“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” …Jesus
Jesus had a way of bringing out into the light the things that people wanted to keep hidden in darkness and not talk about. Sin. Hypocrisy. Servanthood. Money.
Ah money….the root of all kinds of evil, right? Ah, money…the thing that so often causes us so much stress and worry and despair, poisoning our lives. Ah money, the thing that can so easily disrupt relationships and break up friendships and marriages.
Ah money…the thing that also, used rightly and wisely, can do great and good things in our lives and in our world and for the Kingdom of God… Right?
Did you know that the Bible talks about money a lot? (2,350 verses worth!!) ... its proper and wise use and place in the life of one who follows Jesus?...Money Matters!
Did you know that Jesus talked more about money than heaven and hell combined?...Money matters!
Did you know that 11 out of 39 of the parables (stories) Jesus told were about money?...Money matters!
Did you know that in one out of every seven verses in the Gospel of Luke Jesus talks about money?...Money matters!
Did you know that it was Jesus who said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth….But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven?”...Money matters!
Money and its proper and wise use and place in the one who follows Jesus does matter…and it matters to Jesus! But do you know why? Because YOU are so important to Jesus…He loves you! He wants your HEART for your sake!...and it was Jesus who said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also!”
In the next few weeks, we are going to focus on money. It’s one of those things which, because of our sinfulness, we would rather keep in the shadows, doing it our own way. But taking our que from Jesus, who talked openly and boldly about money in front of crowds of thousands of people, we are going to bring it out into the open –out into the light! We are going to talk about it, wrestle with it, look to grow in wisdom and action with respect to it. We are going to look for His Spirit to guide and convict us, using the stories and words of Jesus as well as other readings from God’s Word, the Bible. By His grace, we will look to catch His Vision for us in this area of our lives, especially as His people who join him in His kingdom work in this place! By His grace we will look to be renewed in living our lives as His people in His wisdom! By His grace we will look to grow in this area of our lives! And by His grace, we will look to take concrete steps on our path of growth and discipleship! For finally, when things are brought out into the light of the victorious death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we find out how little we need to fear and what it looks like to live anew in His victory!
Money matters! What a blessing of grace that our Heavenly Father empowers and guides us to put money in its proper place, using it for His glory and the good of many from the heart of one touched with the love of the Savior!
Sunday, October 2nd Vision - Catch It! (A Matter of the Heart)
Vision. Perhaps a good definition would be “a reality which is described with words that can almost paint a picture and which communicate a truth or a preferred outcome so it is better grasped by the hearer.” The Bible gives us a number of them. One of these would be the vision of God as our great good shepherd and we as His beloved sheep. From “the Lord is my Shepherd” in theOld Testament to “ I am the good Shepherd in the New Testament, this is a comforting and powerful vision. Another would be the vision of heaven as a never ending feast as well as a place of perfect peace. And yet another would be the words found in Revelation 2; “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.” Today, we are going to focus on the vision that God would give us with respect tomoney. It is at once a freeing, yet empowering vision. Interested?
Sunday, October 9th Renewal – A New Start (A Matter of the Mind)
“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Every once in a while, a sports team gets beat so bad that when the coach asks what they will do he will say something like, “we are burning that game film because there is nothing we can learn from it, we were sobad!” Then he will say something like, “and then we are going to go back to the basics.” Today, we will focus on renewal with respect to our use of the money God gives us. We will not try to justify the past and somehow make us acceptable. Rather we will bury the past in the forgiveness of Jesus and start brand new in Him! How? By being renewed in the “basics” as God teaches us! Interested?
Sunday, October 16th Growth – Where Do I Go from Here? (A Matter of Wisdom)
I remember reading about a coach who, the week after the season was done, would meet with each player on the team, outlining, challenging, and encouraging each player in how he wanted him as an individual to grow in the off season. He perhaps wanted one player to lose some weight so he could get quicker while with another, he wanted him to work on getting stronger by putting on muscle weight, with each player challenged with a specific goal that uniquely fit his situation. Each of us is in a different place in our Christian walk concerning our use of the money God has given us. Today, God comes to each of us individually to guide, encourage, and challenge us to grow in a way unique to each one of us. Have you ever heard the phrase, “grow or die?” It is a life application of the Biological reality that only living things grow. Today, God would uniquely guide each of us who are alive in Him through faith in Jesus Christ what it means to grow in this area of our lives. Interested?
Sunday, October 23rd Action!..Just Do It,Take a Step! (A Matter of the Will)
Newton’s First Law of Motion states, “an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” This is kind of how we are, isn’t it? It is so hard for us to begin, to change direction, to take a different step! We tend to “stay at rest” or “just stay doing what we’re doing.” This is especially true of us and money – right? Thank God that Jesus and our being alive in Him is that “unbalanced force” that empowers us to make a new beginning - to get going again – and to even change direction! This is what He would empower each of us to do today. “Just do it – take a step!..” Interested?