Summary: Do you own your possessions or do they own you? "Things" can take a toll on: The Heart-AFFECTIONS, The mind-PERCEPTIONS, The will-DIRECTIONS. Link included to formatted text, handout, and PowerPoint Presentation.
Who Owns You?
We can divide life into 2 broad categories: the spiritual, and the material.
But the Lord Jesus never made that distinction. Matter of fact, He often taught that our attitude toward the material is a mark of your true spirituality.
v. 21 ‘Where your treasure is…’ Talk is cheap…put your money where your mouth is!
Ill.—Some guys attach their wallet to a belt loop with a chain. God connects our wallets to our heart.
In other words, Jesus can look at our checkbook for the last 30 days and tell where we are spiritually…not only by what we return to Him, but also by our stewardship of the rest of HIS money…the ‘things’ we place such importance upon.
Now, nowhere did our Lord magnify poverty. There’s nothing spiritual about being poor. And there’s nothing wrong w/ things in and of themselves.
1 Tim. 6:17
…the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
The important question is, do I own my possessions, or do they own me?
v. 32 Needs or greeds?
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Some things can be good or bad, depending upon how they are used. Examples:
Music—a gift of God, and can be used for positive, but Satan can take that same tool and use it for evil.
Sex—a gift of God, but out of bounds a major tool of sin.
Internet—can be used for good, or evil.
Understanding that money / things can be used for good or evil, let’s be aware of how the devil wants to use things to harm us…
Things can take a toll on:
1. Our heart—affections
v. 19 ‘lay not up’ = hording or stockpiling. Nothing wrong w/ having a savings or laying up an inheritance, those are actually good. It is talking about over indulgence, luxuriousness…things becoming the object of our life’s affection.
In Jesus’ day, wealth was found in 3 areas:
• Amount of clothing you possessed
• Amount of food stored up
• Amount of gold accumulated
Christ is clearing up the common thinking that if you have a lot, it’s because God is blessing you, and if you don’t, you must not be right with Him. The same thing is taught in today’s prosperity gospel [name it and claim it / blab it and grab it / slot machine religion].
Truth is, more people have been ruined by prosperity than ruined by poverty. The church has always had more success w/ the ‘poor’ than the rich who feel they don’t need God.
Ill.—Dr. John Maxwell is one of the world’s top Christian experts on money. Back when he pastored in CA he had a man in his church who came to him w/ a financial problem. He said, “I used to make $200/wk. and I tithed my $20 faithfully. But now I’m making 10 times that…I’m having trouble turning loose of $200 tithe. It doesn’t seem fair, when most don’t have to give near that. What can I do?” Maxwell pulled him to his knees and said, “let’s pray about it.” Then he prayed, “Lord, my brother here is having trouble obeying you. His problem started when you began blessing Him so much financially…Lord, I pray you’ll bring providentially circumstances into his life that will reduce his salary back to where it used to be, so he can once again obey you!” He jumped up and said, oh no, I can tithe, I can tithe!”
Things can easily have an impact on our heart…our affections.
v. 19 Things don’t last, they are very temporary. And if you were living for things, they can be gone in a moment.
Ill.—when the stock market crashed, beginning the great depression, people jumped out office windows to their deaths…it was all they were living for, and suddenly it was gone!
Things don’t last…and things don’t satisfy. Think about it…if money satisfies, how much does it take? “Just a little more!” No one preoccupied w/ money ever feels they have enough…it’s a treadmill, an endless cycle.
Ill.—wealthy farmer had thousands of acres in his county. Someone said, you must’ve set a goal long ago to own all the land in the county. He said, no, I never had that goal…all I’ve ever wanted to have is the land that was next to mine!
Notice now that Jesus doesn’t totally reject the desire to accumulate…He only “redirects” that desire.
v. 20 From an earthly realm to a heavenly realm! Just switch banks…move your accounts from the bank down the street to the bank up in heaven! That’s a real investment and it’s burglar proof, rust proof, decay proof, corrupt proof…that bank is invulnerable and impregnable…no need for FDIC, and the interest is out of this world!