Saturday, November 29, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "Facing Financial Problems"

The Great Commission
Part 3: Facing Financial Problems
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 30th – Grace Steadman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs
December 14th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 21st – Lori Ulman
December 28th – Lynnette Higgins


† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems


Acts 3:6
6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

The Apostles were not rich as some claim.

Jesus did not have many houses across the land like some claim.

The eye of the needle was symbolic of a sewing needle, not the name of a big gate.

When Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through that eye of a needle that a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, He meant what He said.

This was Jesus response when the rich young man did not want to give up his earthly riches to follow Jesus.

We spoke about our attitude over the last couple weeks with facing spiritual trials and illness, and how God wants us to have a certain attitude that will change our situation around us.

It is the same with any trial.

Our attitude is KEY!


† I Timothy 6:3-11

3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

We do not give to get…

Godliness is not a means to financial gain.

If you do good so you can receive a reward, then you have ruined your chance at that reward you would have received if you gave because it was right.

If you give to get, then you gave for the wrong reason, and you will not be rewarded.

We are to give because it’s right, not so that we may receive financial gain.

If you do for praise of others, to be esteemed by others, the scriptures say you have already received your reward.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Why do we consider ourselves rich by the world’s standards?

Why do we follow the Lord in all things except when it comes to money?

We are so quick to serve as long as it doesn’t really cost us.

Are we really having financial problems?

Or, is it we think we are because we are not satisfied with what the Lord has provided us in our lives?

We brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing out.

According to the scripture I just read, godliness with contentment is great gain.

Those are riches we should seek.

Or are we spoiled little kids…no matter what our Father gives, it’s not enough and we want more?

The scripture says that if you are godly, if you have food and clothing you will be content with that.

If you are not content with what the Lord has provided, your focus is wrong.

The scripture says so.

The idea and notion of getting rich, or being rich comes from this capitalist society which teaches riches of financial gain to consider yourself successful.

This wrong teaching is destroying the very fabric of our society.

Why do those who become rich turn to drugs and alcohol? Because they were taught in this country that money solves all your problems. And when they became rich, they found themselves worse off than before.

Why is there so much crime among the poor neighborhoods? Because they have been taught that if you have money, everything will be OK, and so getting money becomes the focus and they rob, cheat and steal to get what they think is the answer to their lives.

Why would the rich young man not follow Jesus?

He obviously was a believer in God, and by his own admission kept the commandments and was interested in getting closer to God by following Jesus…

But there was a problem.

He would not choose the Lord over his riches.

The wealth of this earth was more than the Lord to him.

How many times in our lives do we see otherwise godly people flip in a moment when it comes to their money?

How many times have we seen otherwise godly people throw everything that is important to God out the window when it comes to their riches and finances?

How many times in your life, have you ignored what you know the Lord wants for monetary gain or security of your riches?

How many times have you made Jesus second to your money?

† I Timothy 6:17-19

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

How do you know if someone is putting their hope in wealth?

You will know them because they will disregard God’s law for their gain.

Every time you make a choice for your financial gain at the cost of the Lord…you have shown who your master is, and who you serve.

It’s not our words that show where our heart lies, but where our treasures are.

The rich young man made it clear when he walked away from Jesus’ words to keep his wealth, who his master was.

† Luke 12:15

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

† Proverbs 11:28

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.


† Philippians 4:11-13

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 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.

† Luke 12:22-24

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!


† Matthew 6:31-34

31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Are you seeking FIRST His Kingdom and Righteousness?

If you are seeking righteousness then you will be standing for the word in this world when society tells you that sin is OK.

If you are seeking righteousness then you will be making choices daily for HIS KINGDOM.

When times come and you have to make a choice between the word of the Lord and riches…if you are seeking righteousness you will choose the Lord.

The financial problems we face most of the times are not problems at all…

We believe they are problems because we have been conditioned by culture to say what is “doing good” and what is “being poor”.

God says not to focus on these things, not to worry about building your riches on earth, but to build them in heaven, and we do that by choosing righteousness over our personal gain.

How can we say “I have crucified my flesh for Christ…” in one breath, yet choose financial gain for our flesh over the word and truth of the Lord?

† Psalm 34:6-10

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

If you choose the things of the Lord, He will protect and provide.


† Philippians 4:19

…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.