Summary: As seasoned Christians we are to live a life of radical obedience to God; including how we approach and utilize our possessions.

Trustbusters: Guarding Against Choices that Ruin Relationships

Sermon #3 - Trust and Possessions

Mark 10:17-27

Sermon Objective: As seasoned Christians we are to live a life of radical obedience to God; including how we approach and utilize our possessions.

Some people are just waiting to see faith make a difference in the lives of Christ’s followers. They want to see it work. They are not asking too much. As God’s Spirit is allowed to inform and transform it builds trust in those watching. If we live in such a manner as to undermine God’s values and promises it erodes trust.

In Mark 9 Jesus began to show us that discipleship expresses itself through relationships. In chapter 10 that theme is extended into more complex relationships that include elements of society. Mark 9:50 serves as a good transition between the two … it hits the nail on the head. Mk 9:50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

We have already looked at

“Trust and Marriage” (Mark 10:1-12)

“Trust and Children” (Mark 10:13-16)

In coming weeks we will look at

• Trust and Duty (Mark 10:32-45)

• Trust and Opportunity (Mk. 10:46-52)

These issues go far in enforcing or destroying the world’s confidence in us as the People of God. When they are handled with wisdom, compassion and obedience, trust is established. When they are handled in a selfish and carnal manner trust is eroded.

This week we will look at Mark 10: 17-27

Mk 10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Mk 10:18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

Mk 10:19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’’”

Mk 10:20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Mk 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Mk 10:22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Mk 10:23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

Mk 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

Mk 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Mk 10:26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

Mk 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Whew! Aren’t ya glad you’re not rich!? You get to set back this week and hear a sermon directed at someone else.

Congrats on being poor.

Now, I don’t want to burst your comfortable bubble but I found some data a month or so back that you might find interesting. It comes from the Census Bureau’s 2005 annual report on poverty in the United States.

According to Robert Rector’s analysis there is a significant difference in being “destitute” in the U. S. and being classified as “poor.” Material hardship and destitute are certainly different things. In fact, most of America’s "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago – according to the 2005 statistics the poor today live better than many middle income families in the early 1970s – even after it is adjusted for inflation.

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau:

• 43% of all poor households actu¬ally own their own homes.

• The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

• 80% of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

• Only 6% of poor households are over-crowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

• The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe.

• Nearly 75% of poor households own a car

• 31% own two or more cars.

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