny out of each dime they have. I have yet to meet a person who claims to love God, who will refuse to give God a penny out of dime, so long as they only have one dime. But somehow, the more dimes God gives to them, the harder it becomes to keep giving God a penny.