Preparing for Worship // March 25, 2018

Preparing for Worship // March 25, 2018

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“Money makes the world go round.” There are probably few places in the world where this is truer than Charlotte. We live in a banking town where most people make their money working for a company whose business is to handle people’s money. But the importance of money isn’t just a reality for bankers. Every single one of us needs money in order to buy the things that we need every day, such as food, clothes, and a roof over our heads. The Bible even affirms that money can be a blessing from God (Deut 8:18). However, as we all know, there is a dark side to money. James 5:1-6 has some very harsh things to say to rich people who achieve their wealth by oppression. (“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.”) The reason that the Bible can view money as both a blessing and a curse is that money is first and foremost a means to an end. 

In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul says that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” It doesn’t take much to imagine the types of evils that flow out of a love for money: theft, lying, deceit, neglecting your family, and murder (in extreme cases). But there’s a flip-side to this as well: the love of money is the fruit of all kinds of heart idols. If your foremost desire is comfort, how can you go about acquiring comfort? Money. If your primary idol is approval, what’s one way you might gain people’s approval? Give people nice things using… Money. If you want control above all things, Money can help you gain control. If you prize success most highly, what’s one way you might gauge success? Money. The result is a fountain of sin, with money at the center. No one is beyond the reach of money’s enchantments. Every sin pattern is susceptible to the idolization of money.

But what happens if we replace all of those heart idols with a love for God. Then money becomes a means by which we glorify God by caring for the physical needs of ourselves and others. This is why it is so important that we begin all of the Christian life by placing God at the center. Unless we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we will be ruled by the desires of our heart, and money will become a means of getting what we want. The question to ask yourself is, “What fuels the way I use money?” Do you spend money wildly, hoping it will bring you comfort? Or do you hoard your money in an effort to make yourself feel secure? Only when we love God can we have a right and healthy attitude towards money, one marked by wisdom and generosity. You cannot serve God and money.

THE WORD

Scripture: Deuteronomy 14
Sermon: The Economics of Jesus

SONGS

Your Grace Is Enough (Matt Maher)
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Come All Christians, Be Committed (J.D. Goodwyne)
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Hear the Call of the Kingdom (Keith and Kristyn Getty)
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Thou Who Wast Rich (Ordinary Time)
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Song of Preparation: Hearts of Servants (Shane & Shane)
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Song of Response: All I Have is Yours (Sojourn Music)
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