Transcripts for a series of 4 Sermons:
Spirit of Mammon (1 of 4) The number of times Jesus talked about wealth and possessions, stewardship and accountability, far exceeded any discussion on any topic. In fact there's about 10 times the number of references to finances and stewardship and resources, than there are to faith and salvation, and yet all of these go together. Often the moment we start to talk about money, people freeze - and we will see why...
Put God First (2 of 4) I've seen too many rich people who had miserable lives to believe that money can really make your life happy. It just can't. God can make you happy, money can't. Money is just a piece of paper. It's some numbers in the bank. It cannot make your life happy. What it does instead is it tends to create problems.
Generosity (3 of 4) We have seen many people that have had much money and yet they didn't have what money seemed to promise, health and prosperity and every good thing. It seems like it still eludes them, so we looked at that and saw that Jesus taught very specifically about us placing God first. To be generous is to be liberal. It's an attitude of heart that shows up in every area of your life including finances. Generosity exposes selfishness!
Generosity (4 of 4) There's something about generosity that creates a very sweet fragrance. When people give and there's nothing in it for themselves, they've just given unexpectedly to you, then there's something sweet about it. Generosity usually exposes greed. God is love and you can't love without giving. You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving, so the greatest way we express the love of God to people is when we can be generous and kind to them with no agenda. That's when people see God, because that's what God is like.
Bonus content: two sermons by Shane Willard, on the topic of Finance. Shane Willard offers a unique Jewish/Hebraic perspective for Christians on Finance and Giving in this 2-part series. Shane is mentored by a pastor with rabbinical training, and teaches the context of the Scriptures from a Hebraic perspective. This perspective helps people to see God's Word in a completely new way and leads them into a more intimate relationship with the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Finance (1 of 2) #1 work; #2 wisdom; #3 stay out of debt, don’t put money in things going down in value; save 10% of your income; don’t trust the government to do it for you, they will go broke (see America, 14 trillion in debt, hard to get your head around); honor what’s on your life, and the life of others; #4 seek the face of god, desperately desiring to know him. I bless you to be a people who know god, know god, not in some definition we made up, but in the way he defines it: to take care of the poor and the afflicted. May we be people who look around us, and seek to show the righteousness and generosity and the love of god to the world.
Finance (2 of 2) We're called to live on a circle in a square. A circle inside of a square is 79%. The math from the commands matches the illustration from agriculture. 2.5% is put in the hands of the Priest; then a tenth is given to the church; and a tenth for yourself, in the form of savings, but one third of that is given to the poor. He doesn't want you just to go to heaven one day, he wants you to bring heaven to earth now. If your first fruits are in the right hands, your finances can't die. You sanctify everything else in your life by honouring the lord with your first fruits.
James 1.26 If anyone considers himself religious and does yet not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that our God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress. The religion our father sees as pure is generosity.
- Mike Connell, August 2012
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