Sermon:† Make the Most of your Wealth

 

Summary:† God is the source of all of our prosperity, and instructs that we honor him from our prosperity as his stewards.† Honoring him from our prosperity includes wise planning and saving in order to have something to share with those in need in the name of Christ, while being content with what we have, which is the greatest type of wealth.†

 

Text:† Various

 

Scripture Reading:† Phil 4:10-13

 

Intro:

1.  Q:† [Dollar Bill] How many of these do you have to have to be rich?

a.     One survey - People generally said 1-5 million dollars in assets

b.     But 55% of those with 1-5 million not consider themselves rich!

c.     Seems many who are rich always consider someone else as rich

d.     Compare the average American to others in the world.

                                                    i.     Most in the world consider every American rich

                                                   ii.     Says something when our "poor" trying to lose weight

2.  For perspective try Robert Heilbroner's excercize:

a.     Take away:

                                                    i.     All furniture, except 1 table couple of chairs, blankets

                                                   ii.     All clothing, except oldest dress or suit, only 1 pair of shoes

                                                 iii.     Everything in pantry, except for small bag flour, sugar, salt, few potatoes, onions, and dish of dried beans

                                                 iv.     Bathroom, shut off water, remove all electric wiring

b.     Also

                                                    i.     Place your house in a shanty town

                                                   ii.     Cancel all subscriptions, magazines, etc.† You can't read anyway

                                                 iii.     Leave only one radio for whole shantytown

                                                 iv.     Move nearest clinic 10 miles away, put midwife in charge instead of a doctor

c.     Also

                                                    i.     Throw away bankbooks, retirement, insurance, leave the family a hoard of 10 dollars

                                                   ii.     Give head of family a few acres to cultivate on which he can raise some cash crops, 1/3 go to landlord, 1/10 to money lenders

                                                 iii.     Lop off 20 years in life expectancy

d.     That is life for much of the rest of the world

3.  Wealth is not inherently evil, not need be ashamed of it

a.     Working hard, wisely, with right opportunities can lead to great financial success

b.     Bible affirms wealth gained by righteous means

4.  Therefore, Bible has principles and instructions concerning wealth

a.     There are pitfalls, responsibilities, right and wrong attitudes

b.     Money justly gained is a blessing to be utilized righteously and appropriately

c.     Topic:† Make the Most of Your Money.† How?

 

I. Recognize God as the Source of Blessings

A. He created all things, nothing can happen without him

B. (Dt 8:11-18) Part of Moses' speeches to Israel

1. God intended them to be prosperous in their new home

2. Warning - Do not forget the source - God

a. Don't become proud and say, "My power did this"

b. God gives power to make wealth

3. This a reminder that wealth has its own pitfalls and challenges

a. One can become full of pride

b. God is opposed to proud

C. ILL:† Andy was extremely successful in his business

1. Started in his home making various sauces

2. Marketed it to stores all over New England

3. Lived in a nice house, made a nice living with it

4. Reaction - "I am successful, God had nothing to do with it"

D. Text says - Don't be like that

1. Don't forget, God is the source

2. *Brings us to our next point. . .

 

II. †Honor God With our Resources

A. It all belongs to God anyway, so we should honor him with it

1. Psalm 24:1 - The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it

2. Psalm 50:10-12 - for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.† If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

