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November 14, 2016 10:27 am
I was a very young attorney and a former representing a family who were in great dispute over the division of the father's estate, you died, leaving a will will, as we say in the legal profession where there's a will there's a relative and the relatives were there and the other brothers and sisters were fighting over. This is very young attorney. I was taken aback that the this family who were professing Christians could act in such a very bad way, and such a selfish way and remember speaking to the senior partner who was overseeing the transactions and was part of the team and I said to him my disappointment with his family and I said to him I said Mr. Tate. They are believers in Jesus Christ and that he said to me, wise old man. He said the John yet is very very sad. He said they will fight about the division of the estate and say it's not about money it's about the principle of the thing but he said they will never tell you what that principle is.
Believe me, it's all about the money with what you how do you handle your money. I find out over the years that how we handle our money is a very significant indicator of where we are spiritually and in this series. Next steps in following Jesus. I thought it very important to speak on this subject that impacts all of us whether we are rich or poor, the subject of money, how much money would you like usually brings the response just a little bit more dealing with our money handling our money forces us to look at our values, our priorities are loves. You may talk the talk to may look the part.
You may be regarded as an authentic follower of Jesus, but if you're not handling your money in a biblical way. You have a serious serious spiritual problem with send and read the teaching of Jesus on the subject as is found in Matthew chapter 6 verses 19 through 24 read with me from Scripture.
Do not lay off for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay on for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness no one 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 cannot serve God and money. Please be seated. And if you have your Bible turn with me in the first gospel in the New Testament. The gospel of Matthew and were looking at Matthew chapter 6 in these very convicting verses part of the teaching of our Lord in verses 19 through 24 and Jesus is teaching in verses 19 and 20 that only treasure in heaven lasts he makes it clear that all of us are laying up treasure if you look at verses 19 and 20. You will see that Jesus is saying you're either laying up treasure for yourself on earth are laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven. What is it I would you answer the question. You laying up treasure in heaven. Are you just laying up treasure on the force of the teaching of Jesus not only this passage but dry.
The Gospels is not about the amount of our resources but our motivation. The question is in life what's driving your whether your values, what are you trying to achieve. Why do you want more money.
Why is money so important to you and is Jesus is saying, where is your heart. I find it intriguing that immediately after this teaching by Jesus on money that we've read he teaches in verses 25 through 34 in Matthew chapter 6 he teaches about anxiety is the true that one of the main causes of anxiety and worry in our lives is over money. Husbands and wives argue about money attorneys and legal product legal partnerships because they can't agree on the allocation of the profits.
Employees think whether the employer should be giving them more money. Employers think that employees are demanding too much money. Politicians get into trouble over and over and over again over money are you handling, according to Jesus, there's only two kinds of treasure those on earth and those in heaven, so it is possible in earthly terms to be very successful. To be a multimillionaire to be admired by others to be the top of your profession or business, and of a lot of money, but as far as God is concerned, the absurdly bankrupt. On the other hand, it is possible to have very little resources on their to be looked on others is a failure in earthly terms and yet have great treasure in heaven. Jesus told a story by this in Luke chapter 16 told a parable told the story, Luke and his gospel has a lot to say about money. In fact, the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament has a lot to say about money and Jesus tells the story the end of Luke chapter 16 he says there's a rich man and a poor man and both of them die. That's true whether you're rich or poor. One day you going to die. The poor man goes to paradise.
The rich man goes to Hades and then Hades, Jesus says the rich man comes with this rather unusual request. He wants the poor man, Lazarus, Jesus says to dip the and of his finger in water and cool my tongue, but I am in anguish in this flame, you find it interesting. This rich man during his life never help the poor man had no compassion to them at all, but no in Hades. He wants the help of the permanent but it's too late.
Jesus makes it very clear, was no crossing over between Hades and paradise between heaven and hell. Too late. Here's this rich man during his life he had not lifted we could say one little finger to help the poor man, not even giving him the crumbs that fell from a stable, that's a lack of compassion, isn't it. He knows the poor man's name. He knows the poor man's aunties Kate. He knows his name is Lazarus.
Jesus doesn't tell us the name of the rich man, but he tells us the name of the poor man and this rich man while having great resources on earth, living a life of extravagance and perhaps admired by others when it comes to the end when he goes from time into eternity is finding to be totally spiritually bankrupt.
