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11: Chasing After Riches & Works

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
March 14, 2022 4:00 pm

11: Chasing After Riches & Works

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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Talk about working riches, how to find purpose and balance within the works and the riches that God has given us what heads what has God actually given so yeah let's put this in the context I think is important. So we identified last Sunday that Solomon is the wisest man who's ever lived.

We read in the book of Kings. It talks about where Solomon was approached by God said hey wherever you want justice. How would you want to give its use on as I want to know how to lead people and so God's I will since you asked for wisdom. He did asked for riches. You didn't ask for same need and as for Gloria, to give you all about I give you not only wisdom said there was none before you during you and after you. He said I'm also going to make you rich shaman to make your name known be done anywhere, and he did. Now when I hear that my first question is will how much money like I have like what is rich me to you.

I think there ask your kids will how much money they think it is to be rich when the realtors like 20 bucks for $20 a be the riches that when there like 19 or 20, like millions something happens between like 20 and 18, 19 workers and $20 at age 3 to millions and millions of dollars at age 19 and 20th, but will you like what what is the limit that you would say that's pretty wealthy that's pretty rich so you got this fascinating second Chronicles 913 to 14 before gets Ecclesiastes defines a little bit of Solomon's wealth as is now the weight of gold that came to Solomon one year was 666 talents of goal. Besides that which the explorers a merchant brought all the kings of Arabia and the governors and the land brought gold and silver heap tax people there's taxation there is good there were services but but just to put it in perspective.

666 talents of gold the equivalent of that in one year is in the hundreds of millions of dollars just remember to keep this in perspective when it says that every year they brought 606 six talents of gold to him that translates in our dollars to hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars every year just in goal lead you little bit of research you'll find that there's a low number and a high number.

I would try stick to the lower number which you know. Poor Solomon.

The loan number was about $600 billion is a poor Solomon is terrible to 600 billion on the low-end your like on the low and I got a thousand bucks laying around somewhere on Dave Ramsey. Let's go right you think he thinks all mythology. Ramsey principles maybe if he did I want to follow those principles. Whatever he did on the high-end. Some researchers will say that he had anywhere between two or $3 trillion in riches not tell you that because this is the wisest man ever lived, and if not the richest one of the top two richest people ever on the fifth, ever, ever, ever on the face of the planet and he is saying that everything I've done everything up in a part of everything I've built everything I've bought. It's all meaningless. All meaningless apart from God.

It is all so in order to not be you know glass shattered on the ground or glass half empty message. There is hope woven inside of all that he is saying we gotta start with the definition of success know we have to start their what is your definition of what it means to be successful. What is it look like to you to have success.

To be successful. We are consciously working into definitions into really different world in different paradigms you have the world's definition of success, which by the way, is pretty clearly what the world will define success. They will define success as money as material objects as well as advancing as jobs push pause nothing wrong with anything I just said by the way, with money, with riches, with jobs to get there and explained that in a few moments. This is not a message about bashing anybody that has anything at all. How much Avenue know that that's not the point. The point isn't your stuff.

The point is we make your stuff all about your stuff, and when you make yourself all about that's all yes you are apart from God. This is what you say. Apart from God. All this is meaningless because others can end up in the grave. It's all gonna go away Ma seated rust destroys it. These break in and steal it, it's gone, you can't take any thing with you except your soul is all you can take but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy life to the new can enjoy the God given us balance while enjoying it in the right way in the right context. Here's how the worldview kicks in here telecom present Helen Keller actually is a quote where she says that your success and happiness lie in you now. At first glance you say all yeah but then he backed up and said what we wait a second, my success and happiness isn't all about what I can make it my success and happiness has the rest in God first, not and what I can do otherwise would become our own self worship we become our own self idols.

I love Francis Jan's quote he says this is is our greatest fear pay attention is a really good one are our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that just don't matter. The great statement are fear, life should be. Failure to be succeeding at things just don't matter and yet again you look at the world's definition of success in and through easy to go there. Things are still matter. By the way, if everyone be depressed for day and make you feel like you've made all the wrong choices in the world. Just look at all these young kids and young adults are making millions upon millions of dollars by opening up toys on YouTube. Yeah you do that you like.

