What Does the Bible Say About Money? | Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:6

A Bible-Revering Church

Continuing our current sermon series, A Bible-Revering Church, TA looks at what the Bible says about money.

Timothy "TA" AteekJul 7, 2024Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:6

In This Series (10)
What Does the Bible Say About Contentment?
Luke FriesenJul 21, 2024
What Does the Bible Say About Ambition? | Mark 10:35-45
Kylen PerryJul 14, 2024
What Does the Bible Say About Money? | Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:6
Timothy "TA" AteekJul 7, 2024
What the Bible Says About Politics | Mark 12:13-17
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 30, 2024
What Does the Bible Say About Our Bodies? | 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 23, 2024
Jesus and Gender | Colossians 1:15-20
Dave BruskasJun 16, 2024
Marriage | Ephesians 5:22-33
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 9, 2024
Jesus and the Word | Matthew 15:1-9
Timothy "TA" AteekJun 2, 2024
The Markers of a Bible-Revering Person | Psalm 119:97-104
Jermaine HarrisonMay 26, 2024
The Word of Revival | Nehemiah 8
Timothy "TA" AteekMay 19, 2024

Summary

Money determines whether we eat or not. It determines where we live or don’t live. Whether we have a lot of money or a little money, we will be tempted to make money not just important, but ultimate. And if we make money ultimate, the source of our joy and satisfaction, then according to Solomon we are headed toward a life that is frustratingly empty.

Key Takeaways

  • Money is a terrible god.
  • Money is a terrible god because it increases “friends.”
  • Money is a terrible god because it can increase anxiety.
  • Money is a terrible god because it can be lost.
  • Money is a terrible god because God made it to be a gift.
  • Money is a terrible god because no matter how much you have, you are bankrupt without Jesus Christ.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • Have you surrendered your entire life to Jesus by turning from your sin and trusting in Him? Is your faith in Christ evidenced in how you steward the gifts and resources God has given you by His Spirit?
  • Is your heart full in knowing and enjoying fellowship with Christ?
  • How does money reveal what our hearts love, value, and treasure?
  • Has money become a god in your life, something to which you cling? Is it in some ways your functional savior, the thing you look to satisfy the longings of your soul?
  • Does your joy or anxiety increase or decrease based on how much money you do or don’t have?
  • Do you need to bring others who know you into your finances so that they can see potential blind spots?
  • Do you prayerfully and cheerfully give financially to support the ministries of the church? Do you generously give to advance the spread of the gospel to reach the unreached in our city and the nations?
  • Will you have your money, or will your money have you?
  • Close by prayerfully considering TA’s words:
    • Spend time this week with your spouse or by yourself thanking God for what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Stop waiting until you get more stuff to finally be satisfied in Jesus. In Christ, you have all you need—every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (read Ephesians 1:3-14)!

Good morning, Watermark. How are we doing today? Good to see you. I hope you had a great Fourth of July. It's great to be back gathered together. If this is your first time ever with us on a Sunday, thanks for trusting us with your morning. I hope this place feels like home very quickly. We take this Book very, very seriously. We believe God has gone to great lengths to speak to us. I don't know if you came here this morning expecting to hear from the God of the universe, but that's the opportunity we have now. God is here. He wants to speak to us.

I just want to give you an opportunity to prepare your mind and heart to hear from him. If you will, take a second and just pray. Say, "God, would you speak clearly to me today?" Then pray for the people around you, your friends, your family, and for the other people in this room, that God would speak clearly to them. Then pray for me and ask God to speak clearly through me to you today.

Lord, I pray that your Spirit today would lead and guide us into all truth. Lord, I pray that our minds would be open and our hearts would be receptive to all that you want to say to us today. We need you. We love you. In Jesus' name, amen.

