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December 2, 2020 1:00 am
Money can be our idol, and we can be its worshippers. God wants to break the stranglehold money has on our hearts, and the key is giving in secret. In this message we will learn to find the right motives and methods to do just that.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One reason for us to Jesus phone number for money can be all right, and we can be worshipers.
God wants to bring the stranglehold money has on our hearts, and she is giving insight today finding the right motives and methods to do just that. From the church in Chicago. This is running when loops are teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are a lot of us are like the Pharisees wanted everybody to know they weren't big givers you know Dave, that's true. There's some people who will not make large gifts unless their name can be on the building unless they can be honored in some way and I'm not necessarily judging their hearts, but I do need to tell you this, God loves secret givers.
People who give with the right motive and that's why this passage of Scripture is so incredibly important.
I'm holding in my hand a book entitled a closer look at the evidence, not the end of this message.
I'm going to tell you more about this book except to say that it's going to be a tremendous blessing with 365 devotionals for the new year.
For now let's open our Bibles as we go to the pulpit here at the Moody church and learn more about what Jesus has to say about giving mind not going to give because I don't like what the church did with its money 10 years ago they did something that I don't like and that because I don't like it.
My vote is going to be. I'm not going to give you notice how easily these rationalizations, you know. Jesus bless the woman who gave two mites. Even though the temple was not perfect, even though the running of the temple was not perfect. Jesus still bless the motivation of the woman because he saw in her a generous spirit, generous spirit, so were talking about motivation. Motivation of love. Did you know that there is only one other saying of Jesus that is not found in Matthew Mark Luke and John and all the New Testament, at least the only one that I know about it and that is in the book of acts where Paul said that Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.
What we need to do is to stay before the Lord until we say God this monster within us is is so great they be the evils of it as is, so is that is of such a magnitude you think of the extremes are people who gamble and and who are willing to sacrifice anything to gamble just to make money to Leah and people who buy lottery tickets hoping to win a day again and people who think that trusting God is not sufficient. What they need to do is to is to resort to all kinds of mean power.
The power of the demonic power of money is just unbelievable.
I said to a friend I said. How could these Christians. How could these Christians take other Christians to court when the Bible is so clear that you should and he said you never underestimate the evil of the human heart. When there is big money involved on never underestimate even find committed Christians whom we thought would have known better. Will do silly things if they can get a couple million dollars. I should've said sinful things.
If they get a couple of dollars.
Jesus said the right motive you give because you love you because you love did you give this morning because you love. You say no. I cried before I give keep it next Sunday. Don't don't bother really don't bother. So the right motive number two second principle is the right method you given secret and he says so don't announce it with the trumpet as the hypocrites do in in the synagogues and in the streets to be honored by man.
They have received their reward in full.
But when you give give to the needy. Or do your almost do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Jesus, I don't announce it to others and don't even announce it to yourself. Don't dwell on it.
I don't think to yourself, you know, I'm such a generous person because look at what I just did you give in secret that we here at the Moody church give anonymously I'm not sure if I've ever met anonymous.
I'm sure that he must exist somewhere but all giving is is really in secret and this has an upside and it has a downside. This is a downside.
Let me tell you about the downside first. The downside is we could actually have ushers here at the Moody church who are giving and we would know it now you know the Bible talks about those who do not give a robbing God. Now we would not invite robbers to take the offering would and yet that's possible. It's possible that members of the staff or the elders or the deacons or people who sing in the choir. It's possible that that they are not faithful with that which God has given him and and Jesus.
Jesus said in Luke 16 he says if you are not faithful with unrighteous Mammon who will give the true riches to you.
I said these is whether or not you get the true riches is dependent upon what you do with your money. That's the kind of importance that God puts on it, so giving a secret. The upside of secrecy is, of course, that everyone is treated alike do not cater to the rich.
We recognize that there are people who, for whom giving out $10,000 is much easier than for someone else who gives 100 because of their financial situation and and we leave the matter with God, leave the matter with God. Jesus is not saying that nobody should ever find out what we give or that it is wrong if if giving is known. In fact, in the Old Testament of the book of Ezra an entire chapter lists everything that people gave including those who did not give all of their names are there on God's register and that when Jesus was sitting across from the treasury, and he noticed all the people who were giving he he saw the woman. The text is very clear. It's as he sat across from the treasury and watched as people gave and he saw a widow giving two mites. Christ was that close so that he knew how much people were given.
I think I told you some years ago about the little low church that I used to attend when I was a child and my parents would go to it and and that they weren't getting enough money.
That's a perpetual problem is that not enough money in what they decided to do is to publish at the end of the year. All of the members and how much they gave and put it on the church bulletin board wealthy farmers about thousands of dollars of machinery that year and had fantastic crops, you know, $200.
