Last week, we saw that contentment is not found in circumstances-but in trusting God's providence and being empowered by Christ's strength. Tonight Paul's letter turns to the issue of money.
Now, I could just skip these verses. I don't really like talking about money- because I don't wear gold suits. I don't own a collection of a Jaguars and Mercedes. I don't sell hankies with my sweat for $29.99.
However I do like talking about the Bible. And the Bible talks about money and possessions 800 times.
I do like talking about the things Jesus talked about. And He taught on finances and wealth about 25% of the time. Which means if I did that, I'd be preaching a stewardship sermon once a month.
I also like talking about my God. And God is a Giver. That's makes Him unique. All the other false religions have a god who is a taker.
If you want god to love you, you have to earn it, you've have to give him something-so much money, take a pilgrimage, go to purgatory to pay him back for your sins, do better in the next stage of reincarnation so you can pay back your cosmic debt. Other religions, have gods who are takers.
But the true God is a Giver. He gave us Paradise. And when we ruined that with sin, He gave us His Son.
Jesus gives of Himself to the poor and lame, the blind and needy, the lepers and the outcasts.
And ultimately He gives us the payment for our sin- a perfect life and innocent death. He gives us the promise that when we die, we'll go to Heaven where He'll give us resurrection bodies. He gives us His Spirit-to comfort us, indwell us and empower us. He gives us talents and abilities, gifts to serve others.
God is a giver, and we're going to look at four reasons why we should give back to God.