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July 6, 2020 7:00 am
Handling Money God's WaySupport the show (https://www.lonsolomonministries.com/give)
Hey good morning everybody. How are you. Thanks so much for being here today. Philippians chapter 4, and will become in their just a minute the first of I would ask you in major league baseball. Who is it that old the record for the most consecutive games play. We all know the answer.
Who is it Cal Ripken, Junior right okay now what about if I would ask you in NASCAR racing, who owns the most consecutive races and Winston Cup races started without a break.
The body know who that is very cool and I am really impressed that I got something here. What he said. Ricky Rudd. In fact, this past weekend at the Coca-Cola 600 Ricky Rudd set a brand-new NASCAR record, having now started 656 consecutive races, a streak that dates all the way back to 1981 when he was interviewed Newsweek magazine a couple weeks ago and the reporter asked him about the times that he came the closest to not actually making a race.
Here's what he said and I quote he said once I tore the MCL. The ligament in my left leg and the orthopedic surgeon wanted to operate and put me in a cast for six weeks. That was not the answer I wanted so I got a little physical therapy in a knee brace and I was back in the car within a couple of days. I couldn't use my left leg. However, my team built me a hand operated clutch so that I could drive you mad you going to hundred and 55 miles an hour when a ham clutch. I don't think so. He said, but the closest I ever came to missing a start was when in a 1984 accident. I ruptured all the capillaries in my eyes. My eyes look like a horror film. I literally had blood dripping out of my eyes but I was back in the car for the next week start. My face was so swollen that when the car went to a corner all the fluid were going to my eyelids and my eyelids would pop up and close so I couldn't see the way we fix this is that we use tape and we don't know and we duct tape my eyelids to my four head so that they would stay open to even imagine how you would do that, had you don't take your eyelids to your four head. What a guy. Well anyway, then asking about the impact that all of this. It had on his family and he said my son is seven years old when he caught his first fish at age 4. It was with a neighbor. I was off racing. You know folks to worship something means to put something first in our life to make something number one in our life and every single human being alive worship something in order to find out what people worship. It's really easy to do.
All we have to do is watch the way that person acts the choices that person makes the priorities that that person sets and the object of their worship will usually become plain as day, as we've just seen Ricky Rod worship's NASCAR racing. Now the problem is that Jesus didn't say in the Bible, you shall worship NASCAR and serve it alone. Jesus said in the Bible, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve him alone and that brings us to the subject of what we want to talk about today were in a short series entitling handling money. God's way. Remember the deal a major deal when we started this the deal was willing to talk about money for couple weeks but I'm not going to ask you for us since my deal still goes because the purpose of this series is not to raise money for McLean Bible Church. The purpose of this series is to educate you and me as to the principles in the Bible for handling money in a way that honors God and the brings maximum blessing to our lives in so were overturned was educate ourselves here. We working on Philippians chapter 4. Remember, Paul was in jail in Rome. The Philippian sentiment offering. In response he writes them back a thank you letter we call it today. The book of Philippians and in chapter 4 he gives us all the principles we need to build a biblical system of resource management therefore principles here number one. The principle of contentment.
We've already covered that principle number two. The principle of investment we've already covered that today were going to cover the principal of worship in the next week we finish it up and were done okay so let's dig in verse 18 Philippians chapter 4, I have received everything in full and have an abundance. Paul writes, I am amply supplied, having received from a copper guide us the gifts that you sent now proper guidance is a man is the individual who carried this offering from the Philippians to Rome and gave it to Paul and Paul says he's given me your generous offering and because of that I am amply supplied but I want you to see how Paul goes on and describes this offering of the Philippians he says in the end of the verse say that is the monetary gifts you sent me are a fragrance offering an acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God. This is kind of a strange way to describe it, offering that it is a fragrant offering and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God. Is that why does Paul use language like that. Well, it's because he's using the imagery of the Old Testament sacrificial system. These are terms that come out of the Old Testament, describing in the Old Testament when a worshiper would bring an offering to the temple in Jerusalem. They would take the animal kill the animal burned its meat as a sacrifice to the Lord. And as that aroma drifted up into the heavens.
