Summary: What should be the Christian attitude toward wealth and possessions?
The Love of Money / I Tim. 6: 6-19 / LK 16:19-31
Intro: John was a very lonely, wealthy old man. He had worked hard all his life and built a great business and made loads of money. But, he was all alone. One Sunday evening as he was talking a walk to clear his head, he was drawn to a church where he heard wonderful, joyous music. It was a spiritual renew service. John slipped into a pew in the back and soaked in the glorious music and the pastor’s excellent message. At the close of his message the pastor asked if anyone present would like to give a testimony about how God had blessed them. Several people had spoken when John felt “moved” to share his story. He told how once when he was a young boy he had worked all day for a shiny silver dollar. At the end of the day, he was so proud of his shiny silver dollar. On his way home, he heard music coming from a church just like this one. He went inside and when it came time for the offering, the only money he had was the shiny silver dollar in his pocket. If he dropped the coin in the collection plate, he would be broke. He really struggled with himself but finally when the offering basket got to him, he proudly dropped in that shiny coin. He told how that had been many years ago; but, because he did not hold anything back from God that night, God had truly blessed him with great wealth. Full of pride, the gentleman took his seat. When he did a little old lady was overheard saying, “I dare you to do it again.” Money, itself, is neither good or bad – it is simply dangerous.
I. Dominant impression – concern regarding the dangers of wealth
A. 3 questions to be applied to all wealth:
1) How is it acquired?
2) How is it used?
3) To whom does the owner consider himself
accountable in its use?
B. Wealth is neither a privilege nor an opportunity – it is a peril – A wealthy man was taking a cruise when suddenly the announcement came that the ship was sinking. The man took his sack of gold coins around his waist and jumped overboard trying to swim to safety. Unfortunately, the weight of the coins caused him to sink and drown. – Did he have the gold or did the gold have him?
C. Modern cults/movements often claim that material prosperity is a promised reward for prayer, meditation, and directed thought.
II. Christianity does not plead for poverty – no virtue in being poor, no happiness in having a constant struggle to make ends meet. – Xianity does plead for:
A. the realization that things do not bring happiness. – people & relationships are more important
B. Need to concentrate on things which are permanent: Self (integrity) & relationship with God
C. Luke 16 – story of Lazarus and “Dives”
III. Verse 10 – most often quoted and misquoted saying in Bible. “The LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil.”
A. The desire for money tends to be an insatiable thirst – may lead a person into wrong ways of getting money.
B. The desire for wealth is founded on illusion – desire for security turns to desire for comfort and luxury.
C. The more a person has to keep, the more they have to lose. – the person with the least has the least to lose.
Conclu: Verses 17 – 19 are advice to the rich and therefore to us.