The poor man Lazarus while having virtually nothing in material terms laid up items for himself treasures in heaven, I find that very convicting a find it rather alarming, as it were. Don't you guys myself. Where are my treasures in my laying up treasures on earth is my focus on my comfort or is my focus on God knows what Jesus says in verse 19 the jury that do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal before we go any further, we must understand something, something that is sometimes not clarified nowhere. Nowhere in the Old Testament of the New Testament does the Bible condemn money in and of itself.
To the contrary. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament encourage us to work hard with us a new concept of someone is yes, Scripture encourages you to work hard so that you will have material resources so that you can take care of your family and also that you will be able to give those in need. Were thinking this morning, particularly of orphan Sunday. Here is a family the Davis family. God blesses them.
Here's another family. Many of you. God is blessed you your work you have resources not just for yourself not to be consumed in a self-indulgent thing extravagant way but so that you can reach out to those who have need with others and orphan withers a foster child withers a widow withers a homeless person withers an immigrant is coming to this country and wondering if they're going to survive reaching out to someone in need that Scripture makes that very very clear and the lazy person the undisciplined person is condemned in Scripture, so let me say this. If you're in your 20s you don't work you don't study still living in your parents basement is a web in your greatest joy is playing video games was intimate that whole generation growing up on the only not very much committed to work not very committed to discipline I don't care the culture. I don't care what society calls about them listen to Scripture Proverbs 2819 whoever works his lines will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. Don't wait, don't complain if you don't have money if you're not prepared to to work. One of my father's favorite verses that you love to quote to my brothers and myself is finding second Thessalonians 3 verse 10 where Paul says if a man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat that would say to us that the meal table is would fight over that last piece of cake you like to eat, but I'm not sure if you like to work as a good principal there. Paul is saying you need to work so that you can lead so you can take care of yourself not only of yourself with so that God in his grace would bless you so that you would be a source of blessing to others. So God wants you to have money but once you to have money God wants you to have resources God wants you to save some money. Here's the point in Matthew six verse 19, the words for yourself are critical.
You see, if I pursue money if I work hard simply for myself and I put myself in the center of my world. I'm violating the warning that Jesus is giving of known many people who get a lot of enjoyment out of looking at their investment portfolio getting a list of all of their possessions taken great pride needed and what they have accomplished their treasure on their gives him security gives them a sense of pride gives them a sense of superiority over others. They can live know very well for the rest of their life. The words hard and that made all of this money but it's all about them. On the other hand, there are people who don't save the money so much they spend, spend, spend on themselves.
Selfish, self-indulgent, spending the money in excess and extravagant ways. Some save save save and become misers. Some spend spend spend the become spendthrifts, but in both cases live a wrong view of money they have made money and idle and fundamental to loving God is that our love for God is to be number one God will have no rivals.
Reread the first two commandments. Jesus is teaching something that we know. Don't wait, that treasures on earth, on last.
Here he says moth and rust destroy thieves break in and steal. Verse 19 things on this earth are subject to devaluation decay that deterioration. The collapse of the economy, the volatility of the stock market your employment. One day you may think you're rich, you can lose a vast fortune. The next you can thank your job is secure and you can going so to enter work tomorrow morning and to be told that there's been a real lineman. The company's been taking over got a new boss and thank you very much for your 25 years service but you're no longer needed. You know that there's no security in the center. Paul speaks of those who spend their days in wealth under the moment go down to the grave never played Monopoly rule one by bye-bye that's what I did not play Monopoly about as much is a good and the care for the railways, but other than that I bought law property. I like buying these little red thing and I love that hotel and I loved it when someone came on its and I could get all that money by bye-bye rule one rule to when the game is over, everything goes back in the box's life is in the work work work work work save save save save life is over, and bring back in books and been a lot of funerals I've been alerted deathbeds and no one no one takes one penny into eternity. Paul says that in verse to me for 60s as we came in and they can't when your Barnett you were naked you brought nothing in and when you die you will take nothing with you.
Remember that all of wealth. One day will disappear will be removed from and even during this lifetime.
What we thought was security in our investments in their job and are selves and that business that you were so hard for all of that can rapidly disappear. Who knows what will happen. Jesus is no it's foolish to lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, it's truly wish to be so focused on this earth that your poor towards God with my to do. Verse 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, since this is so directors into it.
It makes us squirm a little bit Lisa makes me squirm a little bit because there's only two options lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal this treasure will last that is treasure in heaven, which is truly gilded securities 100% secure banking who can give you that June investment. What happens when you say you you speak to an investment advisor.
