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Summary: Stewardship Challenge

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Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Part I – Your First Million

Glenn H. Teal, CrossRoads Community Church

Sunday February 6/00

Millions of people are watching ABC’s game show “ Who wants to be a Millionaire?” In fact it has become a phenomenon.

Week after week this melodramatic TV game show with its quirky and energetic host – Regis Philbin has scored very strong ratings. Why?

Obviously the producers of this game show have asked the one question to which they are certain they know the answer: Who wants to be a millionaire?

Answer: We all do!

Just think of what we could do with your first million?

You could purchase 6 or 7 very nice new homes, paying cash!

You could own a fleet of luxury cars – BMW’s, Cadillacs Mercedes, Lexus, and even a couple of HumVees

You could vacation in grand style taking several luxury cruises a year and more.

This morning I propose we take a look at what the Bible teaches about what happens when people accumulate wealth – its upside, its downside and occasionally its dark side.

First the Bible teaches that we should put our money and possessions in proper perspective by recognizing that it all comes from God.

I. Recognize God as your Ultimate Source.

Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 NIV

Underline the word –every! God gave us everything we have –period.

Now since we’re all in church doing the religious thing today – I can say that it all comes from God and nobody is going to jump up and start a heated argument with me.

But inwardly there is a very good chance that you would like to debate this point. Most of us have a private place where your ego speaks up and says something like: “Excuse me – that might sound like a nice religious idea but don’t forget about me. “I worked very hard for everything we’ve got. I came up with some great money-making ideas. Due to my hard work our money-generating ideas became a reality. It took much hard work and self-discipline and I deserve everything I have!”

Perhaps our egocentric inner voice might continue: “ Nobody dropped good fortune in our laps – We got this far and acquired our stuff the old fashioned way -- we earned it!”

Now to be clear on this subject I am not denying that your hard work and good ideas have paid off. The Bible teaches that we should use our talent and physical prowess to earn money.

Therefore if we have used our God-given talents and abilities to make money I believe God is pleased. Scripture teaches us to be energetic and industrious and financially astute.

Just don’t forget the key phrase in that last sentence – God-given.

Let me ask you a question. What do you have that God has not provided?

Perhaps we could do a little “word association” to help us all to come up with the right answer.

Give me the first word that comes to your mind when I ask the following:

Who gave you life?

Who placed various talents inside you?

Who gave you an able body?

Who has protected you so far from tragedy?

See a pattern so far?

Who has a limitless heart full of love for you?

Who gave his one and only son as a payment for your sins?

What do you have that God has not provided? Nothing!

If you have figured out that the love of God is amazing and compelling and if you have invited Jesus to forgive you and fill your life, and if you have fully surrendered your life to Jesus Christ, then who owns everything you call yours?

He does!

When we become followers of Jesus, we say to Him “Lord Jesus after your death on the cross for me and your resurrection from the dead for me – I give you my life. I give you my all. Everything I have is yours. I’m all yours!”

This is indeed the best deal on earth. I give Jesus my sins and failures and He gives me a whole new life here on earth and a life hereafter in heaven!

If you have not surrendered everything you are and have to Jesus and invited Him to rule in your heart then you can take that step today. I invite you to yield your life to Christ through an honest sincere prayer from your heart.

To give ourselves fully to Jesus is an exciting adventure in which we give everything we are and have to him only to have him give it all back for us to use on three conditions:

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