DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Who Is Our Master?
 

Money is a resource that is used to provide for our families and to build the Kingdom. It is not ours. It all belongs to God and He can give and take as He sees fit. Without the right Godly perspective of money we will be tortured by Satan's greatest weapons of greed, materialism, discontentment etc.

So let's dive in and look at the Biblical perspective that we need to drill down to the core of our hearts. The Bible contains over 1,800 references to money starting in Genesis 13:2 "Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold" to Revelation 18:19 ".... all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth" . In fact, in approximately one third of the parables Jesus teaches or uses money as a basis to teach about the Kingdom.

The temptation, lure, enticement, attractiveness, desires for wealth is not new to us nor was it foreign to Jesus. Think about it - one of the temptations in the desert presented by Satan was the ownership of "all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour." Satan told Jesus, "All this I will give you if you bow down and worship me" .

In order to arm ourselves against the dark side of money we must be convinced of a few powerful truths that the Bible teaches in regard to money:

1. Money in itself is not evil

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.

This is a very powerful truth spoken by Paul. How many times have we started confessing sin and discovered that at the root was the love of money - greed, materialism, financial insecurity. The love of money is the root and the sin that grows from that root is all kinds of evil. Let's start by pulling the sin out by the root and not just do a little gardening by confessing our most recent evil deeds.

2. God draws a line in the sand

Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money.

Notice the capital "M" in money written by Mathew as they both serve in the role of gods - one is the real God and the other the false god that gives us false promises. When God is being served and put first we love being at church and with the brothers, but guess what? When the almighty dollar/rupee serves as our god then everything else good in our life becomes a distraction to our pursuit of wealth. We hate this passage because it goes straight to the heart and is black and white with no room for compromising.

3. Don't worry - God knows our heart!

This can be a great thing or a real downer depending on where you are at today.

Acts 5:1-10
1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.
2 With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.
6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price."
9 Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.


Acts 5:1-10 describes the great deed that Ananias and Sapphira were going to do for the Kingdom -giving proceeds from the sale of property. However, greed and deceitfulness set in and God used this opportunity to put all disciples on notice about how he felt about these sins.

Another great example showing how Jesus knows our hearts is the parable of rich young man.

Matthew 19:6-22
6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"
8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.
9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
10 The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.
12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.


The rich man had accomplished alot by being able to say he had obeyed the commandments. Jesus, however, knew the true condition of this man's heart and that without true repentance he would not be able to follow Him. We can't hide the condition of our hearts from God.

4. We are expected to be productive and responsible with the money God has chosen to give us.

In Mathew 25:14-30, Jesus teaches us to be good stewards of what we have been blessed with regardless of the amount.

Matthew 25:14-30
14 "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
22 "The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'
23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
24 "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
26 "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'


Budgeting:

Total Income :

Expenses :

Fixed Expenses: Church Contribution, Rent, School Fees....

Variable Expenses : Grocery, Utilities, Water, Electricity, Gas, Travel...

Savings : LIC Policy, Fixed deposit, Monthly deposit...

Never Borrow. Don't take loans, especially for weddings. Learn to live within your budget. Be content.

Philippians 4:11-13
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


5. You can't out give God.

Proverbs 3:9-10
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.


Test God by being more sacrificial.

In summary, lets embrace the Bible's teachings about money and set us free from the love of money. God wants to give us the desires of our hearts as long as they are with the right motives and bring him the glory.