A New You-- What Debts Do I Have by Rick Gillespie- Mobley
A New You--What I Owe Me
11/20/2015 Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 and 1 Timothy 6:3-10 Luke 12
In our series “A New You.” God wants to give us a heads up in life so that when we finish writing the legacy Keon spoke of last week, we come out ahead. One of the key factors in determining how we finish our lives is going to revolve around how our money or desires for money gains control over us.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.
13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.
16 This too is a grievous evil:As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?17 All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Slide 1: A New You-What Debts Do I Have.
Before we plan to spend we need to also recognize three debts that we have that need to pay. The first is “what I owe me”, the second is “what I owe you,” and the third is “what I owe God.” If we’re going to be balanced and blessed in our spiritual and financial lives, we have to settle how we’re going to pay these three debts.
Slide 2: What I Owe Me What I Owe You What I Owe God
Today we are going to look at what might be the toughest of the New You to deal with, and that is the battle that it is going to take place between you, your money and God. It begins with you deciding. “ “What I owe me.” Say that with me, “What I owe me.” Not knowing the answer to this single question, can ruin your credit, destroy your marriage, and send you to the end of the poverty line, and prevent you from growing in God..
Pastor Toby and I have had the privilege of going all over this country speaking on giving. It has been our privilege at times to meet and speak to some of the world’s 15% richest people. God has blessed them with more stuff and money than he has 85% of the world’s population, and one of their biggest problem is that they figure they need more money. Even with all their wealth, they say, they would like to tithe but they cannot afford it. They have not been able to settle the issue of “what I owe me.” Can you imagine having that much and still wanting more?
Where Do You Think You Are In
If God were to move you were into the top 15% of the richest people in the world today, how many of you believe you would be willing to tithe and maybe even give a little extra above tithing. What if God moved you into the top 5% of the richest people in the world then could you do it? Let me tell you how much you need in order to be in the top 20% of the world’s richest people.
You need a yearly salary of $1500.00.
Slide 3: Top 15% Food, Shelter in House or Apt., Car or Reliable Transportation
To be in the top 15% of the world’s richest people, you need enough food to eat, live in a house or an apartment, and have a reliable means of transportation. To be in the top 5% you need to have some money in the bank, own a house, have a wardrobe of clothes and two cars of any kind that run.
Slide 4: Top 5% Money In Bank, Own A House, Wardrobe of Clothes, 2 Cars That Run
How many of us are far richer compared to the rest of the world than we had thought we were. When you think of the word greed, what comes to your mind. A rich oil excutive, a kid that won’t share his cookies, somebody with too much food at the buffet table.
Some of you have heard of the word tithe. A Tithe is nothing more than giving God one penny and keeping 9 for yourself.
Slide 5: Tithe: Giving God one penny and keeping 9 for yourself.
As long as we have very little, we find it easy to tithe. It only becomes a problem when we start to have a lot of pennies.
Slide 6: Picture of 10 pennies with one to the side.
1 out of 10, 10 out of 100, 100 out of a 1,000, 1,000 out of 10,000, 10,000 out of 100,000 now we got a problem.
Slide 7: Purpose of Tithing
God had a 3 fold purpose for tithing in helping you to become A New You.
• Changes Your Heart To Love God
• Changes Your Heart To Love Others
• Changes Your Hear To Learn Contentment
Tithing actually puts you in the place for God to pour unexpected blessings in your life. God gives you the desires of your heart that you could not get on your own.
There are basically 3 reasons that people who want to follow God, do not tithe.
• I Don’t Make Enough Money
• The Church Does Not Need My Money
• The Bible Says Give What’s On Your Heart
Of all the sins that come from our hearts, very few of us think that greed is a problem, because in our society greed is acceptable because it comes in so many disguises. We’re not greedy, we’re savers. We’re not greedy, we’re fashionable, we’re not greedy, we’re good planners. We’re not greedy, we’re prepared. We’re not greedy, we deserve this. We’re not greedy, we’re keeping up to date. We’re not greedy, we’re successful
Let me define greed. Greed is when I have enough for my needs, but I want more for my own personal use.
