Take no thought for yourself. What a statement Jesus made to us about our things, our money, our possessions. We must not be covetous and allow idols to be set up in our hearts. He shall give us His power for the right kind of wealth. (Genesis 47:15-16; Matthew 6:24-34; Deuteronomy 8:18)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11405
11:00 AM on 1/21/2018
We are keeping P. Scibelli in prayer. Where is he? Africa. Ministering in Africa. Then the ladies met yesterday. Young mothers. I wonder what it means to be a young mother. Where is the breakoff? Do you know? If you are a 50 year-old mother, are you a young mother? If you have children under four. Would Sarah (Sarah and Abraham) qualify?! How about the ladies that went? We are on fire. God is ministering. God loves us. God is working. How about salvations. Did anyone lead anyone to the Lord this past week? Or minister to them that they are moving in faith? Hands up high to build us up. That’s amazing. Halleluiah. Pastor Paul is here and your wife from Dundalk.
Today we will speak about wealth. Check to see if you have your wallet with you! We have a little picture up on the screen and I’ll tell you the story. It’s a pile of money. You see the soldier there in the background. This is Germany, 1922, 1923. Do you know what they will do with it? Burn it up because it’s worth nothing. It was worth 4.2 marks to the dollar. After the war, it was 4 trillion marks equaled one dollar. That means the money failed.
In Ge 47, it happened in Egypt. The money failed. But there was a man in Egypt and he saw beyond. Who was that guy? Joseph. He understood something. How did he understand? Pharaoh had a dream. Joseph understood it and they moved in a plan. Joseph led and they moved in a plan. You know the plan in Egypt. This isn’t the message. It was Joseph said seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. During the years of plenty, they built silos and stored the food. As the famine came, the people were losing their livestock because they were starving, so as it turned out Joseph said sell us your livestock and eventually your land and Joseph ends up on top of the pile. He understood. God blessed him.
De 8:18 it is God that gives you the power to get wealth. Let’s look at the verse. This morning we will speak about God and we have come here to get edified. Some of you might want to learn more of the Bible. On a Sunday morning at 9:30, we have an adult Sunday school starting next week. We go different rotations. You can go there and take a class and learn something more and then come into the 11 service. It is he that gives you power to get wealth. He gives you power. He gives you the power to get wealth. What a great subject. This will be a simple message but I pray it will be, the H.S. will minister to us. When money failed in the land of Egypt, what is the wealth that remains? The inflation goes…confederate money, it happened in Europe through wars.
Ge. 47:18 I’ll give you food for your cattle. Grain. Then when the cattle are gone, what does he say? Give me your land. Who ends up owning the whole thing? Pharaoh. Wealth is more than our money. There are values. There are material things that have value.
One writer [says], “There are many things money cannot buy. Money can buy a bed but not sleep. Books, but not brains.” Example of that over here on my right! “Money can buy food but not an appetite. A house but not a home. Medicine but not health. Pleasures but not peace. Luxuries but not culture. Amusements but not joy. Money can buy a crucifix but not a Savior. A church building but not heaven.” Think about it.
Ezek 33 for another short thought or lesson on this subject. How many listen to David Ramsey on handling money, managing money? I recommend it if it works for you to listen to his advice and wisdom. The program is so popular so obviously there is a lot of us who need advice on our finances. I don’t pretend to be an expert on that. I’m not an adviser on finances in one sense but behind our money is something spiritual that is most important to us.
De. 33:31…covetousness. If we took time and pulled that verse apart, it goes like this: here’s my heart. If I go after, the word is covetousness. My desires for things and we know what that is. We desire pleasure, power, and money. There’s different lust patterns we have in our heart. Because of losing God, it’s so easy to look for, find our comfort, and find our advantage by way of things. Money is a great tool and is connected with power. Power is also something people desire. But this is our point. The Holy Spirit makes a comparison to their empty words of love. They cannot, the heart does not love because the heart is after something else.
Christ used this in Mt. 6:24. No man can serve two masters. How do we handle or look at our material things? I want to park here for a second. I don’t know if you got this diagram. Because of covetousness, I will say I love you but I don’t. There’s something else occupied with in my heart that is strong. Something I’m after and is consuming me. The way I think of it is covetousness is in the N.T. linked with idolatry. Idolatry I think of like this: here is the thing. We can call it money. The believer touches the surface and goes on. When it’s an idol, I go in the middle of it, and I park there. It’s mine. It’s important to me. This is my life. This is what I want. This is my desire, my soul, my flesh, my heart. This is me. It’s my identity. If a man had a million dollars, two ways to look at it. I have a million dollars. It’s incredible. It would become something I have, guarding it, investing it. It easily could become my life.
