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January 22, 2021 9:00 am
Katie Greer God prospers me financially it's not someplace like go on my way going to my self-serving life know he prospers us we say not to increase our standard of living God prospers us to increase our standard of giving you multiplies it first so we greater sewing so that you can increase the harvest of your righteousness.
I'm your host Molly minutes felt guilty about your getting, or maybe more accurately about your not getting many people assume that because there are still people in need around the world only purpose for our money is to get the gospel to them today.
Pastor Jeannie Greer shows us how to view our possessions through a generosity matrix and apply God's wisdom to spending, saving and giving all with the ultimate goal of honoring him with our resources. This very well might be one of those messages that you want to come back to over and over and over. So, as always, you can find it or share from our firstname.lastname@example.org select get into it now. Here's Pastor Dave with me at eight and nine Bible this weekend. Second Corinthians.
Also second limit separate you little warning here in advance.
This is not going to be a typical sermon where I work my way as I prefer to do the one passage of Scripture and is explain you what it says and what it means. I instead what I wanted to today I will walk you through a tool that I have developed developed a few years ago Julie helped me in a personal struggle that I've had with my relationship. The money will tell you to retype a person. I like boxes to check I like to know what the standard is. I want to know what's the a what's the A+ so that I can just you tell me what to do and I can get there and I just could not figure out what the standard was when it came to giving when it came to generosity and I want to know what that was dated there there there seem to be leased to me to send me two extremes in the Christian world when it comes to the question of how Christians view their relationship with money. The first extreme is that basically God wants 10% what we called five it's, you know, the first 10% of what God gives you is based on Old Testament principle that the first 10% of whatever God gives you good back to him and Christian thinking about like God tax and once you pay back then basically you fulfilled your duty and you can do whatever you want with the other 90% after you pay that tax then then you're done. God says go will be blessed to back some Christians will go so far to say that to be that temper said it was God's way of making you rich by multiplying the other 90% back to you. This whole generosity thing is really just God's faith investment scheme, and it's God's way of enriching you this attitude, this extreme friends is not just wrong, I would say it's unchristian because it's turned God into your servant rather than making you is that's one extreme or the other hand, the other extreme are those who constantly feel guilty about what they are giving her what they're not giving because they assume that as long as there are poor people in the world as long as their lost people need to hear about Jesus, then God's only purpose for our money is to get the gospel to whatever you're not given us keeping somebody else from Mueller keeping somebody else hearing the gospel John Wesley got the evangelist of the great awakening 300 years ago found the Wesley and the nomination. He very famously took down all the pictures on his wall because he said I could see the look at them because they were the blood of the poor because I knew the whatever rod wasted on decoration for my little meager apartment was actually another orphan that I could've brought in from the cold. I'm scared of these pictures on thinking about is is the blood of the poor, the cries of the loss you need to hear about Jesus there some Christians who feel like that of events that if like that the message is a whatever given you should give more. You should feel guilty about what you have. It's like if your little older you and remember that really stirring scene in the movie Schindler's list were Liam Neeson, who is one of the greatest actors of our generation iPod Nicolas Cage is playing Dr. Semler and NVM, but you know he's basically taking his fortune and he's used it to deliver Jews from being killed in the Holocaust and at the end he's he's looking the start looking at his watch and he's like this watch could've set two more juice free to go through everything in his possessions of feeling guilt about how he didn't use those to help to help liberate certain shoes and that's how certain Christians feel about their possessions.
It's as look at it like whatever whatever I have. I I could've given that my did not.
I just feel guilty about it ever. This described even by some as a wartime mentality of spending my life like you spend if you were in the midst of a war viewed in Long Beach California. There's a floating museum. Maybe some of you have been to it.
It's the Queen Mary, the Queen Mary was a luxury cruise liner state-of-the-art cruise liner in the early 20th century.
That was for the richest of the rich. When World War II started in England retrofitted that that that luxury ship so that it could it could it could ferry troops back and forth across the Atlantic when it was a luxury liner and accommodated 3000 people, with every possible convenience in wartime, however, was refitted the house 15,000 people in rooms that once would hold one couple would now sleep eight different eight soldiers. I'm back in going to this museum and see it when it was a luxury liner in the seam of the section where what looked like a wartime John Piper says wartime and peacetime demand different things in war you forgo luxuries to provide resources for the battle you melt down your silver spoons about what it takes to make bullets ride. That's what wartime mentality is an Piper says obviously were in a war right now with physical enemies.