I chose poorly in life you look at that you'll get six talkers at Mays and his followers, and recognize dollars you tumors that are just like sin around like opening stuff up and talk and it has got millions of father making millions of dollars doing thing that matters nothing.

It doesn't matter. I like toys I can open toys on why you want to want to be open toys.

I don't think millions of dollars, meaningless, but it's easier than you look at that your like what is wrong with the world like my take away from that is not ligated.

That's great for them what my my my takeaways once, like what is wrong with the world we live in today, but then that starts the shape our use starts the shape what successes it starts to make it about you and what you can do in life we have a whole lot of people that are pursuing after riches and fame and glory and money and careers apart from God and again nothing wrong with semi making means of dollars you and I don't understand it. Whatever the problem comes when that is the main thing we we pull back. We pull away from the board of God's definition of success what what what is the difference between the worlds of the success and in God's definition of success. Absent say it again because I want to make it more complicated than this.

God's definition of success is the fear him and do what he says. That means are successful, which translates to a sense to me that it's about finding God's will and doing it when you find God's will and do it. Are you not just a successful SME that's running some company somewhere else. Whether you're a CEO or a doctor or lawyer or teacher or state (that is what God is called you to do.

You are successful, yet we get so uneasy we never get satisfied that the speaker of Ecclesiastes identifies this as the rich having their stomachs full, but not being able to sleep mean we filled our field are very stomachs in a very souls with stuff it in a day. This is meaningless and were never satisfied.

This is where Pavel, this is where vanity comes in weeks, we keep trying to grab the retreat. Keep trying to capture. We keep trying to put our arms around something that is absolutely elusive in nature. So we do about that. How do we move beyond that. How do we pursue what God has for us in Ecclesiastes chapter 6 was wanted to this is that there is an evil icing under the sun, and lies heavy on mankind a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so pay attention right God gives wealth possession and honor. Again, nothing wrong with wealth possession and honors. That's not the point of today at all. It's not your stuff. It's us that he lacks nothing of all that he desires. Yet God does not given the power to enjoy them but a stranger enjoys him, then your day. You make all the stuff that you do some meals can enjoy again nothing wrong with success in working harder getting your grades are being athletic and succeeding. We pray and hope that he does. We know that God wants the bless us with there's context to all that. So how do we do what we do and use what we have for God's way. This is how you start to turn the corner in Colossians chapter the trip chapter 3 verse 23 says that whatever you do whatever you do, so whether that's a single parent or seal the company or student or college student athlete. Whatever you do, work heartily, as if it's for the Lord, not for somebody else knowing that from the Lord, you will receive an inheritance as your reward because you're serving the Lord Jesus Christ. What I like about that is sin. Since take all that God is giving you your talents, your gifts your stuff is using for his glory.

First and foremost is user-friendly.

Ephesians 210 says that we are his workmanship, Millers God created us to do good things that he's already established for us to do to God's already created things for us to do. He's given us the tools to do it, and to use it then how do we glibly balance life that it's not just all about how much we can attain is not taken what God has given us in using it to build his kingdom and that's what Ecclesiastes said that's what this author is writing about.

So here's a couple of key questions as we going to this person pastor Daniel shared this with me at those very fascinating is the Westminster shorter catechism established in 1647 and it serves as part of the doctrinal statement of the Presbyterian churches, as has been around for a long time and this is from the Westminster shorter catechism website and there's the thing what they do is they have short questions and answers of what's most important for their churches in our networks and the first very first question is this. I think this is fascinating access. What is the chief end of man, what a great question and is what's all about what what is the chief end of why were here what what is the whole purpose in the end resolve for all of us, and their answer is beautiful. It is man's chief and is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. How wonderful of our life would be if our main end of our life. First and foremost, was to glorify God and the joy him forever that his success. That is why were created.

That is the purpose of why were here yet, here are the questions that we wrestle with.