The wise man in Prov. 30 says Lord don’t make me so rich I would forget you and don’t make me so poor I would steal my neighbor’s bread. Give me what I need. Give me food convenient for me that I might live my life. Even as much as money is a great tool, it can be very devastating. For the Spirit-filled believer to have his blessings and benefits and advantages and have it under the control of the H.S. with a heart that says love and he does it.
Ezek 33:31. He says love and says to Ezekiel very good message, but it doesn’t change me, touch me, affect me. I have something else going on in my life that is my occupation. Many of us are blessed because our temptations are not that strong in some way. Another point, we are blessed because we have found another way that is very satisfying for us.
Mt. 6:24 mammon, the material world. Christ being a good example of being so wealthy but not having his hands on the purse. Who had the pocketbook? Judas. Jesus could feed a multitude of people because his Father gave him the wealth. He was able to do a miracle. That was the wealth. Peter got the coin out of the fish’s mouth. That’s wealth. Christ had access to wealth. He had the Father providing and leading him and hitting the target in the ministry of helping people.
Luke 12:15 beware of covetousness. It can get ahold of us and govern our life. A whole world can be oriented to the material.
vs. 25. We are touching something that is not kind of so American! Okay, nice saying, but come on. Take no thought? I have a lot of thought about my life. I have a lot of care about my life and my children and family and things and business. We are an amazing people. We are. In the history of man, we are a very hard working nation. We work hard and do a lot and are generous in giving. That is another kind of wealth. The abundant eye is blessed. When you walk in a room and are able to see and have an abundant eye and you are looking how you can bring a blessing.
Prov. 22:9. There is a wealth that comes from your spiritual life by looking not at the things that are seen. What God is saying by his Spirit has made many of us wealthy through the years. Coming to the church and hearing the Spirit speak to me has made me wealthy. God is not stuck. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. We hear from God and he is building us up in love. This is the core. The beautiful world of immaterial wealth and love, and joy and peace. In our diagram when in my heart I go into this thing and it’s got me. It would be better I just kind of touch it and roll along and my house is a tool. I own it but it’s just there for me for a period of time and one day I will be leaving it. Same with all our material things. We need to see them the right way. Jesus is talking about something we get stuck and get in trouble in our heart. It’s easy to put too much value on the things of this world that do produce great blessings. Money is a great tool in life, no question. Be careful of this he said. Many of us have been in different parts of world. The culture is different from ours. You go into their house and it’s the same furniture from 50 years ago and longer. It’s like WW II style. The stool and the table. Then the paint on the wall. They don’t paint. There isn’t any. The clothes people wear. They have the same clothes. This is normal for them. It’s not normal for us. We enjoy and there is nothing wrong with it. Maybe we can put too much value on things and God is saying the reason why you have so much value on these things is because there is an emptiness here. I’d like you to deal with that. The church at Laodicea he said you are rich and have all of this but you are miserable, poor, and naked. Really. That’s a short lesson. Go back to the verse. Don’t think about what you will eat or drink. These are radical statements. Everybody is thinking about these things. Jesus is radically challenging us as Americans. Thinking ahead and planning and making sure we have what we need, of course. That’s how we live and there is wisdom in that. Consider the ant we talked last week. It’s not the absence of these things. It’s my relationship with them. We need the water and clothes but how do I digest it. We are overspending. We get a little depressed so I run out and buy something. I have my heart or mind on a piece of clothing or a car. I do that because that’s what I want. Jesus is saying wait a minute. Before you say I want, I want to challenge you. I’m going to tell you, your life doesn’t consist in getting what you want. I want to suggest to you there is something better. What you really want is on a spiritual level. It’s God and his righteousness.
vs. 28. Lord, it’s the latest style. It’s so cool. I know if I wear that I will feel good about. If you find yourself over spending or you are doing something you can’t really afford or moving as a habit and that’s how you address your yearnings and longings and desires, I will suggest something and it’s this word, “deny” yourself. Lord, we don’t have that in our vocabulary, our household. Tell me Jesus. Talk to me. I tell you, you can do it. You can deny yourself. You can manage your life. You can actually make your way. The H.S. will lead you and show you. The H.S. will help you. You will realize if I can deny myself. I don’t mean only in a material sense. That I would be able to say to God, I need you and you only.
Ps 73:24. I believe that.
I have two Spurgeon quotes. “The devil wants a Christian man so I have heard and the devil said to him, you call yourself a servant of God. What do you do more than I do? You boast you fast. So do I.” The devil said so do I. Of course he is a demon. He doesn’t eat food anyway. “Neither do I eat or drink. You do not commit adultery. The devil says neither do I. Of course he is a demon spirit. The fiend lists a long list of sins of which he is incapable. The saint at last said I do one thing which you never did. I deny myself. That is the point in which the Christian comes out. He denies himself for Christ’s sake.”
