Summary: In this sermon, we look at two people in the Bible who were serving the god of money, and are challenged with how to put money in its proper place.
A. Today we return to our sermon series called “Counterfeit Gods – Defeating the Idols that Battle for Our Hearts.”
1. In this series, we have been learning that anything in life, even good things, can be turned into gods when they take the place in our lives that only belongs to the One True God.
2. So far in our series, we have explored the god of food, the god of sex, the god of entertainment, and the god of success - today, we are going to explore the god of money.
B. Our relationship with money begins at a very early age as we watch our parents and learn about the pull and power of money.
1. One day a man came home to his wife and 3 year old daughter after a hard day at work.
a. He said to his daughter, “Do you have a kiss for your daddy?” She abruptly said, “No!”
b. He said, “I am so hurt by your response. Your daddy works hard all day to bring home money for you and this is how you treat me? Come on now, where’s my kiss?”
c. Look her dad right in the eye, the 3 year old answered, “And where’s my money?!”
2. Another young girl wanted to help her mother at the bank ATM, so her mom told her which buttons to push.
a. Suddenly, when the money came out of the machine, the little girl excitedly squealed, “Look, Mommy, we won!”
C. How true it is that the god of money wants us to think that winning means getting lots of money.
1. The god of money wants us to think that the more money we have the happier we will be and the better our lives will be.
2. Kyle Idleman wrote: “Sometimes we hear rich people say things like ‘Money doesn’t make you happy,’ but most of us think they all flew first class to some exotic destination where they got together and agreed to say that to make the rest of us feel better.”
3. But the truth is that having a lot of money doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness.
4. Someone once defined money as an article which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider for everything except happiness.
5. Back in 1999, Brad Pitt did an interview, and in the interview he responded to people’s illusion that he had the perfect life, he said, “Once you’ve got everything, then you’re just left with yourself…It doesn’t help you sleep any better, and you don’t wake up any better because of it.”
D. Today, I want to challenge us with the need to develop the right attitude toward money and things.
1. Billy Graham said, “If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area of his life.”
2. The thought that I want to challenge us with is this statement: The person who has God and has everything, has no more than the person who has God and has nothing.”
3. Is that something that we truly believe or are willing to work toward believing.
4. When God is on His rightful throne in our lives and we are looking to God for all that we need and hope for satisfaction, significance, and security, then we don’t really need anything more than God, and then money and things are able to be used in helpful ways for us and for others.
E. Jesus made it clear that a person cannot serve both God and money.
1. When we try to serve both, we end up serving money more than God.
2. Mark Twain wrote: “Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite, but they all worship money.”
3. Years ago, a man named Ernest Becker wrote that our culture would replace God with sex and romance, but even earlier, Fredrich Nietzsche had a different theory – he wrote that with the absence of God growing in Western culture, we would replace God with money.
4. And I think that Nietzsche was right, but the scariest part about it is that most of us are blind to the culture of greed we live in and the grip of greed that often has a hold of us.
5. The human heart always seeks to justify itself, and when it comes to money and greed the god of money is a master at deception.
a. When we compare our financial standing and handling of money, we rarely compare ourselves with those who have less then we have, rather we usually compare ourselves with those who have more.
b. And so we tend to justify ourselves, saying, “I don’t live as well as him or her or them, my means and lifestyle is modest compared to theirs, so I am not under greed’s grip.”