He or she always cautions this is what we think. Who knows what will happen a year from now to the stock market. Who knows what will happen to the economy six months from now but haven't. There's a point heaven is immune from economic depression, its immunity from unemployment and stock market failures and loss of employment and theft and deterioration and decay. Peter writes in first Peter one says you got an inheritance which is imperishable and you love this. It's imperishable and undefiled and unfading in heaven In heaven for you, through faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I have received the gift of eternal life and that inheritance is imperishable, illiterate about the future of America. Does anyone really know what's going to happen to our world. No one really knows they can guess pundits the experts the economic indicators. No one knows this. We do know that if your trust is in God.
If your trust is in Jesus Christ, you have an inheritance which is imperishable is undefiled and it will never fade away. Therefore, if that's true, and it is doesn't make sense to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, and then Jesus says in verses 21 through 24 have only one love verse 21, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also what you love, you think about what you love, you talk about your find your heart going. There is the case, verse 24 no one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot notice the strong strong statement you cannot, it's impossible to serve God and money. You can serve two masters. You can love God and love money at the same time is impossible. You can't have divided loyalties. Don't say you love God. If you love money is the point for the Lord was teaching this in Luke chapter 16 the public comment. Luke says that the Pharisees ridiculed. They laughed at him when he said this all. Not only were they religiously would restrict business people. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that that rather than helping orphans and rather than taking care of Windows they exploited them, and they made money on the back of the widows and so these were wealthy and they laughed, they thought, yes, we can handle this. We love God and you love money. What does this person, this carpenter know about business. What does he know about investments but Jesus says they were lovers of money, John Calvin writes when Richard sold the dominion of the heart.
God has lost his authority. You know that's the case when you are greedy when you're focused on yourself and your money.
God has lost authority in your life is meant to you tell me where your treasure is, and I'll tell you where your heart is. You may sing like an angel, you may preach like the prince of preachers you may be serving the Lord, but how you handle your money reveals your heart true where your treasure is.
Verse 21, there your heart will be also. And Jesus in Luke chapter 12 tells a story about this. Luke chapter 12 verse 15 he said, take care listening. Jesus is talking to you today.
Take care and be on your guard against all covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possession. Your life doesn't consist of the house you live in the car you drive, the mind of money you have your wage packet, the prophets, that is not the essence of life.
If you think it is your very very wrong and to make his point.
Jesus tells the story I'm going to read it about a man who was self-made. He was living in America we would say he had fulfilled the American dream had made money the old-fashioned way he'd work for it was very, very proud of his accomplishments. You don't need to know this man very long and he's telling you all that he is done and I was businesses thrive, but I want to read it and as I read the story.
Notice who is at the center of his life. I noticed how often he talks about. I mean, he my Jesus told a parable saying the land of a rich man produce plentifully and he thought to himself what shall I do what I know where to store my crops and he said I will do this I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods and I will say to my soul be like speaking to himself, doesn't it, and I will say to my soul. So your bamboo goods laid up for many years. Relax each drink and be married life is using what was wrong with that Jesus.
Jesus is going to tell you what's wrong with what God said to him fool God calls that attitude foolish this night your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared who is will they be not really asking him did you make a will or not senior leaving it all behind man and you're a fool and notice the lesson Jesus gives us in Luke 12 verse 21, so is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward know money is not the root of all kinds of evil. It is the love of money on this man love the money. He loved his possessions and you can love money if you only have a penny and you may be a multimillionaire and not love money, it's not the amounts the amount of money you have is not a motive possessions you have, that's not the point. In Scripture, there what rich people and poor people know it's the motivation attitude. It's the greed it's the grasping. It's the holding on to what you have.
This is mine. I made it I inherited this is the business I built. It's the desire to control your life. It's the sin. To say I don't need to call its living your life independent of God that is so serious, so it will be to handle her money went back to Matthew chapter 6 gives us the teaching that we've read then gives a warning about anxiety and then he says in verse 33 this wonderful verse that you need to underline in your Bible and memorize in your heart. He says seek first not to make money not to be successful in life.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added. You believe that God is well able to take care of you as well able to give your clothes to give you something to eat.
If you wonder about that reads Matthew chapter 6 Jesus says take a lesson from the birds, the birds are not worrying about your heavenly Father feeds them. Or if you're worried that you don't have enough clothes take a lesson from the lilies, like abilities because they don't file or spending yet, says Jesus I tell you Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of the lesson from nature God takes care of it while you worried the husband has passed away. She wonders if she is going to make it financially is going to provide for Jesus is saying to find her sister, don't worry, here's a man who's worked hard and through no fault of his own has lost his employment and is devastated under wonders. I was going to get through life. He wonders he really wants to provide for his family. He wants to use his money wisely buddies now unemployed on this income is substantially reduced with the Jesus word. Don't be anxious. Seek first the kingdom of God and all of these things, so material things in life. God will take care of so stop worrying over money each day. Put your trust in the Lord.
