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2. Let it Ride - Stick with long-term investments

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Matthew 6:21-241

I. Introduction

We live in a shaky economy.

Right now we’re going through some difficult economic times. But as we saw last week, it doesn’t matter whether the economy is good or bad—it is always shaky. We cannot depend on it.

Last week we began a four-part series on finding financial security in a shaky economy.

II. Choose the Right Bank

You have a choice.

Jesus says, Don’t store up treasures for yourselves on earth,
because in the world bank, your deposits disappear.

But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven,
because in Spiritual Trust and Savings, your deposits are guaranteed.

This week: You have to make a choice.

III. Stick with long-term investments.

Let it ride.

You can’t have it both ways.

Why? Three reasons.

The pursuit of money affects your attitude, your understanding, and your actions.

IV. Single Heart

Wealth can change your devotion.

It’s a heart issue. Core. Your heart can’t go both ways.

Treasures—not on earth, but in heaven
Matthew 6:21
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

HEART: center of the personality; mind, emotions and will
concerns, interests, feelings, what is valuable to you
what you devote your time to
subtly controls the direction and values of the whole person

1 Timothy 6:9-10 (NIV) 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.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

V. Single Vision

A. Wealth can change your perception.

There is no guidance in materialism. Your focus can’t go both ways.

B. Wealth can change your sense of direction.

Matthew 6:22-23 The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

We use our eyes to find our way.

good = single, undivided loyalty, generous

single: no ulterior motive

[23] But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

evil eye = doesn’t work, Jewish metaphor for stingy, envious, greedy

eye brings person light

double vision = blind

Walking in the dark in the middle of the night.

Proverbs 18:10-11 (NIV) The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. [11] The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.

Where there is no light, there can be no sight.
no clear vision, direction or orientation
morally and spiritually blind, plunged into moral darkness
materialism is a life of moral darkness
life in the dark. whole person groping around in the dark
selfish materialism gives no light toshow the way
no proper interpretation of true worth.
distorted view of material things is a distorted view of life as a whole
false set of goals
faulty vision results in wrong action
Actions that are wrong no longer appear wrong.
Thinking about the bottom line instead of thinking about God or people.

vs. a purposeful life, directed towards its true goal

see things clearly and in correct proportion.

If what is supposed to provide you with light, does not,

how great is the darkness

in the attic with a flashlight without batteries

Having difficulty finding your way in life? Finding God’s direction.

Sometimes it is difficult to find. But one thing that might be standing in the way: is your spiritual perception clouded by double vision.

Does money become a major issue in whether or not you will follow God?

Reader's Digest (Jan. 2004) survey of readers, "How Honest Are You?"

  • 17% Cheated on your tax return
  • 18%Misstated facts on a resume
  • 32% Lied to their spouse about the cost of a recent purchase
  • 37% Downloaded music from the Internet without paying for it
  • 50%received too much change but did not tell the cashier
  • 63% Called in sick at work when not ill
  • 63%Taken office supplies from the company for personal use

VI. Single Allegiance

Wealth can change your dedication.

Slavery, dedicated service, is single by definition.

Your commitment can’t go both ways. Obedience

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and Money.

Mammon means money

impossible to be slave to two (not employee)

outcome: hate

not feelings or emotion, but a decision to favor one over the other

comparative. Displaced by a higher loyalty

degrees of loyalty

he will neglect one of them while trying to please the other

forced to choose

Will find himself stooping to all kinds of evil practices.

can’t be godly and greedy at the same time

often must choose between profit and principle

1 John 3:17 (NIV) If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Luke 18:18-24 (NIV) A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" … [22] Jesus …said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

[23] When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. [24] Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

Money is neutral, but it can be corrupting in

1) how it is gained,

2) how it is regarded and

3) how it is used.




VII. Where is Your Loyalty?

We live in a world that operates on money. But the pursuit of wealth and the accumulation of wealth can have negative spiritual consequences. Specifically, it can warp our perception of reality and compete for our devotion to God (which should be wholehearted). We need to have a singularity of focus on God’s kingdom and never allow money to dilute our loyalty to God.

1 Copyright © 2004 by Lewis B. Bell III. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 2 in the Kingdom Economy series delivered by Chip Bell at Fellowship Bible Church Arapaho in Dallas, TX on September 19, 2004. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with credit.

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