This sermon series from the gospels on "Jesus and Our Stuff" was preached by Jeff Miller at Trinity Bible Church in 2013. Click on an individual sermon for an abstract of the message and to access both audio and video of the message.
Jesus and Our Stuff (part one)
Jesus had much to say about our earthly belongings. Approximately one-third of His parables address the relationship between people and their property. He taught that we should earn an income through honest means, and that we should be generous with our time and our valuables. He cautioned His followers not to over-prioritize their belongings, and that faithfulness with what we have would result in additional blessings from God. He invited us to depend on Him whether our portfolio is large or small. This practical series from the Synoptic Gospels will explore these and other important lessons from Jesus regarding our earthly possessions.
Jesus and Our Stuff (part two)
We instinctively assign value to each of our earthly possessions, thereby creating a natural priority list. If we're not careful, those items we particularly prize can begin to own us instead of the other way around. Jesus cautioned His followers against over-prioritizing their belongings. This begins by assigning the right value to God, His Kingdom, and our relationship with Him. Our earthly valuables appear less "valuable" in comparison. Once we've yielded to God as our sole authority-with the first and final say-our stuff can be prioritized with relative ease. This is the lesson Jesus had in mind for the Rich Young Ruler.
Jesus and Our Stuff (part three)
Jesus encouraged secret and discreet giving. Our generosity should never be motivated by people's potential applause. Instead we should aim to please our all-seeing God with openhanded and unpretentious giving. Jesus also praised the widow who gave sacrificially. Our giving should likewise be costly, leaving us in a condition that demands reliance on our sovereign Provider. This reminds us that God regards how much we have left as well as how much we give away. Is your giving characterized by discretion and sacrifice?
Jesus and Our Stuff (part four)
When we depend on our stuff, we worry that we might not have enough. When we worry that we might not have enough, we stockpile all we can find. When we stockpile and hoard, we neglect the needy and less fortunate and fall into narcissistic selfishness. We find ourselves investing in the less valuable treasures on earth instead of storing up permanent treasures in heaven. We also presume upon God regarding the amount of time we have on earth. On the other hand, when we depend on a heavenly Father who tenderly cares for us like a loving Shepherd cares for His sheep, we rest in Him. Where have you placed your dependence?
*Due to technical difficulties, the video version is joined in progress (the audio version is complete).
Jesus and Our Stuff (part five)
Christians have an obligation toward the poor. Caring for the less fortunate helps keep our eyes off of ourselves. It reminds us that all people are created equally in God's image and after His likeness with inherent dignity. It increases our gratitude for what we've been given. It tests our dependence on our stuff. It reminds us that God's economy is different from ours and this world is not our home. We may debate about how exactly we're to fulfill our obligation toward the poor, but we cannot deny our devout duty.
Jesus and Our Stuff (part six)
The way we define success will explain the direction of our lives. Our world weighs, measures, and counts the wrong things to determine one's level of success. We can sometimes be enticed to chase after the world's success, with the result that our priorities get shuffled. Instead, we should invest our time, our abilities, and our resources in a manner that would please the One who gave us these things in the first place. This perspective helps us properly define success using one very important word: It is required of a steward that he be found "faithful."
Jesus and Our Stuff (part seven)
Jesus taught us to be faithful with all that God has entrusted to us. That involves using our minds while investing wisely with an eternal perspective, knowing that such investments yield the greatest return. Our generosity should extend beyond believers to include those who are lost without the Gospel. We can earn an audience with them by conveying that they are more valuable than our earthly property. Sacrificing our stuff for the sake of another's soul should be an easy decision. Let us seize every opportunity to invest earthly belongings for the sake of the lost that we might be welcomed into their eternal homes one day.
Jesus and Our Stuff (part eight)
God owns it all. We've learned that. But that means that He owns more than just our stuff. He also has a rightful claim on our very lives. This proves to be an unpopular message in a world preoccupied with their entitlements and rights. It probably sounds shocking to many people that we do not belong to ourselves. We belong to God. In addition to giving an account of our faithful stewardship of our stuff, we're also going to be asked to give an account of our lives. Do you live your life for the One who gave His life for you?