There are 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 on faith but with 2000 verses and 15% of Jesus teachings on money. Jesus talked about money a lot, and because we want to be just like Jesus, we should talk about it too. Our relationship with money doesn’t start with a budget, it starts with trust.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MONEY BECAUSE:
1. BECAUSE YOU THINK ABOUT MONEY EVERY SINGLE DAY
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Colossians 1.15-17
Until God controls an area of your life, that area it will be out of control. It is chaos unless the one who holds it all together is actually keeping it all together. We have a simple choice to make, who will hold our money together – me or God?
2. THE BIGGEST COMPETITOR FOR OUR HEART IS MONEY
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money…Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6.19-34
We need to talk about this – not because the church needs your money, but because God wants your heart. I used to say that the church should not talk about money or that the church just wants my money – it wasn’t really an indictment against anyone else except me. I am shouting something about my heart. Why? Because of Target. Apple. Best Buy. The Mall. Ulta. Latest Beer / Wine… They all just want your money. Here is the difference – we don’t complain about what we worship. You can only serve one master.
Money is the only thing that God elevates to the level of master in the Bible beside him. So when it comes to your money, you fall into two camps – you will either chase after money, or you will chase after God. Either God will run your life or money will. Who is your Lord?
Jesus wants what is best for your life way more than you want what is best for you life. He wants to be first because he knows if he is not first, everything else will fall apart. Jesus wants your heart. Jesus himself says that money is the number one competitor for our hearts – why do you think people get so mad or uncomfortable when you talk about it? Generosity and stewardship are not as much about money as it is about your heart. When our gods get attacked, we get defensive.
3. WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO BE RICH
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this, they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. 1 Timothy 6.17-19
The truth is that Americans are in the top 1-2% of the world’s wage earners. Visit Globalrichlist.com to see your ranking. Our total amount makes us rich, but our lack of margin makes us feel poor. Many of our money problems are actually #firstworldproblems. Should I choose between the lesser package of cable? Should I buy a used car? The struggles we have when deciding what to “save” on are not even a concept in the “luxuries” of most of the world.
4. THE ENEMY WOULD RATHER HAVE US NOT TALK ABOUT IT
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 1 Peter 5.8
Money matters to God because one of the leading causes of divorce is money issues. It should matter to us because nearly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck with a little extra. He knows how serious this stuff is! When we take issues of obedience and turn them into options, we go wrong. If Jesus is not first in finances, we will make foolish mistakes… Baal was something the world created, and he didn’t answer… Nothing in this world will satisfy you… It might not change your financial situation yet… but your life will be full.
5. WE ARE STEWARDING SOMEONE ELSES MONEY
He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you the power to be successful, to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Ultimately, our money isn’t ours. We have a hard time trusting God because we think he is trying to take our money. The scriptures teach that he gave us the money to steward for his glory. God doesn’t want something from you. He doesn’t need it. He wants something for you – because when you live life the way he designed it to be lived, it’s a full life.