You see the problem with the rich man who loves money. He doesn't need to pray. He thinks the Lord's prayer that we thought of last week. Member the Lord's prayer.
Give us this day our daily bread.
He laughs he's got enough Dragon these house to live a thousand years.
He does need to pray that he thinks in this trust is in himself distresses in his achievements and he has forgotten that God gave him everything that he has an God can take it from them in an instance know each day whether your Richard Putin between each day were to live in daily dependence upon the Lord. This is the life that pleases God without faith. It's impossible to please God were to live by faith. I'm to live by faith today in terms of my health in terms of the future, but not to worry about the future. It's in the hands of God, what am I to do I just seek first. God, I'm to love God and to pursue God, I'm to make sure that my life is lived to the glory of God and all of these things. Yes, they are important. I understand God will take three this is what it means to live for Christ.
We receive Jesus Christ as your Savior does remarkable things miraculous things he forgives all your sin. He gives you eternal life. You said.
Praise God that Jesus is my Savior. Hope you've done though your life is committed to Christ.
But can I remind you that Jesus is the Lord Jesus, that is time we started calling Jesus the Lord is a reminder that I am to surrender everything I have two the Lordship of Jesus Christ I'm to resign as the CEO of my life I'm to resign as the chairman of my board under handle that everything to Christ. Everything that I have my future.
My presence everything belongs to Jesus Christ. This is what it means to follow Jesus and of God asks me to give money to someone or to do something or to go somewhere I am to obey him on my notes. Hope we forgotten that we living a Christianity in such a dull, mediocre, come from comfortable way that our eyes are closed to the needs of our world. You say I'm not going to do what right and counted all admire them, but I could never do that. Perhaps you kinds… Few of us who would do that there could do that you can do something and all of us are to be of hearts of compassion and not just to talk about it but to have that compassion in action.
How can you follow Jesus. How can you love Jesus. If your focus is on yourself and your money.
So a correct view of money and resources begins with having an authentic relationship with Christ. Everything I have comes from God. Deuteronomy 8 verse 18 you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the power to get wealth. Some of you, God has blessed financially in ways that you're even surprise yourself and God has poured his grace on praise God for that.
You don't need to feel guilty about it. What you do needs to remember this but this is the Lord your God who gave you the ability who gave you the opportunity the power to get wealth in your life is to be in the hands of the Lord.
So trust him.
Paul says in first Timothy 617. The rich are not to be haughty not to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. That's it.
See when we hold what God gives us with open hands, having you find that the way to enjoy in my life I've had the privilege of interacting with some very very generous people, people who care incredibly and you know they're the that is among the most joyful people I know. I've met others who are the opposite.
Hold on to the tightfisted. This is mine and this is not the case that of the most miserable suspicious self-centered people around me to hold what we have with open hands caught is given me. The Lord gives the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord and in that case we don't go to bed wondering about was going to happen to the stock market. Some of you did on Tuesday night. The new you had the futures were going down some of you don't even know what the futures are praise God for you and so you suddenly one worried it but they're talking I have them of the futures coming done nothing and I going to do to my my 401(k) really wanted. Don't worry, I'm not saying don't be concerned nothing don't get good advice.
Of course were to be wise stewards, but you don't wake up at three in the morning wondering if your boss is going to fire you either. Everything belongs to the Lord therefore don't love my usage on what would I know if I love money. Let me give you a couple of points. You'll know if you love money. If you're covetous and envious of others.
Can you celebrate when a colleague gets promotion and you don't you celebrate when you hear that person at Calvary church has got a big bonus from work and you don't even get any bonuses you celebrate good could you celebrate when someone moves into a new home.
And that's bigger than yours or are you bitter to make some petty remarks though shalt not covet. It's the 10th commandment, and often one that is forgotten, when I noticed three weeks ago that someone had given me a brand-new Lamborghini coming were some of you envious why said you got to explain John. It was a toy I said no I don't know if I want I want to keep people in suspense, but it was a toy. I'm still waiting for the real one, and I would be able to handle handle it very responsibly. Some of you could, but if something happens well to a person. Can you celebrate with them. Covetousness, everything belongs to look remember where stewards were managers were not owners. We are managers of what God has given us and through prayer we pray that it will be used not in self-indulgence but for the glory of God. Also, it is I'll tell you whether you're free from the love of money are you generous, generous, we took up the offering. Did you give some of you have come here for months and months and you don't give a call that be true.
