Summary: Living God’s way financially.
Take it to the Limit - Money
January 20, 2008
Luke 15:11-31, p. 1624
For the next 3 weeks, we are going to be working through a sermon series I’ve titled, "Take it to the Limit." It is a series of messages focused on confronting our culture’s false notion that to live
That to really become alive.
That to experience life we have to push the limits -
Your friends and my friends, you and I are continually given messages by our culture that to live life according to a set of principles.
That to think twice about doing certain things
That to say "no" to some fun
Risky and potentially highly exhilarating stuff is foolish.
Our culture is continually feeding us messages like "don’t hold back."
“Use that credit card - charge right up to your limit."
"It’s just one night."
Our culture tells parents,
"Johnny and Sally will fall behind if they aren’t involved in soccer, ballet, piano and Children’s Church by the age of 7"
Our culture says - "what’s the big deal - it’s just a movie - check it our - it won’t affect you."
Our culture rather than pulling us back - rather than saying, "I think that would be unwise." tends to send messages like "Go for it."
"You’ll enjoy it."
"Do it while you can." Are we tracking?
Some of you are thinking that only happened when I was younger - that peer pressure stuff I remember dealing with that in high school but now - no, I’m my own person. I make my own decisions. I’m in charge. Culture doesn’t influence me.
Anyone have a friend who had an affair?
Culture says - no big deal - test the limits.
Anyone here dare admit to having a midlife crisis - a season when you were unsure if what you had done and were now doing wasn’t really pleasing.
Anyone here struggle to remain God-aligned and thinking about as Paul says - what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and instead choose to let
Your eyes stray
Your heart to be divided
Your life filled with filth
No matter your age, we are influenced by this underground and dare I say ungodly message,
"Come as close as you can"
"Extend yourself as far as you can"
"It’s not going to be that bad"
"Don’t hold back - Take it to the limit"
Because if you don’t you’ll miss out
And this morning I want to say "hogwash."
Say that "hogwash." It’s just not true.
I think of Jesus out in the desert being tempted by Satan. Satan is tempting Jesus to test the limits.
3 times Satan pushes Jesus.
3 times Satan takes Jesus to the edge.
3 times Satan lays something beautiful, tempting, exhilarating before him.
It’s yours - eat of it.
Just do it and 3 times Jesus says. "No"
Jesus’ life - Jesus ministry begins in a place before the enemy who desired to push Jesus past the boundaries of His God. And did Jesus’ obedience harm him? -No Jesus - from the very beginning lived a well boundaried life.
Let’s go to the beginning of everything - Genesis.
In Genesis 1 and 2, we see God forming, creating, and getting certain systems and boundaries in place.
Time gets divided into days.
Life forms become distinct - plants and animals.
Planets and stars are made.
Each have their place. There is water and land - boundaried and fenced in.
God himself puts boundaries on himself. He works for 6 days - but then stops.
He will not be a machine.
He will not be a doer only.
He will pause on the 7th day to rest.
God boundaries time.
He doesn’t push it.
Max it out.
He creates a rhythm.
In chapter 2, we see that he does this for Adam and Eve.
In chapter 2:16, God says, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will die."
God sets a boundary. Well of course he does, you say. "God ruins everything. We can’t have any fun."
And I say, "Does he? Is he that way?"
How many trees were in the garden? Many
How many were Adam and Eve allowed to eat from?
How many trees couldn’t they eat from? One
Is God a killjoy or desiring Adam and Eve to enjoy life. A well boundaried life.
"You are free to eat."
Friends, this is our God.
You see the longer I am a Jesus follower. In those times/moments/occasions when I come to a boundary.
A place of temptation and choose to be faithful to God and his way - what I have found is not regret.