Demons cannot deny themselves. They are under the control of evil. A Christian has two natures. I have an old nature and a new one. I can say to the old one not going to happen. I can live by faith and find myself free. By the Holy Spirit, we can walk in the H.S. and say no to our sin nature. We have been crucified with him. A new life, a new way. Awesome.
Mt. 6:29…ye of little faith. I have to be honest because I’m kind of skeptical and realistic in life. I don’t mind that but I think about this. Jesus there is a field of grass and it’s beautiful. God has also given me my eyes, my ears, the hormones of my body. He has clothed us and given us life. He has given us a mind and a heart. It’s amazing. Thank you. How much will he not also take care of us? Won’t he take care of us? Don’t be as serious about these things as some people are. They are consumed and distracted and deceived by these things. God is able to give us wealth. It may not be that. It may be a wealth of an amazing sense of fullness in life. A wealth of an abundant eye, a giving heart, a happy attitude, the wealth of like Joseph finding an answer and knowing what to do . Looking at it that way.
vs. 30-31. Here’s a good application. My husband has a calling. I’m married to him. I’m nervous or worried about our future.
When I lived in Hungary, I visited a home. They were a beautiful couple. Downstairs the woman had all this food and was nervous and worried. The husband shared it. An occupation with this food in the cellar. He said in the war she was a little girl and they were starving. She’s now older and has this wound in her soul and lives worried about someday starving and not having what we need. So she makes sure.
We can imagine people like that in different ways. Maybe my childhood and that’s the spring loaded direction I live in my heart. Christ is saying don’t. I believe the message here he is saying the Holy Spirit and him filling you and satisfying you. You are able to live a life without the fear.
vs. 32, the world is seeking for these things. All the wealth that is going on and the transportation and the institutions of the nation. Everything happening to guarantee and secure our future as a nation. Your heavenly Father knows you have need. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Maybe at work I would tell a little lie and could get a benefit. The benefit might be too much of a thing for me. I have to move along the line of loving righteousness. I cannot lie, cheat, steal. That’s not the way for me. Let us be satisfied along these lines. Along those lines is the whole idea of having the authority in my soul to say I love that thing but it cannot be my God. I love that woman. She is my wife, a gift to me, but she is not my God. My little children. I love them. They are a gift to me. I cannot pull my heart away I love them so much. I’m so much attached to them. I cannot imagine but I am able to say God they are yours. Thank you for every day I have them. I will take care of them as much as a can but they are not my God. What I want in my future materially that is not my God. That is not set up to be my God. Be careful with this. I gravitate to idolatry. I make idols about this comfortable life we have. I love it like everyone. I love to open the refrigerator and there is a selection. I love to go in a car for a ride. That is gift. I have been in parts of the world and they don’t have it and it doesn’t seem they miss it because they never had it.
These verses resonate with them because that’s all they got. We have a big thing in it but it can fail. It can let you down even when you get it. You might say what price did I pay to get it. I might have lost my family, my integrity, my character, my whole confidence and my days and my life because I set my heart on it too much.
If you are born again and you are, then you are able to take what we are saying and say amen. I believe that. I believe Jesus is greater than all the things in this world. He can satisfy me. To be able to say I deny myself something is a good thing for me. We don’t just lap it up every good deal, everything on the TV. Eating it up like sorry to say it, they were called in the Old Testament, “pigs.” They were unclean animals because they would eat anything. Dead bodies. Garbage. They eat anything. I’m not saying we are that way. I am saying our sin nature gets it all wrong. Our sin nature doesn’t know the value of holiness, of truth, of denying myself my life. The value of being Spirit filled, being serious with God, saying no, Lord. I don’t want that thing. That’s not going to give me happiness. I found a better way, the high way of holiness. A holy God is going to help me with my finances and help me manage.
I know many work hard and do the best you can. If you can save $300, it’s a big deal. Or I saved $700 and that took a long time. That’s $700 more than a lot of people have. How you want to think about your things. We just need help. In one way I don’t have those answers but I have something to say about it. I believe for all of us if the Holy Spirit will fill us and we can hear what God is saying to us from this book and loving and caring for each other, probably we’ll have a good way of hitting the most important target of making Christ the most important in our life and seeking the kingdom first. The wealth that comes is the generosity of not being the tail but being the head. The generosity of able to give even space in my life. What is hospitality? What does it mean? You are welcome into my space. I’m on the sidewalk and I can be hospitable. You are welcome into my space. I’m in the café and I’m hospitable. You are welcome in my space. Maybe when I’m studying I can’t be but I am in my heart. There is a wealth in the Spirit, in love. There are opportunities that come because of love and faith. We end up saying I don’t know why. It seems I’m being successful in things. I’m not getting shut down. God is opening doors and making a way. We find ourselves blessed in many ways.
vs. 33. Take therefore no thought for the morrow. Meaning don’t worry about it.
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