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August 28, 2020 1:00 am
Some might see giving generously to the church as a waste. Jesus told a parable exploding this myth once and for all. The bottom line: money given to transform the lives of others bears a thousand-percent return-on-investment.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Some might see putting money in the offering plate. One way trip to nowhere. I had $10.
No, I don't. Jesus told a parable exploding this once and for all. The bottom line money given to transform the lives of others bears a thousand percent return on investment from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Erwin Moser, whose where teaching helps us make it across the finish line faster loser.
Is there any risk in the kind of investing you advocate Dave.
I don't think that there's any risk at all. If you give to a ministry that is run with Hegarty ministry that is committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe indeed that there will be people in heaven who will thank you and say that part of the reason that we are here is because you gave what an investment we hear it running to win are, of course, deeply committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and we share it in more than 20 different countries and during the month of August.
We have a matching gift challenge some of our friends have said that they are willing to match whatever people give dollar for dollar up to $90,000 would you help us. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 if you are blessed by the ministry of running to win.
It is because other people have given and they made that investment considerate RTW offer.com or 1-888-218-9337, when the offering basket surpassed of Moody Church. What I like to think of it as it's something like a mutual fund investing in a mutual fund because you know that when you're getting your investing in children's ministries in family ministries your investing in the lives of young people singles college students professional people your investing in the lives of missionaries around the world and in that sense we are all committed together and we are seeing we are seeing that lives changed lives that will meet us in everlasting habitations. I'm sure that this is true YouTube it. In addition to giving to Moody Church. Rebecca and I support missionaries other missionaries as well. I'd like to think when I get to heaven there be at least one person who would rejoice and say thank you for your gift and the impact that it had in my life. Talking about your return on investment. Your are all I you invest in eternity. When you give to the transformation of lives.
There's 1/3 principle. The first is that we don't own it.
The second is we must transmuted the third principle is money is a basis for testing money is a basis for testing. First of all, let's look at how Jesus viewed money we already commented on the fact that he referred to it as the wealth will notice he says dishonest wealth. He says the master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness, the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth.
You know the old King James God blessed.
It had a different kind of language but here the King James used to translated filthy lucre. We may not know the meaning of that exactly today though, you should I just read a week ago that 95% of all the bills in circulation in the United States have a drug residue on them the money that you Today back from the offering plate probably at some time with drug money. Now, what's wrong with calling it filthy lucre. What Jesus is doing is reminding us of the deception of wealth and then he calls it something else a little thing you'll notice it says one who is faithful in very little verse 10 very little smile. Money is to Jesus very little. What you mean is very little to the world. It is huge. You live for it. You die for it. You scheme for rent get it legally. If you can illegally if you must, but above all things and get it. It is huge.
Jesus said it's a little thing and then he makes this statement. He says how we should use it. Dr. Haddon Robinson who preached a message on this passage that I heard many many years ago. Talked about the deception of our heart regarding money and we are all deceived and wanting to be deceived. You know the Bible says that there's nothing wrong with money. It's the love of money right so we say to ourselves, well, you know, I have money, but I don't love money.
Mind you, I dated. I kiss it I think about it all the time. I'm always wondering about what I don't love it all now. Not me, we deceive ourselves, and then Jesus made this amazing statement. If you are faithful in very little.
You are faithful and much if you are dishonest, and very little you are dishonest and much member Stuart Briscoe. He worked at a bank in London and the bank manager wanted him to do some cheating and Stuart said to him, if I steal for you. What makes you think that I will not steal from you right your your dishonest and that which is very little your dishonest also in that which is much if you have not been faithful in unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches and if you have not been faithful in that which is another's who will give you that which is your own. Jesus is saying that money is a test of the true riches, which has to do is ruling with Jesus Christ in the kingdom which are really what the reward spoken of in Scripture are and this business of money is a test as to where you will be slotted in the kingdom. Why is it that often times we do experience downturns financially.
Why is life so hard. Why is it that we don't know where we are going to get enough money to pay our bills.
One reason is this, that it is almost impossible to develop worshipers in an affluent society.
It is poverty. It is financial need that keeps driving us toward God. But in the midst of it.