A couple of years ago, my oldest son was turning 13, and we were new to Dallas, so we felt like a good opportunity for our son to get to know some of the other 13-year-olds in town was to have them all over for a little birthday party for him. My wife and I didn't plan it right. We thought we could invite a bunch of 13-year-old boys over and just get some pizzas and push play on Napoleon Dynamite and it would be sufficient. It was not.

What happened was about 15 minutes into the movie, these 13-year-old boys started getting restless. They started moving around. They're getting up. They're going outside. That is literally all we had planned for the evening. It was like, "Pizza? Check. Napoleon Dynamite? Check." We've done everything we've planned to do at this point, and we're 15 minutes in. We're like, "Our son will never recover from this the entire time we're in Dallas."

So, literally, Kat and I found ourselves in the kitchen, like, "What have we done? What do we do? Do you have any ideas? Do I have any ideas?" Then it hit me. "Do you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to start paying these kids cash." I reached into my pocket. I found all of the cash I could find in the house, and I decided, "You know what? I'm going to make up some games. I'm going to start playing games and give these kids an opportunity to earn some money."

It turns out money is a very powerful motivator, because I had a line of 13-year-old boys in my living room lining up to earn money. I want to show you one of the games I played with them. I'm going to have David Penuel come up. I'm going to show you this game because you and your family might want to play it later on today.

So, here's what David is going to do. He's going to put out his hands like this. I'm going to put the $20 bill right there, and then when I drop it, he just needs to catch it. So I'm going to drop it. I love that game. Here's the thing. When you're watching David, part of you is like, "I bet I could do it." David probably isn't as coordinated as you are. Right? So, if I asked for some volunteers, you'd be like, "I think I can get it."

That's what every 13-year-old boy thought. They would watch the person in front of them miss, and they'd be like, "Yeah, but I'm going to get it." Then they'd sit there, and they would miss it. So do you know what they would do? They'd turn around and go right back to the back of the line. They were like, "Man, this time…" They were sitting there, working their fingers on their way up the line.

There's just this feeling. You'll experience it if you play it today. There's this feeling of anticipation, like, "I know I'm going to catch it," and then that bill drops, you pinch your fingers, you open them up, and there's nothing there. It's so frustrating to feel that emptiness in your hand. The reason I even show you that is if you were to look into the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament, that feeling, that frustratingly empty feeling, is the whole point of the book of Ecclesiastes.

All throughout the book, King Solomon uses this Hebrew word hebel. That word, if you're using it in a physical sense, means mist or vapor. Think of the mist that comes out of your mouth on a cold day. But when you use it in a more metaphorical sense, it implies meaninglessness or this frustratingly empty feeling.

So, all throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon is making the point that if you divorce your experience in life from God and look for life under the sun, there are so many different things in life that are going to feel just like it feels when that bill slips through your fingers. There are so many things in life that will feel frustratingly empty, including money.

We're in this Bible-revering series. We want to be a church that reveres the Bible. Whatever it says, that's how we want to live. Today, we're going to get synced up on what the Scriptures tell us about money, because if we're not careful, we're going to take money, which is very important… Money is an important part of every person's life. No one in this room can actually live in this world without money, but there will be this tendency to take something like money, which is important, and make it ultimate.

When you take something that is important and make it ultimate and you begin to believe money is the key that will unlock your satisfaction and happiness in life, you are setting yourself up for a life that will feel frustratingly empty. So, we just need to talk about that today. Money is so important. Money determines what you eat and what you don't eat. It determines where you live and where you don't live.

Money is the reason some of you guys were posting that perfect picture from Europe or Mexico this summer. Money is the reason some of you were bitter at those people posting pictures in Europe or Mexico this summer. There's a lot of money that goes out of our pockets during the summer because of vacations or camps for your kids, and every single one of us has experienced that increased cost of living. So, we just need to center ourselves on God's Word, and we need to answer the question…Have we taken something that is important and made it ultimate?

