Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Many of my childhood heroes were men who were gifted and were paid extreme sums of money for their giftedness. They were men who were great athletes, and played professional sports. The thing about those men that caught my attention was not how well paid they were, but how their passion translated to ability through repetitive effort.

Today we see the lives of the rich and famous on the air on a regular basis. We see their tragedies, their brokenness, their struggles with substance abuse, and their search for happiness that flirtatiously eludes them.

When I was little, I wanted to have plenty of money so that I could do whatever I wanted.

Too many of the people who have plenty of money, can do whatever they want, but cannot seem to find fulfillment.

While this should not come as a surprise to us, we continue to revere them as though they were the epitome of the "American Dream." We like to watch their lavish lifestyles and opulent playgrounds, somehow hoping that one day, we will join them.

Many of us are motivated by attaining more, and define success as the accumulation and proper investing of the same.

The problem for most of us is, that the more we have, the less we need God.

Deanna and I learned early on that those who had large amounts of money, were facing problems we did not want to have to deal with.

This was usually a result of losing their focus. The affections of their lives were often found in their portfolios. Jesus was no longer Lord.

I have a healthy respect for believers who are able to amass wealth and keep Jesus on the throne of their lives.

This is not most people. There are clear reasons why the Word says, "For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his life?" Mk. 8:36

Our culture impresses on adults and youth alike that doing well in this world is equated to money. The more the better. You cannot function or be respected without it. We are taught that money will save us in most situations in life.

The Bible teaches, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it." Mk. 8:35

We all know people who are trying to save themselves by earning more. Many are swallowed up in debt and live defeated Christian lives. We have been there, and have struggled to survive. In many respects, it seems we are never far enough away from that scenario.

There is a reason Jesus said "you cannot serve both God and mammon."

What is the value of a life?

When is worthy of respect?

Those who truly are submitted to the Lordship of Jesus have an anointing upon them. He leads, guides, and provides. Paul saw seasons of little, and seasons of much. God was always in control. God IS always in control.

Money has a place in the Christian world. Without it, the ability to accomplish things for our Savior would be more difficult...or would it? Would our faith grow more if we had even less and were more dependent upon Him? Does He not own the cattle on every hill or the chip in every computer?

Obedience supersedes financial needs. If we walk in obedience, He will take care of His own.

I know a young man who had medical debts of between one and a half and two million dollars. He had an insurance policy that topped out at one million in lifetime, medical benefits.

Upon his death, he had $4.45 in his pocket. This was his worldly net worth.

He served a God who wiped out his debt.

"If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me." Mk 8:34

Obedience wins.



At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you....
Greenfield, Indiana

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Brent, that is an incredibly profound statement, but so very true. How sad it is to see others trying to find happiness in money. Without Jesus what worth is found in money? None.
What's needed is obedience, as you stated, but what else is needed is trust. Trust in the Lord, that He will meet all our needs. This is something that I am dealing with at the moment as I come to terms with issues that are out of my control. But I am reminded that there is nothing that is impossible with God.

In His Love

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good sermon for where I right now too... a balance of trust versus need... switching between times of plenty and times of need. A healthy reminder of our center is always a good thing too.

Thanks as always Brent,


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