Jesus is saying you have to be faithful in that which is little or else I'm not going to entrust true riches to you. How can you be faithful in one area or unfaithful and expect me to bless you and the other area is Providence would have it, this past week I spoke to the treasurer or someone who was the treasurer of a small church out West Church of 80 people because he was the CEO of a big company. They asked him to be the treasurer as he began to look at the churches policies. He discovered that the some of them were wrong. For example, the pastor had a parsonage that was given to him by the church and that that was not considered to be income when strictly speaking, it should be so that when he signed his income tax form and said that he was making this much money actually it was a lot more when the treasurer pointed this out to the people they just were irritated and their whole point was why are you bothering about. Obviously, it's not can affect the IRS. Governments got tons of money is giving hundreds of billions of dollars away staff should set with a smile but at any rate, why are you just irritating us by these details. It's a little thing. So let's all agree today is just a little thing right now.
Let's read the words of Jesus, one who is faithful in very little outreach is also faithful in much and one who is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much. Well, maybe this little thing matters and it does what I would think, is that that man that pastor is actually jeopardizing his opportunity of fool rule in the coming kingdom when he stands before Jesus. Jesus is going to say now wait a moment you know you had that little thing you signed the statement that didn't reflect your income was a little thing right now, you lose a little thing. Well, how my going to trust to you the true riches how my going to have you rule over 10 cities because you've been dishonest in the little thing I can't entrust to you the bigger picture. Remember this this life is a college entrance exams so God will know were to slaughter us in the coming kingdom money is a test is a test of faithfulness or unfaithfulness. So that's the third principle money is a test. The fourth is that it reveals our loyalties. It reveals our loyalties. Notice what Jesus said in verse 13 no servant can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You can't serve God and money you sale yes you can. I am I'm sorry but Jesus said you Money reveals our hearts and our loyalties, and especially when we have lots of it. And when we have almost none of it. It is all consuming. We think about it when we don't have enough and we think about when we have a lot and it reveals our loyalties and the Bible says you can't serve God and money. Jesus said that it would be like dancing to two different tunes you got this band over here in this band over here and you're trying to dance to both of the sets of music you just can't do that. Let me tell you candidly that if money becomes your God, it will eventually become your devil is why the Bible warns about it so much so pastor Luther this message is rather strong, yet I think it is. But Jesus here that I've got a deal with you know that's the problem when you're committed to Jesus you deal with him what you think the people of his day, thought verse 14, the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard these things and they ridiculed them. The word is the's they were filled with scorn toward think they liked what Jesus said, no, no, not if they were lovers of money, and he said to them, you are those who justify yourselves before men. I'm sure they had 10 reasons why Jesus was going overboard on this topic, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men, and what is exalted among men, money, and what does Jesus say it is an abomination in the sight of God. Obviously, I don't even have to say that.
Do I that money is necessary necessary for us to live is necessary for us to earn money to pay bills to transmuted so that we might need friends on the other side is necessary for all that be put to good use. But the reason that Jesus makes such a strong statement is because he knows as we learned in the last message is that money is always competing with God for our hearts for a time or attention. And so Jesus makes this amazing statement. It is an abomination to God. There is 1/5 principle, and that is that what we don't use, we will lose what we don't use, we will lose.
Jesus pointed this out in other contexts. Another parable about the man who is given a talent tenure member he hid it and refused to invest it because he wanted to play it safe and in the end, Jesus said, I'm taking the talent from you and I'm giving it to the person who is willing to risk it and to give all of the all of the money and invested in God's kingdom and I'm willing to give it to him.
Let's take it from this servant who wanted to play it so safe that he refused to invested his master, but also in this story. In this chapter there is a remarkable story of money and this is why Jesus told that we have to see this in context, it says in chapter 16 verse 19. There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen, who feasted sumptuously every day and at his gate. There was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores who desire to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table.
You know the rest of the story. The rich man goes to Hades and is tormented and the poor man, Lazarus he goes and he is in Abraham's bosom enjoying paradise. Why did Jesus tell the story or what's going on. We use the story to talk about the characteristics of Hades and paradise. Jesus told it for another reason. He wanted to show how that the fortunes of the rich and the poor may be reversed in the future, mainly in eternity and here was a man who excelled in Blaine, if you know what I mean. He excelled in all of the things that people grasped at and wanted had there is is tormented forever reflect all of his money behind Jesus is not teaching. Of course, that the rich go to Hades and the poor go to paradise. That's not the point of the story.