If you have a Bible, I want to invite you to turn with me to Ecclesiastes, chapter 5. I think it's important for us to acknowledge from the beginning that money is a morally neutral thing. The Scripture doesn't say money is the root of all evil; it says the love of money is the root of all evil. It's a morally neutral thing. It's what you do with it that will determine whether it's bad or good.

But it is important. Jesus goes so far as to say that where your treasure is, where your money is, that's where your heart will be as well, as if to say that you cannot separate your passions from your money. They are going to go hand in hand. If you want to know what you're really passionate about, in a lot of ways, just look at where your money is. So, as we go through this message, the question I want to encourage you to answer is…Do you have your money or does your money have you?

Ecclesiastes, chapter 5, is where we're going to be. Now, remember who's writing. It's most likely King Solomon. Who was King Solomon? He was one of the wealthiest people to ever walk on the planet. He might possibly be the wealthiest person to ever walk on the planet. Some people estimate his annual income was somewhere around $1 billion.

Here's what that means. It means Solomon never had debt. Solomon never had to tell himself no. He never had to eat at home or do a staycation to save money. If he wanted it, he got it. That's who's writing. Money was in Solomon's wheelhouse, so if he has something to say about money, it's in our best interest to hear what he says.

In Ecclesiastes, chapter 5, verse 10, we find his thesis statement. This is his premise for the entire passage. Listen to what he says. Don't miss it. "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is_ [hebel] _vanity." It's frustratingly empty. Do you see what he's saying? He's saying he who loves money… That word love here speaks to the cultivated appetite of the heart and soul.

It's making money the key that unlocks satisfaction in life. It's believing that money is actually the solution to all of your problems, the pathway to your happiness. All Solomon is saying is "Look. If you think money is your answer, if you think money is the key to you feeling full in this life, you are going to go hungry. You are going to go empty." It's going to be like grasping for the bill and coming up with nothing.

Money can do a lot of things. It can. Money can make you feel temporarily secure, especially if the market is up. You look at the bottom line of your bank account, and it can be really satisfying and make you feel secure to know you have a lot. Money can also make you feel temporarily significant. If you can pick up the tab when you're out with friends, if you can buy a nicer house, a nicer car, and go on more extravagant vacations than other people, it might make you feel significant, at least for a time.

Money can also pacify your pain, because spending money can sometimes be a distraction from what's really going on in your life, but the key word is temporary. Money cannot do anything lasting. Money cannot permanently satisfy you. You will either need to keep spending or keep accumulating in order to increase your satisfaction with money.

What Solomon is really driving at here is if you look to money to be the thing that satisfies the deepest longings of your soul, you're going to be really frustrated, because money can't do what only God can. This is congruent with what other wealthy people have said. I mean, anytime someone teaches on money, they point to this story that has been told about John D. Rockefeller. The story goes that someone asked John D. Rockefeller, "How much money is enough?" and his reply was, "Just a little bit more."

Famous actor Jim Carrey put it this way: "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer." It's not the answer. See, the more you have, the more you want. The more you save, the more you want to save. The more you spend, the more you want to spend.

The point Solomon, John D. Rockefeller, and Jim Carrey are all making is the same. Money is a terrible god. That's the point. That's the whole thesis for this passage. Money is a terrible god. You might be like, "I'm not making money a god." Well, just evaluate really quickly. When we talk about making something your god other than Jesus, we're saying that's where you find your trust. That's where you find your satisfaction. That's where you find your peace.

That thing might cause your mind to race or cause you anxiety or get all of your affection. Is that money for you? Is money the key that unlocks the life you truly want? Is it the answer to all of your problems? Is it what you need to be happy? If so, you're looking to money to do what only Jesus can.

So, money is a terrible god. That's the thesis for the passage. The rest of the passage is just Solomon giving you reasons money is a terrible god. So, let me unpack for you several reasons money is a terrible god. What you need to identify is if, in this passage, God through Solomon is exposing that there is some idolatry in your heart with money.