It was all there for the people to see. Can you imagine can you imagine how excited people were to have that put up. I mean, some of the people I can you imagine how angry it made people absolute anger. I think the next year, though I think that the giving was up somewhat. I don't advocate that I'm just telling you what happened is telling you what happened just reporting now.
Don't miss Christ's point here is what Jesus is saying look when you give give generously because you love God and give in such a way that if nobody ever finds out about it that's okay because your content with the approval of God content with the approval of God. God knows even if I don't get a letter back even if nobody knows how much I gave even though this is done in secret, even though people have no ERS to how generous I really am.
I am content with God because these are my secrets.
These are my secrets and of course it doesn't just refer to giving it refers to that random acts of kindness that we do we bless people with the sacrifice in sacrificial ways. Even if nobody knows where the most delightful things in it happens often here at the Moody church is we quote by accident, find out about acts of kindness in acts of generosity that happened that nobody knows about but that may come to our attention and and and we just know that there are a lot of people who are doing a lot of nice things for other people and they are unsung heroes and nobody ever points them out or they never get praised and they never get thanked but they just keep being faithful and Jesus said that if you are that way your father who sees in secret will report you will report on the question that I want to ask during this time as we emphasize secrets.
The question is are you content to have those secrets with God.
Are you content with with saying God no.
God knows and it's okay. It's okay.
It's okay if I participate. It's okay if I saying it's okay if I play, it's okay if I preach a sermon. It's okay if I do this and this and the and and even if even if it isn't really appreciated. I did it for God so Jesus talks about the right motive the right method that he also talks about the right reward.
He says your father will reward you, what reward does God give will the satisfaction of having done it is part of the reward the reward to do more, because Jesus said you're faithful and something that I've given you and that you shall receive more. Also, the reward in the life to come. You don't see it all in this life, but you will and the life to come, he will reward you. I know the King James version says he will reward you openly and you know that the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. When all of the books are opened and I don't want to be too dogmatic about this, but I do believe it is a public judgment. I think we're going to see one another being judged by Christ and as I've mentioned will move. First of all, be all in the same boat and secondly actually what others think will not matter because at the end of the day. The only thing that will matter with Jesus Christ. Thanks and so that will be very, very important and will stand there before the Lord Jesus and and day.
The father will reward us and we will see all of these secret things that have been done by others, and we will see them and the father will reward us. Why do Christians sue one another. While these hassles because they don't believe in another world they don't believe that there is a world coming, in which God is going to make all of the unjust things right and bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and this is speaking about Christians now and bring to light the hidden things of darkness expose the motives of men's hearts and resolve unresolved issues here on earth.
That's part of the responsibility of the judgment seat of Christ.
Let me give you three very important lessons that will help us tie this together. First of all number one.
Remember that every choice we make, every choice we make is a matter of pleasing ourselves or pleasing God is a matter of pleasing ourselves or pleasing God and it's possible you see for us to be so concerned about pleasing others more concerned about pleasing others than we are about pleasing God. That's why we live two different lives of the outward life in the inward life is we don't care so much about what God things. Who sees the inner were only concerned about what other people think and they see the outer end and all of us live that way. Don't wait and to a certain extent, it may be necessary for us to put to bed and looked at at another level. The simple fact is that that oftentimes we are not real because we fear the disapproval of other people. Even though we don't care about God's approval or disapproval.
So every choice is a matter of pleasing ourselves or pleasing God. Secondly, we are always in the presence of God.
We remember that the father who sees in secret.
If there's any slogan that should be on every wall of our home that is simply this bowel God see us me every deception of the hard every lie that is told every false impression that is given every motivation that is either pure or impure. All of those things are naked and opened before God and and and the father sees in secret sees in secret and you can get away with what other people think and you can always say controller shape what they think. But at the end of the day is just you and God.
We are all in God's presence and finally and perhaps most important, we will not be rewarded twice won't be reported twice may have read the text again. Do not do your acts of righteousness before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward of your father who is in heaven. Verse four so that your giving may be in secret, and your father who sees what is done secret will reward you. Either we serve people and we get the reward we do to be seen. We do it because we want to make sure that there's a return and we receive that return and then it's the end of the deal. It's over. You get it for man and praised you, you got back what you wanted. End of transaction, but if we do it for God. If we do it for God. Then we believe that he will reward us.
He will reward us and will do so openly. Can we trust ourselves to him duly have enough confidence in God that that we don't need to get rewarded in this life there's an interesting story in the New Testament about a young man who was a rich ruler who came to Jesus and he said that what may I do that I may inherit eternal life in Jesus said to him, well, he said, keep the commandments of this young guy being blinded by sin said life kept all of them from my youth and and of course you know the answer to him as well that you don't need to get saved because you already are.
