Summary: In todays world many are struggling financially, this series is to help us understand how to be rich in a way that honors God. (Adapted from a series by Craig Groeschel, lifechurch.tv)
Survey- top 10 countries with the most billionaires …
US- 269, Japan- 29, Germany- 28, Italy- 17
We are indeed a blessed nation financially speaking.
We have much to be thankful for as a people/country.
US- 10th largest consumer- chocolate- Switzerland #1.
US- 3rd largest consumer of ice cream- Australia #1.
Email from Pastor Mario, Guatemala …
We are praying for you and the congregation, because we know that you are facing a financial crisis (for us is not new, because we are always dealing with finances).
Wrapping up a series on … How to be Rich.
Not talking about how to get rich, but …
how to be rich in a way that honors God.
In 1st week we learned that compared to most people in the world today, we are rich.
Most families- top 4% of wage earners in the world.
Do not feel rich- but compared to- world- we are rich.
This same wealth becomes-greatest spiritual challenge
It is easy to trust our resources rather than God …
who is the source of our resources.
Also true- because God has given more- expects more
We have a responsibility ...
to use what God has given us,
not just for ourselves, but to bless others.
Money changes people
Have you noticed- people change when- get money?
We have all heard the story of people who won the lottery … A woman won the NJ lottery two year in a row to the tune of $5.4M- today the money is gone- lives in a trailer. Man won $16.2M in PA lottery- lost it all- now lives on a social security check. Another woman won the Virginia lottery- $4.3M- today- deep in debt.
Most of us have seen how money can change people.
However, most of us have never faced the reality …
that money changes me.
If money can change people, it can change me.
Money can change us for the better or for the worse.
It can make people proud, overly confident, selfish.
As we saw two weeks ago- people who have more tend to give less than those who have less.
Average American gives 2% to charity …
those who earn under $10K give 5.2%
The more we have, the less we tend to give.
Money can change people- it can change us as well.
For those who know Christ- money can change us, hopefully for the better, and …
make us more humble/grateful/generous, and
give us a divine sense of responsibility.
God has blessed me w/more- I am responsible for how I use what He has given to me.
Key truth ...
God uses money to test us.
God uses money to test us- to see how we handle material blessings, and therefore whether we are
capable of handling-true riches-come from God
Look at the story Jesus tells …
Lk 16:1-11 NLT (10-11)
How we handle what God has given us in the natural is an indicator of whether we can handle
true spiritual riches.
Lk 12:16-19 (tell the story)
In today’s language- he had fulfilled- American dream
I have more than I need,
I can get-bigger house, nicer car, take vacations
I am happy/secure, because I have all this stuff.
God gave him more to see if he could be trusted with the true riches of heaven- but he failed- why?
He believed that more was always for him.
Illustration- (use multiple boxes w/one box representing margin)- you make $10K a year and you find yourself spending $10K a year. We tend to consume all that we make. God blesses you and gives you a raise or a bonus- all of a sudden you have some extra money- call this margin. What is margin? Let’s say you now make $12K a year. Since you had been able to live on $10K a year- you have a $2K margin- what will you do with it- spend on self?
Typically what do we do when we have margin?
Think about how we can spend it on ourselves.
That is what the guy in this story in Luke 12 did.
All our wealth means nothing when we face death.
Bonnie’s sister, Lori- massage therapist- has met a couple of widows w/no families. They have no place for their stuff to go when they die, Lori is their only friend, and she executes their estate- often what is left goes to her.
God is not angry w/people in our country because we are more blessed than others around the world.
There are times when God looks at us and says …
you guys are missing the point,
you thought all this blessing was for you,
when I gave you more you consumed more.
Let’s go back to where we started in this series.
We looked at the scripture in Timothy where Paul is instructing Timothy what to say to rich people.