Alberto Ramos opened Sunday's life training topic on finances by asking the question,
"How do you view money?"
Students took a few moments to write down their thoughts. Then, Alberto went on to say the Bible brings up the topic of money 2,000 times, so it must be important?
"We don't worship money, we worship what money can give us."
Matthew 6:1-4 talks about giving to the needy. It mentions those who practice righteousness in front of others in order to be seen by them will not receive their reward in Heaven. It pleads for believers to give in secret. Verse 24 draws in the idea that man cannot worship both money and God. Man, when put in that position, will hate one and love the other, but not serve both equally well.
Alberto made three points:
We use money as a means to happiness.
- Why do we strive to buy earthly happiness when we have treasures in Heaven?
- Matthew 6:19-21 discusses this,“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
- Whatever we spend our money on, that shows where our heart is.
- Many believe if we can get _____ or be ______, then we will be happy, but this is not true.
We use money as a means to acceptance.
- We compare and want to be a part of the "in crowd" so much.
- We desire status and fame, often times we use money to achieve both.
We use money as a means to get security.
- There is no promise our money will be there tomorrow.
- James 4:14-15 says, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
- The desire for money is not bad. What is bad is how you go about that.
So, the question is:
What are you longing for?
God offers us all of these things!!
Hes offers us:
- Joy - Psalm 16:11 - He will give joy to us HIMSELF!
- Unconditional Acceptance - Colossians 1:21-22 - He RECONCILED US!
- Security - Hebrews 13:5-6 - What can man do to us when we have God?
- Grace - Romans 8:32 - If He gave us things based on who we are, we'd be in Hell.
God gave up His son for those who rejected Him, so who are we to become stingy and not give to others? Luke 18 goes on to describe how it is important to give up everything in our hearts, but it is impossible without God. Only He can change our hearts.
- Be Thankful - 1 Timothy 6:6-10
- Be generous
- Give sacrificially - Trust giving will hurt and cause us to have to say no to other things.
- Be a steward of your money - spend wisely.
- Be accountable
- Spend time in prayer - We are naturally selfish, so God must change our hearts.