Called to Give: Develop a Healthy Perspective
(Sermon synopsis for January 13, 2019)
By: Jim Eschenbacher
Drew started a series on giving, a topic people tend to complain about. It is uncomfortable territory for a pastor, but, I give Drew credit for doing it and for not making it about money.
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the longest sermons recorded in the Bible. In Matthew 6:19 Jesus taught that we are not to lay up treasures on earth and the same instruction is recorded in other gospels. Jesus taught things more than once; who are we to decide we’ve heard it enough?
After mentioning ways we lay up treasures for ourselves on earth, Drew summed up the teaching, “This world is a poor investment.” Whatever we might find valuable on this earth (like jewelry, clothes, cars, houses, boats, or anything that men value) is subject to rust and decay. It will systematically lose value over time. Contrast that with God’s valuables and we can see the difference. God’s investments increase in value with time and will be with us in eternity.
Jesus continued with His sermon and said, “The eye is the lamp of the body.” What does that mean? Whatever your eye finds desirable will light up your life. Are you impressed with large homes? Exotic cars? Expensive jewelry?
Your eye can be healthy or unhealthy just as your perspective can be healthy or unhealthy. A healthy perspective has God as the priority.
In another place, Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What do you talk about most during the week? Your heart will be occupied with the things that matter most to you.
Jesus continued on… “You cannot serve God and money. You must choose one or the other.” Drew changed one word and made it clear to me. He said, “You cannot place your trust both God and money.” That put it into perspective. Who or what do you trust to help you in times of trouble?
Drew asked us to turn to Psalm 123:2; we are to look to God the way a servant looks to a master. A servant expects his needs to be taken care of by his master; he looks nowhere else. Does that describe your trust level of God? I found this to be a challenging point.
I have noticed that prayers increase when doctors say they have no solution. We treat God as a last resort, a fall back.
Make Him #1 in your life; as for giving, give Him all of you.
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