- Philippians 4:16-20 ( The giving of the Philippians)
- 1 Timothy 6: 10 ( Love of money is the root of all evil)
- Matthew 6:19-21 ( Store up riches in heaven)
Today’s sermon was about giving, but what does giving have to do with being rich in God? In Philippians Paul talks about how the Philippians gave to him, but his desire wasn’t for their gifts but that more would be ” credited ” to them because of their giving. In many instances, Jesus talks about us ” Storing up riches in heaven” ( Matthew 6:19-21). But how does this look?
The Bible says he who lends to the poor lends to God ( Proverbs 19:17). Also, Jesus talks about being rich towards God in Luke 12:13 – 21. Jesus talks about the rich fool who stored up for himself riches on earth but wasn’t rich toward God and died the next day. Pastor John uses the word fool (19:18) in his sermon to describe a person who has no faith in God, and even though we may have faith in God… our actions can still mimic those of an atheist when we walk in fear and cling too hard to our material possessions instead of the God who formed us. Jesus says the man who stored up riches on earth but was not rich toward God is a fool ( Luke 12:20). What’s the point of gaining the whole world, and losing your soul? So here are the takeaways I got from the sermon.
Point 1: Give the Truth in Love, Without fear of Loss
Pastor John notes ” We’ve been called to love ” ( 3:28). Many times we try to be politically correct when people are about to fall off a cliff. But love doesn’t tolerate people killing themselves. The Bible doesn’t call us to just tolerate people, but to love, meaning to get involved, and genuinely care about what’s going on in people’s life. Yet if we are so caught up in fear or what we will lose then we won’t reach out to others. When we give out of love it’s a declaration that we trust God, and shows the world we are his children.
Point 2: Give to God, Be Generous and it will Multiply
If we keep what we have it won’t grow. Only until we give God what little we have, then we’ll have an abundance like when Jesus fed the five-thousand ( Matthew 14:13-21). We must remember who we are giving to, and have the right attitude.
Point 3: When God Prompts You to Give, Don’t Negotiate…Go HARD
Pastor John notes in Deuteronomy 2 how God reveals himself to Moses. But Moses didn’t realize how powerful God is. He sent messengers to King Sihon of Heshbon for peace instead of wiping them out as commanded in Deut 2. David took a completely different position, he went hard, which was cultivated out of love, worship, and trust in God. David was the warrior poet. This shows us that we need to spend time in worship to God, singing songs of praise, and remembering God as the ultimate provider.When we take the Biblical position on issues battles are won.
Point 4: Don’t be Eager for Riches
1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money isn’t evil, but the love for it is! Do not be eager for riches, be happy and content with what you have. Don’t chase money, but chase God’s purpose for your life. Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and all else will be provided ( Matthew 6:33).
We become rich towards God by 1) Speaking the truth in love, and not worrying about what we’ll lose in the process. 2) Giving generously to God by helping the poor. 3) When God prompts us to give, don’t negotiate… Go hard. 4) Don’t be eager for riches. God is trying to set us free, and give us life more abundantly ( John 10:10). We need to realize that God is the source and things are just a resource. What’s the point of gaining the whole world, just to lose our soul?