Why do we believe in pursuit the meaning of life in earthly things. Why do we look over the fence to see what the neighbors are doing. Why do we try to find fulfillment and work and hobbies, and relationships. Why we struggle with a worldview that surrounds itself around idolatry. Why do we always think like we need to have more why are we never satisfied. These are the questions that were going to answer here just a few moments to remember that we are made for God first and foremost Exodus chapter 3414. This is you will worship no other God for the Lord your God is a jealous God is jealous foresee the one assurance he wants to be the center right in the middle of all that we are. St. Augustine has a fantastic statement.

In fact, if you remember couple things this morning. I hope you remember this quote from St. Augustine. He says you have made us for yourself, oh Lord in our heart is restless until it rests in you.

Let me just tell you something.

You will constantly be restless for something and so God is at the center and rest inside of you. Will you just you will costly pursue and strive and try to fill the void with anything and everything you can, because God wants to be the center.

We will be restless and so we know how to rest in the Lord. Ecclesiastes 311 we talked about last week. It defines why we are restless.

The reason why you are restless is because God has put eternity in our hearts is put eternity in our hearts. He put up. He has put a place inside of our heart that only he can rest and only he can fulfill and what we try to feed that with everything else around us, whether that's material objects will that's wealth whether that's an income, whether that's school what whatever it is, including relationships, by the way, we start to fill that void in John chapter 4 and those processing through that my mind, went to the woman at the well and in John chapter 4 Jesus comes to the Samaritan woman and uses a juicer that already is causing an issue. Not only is she a woman, which is Samaritan woman goes to her at the well and he approaches her and she's drawing water in the well is a little outside of the town and so she's outside of town, drawing water.

Jesus wants utterances hey can you give me something to drink. Not very uncommon thing to ask, except for the fact that you said you she's a Samaritan so she can pay why are you asking me to get you a drink and Scott has little debate with them. And Jesus says, the story says if you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying this to you. Give me a drink. He would ask him and he would give you a drink now. Jesus obviously isn't talking about water at this moment the lady is going you don't have a bucket, don't plan when we talk about. You have a bucket you walking your tiger Thursday I got the bucket you asked me for drinking water and now you're saying that I would ask you and insist your send this little dialogue back and forth and then Jesus says there again. He says everyone who drinks of this water. The well water the actual water in the well will get thirsty again but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. Again, he's talking something totally different. Here's my visit was my thought of this.

That woman at the well had had five husbands, and she was currently living with something that was not her husband. Jesus wasn't talking about H2O water.

Jesus was telling her you are trying to fill a spot in your life that only God can fill by relationships you got five husbands, your liver, so it is not your husband. I can give you something to where you will never thirst for that relationship again like that. I thought about that thought about us.

I wonder when Jesus will sit us if you and I have a conversation.

What we say we cannot see and say listen I can. I can give you something that you will never long for this.

Again, I'll deal never long for just working those not so what if you gain the whole world and you lose your family where you gain the whole world and all the success and you lose your marriage, you lose your family or you lose yourself at the end isn't that important what you says I will give you something that will answer the question for you. I what's most important select few minutes it was her turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 5 only to 10 verses is the main text for today possesses five verse seven verse 10 to 20 elegance three takeaways about how to navigate this these questions as we go through follow if he verse 10 he who loves money will not be satisfied with money nor he who loves wealth with his income. This is also vanity when goods increase the increase who eat them and what advantage has their owner, but to see them with his eyes sweet is the sleep of the labor whether he eats little or much analysis, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

There is a grievous evil that I've seen under the sun. Riches were kept by their owner to is her and those riches were lost in the backbencher and he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand as he came from his mother's womb, he shall go again. Naked as he came in and takes nothing for soil. They may carry away in his hand, also known as when you're leave this earth, you are not bringing anything with you is also grievous evil, just as he came socially go and what gain is there to him who toils for the Windows that idea about chasing after the wind, trying to capture trying to attain much more overall as Daisy eats in darkness and much fixation, sickness, anger, behold what seem to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the soil with which one toils under the sun. The few days of his life that God has given him for this is his lot.

Everyone also knew whom God gives gives wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them as the poor will come this in a minute and to accept his lot and rejoice in the soil.