Yes, it's true, some of you just get casually is no sense of worship. Do you realize that the reason we take up an offering is that during the worship service. It is that this is an act of worship easy to some analog I love you easy to stand and ALG in prayer as if you were an angel from heaven, easy to recite the Scripture to impress others, but here is very practical. Are you a generous people person read second Corinthians chapters 8 and nine where Paul explains that every follower of Jesus is to give to the Lord in this to give generously.
Why is it that some of you can come to a church like Calvary church and enjoy the benefits of the life and ministry of Calvary, and even complain when things don't go right. According to your and you contribute nothing or very little. Malachi's talks of such people in Mollica. He says you're robbing God. The people's alchemy Rob God.
God with everything he says you're robbing me when you're not giving me your times in your offering robbing you wouldn't think of going to restaurant would you hold notes and ordering a meal anything that meal and going it without paying for it with you you so others people at Calvary who got much more money than I did and I spoke probably right. That's not the point. God is interested in the amount of money you have so much he's interested in our attitude, and Paul tells us, listen to his words in first Corinthians 16. I think some of you don't have these verses in your Bible, but I got them in my number needed to first Corinthians 16 verse one concerning the collection for the saints as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do is not.
This is for the churches is for you on the first day of every week.
Each of you children students singles college students, young adults, seniors, retired widows, unemployed each of you is to put aside and still to put something aside and started up as he may prosper. If you've got much give much God hasn't prospered you much financially. You can give much but you are to give so that there will be no collecting when I last night I took my checkbook as I do every week so that the first thing I prey of every week is a check to Calvary church.
I take that put it in the envelope. I give it to my wife so that she could have the joy as an act of worship of printing before the Lord say how much you get on the telling much. I give is on your business, but I give every week is an act of worship because I'm a pastor but because I'm a follower of Christ, and I've committed to the life and ministry of Calvary that I want out missionaries to be supported that it would be terrible if some window water or orphan, or someone the needs and we were unable to help them so Jens can imagine the abundance we would have a Calvary. If each of us give 10% of her income. Sadly, someone said when it comes to giving some people stop at nothing like a bumper sticker if you love Jesus ties anyone can blow their horn got enough people blowing the horn don't blow your horn.
Give cheerfully, systematically, as the Lord has prospered you as an act of worship is an act of faith saying that this week Lord and dependent upon you money is not just a matter of economics.
It's a spiritual issue and as we gave were breaking the power of money in our life. That's one of the greatest powers that is. This is one thing that Satan puts us in a tremendous trap. It's time to break the power of greed and of covetousness in your life and give generously and see what the Lord will give a praise God that Calvary has many generous givers.
I was at the GDC see banquets on on Monday night received a note from them saying praising God for the generosity of the people of God is a contradiction in terms. As noted, to say I'm an unknown generous Christian you've received so much. Chuck swung the window tells a story. He sees only one chilly morning with an American soldier was making his way back to the barracks in London. As he turned the corner in his Jeep. He spotted a little lad with his nose spread to the Wendover pastry shop inside the kook was kneading dough for a fresh batch of donuts, the hungry boy stared in silence, watching every move. The soldier pulled his Jeep to the curb stop going out and walked quietly over to where the little boy was standing through the steamed up window, he could see the mouthwatering morsels as they were being pulled from the oven piping hot. The boy salivated and released a slight groan as he watched the cook place them onto the glass enclosed come to her ever so carefully. The soldier's heart went out to numerous often as he students item son would you like some of these. The boy was startled only I would the American stepped inside, and by the dozen, put them in a bag and walked back to where the lad was standing in the foggy cold of the London morning. He smiled, held out the bag and said simply. Our as he turned and walked away. He felt a tug in his cold you look back and had the child asked quietly.
Mr. are you God. The Bible says that God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life and laying up treasure in heaven begins not by giving your money know no and begins by receiving the free gift of eternal life. If you've never done. I invite you to listen. This is the gospel that God loves you and he sends Jesus he gives Jesus as your Savior taking away your sin rising from the dead. And if you call upon his name. You will be saved and once we are saved. May we be like God. This is the next step in following Jesus or money. Father, we thank you for the Lord's teaching on this subject. I find it very convicting. I must confess, so I pray that your spirit will continue to work in my heart and in the hearts of all of us. I do thank you for the generosity of so many here at Calvary and pray that you will pour your grace upon them that those who demonstrate that generosity.
Father may be blessed more and more and me. Each one of us here know Christ as our Savior, we ask in his name