Summary: This messsage is the 2nd part of Satan's tactic of using the deceitfulness of riches to remove us from our relationship with God.
Satan’s Battle Tactics Part 4
This is part four of my series “Satan’s Battle Tactics.” Last week I shared with you the first part on how the devil will use money to deceive us. This morning I want to conclude the tactic on the deceitfulness of riches.
I told you last week that our money should be working for us versus our working for it so we can have more and more things. I know that this statement may have caught some of you by surprise so I want to elaborate on what I meant when I said it. When our hearts are aligned with God and we take on the servant’s mentality, our money becomes a means to an end, not something that we measure our worth by. When we have a servant’s heart, money is a tool to be use for our needs and the needs of others. We allow God to use what we have for His kingdom. However, as long as we are focusing on ourselves and what we have as a measurement of our worth, we are empty before God. If we use our money correctly, then it should work for us. The two primary ways our money works for us is through our proper managing it (thrift and savings which is investing in our future) and investing in other. Investing in our future is about us and our ability to keep money in its proper place. To do this we spend money wisely understanding that we will not spend what we do not have. Many Christians are working to pay for their past (credit card debts, etc.) They are not able to plan ahead for how they will use their paychecks because they spent it before they received it. This is not how God wants us to live! When we invest in others it is a spiritual investment that we receive the benefits of on this side and when we leave here. Investing in others is the only investment that we will reap the benefit of when we stand before God. This morning we will examine the story of the rich man and Lazarus. This story exemplifies what Jesus said about the deceitfulness of riches and it demonstrates what I shared last week about how our money should be working for us. Before we read that story, let’s examine a few Scriptures from the book of Proverbs (the book of wisdom) which will help us put the story in its proper context.
Proverbs 11:25. “The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.” This verse states that a person who is generous (willing to sow to others) will prosper because others will likewise give to them. This is not only talking about money, but in everything we can give; love, forgiveness, etc. Jesus made this clear in Luke 6:38 when He said "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Jesus makes it clear that our prosperity (spiritually, mentally, financially and otherwise) is linked to what we are willing to sow of ourselves. These two verses talked about our giving, the next one speaks to saving and debt. These two verses are normally quoted separately as individual thoughts. This morning, however, I will read them together because together they will give us a clearer view of something we should be doing as parents. Turn to Proverbs 22:6-7. It reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave.” Do you see it? If we read these verses together we can see a different recommendation pertaining to what we should be teaching our children. If read together we would be teaching our children to spend their money wisely so as not to get into a lot of debt because the borrower becomes a slave to the lender. If we are not living in this manner before our children they will definitely not see it or live it when they become adults. We must teach our children to save and spend wisely so that they cannot be threatened with loss (something I will address in my close of this series.) Keep these two verses pertaining to generosity and debt in your mind as we read the story from Luke chapter sixteen.
In Luke chapter sixteen, let’s begin reading at verse nineteen. “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father's house for I have five brothers in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31)