Faithfulness with our Treasure
|Lk 12; Heb 3:2
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Stewardship: Using what God’s entrusted to us according to His desires: His glory, others’ benefit, and our needs.
Financial stewardship (not finances) is a barometer (present and future) of our present self-control and future reward
The Means of money (job) can be just as much an idol as the product (power, pleasure, possessions) or money itself
I. We Don’t Own Anything; God Owns it All
1Ch 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come of you, and you reign over all; and in your hand is power and might; and in your hand it is to make great, and to give strength to all. 14 But who am I, and what are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of you, and of your own have we given you. 16 O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes of your hand, and is all your own. 17 I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy you people, which are present here, to offer willingly to you.
Hag 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.
Isa 45:3 I will give you the treasures, and hidden riches, that you may know that I, the LORD, which call you by you name, am the God of Israel.
Deut 8:11 Beware that you forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments…12 Lest eaten and full…13 silver and gold is multiplied…14 Then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD thy God, which brought you out of…bondage; 17 And you say in your heart, My power and the might of mine hand has gotten me this wealth. 18 But you shal remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that gives you power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And it shall be, if you do at all forget the LORD thy God…you shall surely perish.
God isn't impressed by nor in need of our money Job 34:19 He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands. 20 In a moment they die, in the middle of the night… Job 36:19 Will he esteem your riches? no, not gold… Ecc 6:2 A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eats it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
Ecc 5:19 God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat thereof, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.
B. Inferior to:
Wisdom Pr 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
Pr 3:14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Pr 8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
Pr 8:19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
Commandments Ps 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Righteousness Ps 37:16 A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.
Knowledge Pr 20:15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. (See Ec 7:12 )
Knowing God Jer 9:23 Let not wise…mighty…rich man glory in his riches: 24 glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord
Reputation Pr 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Uprightness Pr 28:6 Better is the poor that walks in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
People Isa 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Self sufficiency Pr 30:8 give me neither poverty nor riches…9 lest I deny Thee…
Deceived Mk 4:19 cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Unfruitfulness Lk 8:14…are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Neglectful of God Lk 12:21 So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Keep from Kingdom Mk 10:23 And Jesus looked round about, and says unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24…how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Mt 19:23-24
Flypaper Lk 18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Sleeplessness Ec 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
Hurt Ecc 5:13 There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
Pride Pr 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that has understanding searches him out.
Emptiness Lk 1:53 He filled the hungry with good things…rich he sent empty away. 6:24 woe to you that are rich! you have received your reward
Error and Snare 1Tim 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Idolatry Mt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate…You cannot serve God and mammon.
False confidence/joy Job 31:24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, You art my confidence; 25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much…
Misplaced Trust Ps 49:6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
Ps 52:7 this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
Ps 62:10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
Wrong Purchases Ac 8:20 Peter said: You money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Judgment Js 5:1 Come now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.
III. Wealth And Poverty Are Consequences
Wealth is a consequence of:
A. Obedience - Blessing Pr 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Hosea 2:8 she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
Dt 7:11 Thus you shall keep the commandments…13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee…14 You shall be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness
B. Wisdom Pr 14:24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
Pr 3:16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor. 8:18…durable riches and righteousness.
Eze 28:4 With you wisdom and with your understanding you have gotten you riches, and have gotten gold and silver into you treasures: 5 By your great wisdom and by your traffic have you increased you riches, and your heart is lifted up because of you riches:
C. Knowledge Pr 24:4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
D. Labor Pr 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathers by labor shall increase.
E. Humility Pr 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.
F. Fear God Ps 112:3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endures for ever.
G. Righteousness Pr 11:28 He that trustees in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
H. Faithfulness Pr 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that makes haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
I. Inheritance Pr 19:14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
J. Luck Ecc 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
Poverty is a consequence of:
A. Laziness Pr 10:4 He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
B. No self-control/discipline/denial Pr 21:20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up.
C. Pleasure loving Pr 21:17 He that loves pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loves wine and oil shall not be rich.
D. Greedy haste Pr 28:22 He that hastens to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come upon him.
E. Usury Pr 15:5 He that puts not out his money to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.
F. Oppression and Bribes Pr 22:16 He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want.
G. Poor priorities Pr 23:4 Labor not to be rich: cease from your own wisdom. 5 Wilt you set your eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
H. Gotten unrighteously Jer 17:11 so he that gets riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.
I. Neglect Pr 27: 23 Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks…24 For riches are not for ever…
Pr 24:30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why do we think what we have is ours, rather than God’s, who has entrusted it to us? Are any wicked rich?
2. What are some symptoms of someone who is owned by their money, or lack of it? How does it differ from bondage?
3. Why do we tend to think we are immune form the dangers of wealth?
4. What are common causes of wealth and poverty in our culture?
5. If wealth is inferior to a number of more valuable things, why do we pursue it like it was premier?
6. What view of God keeps us from being owned by what we own?