What You Got Ain’t Nothin’
Griffith Baptist Church – 3/22/09
Text: Psalm 49
Key verse: Psalms 49:16-17 - 16Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
Premise: To many trust in their wealth to get them through in life, but it will never be enough to get them through in the next. It is all about righteousness, not riches.
1. Introduction – 49:1-4
2. False Salvation of Riches – 49:5-9
3. False Security of Riches – 49:10-13
4. False Supremacy of Riches – 49:14-15
5. False Support of Riches – 49:16-20
There is a cartoon showing a lawyer reading the last will and testament of his client to a room full of greedy relatives. The caption reads: “I, John Jones, being of sound mind and body, spent it all!”
The subject of wealth is a touchy one sometimes
Whenever you discuss finances or wealth building people get real touch, and for good reason
Money touches and impacts us in so many ways and in economies like the one we are experiencing, we can feel it’s reach more and more.
But, there are far to many, even Christians, who love their money more than they love their God.
The reality is that, next to God and our total trust in Him, power, wealth possessions and so forth are nothing.
We need a perspective that keeps God in proper focus. In the end, it all comes down to Him anyway.
Galatians 6:3 - For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
1. The Nothing of Power – 5
A. In the Prison Fellowship newsletter, Jubilee, Charles Colson told of a young boy who became excessively fearful during the great New York blackout of 1977. When his parents questioned their son, he confessed that at the exact moment the lights went out, he had kicked a power line pole. As darkness engulfed the city, he thought he was to blame and would be punished. Charles Colson He thought he had more power than what He really had. What an apt illustration of those who have power.
B. There are those who use power and the power of wealth to intimidate:
i. They abuse what they have to lord it over those that have less or little
ii. They expect and often receive better treatment because of their wealth – James 2:1-7 - 1My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
C. We need to be careful with the use of power and also our response to it.
i. Colossians 3:22-24 - 22Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
ii. We should live a life of humility
iii. We should live a life of meekness
iv. We should live a life of self-control
v. (see Fruit if the Spirit – Gal. 5:22-23)
2. The Nothing of Prosperity – 6-9
A. I heard about a rich man who was determined to take his wealth with him. He told his wife to get all his money together, put it in a sack, and then hang the sack from the rafters in the attic. He said, "When my spirit is caught up to heaven, I’ll grab the sack on my way." Well he eventually died, and the woman raced to the attic, only to find the money still there. She said, "I knew I should’ve put the sack in the basement." (Russell 88).
B. There is no amount of wealth that can ever buy God:
i. It cannot provide redemption (6-7)
ii. It cannot pay for our souls (8)
iii. It cannot prevent judgment (9)
C. Principles greater than earthly wealth:
i. Earthly wealth can blind one to the greater need - Revelation 3:17 – Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
ii. Earthly wealth can hold us back - Luke 18:18-25 - 18And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. 21And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 23And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 25For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
iii. Earthly wealth can corrupt and lead to emptiness - Proverbs 10:2 – Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
3. The Nothing of Inheritance – 10-13
A. The passing of property or money at the owner’s death to those entitled to succeed.
B. That which is passed down will eventually pass away:
i. Everyone is destined to death, rich or poor, so we are all in the same boat (10)
ii. Some think that what they own will live on no matter what (11)
iii. The end is always the same (12-13)
C. As Christian’s we have a greater inheritance:
i. Ephesians 1:11-14 – 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
ii. We inherit what God has given us a children of the king:
d. New heaven and new earth
4. The Nothing of Longevity – 14-15
A. One thing about getting old is that you can sing in the bathroom while brushing your teeth. George Burns once said, ’Tennis is a game for young people. Until age 25, you can play singles. From there until age 35, you should play doubles. I won’t tell you my age, but when I played, there were 28 people on the court -- just on my side of the net. Bits & Pieces, April 28, 1994, p. 19
B. It doesn’t matter how long you live, you will never live long enough to cheat death:
i. Those in these verses obviously didn’t think about death
ii. Some think they will live forever
iii. Psalms 90:10 – The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
C. For the Christian, even the grave holds no power (15)
i. For the believer, life is a matter of perspective, seeing that we will never really die (physically, yes, but spiritually, never)
ii. 1 Corinthians 15:55 – O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
iii. We have no fear of death because death is just a promotion for us – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 - 6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
iv. God views our physical deaths with high value (meaning of precious) - Psalms 116:15 - Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
5. The Nothing of Possessions – 16-20
A. You know that there is something drastically wrong when what you possess possesses you.
B. There is never enough to be enough to satisfy:
i. The glory of possessions is temporary (17)
ii. The praise over possessions is short-lived (18)
iii. It all ends up the same; you there, what you had here, forever separated.
C. The Christian life is not about what we possess but who possesses us:
i. Our life is lived in the parenthesis, birth and death - 1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (Ecc. 5:15)
ii. Our life philosophy - Romans 14:8 - For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
How do you vie w what you have? Is it from God or the result of your own hands?
What do you trust more?