Summary: It is for freedom that Christ set you free. Do not yoke yourself to the burden of debt through slavery. At the foundation of this is that all of the blessings of heaven are available to the children of God. But so many of the children of God continue to l

Confronting Our Poverty of Spirit

Luke 16:19-31

It is for freedom that Christ set you free. Do not yoke yourself to the burden of debt through slavery. At the foundation of this is that all of the blessings of heaven are available to the children of God. But so many of the children of God continue to live on the meager rations of earth. So for the next three weeks, we’re going to be confronting the obstacles that stand in the way of financial freedom. The first is the poverty of Spirit which is the cancer of selfishness. The second is the Poverty of Mind which is the cancer of fear. The third is the poverty of means which is connected to the cancer of consumerism.

Opening prayer: Jesus, you came to literally save us, heal us and make us well in every single area of our life. So Lord we open our finances again to you for you to work your will. And we pray this is your incredible name.

In every promise of God throughout all the Scriptures, we have the promise of material blessing. When God told the Israelites that he was going to take them to a land of promise, he wasn’t talking about a spiritual place but a physical place. He described this land of promise as a land of milk and honey. Now Israel was made up of herders and farmers in a very arid climate. Because of this climate, herders and farmers were always at odds with each other because of the limited resources. So God says I am going to take you to this land which is of such abundance that you’re no longer going to have to fight over resources. The herder will have plenty of land and grass for their animals (that’s what the milk is referring to because it’s the end product of abundance of land and grass to feed the animals). The farmers will have more than enough land to farm and thus enough crops. That’s what the honey refers to, the crop which is the end product produced. So the blessing and promise of God is for more than enough resources for everyone, the herder and the farmer.

Deut. 28 says “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God. You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. (those who live in the city and those of us who live in the suburbs) The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.” God’s blessing isn’t about a blessing after you die or even the gift of eternal life but rather is about His material blessing in your life today! Now all of this is contingent on one word: “If”. If you follow God and obey his laws, then he will bless your life materially.

Now one thing we need to understand is that in those days, people were living on a subsistence level. Each day was about finding, growing or producing enough food for you and your family. When God speaks of blessings, he’s talking about needs and necessities rather than wants. He’s talking about food, clothing, shelter and work and not an iphone, HD TV, a larger house, a Blackberry or the latest model Lexus or Caddy. Now some people say that the promises of these material blessings are only in the Old Testament. But Listen to Matthew 6: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Well, what are these things? Look at the list above these verses. It’s about clothing, food and drink, if you seek first the kingdom of God. Now the Bible has these promises of material blessings all throughout but the key for the people of God is to understand the purpose of wealth.

Today, we’re going to look at the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapter of Luke. These three chapters are Jesus’ theology of wealth and possessions. In these verses, Jesus is confronting the religious leaders of his day, the Pharisees, who tended to be pretty well to do but they didn’t understand the purpose of wealth. They had fallen into the trap of becoming lovers of money. Now there’s nothing wrong with having money but there is something fundamentally wrong when you become a lover of money. So Jesus uses the Pharisees as the counter example of kingdom economics. Every story and parable in these chapters are examples of how not to approach, relate to and use money in your life, all of which hit home with the Pharisees. Now here’s the purpose of wealth. Jesus is eating in the home of a rich Pharisee and says, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” The purpose of wealth is to use the resources God has given us to bring the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind to the party of God so they may come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and receive eternal life.

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