This is a gift from God, for he will not much. Remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart aren't. So what did those 10 verses have to do with finding out balance in work and enriches the first one is this number one job is down.

The first one is the love of money does not satisfy either one of the biggest things that you just gotta get your mind around is money will never satisfy.

It just won't. Now here's the thing is money bad. No, not at all is having money bad.

No, not at all, is having a lot of money, bad no share with us, not at all. Right. Nothing wrong with any of that. I nothing wrong with having success always be careful say that the because if not the source of feel like money is the problem.

Money is not the problem. The love of money is the problem that is a difference having money having material things, having nice things is not a problem. Fact I hope that God blesses you with so much you can even handle it.

That's great.

It is when it is the love of that money. That is the root of evil. First Timothy six, 9 to 10 says, but those who desire to be rich fall into temptation. Watch the wording. It's careful. It's really powerful.

Those who desire to be rich meaning. This is what it's all about. This is your chasing after the wind moment the fonts temptation into a snare. It's a many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction chasing after the love of wealth, the love of richness the love of money cause us to have snares and temptations and brokenness all along the way. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and preach and pierced themselves with many pains. So why is the money the root of all kinds of you. But southward let's get the wording right. Money is the root of all kinds of evil will, because then the day apart from God. That is your God. And when money is our God. When that is our idol. It will cause us to do things that are ungodly will cause us to pursue things. At the end of the day just aren't that important. And the answer is. This is because it never is never to Phyllis that first verse in verse 10 we read he was money will not be satisfied with money. It says the rich go to bed with their stomachs full, they cannot sleep, meaning there is this constant, I would gotta have more. I'm never going to have enough this gotta be more out there. I gotta make more than so-and-so.

I gotta make more in order to be happy.

I got a make more money.

These are the things that we constantly are very insane from culture. We see it constantly to constantly that is why is the root of evil when money becomes the success when were chasing after that elusiveness. After that breath after that when we chase after money. This is what makes it evil in here is another way of looking at Matthew chapter 6 verse 24. Grade verse. No one can serve two masters. These you hate one or you love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

You'll end up loving one and hating the other can do it. You can't serve both.

You can't serve both of those you can't have two masters. The second takeaways is number two uses it's a question whose kingdom are you building when it comes to what you're trying to pursue in life whose kingdom are you trying to build. So as you are looking for your life are you looking for success in looking for that good job or that career that degree in college, all good things are you trying to build your own kingdom or you building the kingdom of God. I tried just to make your own name famous you trying to make Jesus name known see that is what puts balance in all this.

That is how you balance striving for what I listen, I love goals, I love having purpose.

I love a target. I love knowing we had to go there for church and for a life you have in your own, those are not bad things in the right context. That got hollow. I now start to use what you've given me to build your kingdom's that's were actually in actually gets fun at that point. By the way, actually, you actually will enjoy life more and have more fun being a kingdom builder that you build or you just will use have way more enjoyment. You'll have more success. I believe you have more things come your way because you're building God's kingdom. Instead of building your own personal kingdom. Matthew 633 it says seek first his kingdom seek God's kingdom first. Then he'll give you everything you need to give you all the stuff that you need like a goddess seek his kingdom first. If we don't what happens.

The source of the finer Matthew 625 pieces I'll tell you, do not be anxious about your life, or why is he saying not to be anxious about your life.

Not to worry about what you enough to worry about what you drink, or your body are what you put on your close enough.

Why is he saying not will because when that is what you're pursuing. It brings with it anxiousness and worry.

It brings with it fear effectively. Couple things on the list.

The fine building our own kingdom versus building God's kingdom.

When you and I build our own kingdom.

This is what the results are's it's selfishness.

It's anxiety it's on fulfillment is being unsatisfied as Scripture says Alisa all kind of grievous evils.

It leads to anger, it leads to imbalance.

This is what it looks like when we build our kingdom. Why does. Why is it all. This is why the Scripture does name mention all the safe because you'll never attain.

You'll you'll never get to that point where you have enough for you built enough so therefore you are costly striving for something you cannot get that is what a village that is what it means to be vanity. That is what meaningless means I cannot get enough or build enough. I want to build my kingdom, even with all good purposes behind it right. I will leave a good legacy to my family want to make an impact.