The point is how money blinds you blinds you to the reality of what is on the other side and how money can be so detrimental to your walk with God as it continues to encroach on your heart and take the place of God. That's the point I was a boy I remember in the small church in Canada. We had a missionary come and talk to us about Africa and I remember he spoke about how they would catch monkeys in Africa they would take a pumpkin and they would hollow it out and they would put in the pumpkin whatever it is that monkeys like to eat their favorite dessert and then of course they close the top of the pumpkin, but what they would do is drill a hole through the pumpkin. That was the size of 1/4 and the monkey would come along and he would put his paw through that small hole and then he would grab what he wanted to eat and they could come and get him and kill the monkey. Now all that the monkey had to do even though he saw them coming even though he knew that death awaited him all that he'd ever had to do is to open up his paw and let that food out and he'd be able to bring his paw back through the hole, but he wouldn't be hung onto it and I'm not doing and they could always trust him to keep hanging on until they caught him, Jack Benny, the comedians that on one occasion that he had a gun shop to his neck and somebody says your money or your life, and he paused and the guys it will which is it going to be and then he said give me some time I have to find out decision I make on this one. So what you have is somebody being willing to risk the kingdom of God because of his love of money.
See that's why Jesus said it is easier Jesus is saying this.
Don't don't lay all this on me today. All right. I'm just telling you what Jesus Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Now the disciples that will who then can be saved and Jesus said well you know with men.
It's not possible with God. It is of course there've been many many wealthy people who have come into the kingdom of heaven, but money is so deceptive in its power, it can get such a hold of your life you are saying, I will not give into Jesus Christ because when I do I have to recognize that my money cannot save me as a matter of fact, after I receive Christ as Savior. He may want me to be generous and I can't expect to do that and so you can hug it to your bosom and you can miss the kingdom of heaven just like this rich man did because you're so taken up with its seductive power and at the end of the day.
Of course, as you know, as is evident when we must recognize is that salvation does come, not to because you're rich or because your poor, but because you come in all humility and receive the free gift of eternal life. Recognizing that what you bring with you does not help in your relationship with God. You leave it all behind and you trust Christ is the only one who can save you.
It is all God's we are going through a difficult time but God is going to be with us to test us and to develop worshipers.
A pastor in Romania said these words. He said that 90% of the people in my congregation pass the test of persecution. When persecution came. They passed the test, they were faithful to God, he said 90% of my people have failed the test of prosperity.
The minute their prosperous no longer attend church. They no longer are involved in ministry. Now they don't need God to quite as much God is testing us and if we are faithful in that which is least. The text says I'll give you the true riches of give you that which is your own. Would you joining as we pray. Father, we do ask in Jesus name that you will help us. We pray father God for those who are going through times of real economic adversity.
Help us to know how to help them. We pray for those father God who are in positions where they can help make all of us a generous people, help us to delight in giving that we may have friends that welcome us into eternal dwelling places and for those who are here who have never trusted Christ as Savior. Help them to know that these principles though important, really beside the point that they must come and realize their need of a Savior that ultimately they must be saved from themselves first open their lives to your truth. We pray in Jesus name, amen. This is Pastor Luther and I need to say that prosperity oftentimes blinds us and I don't need to tell you that we are going through a very difficult time in America. Time of year. Pandemics unemployment unanswered questions. And yet this is a time in which God is challenging us to be generous as far as we are able to be generous and to recognize that all that we have really does belong to him will August 31 is just around the corner and during this month we have had a matching gift challenge that is to say that some of our friends have said that what ever people give they will match dollar for dollar. Would you consider helping us. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Your gift will be used to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in more than 20 different countries. When I hear reports from a rack in a ran some of the countries that we minister to, because running to win is now in Arabic.
I am so fulfilled and satisfied that we are committed to the gospel and people are responding. Here's what you can do to help us RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Farmers know it's really pretty simple.
No scenes no plans no plans no vegetables, no vegetables, no harvest. They know all about the laws of sowing and reaping laws. God set in motion a long time ago. Next time I'm running to win will explore what Paul wrote about this at the church at Corinth. Don't miss believing in the harvest.
Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the church