The Old Testament referred to it as a fragrant aroma of fragrant offering and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God in all this reminds me of the Chinese food restaurant right near the gym where I go to the I love Chinese food and reason. I love Chinese food is because I'm Jewish you laugh Asian people do not keep Chinese food restaurant in business Jewish people do you believe that's true you walking to PF Chang's any day at lunch and just yell model talk and 30 people will yell back. Thank you very much. You are in fact over in Bethesda in the most kosher neighborhood anywhere in Washington there is right in the middle, disabled, a Chinese restaurant to coach a Chinese restaurant and the name of the restaurant is moisture Dragon. Now I'm in Syria's moisture Dragon is good food you go with anything to anyway. This Chinese restaurant right near my gym, I'm walking across the parking lot and I mean I don't know what their cooking but sometimes I have literally stop in my tracks and said on the believable.
That is the best thing I've ever smelled my whole life that haven't you ever been walking somewhere by restaurant and you smell some aroma coming out and it just stopped you dead in your tracks and you went well. That is awesome what the Bible is telling us is that this is exactly how Almighty God felt about the sacrifices in the Old Testament is the aroma went up into heaven and the apostle Paul tells us here in Philippians 4 that when we as followers of Christ give to the work of God here on earth. When the Philippians and Dawn are giving is a fragrant offering of pleasing aroma, just like these Old Testament sacrifices were that brings enormous joy to the heart of God that folks in order to really understand the imagery that Paul's using here. Let's go back for a minute into the Old Testament and let's remind ourselves the basics of the Old Testament system sacrifices in the Old Testament and the to the temple in Jerusalem.
There were two kinds of sacrifices you could bring as a Jewish person the first time were sacrifices for sin. When a person realized they had sinned against God, that they had offended God that they had caused a breach in their relationship with God. This Jewish person would bring an animal to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The priest would kill the animal. Take the animals blood and applied to the altar there in the temple as a symbol of the blood of Christ that would one day be shown across in response, God promised in the Bible he would forgive this person. Soon he would wipe away their offense. He would restore the relationship between the two of now today in New Testament times.
There's no longer any need for animal sacrifices, the need has been eliminated because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for us. Listen to what the Bible says Hebrews 10, he Jesus Christ offered one sacrifice for sin, for all time and by his one sacrifice he the Lord Jesus has made perfect forever those of us who place our trust in him.
Now where there is forgiveness like this knows sacrifices for sin are needed any longer.
The reason you and I as followers of Christ today.
Don't get on airplanes and father Jerusalem and have goats and bulls and lambs in the cargo section with those that were taken over there to sacrifice. The reason we don't do that anymore is because of our sin, our offenses have been paid for in full by what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Period. End. Will need to do this anymore.
That's why God refers to Jesus in the Bible as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world because what he did on the cross. If you're here today and you've never trusted Christ as your real and personal Savior. Let me just say to you that not only are animal sacrifices no longer needed for our offenses to be forgiven before God, but animal sacrifices won't even work anymore. Ever since the Lord Jesus, the ultimate Lamb of God shed his blood on the cross to pay for our offenses. That's the only price God accepts anymore. So if you're trying to reach of a situation where your offenses are forgiven by God, and the breach between you and God is repaired. Nothing would make God happier than for you to get there but friends you got offering the payment that works religious works don't work. Being a good person… The payment God accepts animal sacrifices in Jerusalem. That's not the payment.