But when war for the hearts and souls of people, so we should have that same mentality not very clear to you. I find this position inspiring and I think there's a lot of truth in it, as I will explain to you, but I think in the end it's out of balance. At least if you take it all by itself for a couple reasons.
First, honestly, I don't know where you in this kind of thinking I in war if the enemy was coming after my family. I would melt down all of my spoons, all of them and eat with my hands. If that meant that I would have bullets to defend my family, say one of my children had been kidnapped and was being sold into the slave trade right, any repair I would give up my last meal I would starve myself if it meant that my child could be fed and free. I would gladly do it. Is that what God expects me to do now that they're still lost people in the world that I just live in in starvation and in it he is not the way that I'm supposed to live 500 years ago. John Calvin acknowledged the never ending trajectory.
This type of thinking.
He said I actually update all of it is language so it makes it more since thus, if a man because about what he may use when if receipts fine cloth receipts, shirts, handkerchiefs and napkins when you will afterward be uncertain also about cotton but can't use Lenin let me just go shoot.
We couldn't mow the maybe the question whether I should give Americans altogether to be done away from winning the guidance of what he needs not tonight because David is not even gourmet food is simple opted instead for plain food so you must conclude that he could survive on beans and rice alone. After all, water is always cheaper waters always cheaper and you must concede that filtered water is wrong if tapwater is available, you can understand what he was getting out there you can never really in this kind of thinking are a great example of this. That's emotion erupted one shower this morning. You really need one shower. Can you say that money could you've given up your hot water heater and I've saved all the money, electricity or gas are you you fuel it so that you can help more orphans and missionaries like really. You are so selfish your your warm shower so important to you that you're willing to starve and orphan so that you can bathe in the warm you disgusting overfed gluttonous American is that many of the messages, whatever you got used to build guilty about it because you're pampered and hold that from somebody else. I sent over the Internet, thinking honestly.
More importantly, even though I find this position to be out of sync with a number of places of the Bible teaches us about possessions, which is what I want to talk about today is a lot of personal struggle study on this.
I concluded the Bible does it teaches us to view our possessions through a matrix, not the Kiana Reeves, matrix, but matrix like a set of principles and by the way, with Nicolas Cage, Liam Neeson, Kiana Reeves completes the triumvirate of great actors in our generation.
Okay, I may try matrix a set of principles you're supposed to hold intention. Here's the thing.
Here's the key today okay. Any one of these principles if taken by itself will lead you out of balance.
The Bible gives them all and says here the seven that you were supposed to live under when it comes to money and you're good have to develop wisdom and you have to develop an sensitivity to the spirit in knowing how to apply think things to tell you I go to the beginning of the type a person. I'd rather have a rule, just give me the percentage tell me what the Silverstar is jungle day plus is now go for the Bible just doesn't give you that when it comes to generosity. It gives you a set of principles and says live in the tension of these for wisdom is so we give them people walk you through them and explain them know. I call this a generosity matrix number one number one most importantly, Jesus is generosity toward us is the model for our generosity of other people.
Jesus is generosity of the model for own. This is what it means to live a gospel centered life. I put this one first because it is the most important all of the Christian's life. All the Chris's life is supposed to be lived.
In response to the gospel in second Corinthians 8, where Paul gives his most extensive instruction on generosity. He tells the Corinthian believers that ultimately they should think about how much Jesus has given up for them and respond accordingly to one another. Second, premiums 89. He says you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
Now you should go into for others what Jesus has done for you. After all, friends, family, Jesus did not merely tie this blood right how much of Jesus's blood did he pour out for you, not 10%. He poured out 100% of his blood for you and that means our responsibility is not just to give our 10% back to God and then go on our self-serving way.
Our responsibility is to offer 100% of our lives back to him and then the poor our lives and resources out recklessly for him and for others, just like he did for us, but I often ask you to consider. Where would you be without Jesus, where would you be had Jesus chosen to hang onto his stuff and not come to die for you and I told you the surprising answer is you would be at exactly the same place that millions of people are in the world without you because it is true that Jesus is bad for everybody. But it's also true that Jesus's death does not benefit anybody until they hear about and normally they hear about it is for your giving you're going and you're sacrificing that's why Paul says in Colossians 124 that we the church are to fill up in our flesh in our bodies. What is still lacking in regards to Christ's afflictions was still lacking in Christ's afflictions, but when Jesus was on the cross. He said it is finished and I'll Paul Sanderson still lacking would be Jesus that it is finished, he met the full price for salvation has been paid.