Slide 9: Greed is when I have enough for my needs, but I want more for my own personal use
In America, there is a whole industry, bent on redefining what it is that we need. I am a technological guru when it comes to computers. I found myself constantly wanting the fastest computer with the latest gadget. I can remember how proud I was when I turned my computer into a TV with all the cable channels so that I could watch tv while working on the computer. This was at the same time, I already 6 tv’s in the house.
But then, I had to have a laptop computer. The industry kept stealing my old computers, by coming out with a faster one, that did more things, every nine months. It got to the point, my greed just couldn’t keep up. I realized I had a problem. Now I was still tithing, and still putting in extra offerings, and still giving people money who needed it, but greed for computers was a real factor in my life.
I was convinced that I owed me, the best computer possible in my price range. I had to have it for my work was the lie I told myself. I needed to be set free from this area of greed in order to be a more generous giver. To deal with this problem, I banned myself from computer stores, purchasing computer magazines, and buying me a new laptop. It was not been easy. I went three years without a new laptop and didn’t get another one until the screen stopped working. I believed that lie that if I just had the latest or one more gadget I was going to be paid in full with my greed. It did not happen. Choosing to go without was what really set me free to be made new.
Now for me it was computers and technology. What is your area of greed in which you tell yourself, you deserve this and you have got to have it. We say, I don’t have a thing to wear. When what we mean is, I don’t have something brand new to wear that will impress others. Or we don’t have something with the right label on it to wear.
Slide 10: The Lie: The more we get, the happier we will be.
We think if we just made a little more money, we could finally be happy with what we have. Greed will no longer be an issue for us. Jesus comes along and messes with our minds, by saying the true way to handle greed is to have less and learn to be content. I told you that it would be easier to be a Christian if it were not for Jesus.
How much do I owe me to be paid in full. How many computers do I need? How many outfits? How many cars? How much money in the bank? How many pairs of shoes? How much stock? How nice of a neighborhood? How many bedrooms? How many acres? How much food? How many vacations? How many dresses, outfits or suits? How many cd’s? How much jewelry? How many rings? How many tattoos? How many i-phones
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things in themselves, but how much do you owe yourself with them. Whatever amount we define, is going to determine what will be left for others and for God? We often like to think, that God is on the top of our list for our possessions, but if we’re honest our greed places God is at the end of the line when it comes to money?
Slide 11: Andy Stanley: Greed causes us to believe either God can’t or won’t take care of us.
Andy Stanley wrote this. People with greed lodged in their heart fear that God either can’t or won’t take care of them.
More to the point, they’re afraid that God won’t take care of them in the fashion or style in which they want to be cared for. And the gap between what they suspect God might be willing to do and what they want becomes a major source of anxiety. Greedy people then carry the burden of getting and maintaining everything they need to provide the sense of security they desire.
A guy came to Jesus one day, and said, “Jesus, I want you to tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Now we do not know what the circumstances were surrounding the inheritance problem. Maybe the guy deserved a portion of the inheritance and maybe he did not. We do know he felt as though he owed himself the chance to get whatever part of the inheritance wealth he could. He wanted Jesus on his side in this dispute with his brother.
Jesus saw that the larger issue was not the inheritance but the relationship between the brothers. It may have been different, if he had said, “Jesus, my brother and I are not getting along well with each other. What can I do to get the relationship back on track.”
Jesus, told the man, “Man who appointed me a judge or arbitrator between the two of you.” Jesus refused to get involved in this money squabble probably, because he knew there was another issue lurking here. It was not so much an issue of justice or compassion as it was the issue of greed. Now Jesus directs his next comment not solely to the man, but to his followers. He said in Luke 12:15, Luke 12:15 (NIV) 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Notice that Jesus used the words all kinds of greed. All kinds means that there is more than just one type of greed. We can be greedy with our possessions, our money, our family, our children, our lifestyle, our time, our home and a host of other things. Do you own something that you will not allow anybody else to touch it. Again what do I owe me in each of these situations in order for me to be paid in full.
Jesus then began telling a story. He said the ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. First of all do you see where this increase came from. It came from the ground, which means it came from God and the things that God had provided. When the rich man saw this abundance, he thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.
Now this is the same thing as the person, who got a raise, got a bonus, got a promotion, received an inheritance, or won some amount of money. It was an unexpected blessing in his life. There was nothing wrong with the rich man’s question. What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops. We all ask that question in one form or another.