God accepts anymore is Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross and our willingness to trust and embrace that as our own. Now there's another kind of animal sacrifice that was practiced in the Old Testament, and these were worship, sacrifices. This is when a person wanted to thank God, praise God. Tell God how much they loved him and how devoted they were to him. They would also bring an animal to the temple, but the priest when he killed this animal instead of taking its blood and putting it on the altar. He didn't do that. Instead, he took the meat of this animal and he burned it and the fragrant aroma for the filet mignon you know cooking drafted on up into heaven, and this was a worship offering that the Bible says would be a fragrant aroma in the nostrils of Almighty God. That brought real joy was well pleasing to God. Not today in New Testament times, these worship sacrifices are still around is just that they change for they changed format. Peter says, first Peter 25. Today we are to offer up to God's spiritual sacrifices of worship, we don't offer literal sacrifices anymore physical sacrifices. We don't take animals to Jerusalem and kill many more. We now offer spiritual sacrifices inherent Philippians 4, the apostle Paul tells us that one of the spiritual sacrifices of worship, and we can offer God today is financial giving to God and to the work of God, is it Juan, why is giving to God, an act of worship. I don't understand what because friends when we as followers of Christ give money to the Lord will be given freely voluntarily cheerfully grandly worshiping because were telling God that he's number one in our life that is more important to us than money itself, and this is what worship is all about worship is just about telling somebody or something that their number one in your life, we find is true throughout the Bible, the giving to God is a form of spiritual worship. For example, Matthew chapter 2. Remember the story, the three wise men coming to see baby Jesus wanted to say it says and when they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and they worship him.
How did they do this with a single little town of Bethlehem.
No, they did. They opened their treasures and presented Jesus with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.
They gave him the most valuable items they had with them and what is the Bible call this call to worship a handout. Mark 14 while Jesus was in Bethany, a woman came with an alabaster box of very expensive perfume made from pure nor had she broke the drawer and poured the perfume on them or to some of those present were saying indignantly to one another. Why is based of perfume. It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor and they rebuke the woman harshly and Jesus said leave her alone.
Why are you bothering her, for she is done a beautiful thing for me and how much his flask of perfume is worth what the Bible says a year's wages. What would that needed a $25,000 $50,000, $75,000. There's no doubt in my mind.
This was the most valuable commodity or item that this woman own I can imagine owning anything else worth this much money and she brought it and broke it and poured it all over the Lord and the disciple said, why is she wasting it. Jesus said you guys just don't get it do you, she's not wasting she's worshiping by giving me the most costly financial asset that she owned. She's trying to tell me that I worth mortar her that flask of perfume is she's worshiping is okay I think I got I got the point today is when ever I give financially to the Lord that God sees that is worship right. That's the point will almost almost as one little caveat, we have to add them to do that. I want to show you one other passage of Scripture Mark 12 says verse 41, Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watch the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury, you get the picture.
One day Jesus goes up on the Temple Mount sits down next to the offering box and just observes everybody come in and put their money. That wouldn't that make for an interesting Sunday here at McLean Bible church that the Lord Jesus physically showed up and walked around with the offering bag personally and walked with everyone about putting open problems with future checks would not be an interesting Sunday might be bigger offering.
I'm not sure but anyway, look what happens. Many rich people through in large amount but a poor widow came and put into small copper coins worth only a fraction of a penny calling his disciples to them.
Jesus said he telecommute quick quick quick. I want to tell you something this woman put more into the treasury, that all these rich people do things that Alanis Cottrell put in more she put in half a penny 1/4 of a penny.
Some of these guys put in hundreds of dollars thousands of dollars were friends. You gotta understand God's method of accounting is different than the methods we use here on this earth here on this earth where very impressed by the outward amount of people's gifts.
We hear that somebody gave $50,000 hundred thousand dollars to the work of God. We go who you pretty good. God is not the least bit impressed frenzy when impressed with these guys getting to see what impresses God is not the amount we do with the proportion that we can look what he says. Mark 1244.
All these people, these rich people get out of there. Well, Jesus. It didn't cost them a thing to give what they gave. They didn't have to compromise their lifestyle one bit to give what they gave, but this woman out of her poverty put in everything. All she had to live on this woman don't even know when dinners coming from because of the gift she made in prison. You don't get anything else today get what I'm about to say what Jesus is telling us here is that all giving to God doesn't qualify as worship all giving to God doesn't qualify as worship.
