01: DEFEATING THE LOVE OF MONEY
- We are starting a new series focused on discipleship in the area of our finances
- Discipleship is following Jesus… what does it look like to follow Jesus in the area of our finances?
- In my bag is a term that refers to being “focused, diligently working on something, being in the zone” – I believe that God has big things in store for us, but part of the prep is embracing discipleship when it comes to our finances.
- I was really challenged/encouraged by the team from “I Live Again” Uganda last week
- First: I was encouraged by their selfless commitment to the call of God on their lives
- Second: I was marked by the this: “man, I want to help these guys”
Genesis 22:15-18 (ESV) – …18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
Galatians 3:29 (NIV) – If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise
We are called to be part of being a blessing to nations
- At the centre of this is getting the gospel to the nations. A big piece of this is generosity in the area of our finances.
- What if we were to pray a bold prayer that says “Father, I want to be in a place where I can give 30%, 60% or even 90% of what I make into the Kingdom, and into the advancement of the gospel?”
- What if we had a church filled with people that were actually doing this and living this out? What kind of impact could we make? How many people could we help to reach with the gospel? How many front-line brothers and sisters could we empower?
- I believe that these are the kind of dreams that we are called to dream in Jesus name but I also know that in the Kingdom you have to be “faithful with little before you will be a ruler over much” (Matthew 25:21)
- We want to get ‘in our bag’ and make sure we are embracing financial discipleship wherever we are right now so we can be entrusted with more.
So how can we be ‘in our bag’ regarding financial discipleship?
- Check your heart
- Commit to tithing
- Commit to good stewardship
- Commit to radical generosity
Today I want to take some time to focus on step one: Checking Our Heart
1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV) – 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
- The Bible specifically identifies the love of money as the root of all kinds of evils
- Note: it does not say money is the root of all kinds of evils but the love of it
- Note: it doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil
Matthew 6:24 (ESV) – 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
- Jesus was very clear here to his disciples – that there was going to be a battle between our service to God and our service to money!
- Question: am I serving God or am I serving money?
- Note: a love of money has nothing to do with actually having it
Mark 10:17-22 (ESV) – 17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?…
- The rich young ruler was very passionate to follow Jesus and he was very diligent about obeying the commandments
- Jesus loved Him and He invited Him to follow Him! This man was called to be a disciple of Jesus!
- Jesus recognized he lacked one thing – he had a love of money – so he told him to sell all, he had, give to the poor and follow Him.
- Some have read this and believed that this is the call for all followers of Jesus, but we don’t see this happen with anyone else.
- This man had a major call, but he had a major problem with the love of money, so Jesus called him to a major sacrifice which would have set him free and propelled him into his destiny… BUT he said no.
- Think of what He missed out on because he said no…
A simple way to know if I have a love of money is how I respond when Jesus calls me to give
Good Question: Do I have the love of money in my life? What am I missing out on because of it?
- We will all have a battle with the love of money. Some of us more than others but it is there for us all.
- If we do not defeat the love of money, we will never walk in the fullness of what God has for us.
- The way we wage war on the love of money is through obedience to the Lord in our giving. This starts with the tithe.
Let’s commit to “check our hearts” today in this area of our lives/discipleship. Let’s get ‘in our bag’ regarding getting our hearts right because as the Proverbs said: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
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