3. Job 41:11 - "Who has given to Me that I should repay him?† Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine."

4. It all belongs to God, he does not need anything from us - So what is giving to God all about??

B. (Lk 12:16-21) Jesus told story about a wildly successful man

1. Made a huge amount of money

2. Fantastic portfolio, saved for retirement, retired early

a. Maybe go live in Panama

b. Dreamed of the years on the golf course, on a cruise

c. Every day would be a day of leisure, enjoyment

3. Was going to die that night!†

a. Suddenly different perspective on all that wealth

b. Not much meaning to a life of leisure

c. Not much meaning to a life focused on ME

4. What was the problem?

a. Was the problem that he was rich?† No

b. Was it that he saved for the future?† No

c. Problem was that he was focused on himself

i V.21 - He was not rich toward God

ii His goal was not to share, to help, or anything else

iii He was not rich toward God

C. ILL:† Contrast to that man are those Sojourners & We Care Cadre

1. Don Brock, farmer from Kansas - life change about 15 yrs ago

2. Sold farm & house, lived in RV, spent retirement campaigns

a. Not a lot of money - she said repairs costly

b. Some think you rich because of RV, but they not

c. Spent next decade doing campaigns across the country

d. Many people brought to Christ

3. Could have spent retirement many other ways

4. (Prov 3:7-10) Honor the Lord from your wealth

a. He will bless you, and he did for Don and Sharing

b. Their blessing - church family all over the country

c. Knee & hip issues - Not mobile any longer

d. Gained church family in Niceville, Fl - That's where they have settled

D. What would it look like for me to honor God with my resources?

1. How would I serve him?† What would I give in his name?

2. Take inventory of your resources

a. Time, possessions, house, car

b. How am I honoring God with these resources?

3. Doesn't have to be people in Africa, could be next door

a. Take someone to Amazing Pizza Machine

b. Help fix a car, show up with groceries, clean house, rake leaves, etc.

4. Jesus said that when we do this - We are laying up treasure in Heaven

a. Rust not destroy, moth not eat, stock market not crash

b. Give in the name of Christ - Honors God

 

III. Be Good Stewards of our Resources

A. Bible says we are God's stewards

1. Steward is someone entrusted with the master's resources

2. We have been entrusted with all things by God

B. How do we practice good stewardship concerning our money?

1. Live within the margin

a. ILL:† "If you are early, then you are not late"

i Better to be early than on time

ii If try to be just one time, spend 15 minutes hurrying to be 5 minutes late!

iii Need a "margin" of time - be early

b. Same is true with money

i If you donít' have a margin - will not have enough

ii Don't spend it ALL - plan for extra left over

c. (Eccl 5:11) As goods increase, so do those who consume them.† What advantage is there?

d. There are 3 kinds of people:

i Those who live on less than they make

ii Those who live on exactly what they make

iii Those who live on more than what they make

iv Be like the first - live on less than you make

2. Don't spend what you don't have

a. If you don't have a margin - can get backed into corner

i Wind up a pawn shop, title loans, selling plasma

ii May get stuck, never get out of debt

b. (Prov 6:1-5) If get stuck in debt - go to the point of exhaustion to get out of it

i Don't sleep

ii Free yourself like a gazelle from the hunter

c. ILL:† Dad almost never bought anything on credit

i Only except was the mortgage

ii No car payment, credit cards, other payments

iii Rule was to pay cash for all he could

d. Hebrew for interest is Ev#n\ nes]ek - root: to bite off

i Interesting work picture

ii Getting trapped in debt is a "biting off"

iii Debt with interest will eat away at your life

3. Save and plan (Prov 6:6-11 - Image of ant, plan for future)

a. A financial plan is called a budget

i Inventory resources and expenses

ii Leave a margin - avoid zero balance

b. Save the extra - will be blessing to self and others

i If need arises, money to pay for it

ii Ability to help others, support missions, etc.

c. Pitfall - Hoarding vs. Saving

i Bible condemns one, condones the other

ii Difference between two?† Attitude

iii Hoarder will not part with money, even to help needy

d. If you plan, will be able to help, minister, be a blessing

4. Share in the name of Christ

a. (1 Tim 6:17-19) Be rich in good deeds, generous. . .

b. Example: Steve Diggs financial seminars

i Save money - Blessing to help with ministry, go on mission trip, etc.

ii Eph 4:28 - work, do something useful with your hands, so can share with those in need

5. Be Content

a. (1 Tim 6:5-8) Greatest gain is NOT lots of money, but godliness with contentment

b. [Dollar Bill] Don't need a lot of these to be content

c. Prov 30:8 - Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread

d. Godliness with contentment is truly GREAT gain

C. All of these will help you to be good stewards of resources God has entrusted to you

 

Concl:

1.  God made the most of his resources by giving what he gave for you (inv)

2.  You now belong to God as his steward - Make the most of your money

a.     Not complicated

b.     Recognize God as source, honor God with resources, be good stewards