On April 12, 2015, pastor Darin preached from Luke 12:13-34, Seek First The Kingdom. Worry and anxiety destroys our joy in the Lord, and money often lays behind much of this anxiety—we either:
1) worry about not having enough money to provide for our needs. The first line of thinking goes back to Gen 3:17-19. After Adam sins, part of the curse was that ground would produce thorns and thistles and man’s work would be marked by sweat—it would be marked by the anxiety of not knowing if the ground would bear the fruit that you wanted to as a result of your work.
2) we have no worries about money because we have more than enough and feel secure. This was in fact a major aspect of the fall of man in Genesis 3:1-6. The forbidden fruit held out the false promise that we wouldn’t need God.
Both of these mindsets are similar in that they seek to find security in something other than the Lord. So, how can we experience freedom from the controlling power of money?
1. Recognize the power of money
a. Verses 13-15 - Dispute over an inheritance. The focus was on money, which has the power to tear families apart. Dig Deeper: Read Psalm 1. The psalmist was consumed with God and His Word, not the cares of this world.
b. Verse 15 – "be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
1) Verse 19 – the rich man wrongly thinks he lives in freedom because of his abundance. Money in this case becomes an alternate source of security.
2) Jesus speaks so much about money because it competes for the same commitment that God wants from us. This was the issue with man’s fall in the Garden.
c. God teaches us that we must trust Him alone. Dig deeper: We see this emphasized repeatedly in Scripture, such as God’s provision of manna to the Israelites in the wilderness.
d. Lack of trust shows up in either being anxious about money, or in resting our hopes in money. In each case we look for security in something other than God. Dig deeper: Have you allowed money (either the lack of it, or possession of it) to be your God?
2. Rest in the provision of God
a. Verses 22, 32 – we need not fear because God is the one who provides.
1) He not only provides, but He delights in providing for us.
2) He provides the best thing that is better than we can conceive: the kingdom.
b. God wants us to trust Him whether we have much or little. Dig deeper: If you are living life chasing after the wrong things, you will not find peace. But if you rest in God, and you recognize that it is up to Him to provide, you will find peace.
c. V. 20 – Soul is required. You cannot serve both God and money because they are mutually exclusive. To do so is to pursue a false gospel, for which we must give account.
3. How not to worry? When we trust in another gospel we are trying to provide for ourselves. But we were not designed for that. What must we do?
a. Verse 33 – sell everything. The key is to give things away. Dig deeper: we see this emphasized through Scripture Malachi 3; Philippians 4; 2 Corinthians 8 – 9 (the churches poverty overflowed to riches for others).
b. Generosity is an act of worship where we are saying that God is the one from whom all blessings flow. Dig deeper: Are you generous with your treasure? Ask God to strengthen you in this.
c. It is in the life of Jesus that we see unparalleled generosity displayed. His soul was required of Him to pay all of our debts. That’s how much He loves us, and it is in Him that we find joy.