Thursday, February 03, 2011

Jesus on money

Jesus: on money

I. Where’s the heart? [Matthew 6:19 – 21, 24]

A. Two proverbs.

1. (v 21) Treasure = heart

a. What you value is what you choose.

b. What you choose demonstrates what you value.

DANGER… we can be ruined by earthly things and jeopardize the soul.

2. (v 24) It’s God v Money

a. What you value will be your Master. (It is the desire, craving, pursuit of that can be the danger… not the actual money)

b. The heart designed for God is degraded by being fixed on corruptible things (see Clarke)

DANGER… “proairisus” (disposition and choices). Money corrupts the dispositions and clouds the choices. The effect is to increase our sin sickness.

RESULT: We choose the temporary instead of training for the “long view.”

B. The lesson:

1. Your “treasure” determines your “happiness.”

2. (vv 33 – 34) The issue becomes worry (“anxiety”)

BONUS: Luke 16:14… Pharisee’s “loved money” so when He said this they “sneered” at Jesus. They showed contempt, and contempt is a relationship “killer.”

Luke 16:15b “What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” (The word “detestable” is related to idol worship.)

II. Where’s the soul? [Luke 9:23 – 25]

A. Following Jesus means right priorities.

1. (v 23) “deny himself” = “cross”

2. (v 24) This is an upside-down paradox (“life” is the Greek word for “soul”)

3. Surrender to God the will, passions, body and soul OR lose/forfeit (Greek “throw away”) the soul.

B. A cautionary tale: [Luke 12:16 – 21]

1. A man who acts “normally.”

a. Good crops, expanding business, bigger barns!

b. Enjoy life.

2. What’s the problem?

a. God calls him a “fool” (Greek means “senseless.” Why? Vv 17 – 19 he refers to himself seven times, refers to God or others zero times.)

b. Behavior… lays up treasure for himself in this world.

BONUS: (v 19) he thinks “many years.” (v 20) God thinks “this night.”

“The soul cannot be satisfied with earthly goods.” (Wesley)

***** Life must be lived in light of eternity… as if it were your last day. Wealth can blind us and keep us from being prepared. *****

III. Where’s the reward? [Mark 12:41 – 44]

A. The story of a simple offering.

1. Rich = large amounts

2. Poor widow = two very small copper coins

3. Jesus is noticing HOW (in what way) they give:

a. Rich: giving not discreet.

b. Poor: ashamed, intimidated.

History: In the temple “treasury” there were 13 “trumpets” (offering containers). They were narrow at the top (mouth) and wide at the bottom. Nine were marked for tithes and other obligations. Four were for voluntary gifts. [source: Edersheim, “The Temple”]

B. What our English translations don’t tell us:

1. “Money” was specifically COPPER coins.

2. The rich were not throwing in bags of gold! They were giving pennies when they could afford gold.

DOUBLE BONUS:

1. Generosity is an act of worship. (Ill. When we were in the Philippines… Pastor Allan took an offering from what we would consider “poor” pastors after an emotional time of worship. I asked him afterwards why…. He said, “Because you can’t have worship without an offering!” He was right… Unless we worship God with everything, including our earthly possessions, then we are not truly worshiping God.)

2. Who did Jesus praise? Think about it… poor, maybe intimidated, trying to “fly under the radar.” Jesus points her out NOT for embarrassment but to demonstrate her love (worship) and her faith (dependence on God).

Questions:

1. Who’s praise do you want? People’s now or God’s for eternity?

2. If you could see Jesus “looking over your shoulder” as you gave your offering, would you have given differently?

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