Summary: This is part two of a four part series on this passage. It looks at how we deal with the treasure God has entrusted us with.
Last week we started with tales of treasure and tales of pirates. Which reminds me, do you know why pirates are called pirates? Because they arrgg. That was free.
So here we are. Week two of Money Month! In case you weren't here last week or if you are new to Cornerstone, I made a decision a number of years ago that instead of responding to various financial crises in the church by preaching on them that I would take one month each year and develop a theology of giving.
And, if you could handle me preaching on stewardship for four Sundays each Spring, I would leave you alone the rest of the year.
Now I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Why do you have to speak about money at all?" Because it's an important topic. Moses spoke about it, David spoke about it, Solomon spoke about it, most of the prophets spoke about it, the New Testament authors spoke about it, and Jesus spoke a lot about money. How we make it and how we use it.
So, we can't arbitrarily not speak about money in church.
I guess in the truest sense, a church could operate without money if you were willing to meet in your living room and not have a paid pastoral staff, but I think to truly worship God, there would need to be a financial element. Even if it meant you gave to give it away. Because from the very beginning of time, worship has contained an element of sacrifice.
The first mention of worship in the Bible is in the book of Genesis, and there it spoke about the gifts that were offered to God.
In the early church, they met in homes and didn't have paid staff, and yet Paul still talked to them about their financial responsibilities to the church and to God.
This year our theme is Where your treasure is, and we are looking at what is often referred to as the Parable of the Rich Fool.
Last week we looked at how in a culture and time when most people lived a life of subsistence, that is, they worked to survive, this man was actually able to accumulate stuff.
So, the first point was that He was rich, and the second point was that he knew he was rich. He knew that he had an excess.
Then I spoke about how we are rich, maybe not rich in our community but certainly rich in the world, rich because we have a choice of what we wear and a choice of what we eat. And I even bandied around the figure put forward by World Bank economist Branko Milanovic, who said that in order to make it into the richest 1% globally, all you need is an income of around $34,000 a year. Or $16.50 an hour. And I mentioned that if you made $16.50 an hour, that what you earn your first hour Monday morning is the average weekly salary of the average person in the village we partner with in Sierra Leone.
But most of us don't realize how rich we are, both materially rich as well as rich in our freedoms.
That is probably a part of the greater human condition and isn't just limited to how we view ourselves.
I'm not sure if anyone here watched last week's interview with Orpah and Harry and Meagan. I didn't watch it but later saw an article that referenced part of the interview where Harry said, "My family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us, in the first quarter of 2020, but I've got all my mom left me, and without that, we wouldn't have been able to do that."
What he didn't mention was that what he received from his mother was somewhere in the vicinity of $17,000,000.00
But I suppose when you used to billions, then millions are paltry. And if your family had paid $45,000,000.00 for your wedding, that would certainly put your 17 million in perspective.
Last week's message ended with Luke 12:17. He (the farmer) said to himself, 'What should I do? I don't have room for all my crops.'
Which is the question that each of us gets to ask in regard to the blessings that God has entrusted us with. What should I do?
For the most part, most of us get to decide what we will do with the treasure God has entrusted us with. We often think that we don't have many choices, but the reality is that we make choices about our finances every day.
And we all have different financial priorities. Not necessarily better priorities or worse priorities, just different priorities. But part of the challenge does not forget God in the mix.