(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Over 2000 passages…15% of Jesus’ teaching…almost half of Jesus’ parables talk about…
Proportionately, Jesus discussion of money and wealth is greater than heaven and hell.
Why would this be?
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
God’s Spirit knew that one of the greatest threats to our hearts is LOVE of money, material wealth. When our hearts are set on material wealth, it draws us away from our Savior and to other sins of greed, discontent, and dishonesty. Love of money can be so tempting because we think that money and what it can buy will somehow fill some emptiness in our heart…whether security, control, or significance. Sure money can give options, and allow you to do things, but the reality is, an emptiness in the heart can never be fully filled by financial wealth.
King Solomon said this, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” Why? Because money will never fill a void that only God can fill. That’s the deception of a counterfeit god.
Only the love of God can fill the voids in my heart, a gift that money can’t buy, but the blood of Jesus can give. Consider 2 Corinthians 8:9, “ You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
When I realize I have what is most valuable in Christ, it puts finances and wealth in their proper place. God’s Spirit gives me a new perspective. This week we’ll explore five shifts the Spirit gives us that both allows God to keep the first place in our heart and allows money and wealth to be a blessing, not a curse.
Shift one: I recognize it is GOD’S money, not MY money.
This is a hard shift to mentally grasp. Our culture and work environment celebrate the accomplishments of people. It’s easy to look at what we have and say, “I earned that.” “I bought that.” “That is mine.” Yes, honestly you earned it. Practically you bought it. Legally it belongs to you. However, the psalmist reminds us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” (Psalm 24:1). Everything is the Lord’s.
So how do I begin to look at wealth and the way I obtain it? The job you are going to this morning…a gift from God. The paycheck you receive…a gift from God. The things you are able to buy…gifts from God.
When I realize that the material wealth I have is on loan from God, I will ask a different question (Read tomorrow’s devotion!). But it has to start with the work of God’s Spirit preventing me from filling the empty places in my heart with financial things. A quick result of God’s Spirit at work is leading me to realize that everything I have is the Lord’s.
Apply: Take time today to mentally note all the things God has given to you and all the dollars you have at your disposal. Give them “back” to God. Here’s a way to do that. Say, “Lord, all along I thought _________ was mine. I have been wrong. It’s yours and today I release my heart from it.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for taking time to point out the dangers of the love of money and wealth in our lives. Guide us to yield our hearts back to you and see all that we have is a gift from you. AMEN.