I paid a bill last week that made me a little nervous.
Dana and I mainly pay our bills online. I know a lot of you still write checks out, but online banking has really become popular. When you bank online, you have access to all of your financial information. Its right there for you to see.
...anyway, so last week, I decided to pay off a credit card. We had the money in the account, but I didn’t anticipate how tight that would actually make our checking account. After the bill processed, I had this moment of panic. Wow, our account is really low. What if something comes up? Or what if I’ve messed up somewhere and there’s a bill or two that I have missed...
Having money brings a certain amount of security.
In fact, if we are not careful, we can build our lives on the idea that our security really comes from the amount in our checking, savings and investments...
But what happens when those investments decline? What happens when the stock market takes a tumble. What happens if we lose our job?
Listen to Proverbs 11:28 “Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.”
Real security can never come from money because money will not last... The writer of Proverbs says, if you place your faith in money, you will go down - you will fall. Instead, he argues, place your trust in God and you will flourish like leaves in the spring.
When I read that this week it made me think of David and his image of the godly from Psalm 1:
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
Now hear me... I am not saying that if you trust in God you will have all the money you will ever need, you’ll be rich, you’ll be blessed, etc - I am saying this, Do not place your trust in money. Place your trust in God.
Security and peace come from following God.
This past week, I officiated the funeral for Berniece Boyd. Some of you knew her. She was kind and gentle and a very godly woman. I very much enjoyed getting to know her family this week...
I preached the funeral message from 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 - Pauls says “We do not grieve like those who have no hope - because we believe in Jesus Christ.” That same power that raised Jesus from the dead assures us that we too will be with the Lord one day.
People that know Jesus have a security like no one else.
In John 14, Jesus begins to tell his disciples that he is leaving - but listen to what he says “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Notice something - we’ve ready this a million times, but Jesus understood fear. he understood uncertainty and so he begins with this reminder, “You can trust me.”
He goes on to tell them that he’s made a place for them, and that he will be there with them... But it all depends on that trust. Thomas asks Lord, how can we follow if we don’t know the way. Jesus says, “Just follow me...”
The greatest promise we have in scripture is that he will be with us. That’s what he reminded his disciples as he left, “I will be with you always, even until the end of the age.”
We can hang our hat on that - We can trust him ...and that gives us security!
As I was reading through John, I noticed a verse that I don’t usually read... John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
His peace, the peace that comes from knowing Jesus - the world cannot give. No amount of money can give this kind of peace...
One of my favorite stories in Acts is the story of Peter and John at the temple gate. As they walked in a beggar stopped them asking for money. I love Peter’s response. He says “Look at me” Then he says, “Silver and Gold I don’t have, but I’ll give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk.”
I don’t have any money to offer you today - but I will give you what I have. I have faith that no matter what comes, Jesus Christ will meet my needs... Do you have that same security?