There are 2 resources we talk about – time and money.
If I only had more time I would do _____.
If I only had more money I would buy ______.
We say things like, ‘Surely if I had more time and money then I would be happier’. And so we chase those two things our whole lives.
Jesus had some key things to say about both of them.
First, let’s look at Jesus on Money…
I believe we would do well to listen to what Jesus had to say about the topic. Of course what the apostles have to say in the other books of the New Testament is important as well, as is what the Old Testament says, but today I plan to focus on what Jesus Himself said.
Jesus On Money –
- The Parable of the Rich fool – Covetousness Denounced – Luke 12: 13 – 21
- V13-14 – ‘Tell my brother to do this.” The person wanted Jesus to intervene in a family dispute over money. He refused to do so. The dispute divided the family. Disputes over money can certainly destroy relationships can’t they?
- V15 – Covetousness – Doesn’t a lot of the buying in our culture revolve around covetousness? (I believe that quite a bit does) We have to keep up with the Jones. They have it, we want it, we will do anything sometimes to get it. Take a look at what Jesus said, ‘One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ So true. Our culture doesn’t believe it. We have been conditioned to think that ‘he who has the most toys wins’, is the most important, influential, to be respected, etc, has arrived, achieved the American dream, and so on.
- V16 – Jesus told a parable about the dangers of wealth.
- V18-19 – The word ‘I’ appears 6x in v17-19. The man is focused on himself. This ‘focus on self’ is what Jesus spoke against. ‘Eat, drink and be merry.’ Ever heard that jingle before? We as a culture tend to live for the pleasure of the moment and we don’t think much beyond that.
- V20 – The man who had lots of possessions may have been powerful and prosperous in this life, but in death, all his stuff was worthless. One of Jesus’ messages was that God judged selfishness. The man could not take his grain with him. In one day the man went from wealthy to poor. Once you die, your power and influence of earthly wealth loses its value. At that point, all that matters is whether you have things right with the Lord. In this case, it seems that the man did not.
- So to sum up this example, put aside coveting. Things are not the most important, the Lord and His kingdom are.
2. Be Generous in your Giving – Luke 12: 33,34
- The tendency of the world is that when they have riches, to spend it on themselves. Jesus urges us as disciples to have heaven based treasure.
- He also urges us to serve others, to make a difference in the kingdom of God by introducing others to our King, and to help others in need. Investing in others rather than just feathering your own nest. That’s radical!
- What we value, we put our time, energy and money into. To say it differently, we put our money in what is important to us. Why not invest in helping others come to know Jesus? When we make that investment, we will see eternal fruit because lives will be changed.
- To sum up these 2 verses – make sure your heart has the correct focus – The Lord first and building His kingdom, the acquiring of things down the list.
3. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom Of God. – Luke 18: 24,25
- The easy temptation for us as Americans is to depend on our own earthly riches, our ability to make money, and our ability to take care of ourselves. It is often very awkward for us and causes us great anxiety to think about trusting in God to take care of and provide for us, rather than trusting in ourselves.
- Many Jewish people of Jesus day believed that they were wealthy because God had blessed them. Jesus’ words confronted the prevailing thinking of the day. Jesus was not only concerned about the wealth, but also how that wealth changes a person and their priorities. Does their sole focus become getting more wealth? Do we depend on wealth or God? Plus, is our focus on ‘feathering our own nest’ or in showing love to others by being generous?
- To sum up this point: Depend on the Lord. Your money is not your savior.
4. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s – Luke 20: 20 – 26
- V22 – The Pharisees tried to corner Jesus into saying something unwise. Is it lawful for us to pay taxes?
- The Roman coin had the image of the emperor Tiberius on it. Jesus made his point. Pay the emperor what you should.
- Honor God, support the basic functions of the government, and pay the correct amount of taxes. Don’t evade it and don’t over pay. Pay the correct amount and do it diligently! If you evade paying taxes you will be on thin ice, will be breaking the law and are liable to be fined and convicted.
- To sum up this point: Be a good citizen and pay the proper amount of taxes…
5. The widow’s gift – Luke 21: 1 – 4.She gave generously.
- By the way, Jesus did not actually teach on the tithe. He did make 2 passing references to it – as he talked about the Pharisees and their incorrect thinking about what really mattered to God.
- There were 13 places in the forecourt where people could put donations. Those donation containers were shaped like trumpets. Each one stood for a different kind of offering. There was also a treasury room near the court of women.
- This poor widow gave 2 mites (small copper coins that were like our version of pennies).
- The rich gave out of their abundance. She gave all that she had. She was diligent to give to the Lord even as a needy person. Often people will say, I can’t afford to tithe. When I get to point ‘x’ then I will start. Somehow people who say that never seem to get to point ‘x’. Even the very poor are able to give something.
- How about you and I? Are we giving generously to the Lord’s work in our local church? Are we giving liberally or are we penny pinchers, holding back because we aren’t quite sure whether the Lord will in fact follow up on His Word and provide for us. Remember, He is Jehovah Jireh – our provider.
- To sum up this point: Be generous in your giving and trust God to take care of your needs!
- Put aside coveting, things are not the most important, the Lord and His kingdom are.
- Make sure your heart has the correct focus – The Lord first, things on down the list.
- Depend on the Lord. Your money is not your savior.
- Be a good citizen and pay the proper amount of taxes…
- Be generous in your giving and trust God to take care of your needs!