What distinguishes Windows offering from the offering of all these rich people what qualified her offering as worship and not players is in her gift reached a threshold that their gifts never reached, and what is that threshold in her gift reach her gift cost or something. The rich people's gifts and cost but her gift cost resumption over dinner was coming from and that impressed the Lord why is it that costing us something is the threshold we gotta get over forgiving to be worship. Wilbur simply because friends when we are authentically giving in a way that their things were doing without that there are things we are forgoing that we would love to have forgiving them up and forgoing them so we can give to God as liberally as were giving. That's when were communicating to God that he's number one in our life.these are the things we could about the money he's number one. That's what worship is all about you salon you mean to tell me that even though I may be getting hundreds of dollars thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars a year to God, that God may not be actually regarding that is worship. That's exactly what I'm telling someone about this time I was taught you know 10% you give it time you give your 10% you make God happy.
He lives alone and go spend the other 90% with everyone, so I was taught. Give God's did you do what you want with the 90 with friends like to tell you this but somebody talks wrong.
My talks wrong.
Do you know all of the New Testament speaking to us as followers of Christ not want not wants is tithing ever mentioned, much less commanded or taught taught in the New Testament is simply what is it that well in the Old Testament times, which is an old English word for 1/10 or 10% of income was collected from every Jewish person every Israelite and it was income tax. It was used to support the Temple in Jerusalem, and to support the priests and the Levites to serve the Temple in Jerusalem. They didn't have a job they serve the temple.
How did they get the money well 10% income tax was collected from every body that lived in Israel and that money was given to the temple for the service of the temple and for the praise is that while only 10% income. I should be Jewish while they don't do that anymore.
We have to pay income taxes like you do in America but that's what they did back then. If you wanted to worship God untied was not worshiping God. It was income tax. You had to go above 10%.
If you wanted to worship God, to present wasn't worshiping God.
Now there's no Temple to support. Today is no priests and Levites to pay their salary.
There's no time today don't exist. Install some preacher taught you that you can get 10% to God make God happy will go away and leave you alone and do whatever you want with the other 90%. He talks wrong. So what the Bible says it all. Is it with a what guideline does the New Testament give me about how to decide what to give all tell your first Corinthians 16 to says give in proportion to how God has prospered you 10% would be a lot easier would purchase either two knobs you and I have to turn to decide what we need to give that was appropriate. Knob number one is how has God prospered me and knob number two is where is it that my giving actually begins to cost me something to become sacrificial. Now I can't turn those two knobs for you and you can't turn for me, I can't tell you what to get. You can tell me what you but every one of us needs to get on our knees before God and turn those monster we had a number the God we agree.
And that's the right number for you. And that's right number. When I do that for me for many of us here to percent giving is worship giving to God. In light of how God is prosperous at this moment in time. In light of the fact that even giving 2% of our incomes going to cost us something to percent is appropriate giving for some of the 6% is worship giving for some of us 10% is worship given and friends in light of how God has prospered some of us here 10% giving to God is an insult. It's an insult. You have to decide that you so just remember, all giving to God is not worship.
No, no, no, it's got a cost to something like the widow do for to really qualify as worship and please don't think you and by God awful 10%. No no no.
Some of us to %. Some of us 10% is not even a good place to store you got it. You gotta pray about it and seek those numbers are so now what I've been able to do today is begin to change the whole way that you look at giving to try to put a whole new slant on it. You know many of us grew up in churches, we were taught to see offerings as a way we support the church in the way we build buildings in the way we support ministry. We have preachers who get up and said we need to give to the church. We need to get to the building. We need to give to the missionaries. We need to get to this and the other thing that's how I was brought up in the early days of my Christian life and friends. Let me tell you something when the focus of our giving is church in buildings and programs and people.