Will Paul is pointing to is it doesn't matter if the price is been paid. If there still people haven't heard about it and the way there to hear about it is good accompanied by wounds. It might be my wounds the persecution it might be my wounds of sacrifice. But just like Jesus was wounded to purchase the gospel for us. You and I are wounded to proclaim and to spread the gospel that Martin Luther said it would matter. Jesus died a thousand times. Nobody ever heard about it is what that means is that for the believer.
When God prospers me financially it's not simply so I can go on my way and then going to my self-serving life know he prospers us we say not to increase our standard of living God prospers us to increase our standard of giving so he goes on a second Corinthians 9 Paul says that directly God will multiply your seed of the money that you can bet he will multiply what you multiply, he multiplies it first so we greater sewing so that you can increase the harvest of your righteousness. God multiplies you when he multiplies you he does it so that you can be even more Christlike and bless more people the you're sacrificing your generosity to hear me okay this is the most important of all the principles but it's not the only principal at this principle, the only one that you recognize even though it's a most important until you're always in a feel guilty because face it, whatever you sacrifice for others is not going to compare really to what Jesus sacrificed for you, whatever you give up is not to be comparable to what Jesus gave up the purchase you right if you're still breathing. If you're still breathing this morning. You have not given up.
There is much Jesus out. Even if you did give your life for somebody else. It still wouldn't be as much as Jesus poured out for you right so if it's one principal was not the only one.
So here's number two.
A second biblical principle, God gives us richly all things to enjoy. That is a direct quote from birth of the 670, in which Paul reminds his readers was in the earlier this church but God delights to take care of his children.
As we saw last week, God created a world of abundance as a gift to his children because he's a God of abundance mold Bible just screams that I told you that the garden of Eden. Most of us think of going to be little postage stamp sized garden like we have in our backyard but that is not of the guard meeting was the book of Genesis actually gives you that the borders and the dimensions of the garden of Eden. It was basically the size of Yellowstone National Park and probably 100 times as beautiful. He created all that for two will make the people run around in just all by themselves.
That's a God of abundance you just created as lavish beauty, Jesus pointed to the extravagant beauty that God clothed the wildflowers with in the abundant provision that God supplied the birds whip as examples of how he wanted to take care of us member.
This Matthew six and she is that hey, if God, able wildflowers that beautiful and they just get trampled on. And God supplied them as for the birds. Don't you think he cares more about unity does birds and flowers and that's how you take care of those things. How much more will he take care of you abundance David in the book of Psalms celebrates how God brings forth good food from the earth wind that gladdens the heart of of mentor for you badges to substitute sweet tea right there right what you should see with that okay only hung over the line but what you see, that is gotten great to just keep us alive, created to make us happy all God's people said amen. That's right, like true tab used to say, food is essential for life. Therefore he should make a good God delights in that back John Sue, the only time we see were Jesus supplies the wine for a wedding party. The people that tasted Jesus was wind and he made said it was the best they've ever had. Not Jesus could certainly have done the watered-down, cheap, and sufficient wartime three about Chuck, why but instead he provided the good stuff because he knew his father made it and he knew that by enjoying it. We would glorify God. In fact, you look throughout throughout Scripture, God commands all kinds of feasts and parties and celebration where the best of the food and the best of the wine is supposed to be served that way.
One in Nehemiah thinking about where the people offer some amazing thing happened.
The people said hey we should say we should honor God for the way that that that that he delivered us we should do about having a weeklong fast. Also, in an emergency message comes down from heaven to be nice and go fast. I want you party for a solid week.
I want to eat the rest of the food.
How would you drink the rest of the wine, because in doing that, you're going to celebrate my, my goodness, Jesus lived out these principles of abundance. In fact, Jesus's critics accused him of being a glutton and a drunk. Now that was not true, of course, but the reason they said it was because evidently Jesus loved a good feast and back biblical scholar Robert Karas points out that it just about every point in Luke's gospel like a look at this to everyone Luke's gospel. Jesus is either coming from a meal at a meal or going to a meal, not the Savior were following. Amen. I got her Karas. As you can literally eat your way through Luke's gospel.
I'm happy to tell you this is one area of Christ likeness.