1. It increases friends. Wisdom literature usually speaks in generalizations. What this means is what Solomon is saying won't be everyone's experience, but there is enough experience to make the generalization. Solomon says in verse 11, "When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes?"

He's saying when you get more stuff, it increases the number of people who come around to eat it. Money is going to increase your friends. The IRS is going to want to become better friends with you the more money you get. You might have some extended family who just seem to come around more and lean on you more for things.

Others will seek you out because of your money. One source said that by the late 1880s, John D. Rockefeller was receiving thousands of letters a week asking for charitable donations. One historian said he was stalked, badgered, harassed, and followed wherever he went. He couldn't walk down the aisle at his church without people asking him for some money.

Bernie Kosar, famous NFL quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, declared bankruptcy, but he recalled at one point paying 60 different cell phone plans, and he was only one of those. Why? The more money you have, the more friends who come around. I wouldn't be surprised if some of you in here get asked weekly to sit down for a meeting to talk about a new business venture or to support the work of a nonprofit. Why? Because the more money you have, the more friends you will have.

Now, here's what you need to understand. When money is your god, do you know what will happen when more people begin to come around? You're going to begin to see everyone through a skeptical lens. You'll become bitter and resentful toward people, and you will even give less because you don't trust anyone with your money. So, that's the first reason money is a terrible god: it increases friends.

2. It can increase your anxiety. Money can increase your anxiety. Listen to what he says in verse 12. "Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep." Do you understand what's happening here? Solomon is contrasting the sleep of a day laborer with the sleep of someone who's incredibly wealthy.

His point is when you're just a laborer, you wake up, you go to work, you earn just enough money to put dinner on the table for that night, you go to sleep, and you wake up and do it again, because that's all you have to think about. But you know what? The more money you have, the more stuff you have, and the more stuff you have, the more you have to manage, and the more you think about managing all of your stuff and all of the stuff you own that starts breaking, you can't sleep at night, because there's so much to think about.

So, you just have to think… Big houses and second houses and swimming pools and extravagant landscapes and memberships are nice, and I'm not telling you not to have these things. I'm not knocking these things or telling you they're bad. I'm just pointing out that someone has to manage all of it. Even if you pay someone to manage all of it, you have to make sure they do a good job managing it. Someone has to deal with the upkeep.

I remember talking to a friend whose parents built this mansion on this peninsula of Lake LBJ. He was talking to me about the house when we were there. He said, "This house has eight different air conditioning units, and there are 100 different sprinkler heads in the yard." Can you imagine when something breaks? It's like, "Which air conditioning unit is it? Where is the leak in the yard? There are 100 possible options." There's so much to manage.

Again, there's nothing wrong with it. I'm not trying to discourage you from making a lot of money or having a nice house or a lake house or ranch. That's not the point. Remember, the point is that money is a terrible god. The more you have, the greater the temptation to toss and turn at night, worrying about your stuff. When money is your god, you won't be able to enjoy your stuff, and you won't be able to watch others enjoy your stuff because you will feel a need to control your stuff. That's the second reason money is a terrible god.

3. It can be lost. Anything that can be lost is a terrible god. There's no guarantee that you'll always have it. Listen to what Solomon says in verses 13-17.

"There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind?"

Watch this. Don't miss how this ends. Here's a guy who had a lot, lost it all in a bad investment, and has nothing to give his kids. He's realizing that he's going to go out of this world the same way he came in: naked, with nothing. Knowing that, having made money his god, listen to how his life plays out. "Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger."

He loses everything, and what's the result from making money his god? He's bitter. He's angry. He's depressed. This is a guy who went from riches to rags. The reality is that in this world you can lose everything overnight. Sometimes it'll be your fault, whether you make a risky investment or gamble it all away. That would be on you. But there are times where you don't do anything wrong and you still lose it. The market crashes, and you lose everything.