What shall I do? There is no room left in my garage to store anything else. My closets and my drawers are all filled to capacity with clothes. I can’t put another thing in the attic or in the basement for storage. This freezer will not hold any more food. But I just got this new whatever, what am I going to do.
Did it ever occur to you, that an unexpected blessing in your life, just might be a test from God to see if He could bless you with more. Remember Jesus said, the one who is faithful with little, will also be faithful in much. But the one who is unfaithful in little, will also be unfaithful in much. If we feel, “I owe myself all of this little’, what makes us think we won’t feel “I owe myself all of this huge amount.” Everything that God sends through your hands is not for you to keep. God wants some vessels that he can pass things through to other people.
The rich man came to the conclusion, the most logical thing to do is to tear down my barns, and build bigger ones and there I will store all my grains and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. Isn’t what this rich man’s plan is the goal and the dream of American society. Store up as much wealth as you can, so that in your retirement, you can take life easy, eat, drink and go to Florida for the winters or better yet move to Florida all together.
If you had of asked this guy if he was being greedy, he would have said of course not.
This is a sound business investment strategy. He was searching for security in life. He had thought he had enough, but that was before he had the chance to get some more. Jesus told this story to a group of people who lived from day to day. The average poor person in Jesus’ day didn’t know where his next meal was coming from the following day. When our cousin Ivana was here, she spoke of a family of 12 that took turns eating every other day to stretch the food they had.
Although the rich man was able to financially reach the American dream, early in life, God said to him, “You fool. This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself.” Do you realize that we never fully own anything.
Slide 12: You never really own anything. Everything we get is on a lease.
Everything we get is on a lease. Nothing we have is going to last forever, so even when we pay for it, we’re only paying to get to use it for a certain amount of time, until we sell, trade it, give it away, or it falls to pieces. We never own anything. Even if they put it in the coffin and grave with our bodies, we still can’t take it with us into the life that is to come. Naked we came into this world and naked we go out.
Now we can’t take anything with us into the next life, but it is impossible to send some of it ahead and have it waiting for us. But the only way to do that is to overcome the issue of greed. Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Where do we want our hearts to be. In things or in God.
We put things into heaven, by fully and completely giving away things here on earth. But we will not give until we satisfy the question of what do I owe me. There is no single answer to this question, because our greed affects some of us in different ways and as I said before, Jesus said there are many kinds of greed. The problem of the rich man in the story, was not his wealth, but his selfishness.
How many of us are praying that God will bless us with more, so that we can be more selfish once we get it. I don’t know how many people God has taken from no income to a decent job, and they turn around and still won’t tithe. What they feel they owe themselves is far greater than what God expected them to take.
Slide 14: Picture of Kid with cookies
What do you think of the kid who has 10 cookies and you tell him to share his cookies with the little boy who has none and the kid with the 10 cookies, breaks one of his cookies in half to give to the little fellow with none.
Jesus wants us to get back to what the real needs in life are . He tells us that life does not consists of an abundance of possessions. Then he tells us something that we really do not want to hear in Luke 12:32-34 (NIV)
Slide 15 Luke 12:32-34
32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. There Jesus goes with that heart stuff again.
Now Jesus is not saying to go out and sell all that you have. He is saying each of us needs to learn how to trust God and be content. He’s challenging us to be a blessing to those who really have needs. Before we add another this or another that, why not give one that we already have away before it becomes useless or is stolen.
There is a value in knowing how much I owe me to be paid in full. It means we will get out of credit card debt a lot sooner. We can be honest and say, “I’ve paid myself in full already, I do not need to buy that.” We can quit wasting our money trying to get rich quick. The bible tells us, whoever loves money, will never have enough. Not only that, we fall into pits and schemes that destroy our lives. The love of money keeps us from becoming a new you.
We can quit killing ourselves trying to work two jobs in order to try to live at a level that we cannot afford to live on. Maybe it’s not God’s will yet for you to have that kind of a house, or that kind of car, or that kind of a phone. I say yet because there are times when the Lord gives you the desire of your heart, without giving you unnecessary stress and strain in you life to get it. Jesus needs to work in your heart concerning your possession in order for you to experience the true power of his death and resurrection. He not only died for your sins, He died to give you life which is truly life.