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Summary: Series on Christian Stewardship

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Title: What God says about Money – So Who’s in Charge of Your Wallet?

Place: Oakdale Wesleyan Church

Date: January 30, 2005

Subject, Series: Living the Uncomplicated Life

Introduction

There is an idea that floats around out there that God has little to say about how we use our money. The complementing discussion then centers around the thought that the church has no business telling us how to use our money. And then the disdain sets in, the church is always talking about money and how we have to give more. One of the largest complaints non-churched folks have against the church is that the church is always talking about money. The sentiment that then comes is that money is a private issue and the church has no business meddling in private issues. Therefore, most pastors (I not being one of them) don’t like to talk about money. I on the other hand love to talk about reality issues that face modern Christians. I personally believe there is no topic that shouldn’t be addressed in church if it is addressed in the Bible. In fact, only weak, ineffective churches refuse to deal with the real issues that we all face.

So let’s talk about money. We are a very conversational church in that I love to involve everyone in the sermon. So to make sure we can all get involved this morning let me open with a question. How many of you have absolutely no money to your name, you never have, you never will, and you really don’t care one bit either way how much money you have? You have never worked to gain more wealth, you have never received a single pay check, and you have lived your entire life with absolutely nothing? Well, I didn’t see any hands go up. So, I guess it would be safe to say that everyone here deals with money. Some deal with more than others, but we all deal with money. I was just thinking about this the other day, we are a relatively small church, with a realitively small budget. Steve, how many years have you been treasure (3?). Do you realize that in about 5 more years at the budget our church has you will have dealt with over 1,000,000 dollars in our church? Wow, when you look at that way, we have a lot of capital that we control or have use of.

So we all deal with money. Well to set the record straight, I only address specifically the financial issue once per/year and that is usually done for about 3-6 weeks straight. This year we are setting the financial concepts in the bigger frame work of Simplicity so we will look at money for 10 weeks total before we are done.

Secondly, the Bible does have a lot to say about money. In fact the Bible says more about money and possessions then any other single issue that faces humanity. In fact, Jesus Christ said more about money than any other issue. And finally, of course it is a private issue, but then again, that is where the church mostly deals is in the private arena of the private areas of our lives. In fact, only ineffective, stale, out of touch churches don’t deal with issues that are private and near and dear to the heart.

So as we turn this corner this morning, what in the world does money have to do with Holiness? Great question, thought you would never ask. I thought this was suppose to be a holiness series we are in, why are we all of a sudden now talking about stewardship or money? Well, let’s review, what is holiness in its simplest form? Holiness is about becoming like God in all of our ways, (love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind – ie. Love him completely with every part of your life.)

Question next, for the average person, besides sex and relationships, do you think there is anything that is closer to the heart then money or the things money can buy? Probably not! Outside of relationships and sex anything you tag on to your life you are able to have by the power of your economic recourses, ie, money.

So follow the logic train for just a moment here. If we are to love God with everything we got, that would naturally include our wallets and checking accounts! If you say you love God yet you don’t honor him with your spending habits, then you really don’t love God completely do you? Look at it this way, you can go to church every Sunday of the year, in fact you can go more than once a week, you can get involved in Bible studies and ministries, yet your love for God never changes the way you spend your money, then your love for God has not impacted your life very much at all.

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