That's what makes money a terrible god. There is no guarantee that you will always have it. I came across this article about a guy who used to be a writer on a famous TV show in the 90s and was highly successful, but he was a modern-day picture of what Solomon was talking about. He was a guy who had a lot and then lost everything. He went from riches to rags.

Here's what he wrote: "On Christmas Day, 2001, I sat down at my Yamaha G2 grand piano… It was late afternoon, and the warm, orange light of the fading day poured into my five-bedroom house—paid for by my $300,000 a year income as a Hollywood comedy writer—in San Marino, California, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles." In 2001, $300,000 was about $530,000 today.

He says, "My wife, Marina, was cooking dinner for me and our eight children, and it was as happy a Christmas afternoon as I would ever have." Now listen to this. "On Christmas morning, 2008, I woke up on the floor of the 1997 Chrysler minivan I lived in, parked behind the Kinko's just two miles from my old house in San Marino. It was raining, and I was cold, even though I had slept in three layers of clothes."

What was this guy's story? He graduated with honors from college. He became a successful writer and made a ton of money, but the TV show he was writing for began to take a toll on his family. He had accumulated about $500,000 in savings, which is about $900,000 today, so he took some extended time off of work to focus on his family. When he tried to get a job again, the market had crashed, and he could not find work.

Think about what's happening here. Here's a guy who was trying to do the right thing, focusing on his family for a period of time, and then he could never get it back. He lost everything. Here's the thing. If money becomes your god and you lose it, do you know what will happen? You will go through life like the guy in the story. You will go through life angry and bitter, playing the victim, and looking in the rearview mirror, longing to go back to the glory days where you had your stuff.

What I appreciate about the guy writing this article is there was no bitterness. He didn't blame anyone, and he grew to be content with just making it day to day based off contract work he found on Craigslist or other places, because he realized money wasn't the thing that could truly satisfy. The reason I'm even bringing this up is how you view money now will determine how you respond in the future.

Whether you gain more or lose it all, it's possible for you to have joy and peace and hope. Why? Because money is not the thing you look to to satisfy the deepest longing of your soul. But if you look to money to be your greatest satisfaction, then all of your joy and all of your peace will hinge on how much is in the bank account. Where we want to be, as Christians, is in a place where it's nice to have but we don't have to have it. We can have it or we can lose it, and we will be okay, knowing that while we need money to live, we don't live for money.

My hope is for the people of Watermark to, in some ways, embody Hebrews 13:5, which says, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Isn't that good news? The good thing about God is you might lose all your money, but God will never lose you. That's why money is a lousy hope and a terrible god.

4. God made it to be a gift. Money is a terrible god because God made it to be a gift. If it's a gift, it can't be treated like a god. Anytime we're treating a gift like a god, we are asking something to do what only Jesus can do. Money is a terrible god because God made it to be a gift.

Just think. Up to this point, Solomon has been talking negatively about money, and now he's going to change and talk positively about it. Here's what he says in verses 18 and 19. "Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting…" Listen. This is the guy who has money in his wheelhouse, one of the most wealthy people of all time. Here's what he's saying is the good path. Here's what is fitting.

"…is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God."

Don't miss what Solomon is saying. According to Solomon, everything in your life, including breath itself, everything you have, has been given to you by God. If you are wealthy, it is because God in his grace has allowed you to be. You might hear that and be like, "No, no, no. I have what I have because I got out there and hustled more than other people hustle." I would just say you did it with that brain of yours that is strategic and creative. Well, who gave you that brain? God did.

You say, "No, no, no. I've got this drive that is better than others." Where did you get that intrinsic drive from? Why do you have it and other people don't? It's because God gave it to you. Everything you have is a gift from God. So, if it has been given to you by God, then your responsibility is to enjoy it to the glory of God, to glorify God with all he has given you.

