Summary: Can we ever be satisfied…how much money is enough?
By now I am sure that most of you have been filled to capacity with the meat of the season. Gorged yourselves with stuffing and potatoes those potatoes that are orange…Yams(ugh..Silence of the Yams!)and that red stuff(I’ve never really cared for that). Thursday ushered in the beginning of perhaps the most unselfish time of the year. Along with that it is the most commercial time as well. As I watched the news this week they were covering the first of a series of economic roundtable discussions called “America Works”. Why? Because a lot of America isn’t working since we’ve realized our vulnerability. In Chicago on Monday, CEO Alan Lacy from Sears and the CEO of Circuit City and many others joined in dialogue to try and figure out the secret to resurrecting a suffering economy.
Americans have always been infatuated and fascinated with the acquisition of money. How do people get so rich? Money makes the world go around. Someone said that too many of us are spending money we didn’t earn, to buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like. We make it, spend it, invest it, lose it and then go through the cycle over and over again. Ask anyone “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and you’ll hear a resounding , yes, all the while people line up to participate in reality based tv shows with big money purses. What is it about money that catches us in its web?
Can we ever be satisfied…how much money is enough?
Ask that question to someone in the missions field, living off of morsels of bread and water and the vegetation of the month and your answer would be different than the young professional with his diversified stock portfolio, playing the Wall Street game every day.
Money issues have infiltrated the church too…at times, they have even escalated enough to split a church and even destroy it. What does God say about money management? Jesus gave us 38 parables. 16 of them deal with money. There is more discussion in the NT about money than heaven and hell combined. You’ll find 5 times more discussion on money than prayer. 500+ verses on prayer and faith and over 2000 verses on money and possessions. We can deduce by this that money and how we use money is important to God.
But I don’t want to just deal with the financial side of increase today. I want to look at some principles that not only will apply to our cash position but also will help us benefit the most as we invest what we have: time, talent, energy, etc. You see, in God’s world there is no need for Economic Roundtables because he owns all the wealth of America. In His world there is no lack, no repetition, no boredom, no limitations. There is enough time, enough talent, and enough energy to do all that must be done to bring about His purposes. And the good news is that he passes that on to us..
18But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Proverbs 10:4 tells us that diligent hands bring wealth.
How do WE get it?
What do we do with it when we get it?
How much is enough?
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
There is so much wisdom contained in this scripture. The very first nugget that we have to extract from this is the fact that we get out of life what we put into life. It’s the thought that if you don’t do something with life, life will do something with you. If you don’t manage your money, your time and your talent, then those things will manage you. It does not get much clearer than verse 6…what you plant you harvest.
You see the bible tells us that it all comes down to a “heart issue”…you have got to put all of yourself into anything you give to the Lord. If you help on the load-in crew, you throw all of yourself at it. If you play in the band…you put your heart into it….when you drop a contribution in the can as you leave, you do it with a smile, not reluctantly but cheerfully. If we do our part, He said He would do His…