There's no joy in it. The world wants to give the panel electric bill, joined that's giving out of duty out of obligation out of responsibility and it is a drag is a drag. I never forget about 10 years into my Christian life I was reading the book of Exodus Exodus 35 and in Exodus 35 is all about building the tabernacle out in the wilderness she got to the Israelites to come out of Egypt and beaten your Brenner you say one thing to their out to build his tabernacle, and Moses seven times Moses refers to this offering. He's collecting and it hit me for the very first time as I'm reading this that not wants to see refer to it as an offering for the tabernacle not wants what you say that's what they were building. I know, but that's not what Moses called all seven times. Nobody calls it an offering to the Lord. Seven times and then I thought I received this before. You know the story tells us Moses collected so much money had to go back to people asked him to stop giving is not anymore diverted church to that. Tell me about never heard of the money on the radio that we got plenty of money. Don't send and enjoy the program. Well, I'm convinced part of the problem is we taught people how to give her all Moses didn't put their focus on the tabernacle. That wasn't what he wanted him given to he wanted him given to the Lord and suddenly I realized 10 years into my Christian like you know when I sit down and write a check. I want to put in the line that says to who are making it out to put Jesus Christ in there that's why my district to write it to a church are not right into a building program I write this check to Jesus suddenly occurred to me that when I put money in an offering plate. I want to look at it as though the hand passing that offering plate had a nail scar right in the middle of it suddenly occurred to me that when I'm giving you a church building program, a missionary outreach campus Crusade Fellowship of Christian athletes, a radio ministry. The house in Washington that the intermediary object of my giving makes no difference that matter, what I'm actually getting to intermediary early that the real object of my giving is Jesus himself, and so I started a new practice. I still do it 20 years later, whenever I sit down to write a check to the Lord in order to do. I sit down to write it before I sign it.
I say sometimes out loud I'm not. Some were people become nuts sometimes out loud. Lord I just want to make sure we are all clear.
I'm given this to you this check may be made out to a church or maybe made out to mission urbanization may be made out to building fund that I'm giving this to you as an act of worship as a way of telling you, Lord, that you mean more to me the money itself. In light all you've done in my life.
I just appreciate you so much. It's a joy for me to give to you and I'll drive an old car. If I have to I'll sit on old furniture if I have to Lord all world suits if I have to, but I'm not let anything compromise my given to you.
I'm willing to pay something I'm willing to pay the cost in order to get to you, check some I bang out a given. I get up and I feel great. I will feel like I'm giving obligation out of duty or out of responsibility who wants to give like that joy in that. I gave freely. I gave voluntarily. I gave my own free will and I gave generously and freely joyfully to the Lord Jesus, and I feel great this concept totally change my giving 20 years ago. It's never been the same sense and I hope it will do the same for you. I hope you understand that no place in the New Testament ever ever ever. Does God command you to give himself Eliza never know why because if he commands you to do it and you do it it's duty's obligation's responsibility to join their God leaves it up to you what is he say he loves a cheerful giver. It's up to you. With volunteer you do what you want, but if you give the God. Remember you're giving to God as we are worshiping him in order for two counts Scott cost enough. He knows you're putting him ahead of your own creature comfort. That's the threshold. My goal in doing this series is to teach all of us how to give to God in a way that is biblical in this lies at the heart of his friends.
When you write a check and you give to the Lord.
I want you to get a bang out of it. I mean I really do. I want you to sit there ago.
I am so jazz give this check. I think the average Christian sit there and says that after they run check but you know what that's what God wants you to see you because you're worshiping him and I pray this will change the way you look again completely change the way you even think about giving and God will bring real joy into your giving because your giving is an act of worship with spring for Jesus. As we mentioned throughout the series whenever the church talks about money. People get nervous because churches have manipulated people with taken advantage of people that used people. We understand that. I just pray you would confirm in people's hearts what my real motive isn't doing this little series and it's not to do any of these things is not to get more their money is to bring all of us to the place where the Philippians were that we understand the principles of biblical giving Lord that there is a joy and excitement about as well as a blessing for our families and for us.
So Lord Jesus change the very way we look at giving because of the short series make us like the Philippians, who was Paul said begged him for the privilege of giving to the collection he took up for the saints in Jerusalem, they begged him to give because they really understood what giving was all about. Make us those kind of people. I pray Lord help us find a real joy in giving to you and we pray this in Jesus name, amen