I have already mastered okay. I will say Lord might be more like you and then pass me the weeks right God loves it. He loves it when you bite into the succulent richness of a horseradish crusted Pittsburgh style prime rib and every case but in your mouth just screams out hallelujah and thanksgiving to God. He loves it when you wake up in a hotel by the beach and the short breeze blowing into your room and then in the gentle sounds of the waves he glorified in the comfort you feel to clean house on soft bed with a well manicured lawn even likes it when you enjoy the closing you're wearing or when you stare at wonder of the intricate procedure precision of the of the timepiece that you're wearing on your arm.
God gives us richly all things to enjoy. He is glorified and we enjoyed in that we see in Scripture the God bless multiple people with great riches, riches that they were generous with yes riches. They also enjoy people like Abraham showed at the beginning and the end of his life in the middle. He was pretty you know part about at the beginning BMW is really wealthy.
Did David not even mention Solomon. It's clear that some of Jesus as early disciples were people of substantial means.
Some of some of the Christians in acts have large houses reason we know that is because they hosted early church gatherings. Paul would say in Philippians 4 verse men and never read this verse this way because what it means. Paul says in Philippians 4.
He says I know how to to be brought low, and how to abound. I learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger upon the secret of living in abundance and in the know all things are new extremes through Christ who strengthens me. In other words, there are times when God pours out abundance on his people and there's times where they go through a time of of need and Paul's is a faithful Christian can live faithfully in either some Christians are good at doing one of those things, but not the other by my friend Larry Osborne is a pastor, mentor, friend of mine. He says you know anyone got Abrahams make that is blessed with prosperity. I'll give him thanks and I'll enjoy it and when he chose me makes me lose everything.
Then I'll think of just the same in all trusted and I'll enjoy my relationship to him. That's what Paul is saying in Philippians 4 through Christ. I can be faithful in both not hear some of you summary you type a people are like me, I would imagine you just can't help but think that by eating this nice meal on the private some poor kid of their provision and honestly I will say again, that's a good question for you to ask you probably don't need all that lecturing alive. Not everything in your life needs to be made out of gold. I sometimes copper will do just fine. And sometimes you can store the cold treasure news of the kingdom, and you can live on copper but you should remember that Jesus taught us not to look at the world of the lens of scarcity, but look at the world of the lens of a abundance. Our God is a God of such abundance that what you enjoy in one place doesn't automatically keep her from from somebody else. This is a little childish, but just imagine Jesus showed up by your bedside recently handed you $100 bill and like all Jesus thinkers hunted all buildings is Yep here's what I want you to do with any gives you instructions go out and take them out.
Have good time like old know I need to get this back in the mission. Just as in a hole in okay listen.
I got played I got a moment, I can make all the money that I need. This is what I want you to do with that. If he did that you would be able to enjoy that without feeling you were taken away anything from anybody else right see that's in part, the way Jesus tell you look at money is a lesson. It's not like it all depends on you.
I'm a God of abundance.
I'm a God who overflows with provision so I need you to do what I'm telling you to do with this provision did not feel like the whole weight of everything depends on you.
That's principle number two guy gives ritual things you enjoy to hang out okay. I know that somebody is you to quit what I just said and just take that section and I'm to be the next prosperity gospel heretic that is one of 7 Principles Its Way. It's a legitimate principal what you got a hold of intention with the other six and I'm doing okay. Anyone of these by themselves can lead to a bad place right side was number three we see that God in Scripture gives access to some and expect them to share with others. That is why he gave access to some state a second Rainy Day pulse is a God often gives access to some of us in the moment swing take care of those in need. The store he uses to illustrate this, Paul uses the story of the Manor sacred. Being separate at this present time right now. Your abundance is a supply for their need, just like it was written in the book of Exodus. He who gathered much did not have too much of you got the little had no lack of reference to the story when you're in the wilderness and onto food every morning God puts man at this kind of bread from heaven all over the ground and it was a deal that was so much of it that everybody could eat their fill. This was that this was the view. You'll get enough of that day and try to get an offer like all week it would go bad. It would read words a mistake. Thus, if you have extra you gather too much for the day and your friend or neighbor doesn't have enough. What should you do with the extra frames and leaves the muzzle going share because tomorrow, becoming whining, how many of you would've been Manor stockpile or sublease of the beginning because your libel would happen if God is to show up. But according to Paul. That's how you should think about your stuff now. God gives you access in the present.
Not so you can save it up and he's got to be faithful to future access.
In the present to share with those that are in the right now have to take all seven into consideration so make sure that you join us Monday for the rest of the list. You're listening to Senate life with JD Greer, a resource that we are excited to offer you this month.
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