So, what does that look like? I mean, go out and eat some good food, but do it with a ton of gratitude to God. Go on a nice vacation, but do it with overwhelming gratitude that it is solely by God's grace you're able to even see the things he has made and enjoy them. Even more than that, tap into the joy of blessing others with what God has blessed you with. Find the joy of investing in what God is doing throughout the earth.

5. No matter how much you have, you are bankrupt without Jesus Christ. Do you hear that? This is why money is a terrible god. It doesn't matter how much you have. Even if we made visible every single person's bank account here, the person who has the most money here, if you don't know Jesus, you are actually bankrupt in what matters most. Listen to the story Solomon tells in chapter 6, verses 1-6. Watch this.

"There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires…" Do you have the picture of that person in your mind? This is a guy who lacks nothing. He has a full bank account. He has houses (plural). He has the cars. He has the clothes. He has season tickets to the Mavs and the Cowboys. On top of that, he has status and respect.

God has given him the wealth, the possessions, and honor. Don't miss the wording here. "…so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity…" It's hebel. It's squeezing your fingers together, thinking you're going to grab the bill, and you miss it.

"…it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?"

Do you understand the argument Solomon is making? He's saying God gives this guy all of these gifts, yet he looks to the gifts to be his god. God in his kindness will not allow you to be satisfied with a god that is not a god. It would be the most unloving thing for God to do to let you find all of your satisfaction in something that truly cannot save your soul.

So, what you have is this guy who has everything, yet he feels like he has nothing. So Solomon is like, "You know what? A stillborn baby is better off than him," because he gets up every single day and jumps on the treadmill of life. He runs and runs and runs and expends all this energy and, in the end, has nothing but emptiness in his soul. He's saying a stillborn baby moves to rest, yet this guy has no rest.

Let me encourage you. Beware of finding yourself in a place where you have everything you want but nothing you need. Beware of that day where you have everything you want but nothing you need, because you cannot buy your way into eternity with God. You need to understand that cash is not the currency of heaven; the body and blood of Jesus Christ is.

I hope you don't miss this. If you are here today just playing church, playing religion, finding all of your satisfaction and all of your hope in your bank account, I am telling you, cash will have nothing for you at the end of your life. We are bankrupt apart from the broken body and the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Our sole hope for life is found in the life, death, burial, resurrection, and kingship of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He is our only hope, and a relationship with God costs no less than the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Think about Judas Iscariot. Judas was the guy who betrayed Jesus. Judas was a guy who made money his god. If you go and read about Judas, you see that he would steal from Jesus' bank account. The reason Judas goes and makes a deal with the chief priest to betray Jesus is, in that moment, he was choosing one god over another. He was choosing the god of money over the God of the universe.

When he betrays Jesus, he gets paid 30 pieces of silver. When Judas takes those 30 pieces of silver, he believes he has caught the bill, but then what does he go and do with that money? He buys a field and commits suicide. Why? Because it turned out to be frustratingly empty. So, I want to close today by giving you several action steps so we can be a Bible-revering church when it comes specifically to the topic of money.

The first thing I'd encourage is this. If you're here just visiting, if you don't have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, my encouragement to you today, right now, in this moment… Let's not wait. Let's not waste more time. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Turn from the sin of putting your hope and trust in what you have, and put your trust in Jesus Christ, the one who is committing to have you for all of eternity.

The reality is Jesus is the only God who doesn't bring friends but family, brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus is the God who doesn't bring anxiety but peace. Jesus is the God who not only can't be lost but will never lose you, and Jesus is the only gift from God that is actually meant to be God in your life and mine. If you don't know Jesus today, right now, would you put your trust in him? Would you say yes to him?

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then I hope you don't miss what I'm telling you right now. If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, then my encouragement to you is to relentlessly seek Jesus until your satisfaction is found solely in him. Do you know what my fear is for so many of us here at Watermark? When I talk about being satisfied in Jesus, when I say that Jesus is the only one who can satisfy the longings of your soul, my fear is you have no clue what I'm talking about.