Whatever it is.

If it's our kingdom. It is gonna bring with it, all those things that will happen as we start to build God's kingdom will first of all me just say this, it doesn't mean it is easier. It doesn't mean that God is give you a clean road. It doesn't mean that it's just like to snap your fingers all set in your there is pride just as hard if not harder when it comes to agency up with a working tube is a whole different attitude pry one of the biggest ones is generosity we become generous were building God's kingdom generous with our time generous with our talents generous with our money generous with our gift things we just become generous people will be recognized to God you give me all this, whatever it is wherever all is whether you think it's little or much God you've given me what you've given me. So now I need to be generous and let me just use it to build the kingdom of God. There is nothing more fulfilling than that, I hear an amen to somebody that understands that there is nothing more fulfilling than using what God gave us the daisies given us the possessions he's given us all that he's given us to use it to build his kingdom, to transform our city to see lives changed. There is nothing that is beyond that is so wonderful generosity. This purpose, the Bible says that we do good always deserve. These are attitudes and mentalities that we have. We do this, there is peace there is balance in at all. And so we can go our life and we can build our own kingdom and will you be successful maybe.

Probably I don't know you might acquire all this stuff, but in the day is just, gone is only one thing that last forever and that is the soul that you and I have that is the lives that are changed because of what God has given us to help see lives changed was Lisa the third and the final point this morning and that's it. It's all God's anyway. The third point is we are and I can recognize it's all God's anyway we start handling it differently.

We realize that all that we have that he's given us all that is given us that it's his anyways what is Borrowing it, Jesus, given it to us to use it just changes it just a little bit effect in Ecclesiastes will rewrite it says that the few days of his life that God has given him. God has given wealth is given possessions.

These are gifts of God that he will give all this God has given wealth is given possessions given us the enjoy and by the way, as you read Ecclesiastes and the income of the middle of versus ways, ranting about everything is meaningless.

He's also the same time saying so. Remise will come enjoy it. You might as well enjoy what God's given you. Enjoy life like eat and drink and have fun and enjoy it because God's given it to you. It's hard enjoy it when it's about being selfish and by building our kingdom in Psalm 24 one. This is the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof the world and all who dwell therein. This is all belongs to the Lord. Everything we have is a change in mentality in Ecclesiastes chapter 2 verse 24 to 25 we hone in on the gift that God has given us.

It says there's nothing better what is there's nothing better for person that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in the soil is nothing better than that. This also I saw is from the hand of God. So I love that. He says that right don't you enjoy that. So today when you go and you eat and you drink and you have fun you recognize that God's given you this day, you don't know you got tomorrow but you got today and there's there's joy in that that we recognize that this is from the hand of God that brings joy in all these things, but many puts in verse 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have any enjoyment at all. So God gives it to us.

He gives you your life to enjoy the gives you your life to live on purpose with meaning. While you're enjoying all the possessions and wealth that you have.

So don't ever feel bad about what you have instead just say God is yours anyway so… Let's have fun with. Let's use this.

Let's make a difference in the world of what you given us.

That is the change it because he said again he says.

Apart from that, apart from God's hand on that all meaningless all meaningless. In Ephesians 289.

I wanted to close of this verse because it speaks about the greatest free gift of all know it is written Ecclesiastes that God gives us the days of her life.

He gives us well.

He gives us possession gives us all that we have Psalms is everything you see us is that there is one thing that God gives us that you can actually you can actually make or earn, you can create nobody else can give it to you hello Ephesians 289 says, for by grace you have been saved. Faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gifts of God, not the results of your works, said none of us can proceed. I love it that versus there especially coming out of it. We just talked about Ecclesiastes, because there are a lot of people in this world that will boast about what they created and a lot of people have created a lot of really great stuff and they can certainly go.

I did that and I did that and I made this and I worked hard here and I develop that and I know all these things are going happen all the stuff that we made the season my house that I made and done the backyard everything that I made that with my hands and you know we can point all these things there is one thing none of us can ever point to say that we ever and that was to save us

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