I mean if you're perfect God is that a reject. Anyone is perfect from heaven, so if you live the perfect life fine like that cabdriver that I told you about couple of weeks ago. I mean if you're absolutely perfect you're gonna slide into heaven, and do so with a lot of the flourishes and great deal of fanfare. But Jesus suspected that he was unaware of his sin and that that was his problem and he said well if you've kept all the commandments fine so everything that you have given to the poor, like treasure in heaven, and then come and follow me now let me ask you a question. What if Jesus asked you would need to do that today. Let's suppose he said what you want to inherit eternal life.
So your house so your car, get rid of it all will live in a monastery, follow me and give it all to the poor and the give up all of your wealth. All of your securities all of your retirement accounts. All of your mutual funds so little given away and come and follow me.
But what would you do think we'd all choke a little bit just before we made our decision is a tough thing to do.
Jesus of course was not saying as we know that it is through such an act that you are saved, we are saved because of the sacrifice of Christ and the gift of salvation. But what Jesus was saying to this young man is look. Don't you realize that you have to be converted from your money to me and that it is your money that really makes you stumble and not see the great need that you have to come in humility and receive eternal life. It is. That's why Jesus said woe to the rich because it is unlikely that they will inherit the kingdom.
It doesn't mean that they want.
There are some who will but it is hard. Jesus said it's because you've already got God.
Why do you need a different one God that we intuitively love.
It's a God that that makes us all those promises. That's a God that gives us what we want. That's a God that gives us power and leisure and ability and freedom men and all those things. So why do we need this other God called Jehovah some of you are listening to this message today and and you need to understand something. The purpose of this message is not so that you may give more money to Moody Church though if that happened, I think we try to work it into our system here and I think we use that that isn't really the purpose purpose I had was a much deeper purpose much deeper purpose and that is to say that. Have we been willing sincerely to give to God at this this God called money that wraps itself around us and and and billows rationalizations in our hearts and minds, and that and that will not allow us to be free. That's the question and for those of you have never seen Jesus as Savior realize that you have to turn from that idle and maybe a whole host of others yet to turn from that idol have to turn with your heart toward God and to receive him in humility, recognizing that you're in idolater but you come as idolater, you come helplessly bound by idols to receive the gift of eternal life and to say Lord I want to accept all that you have for Jesus said it clearly.
He said give in secret and be content with fact and your father who sees in secret. Trust him, trusting, trusting, kill reward you openly. Let us pray father we confess today that it is difficult, it is difficult to give you everything that will everything that we've worked for all that we have saved. We confess father it is difficult to crown you Lord over all of it, but we ask today that you shall help us to do that issue is not even where we give her how much we give.
But whether or not father. We have transferred finally and totally power of money from our hearts to yours to use the mammon of unrighteousness for just and we ask today. Father, that there shall be deliverance in the minds of businessmen who were present and to other people, father, for whom money has become so important that they that they don't even see they don't even see father, but they are worshiping another God's become so much a fabric of them and then father.
There may be those who aren't businessmen, but there are those who are struggling with finances into them. They don't realize it either.
Money has become their God.
We pray father for all of us as a staff in elder and executive committee and ushers and choir member. We pray today father that you will make us faithful faithful in the thing for which you promised us a harvest of righteousness.
If we be faithful, we ask Lord Jesus that you shall transform us into God lovers, may we be intoxicated by our love for you and therefore give with joy, hilarity, peace and contentment and for those who have never accepted your son. We pray that even today, they may do that to know that they can ultimately bring nothing except to receive your grace.
In Jesus name. This is Pastor Luther and yes is wonderful that we come to God with her sin come with her titles we admit who we are and he changes our hearts. What a wonderful lesson from the lips of Jesus what you know were living at a time when parents and grandparents are being hard pressed for questions. Oftentimes, these questions asked by their children or grandchildren about evolution and biology, logic and philosophy.
I wish you could have in your hands the book that is in my hands right now. It's entitled a closer look at the evidence. It has 365 devotionals, one for every day of the year and it succinctly discusses all these issues, complete with beautiful full color pictures. What a gift this would be as you begin the new year. It's entitled a closer look at the evidence written by two scientists for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you'll be captivated by these explanations of Scripture and explanations of science showing that the Bible actually is the basis of science and science is compatible with the Bible. Here's what you do you go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us as we continue to share the good news of the gospel with thousands upon thousands thank you.
You can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Roy 60614 in the race of life success with God depends on time spent with him in secret time given to the discipline of prayer for many prayer is mysterious, especially private prayer.
Next time I'm running to win we find out what secret praying is all about learning to win is here to help you understand God's roadmap for your race of life for Dr. Erwin Blitzer this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the moon nature