You know that's the right answer, and you know Jesus is someone you're supposed to discipline yourself for and do a lot for, but you have no clue what it is like for your heart to be full and satisfied in knowing and being with Jesus. My encouragement to you is you make that your greatest aim this week, that you reorder your schedule, you change your rhythms and routines, and you saturate your life with Jesus until you find that your soul is truly satisfied in him.

Thirdly, I want to encourage you, by yourself or with close friends or with your spouse this week, to spend time thanking God for what you do have instead of complaining about what you don't have. So many of us are waiting until we get more stuff to finally be satisfied in Jesus. It's like when our bank account is full, when we do have more stuff, then we'll be like, "Yeah, God is good, and, yeah, I am satisfied in Jesus." Stop waiting until then. We don't seek Jesus for more stuff; we seek Jesus for Jesus.

Fourth, bring your Community Group into your finances. Let's get below the surface in our groups. Let's do life together. Let's be fully known and fully loved with one another. Sometimes we need help from others in order to see when our relationship with money has become unhealthy.

Fifth, I would encourage you to potentially attend Moneywise here at the church. If it would be helpful for you to go through a course that can help you find clarity when it comes to your finances, Moneywise is a great course for you to do that. If you find yourself in between jobs right now and needing some encouragement in the right direction, I'd encourage you to check out Careers in Motion.

Sixth, steward everything and own nothing. I love meeting with many of you who, when I sit with you, it's clear that God in his grace has given you a lot to steward, yet you know it is a stewardship. You know it all belongs to God. There is nothing you have that is yours to own. It has all been given to you by God to steward. So, my encouragement to you is to steward everything and own nothing. That will free you up to enjoy it to the glory of God and to let others enjoy your stuff to the glory of God.

Then, finally, invest your money in what God is doing. Let me just say this. If you consider Watermark Community Church your home, then I want to ask you to prayerfully consider financially investing here. Be a part of what God is doing here. There is this temptation for people to walk in, to look around and see our big facilities, and to believe the lie, "Whether I give or not here is inconsequential because Watermark will always have whatever it needs to do whatever it wants to do."

I would just say "No." You need to know there are really, really noble and important things we want to do to reach our city, to plant churches in this nation, and to reach people in the world who have literally never heard the name of Jesus, but it's going to require the people who consider Watermark their home to give radically to what God is doing here. If you don't want to give here, go find a church where you would feel comfortable giving, but let's be people who live fully surrendered to Jesus in all areas of our lives, including our money.

I'll close by asking you a question that I asked toward the beginning. Do you have your money or does your money have you? Money is a terrible god. Do not look to money to do what only Jesus Christ can do. Only Jesus can satisfy the deepest longings of your soul. My hope and prayer is that we would experience that and know that to be true this week. Let's pray.

Lord, if there is anyone in this room right now who does not have a relationship with you, I pray that right now they would call out to you in prayer.

If that's you right now, friends, if you want to say yes to Jesus for the first time, if you want to put your trust in Jesus, then I invite you right now to just say these words. Pray these words to God. Say, "Lord Jesus, would you come into my life today? Lord, I turn from a life of putting my hope and finding my satisfaction in things other than you. Would you come into my life today? Would you forgive me of all of my sins, and would you lead me in a new life?" Just tell him. Say, "Thank you, Jesus, that you died for me. Thank you, Jesus, that you rose from the dead for me. I give my life to you."

If you're a follower of Jesus Christ in here, I want to invite you to do business with the Lord right now. If God is revealing to you right now that money has had an unhealthy place in your life, would you confess that to him and allow his grace to flood that area of your life? You might even just physically open up your palms as a display that it's all his, that it all belongs to him.

Lord Jesus, we want you to be the satisfaction of our souls, so we ask and pray that this week we would taste and see that you are good. We need you. In Jesus' name, amen.


About 'A Bible-Revering Church'

God’s word is our authority, conscience, and guide.