In Mark 10:17-22, Jesus is going out to the road when a rich man come before him and kneels down, asking Jesus how he may inherit eternal life. Jesus answers, "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother'" (v 19). The man says that he has kept these commandments. But knowing the man's heart, in quoting the commandments Jesus has omitted one: do not covet your neighbor's house (which speaks to greed and envy). Jesus then instructs the man to sell everything he has and give it to the poor, but the man goes away sorrowful, not able to do as Jesus asks. He is not able to let go.
Pastor Mickey delivered today's message as the first in a new series about stewardship,. Though stewardship may seem to be all about money, it is actually about our relationship with God. Money has a vital role in our relationship with God-not because of God, but because of our attachment to wealth.
Here are some key points we need to keep in perspective:
1. It's not yo' life.
We read in Genesis 2:7 that God formed Adam, the first man, from the dust of the ground (which He created as well) and breathed life into him.
Job acknowledges that his life is from God, "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4
There is nothing we have done to create our lives or give ourselves breath. These are the gifts of God. If God gave us life, He can also take it away.
2. It's not yo' job.
"And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:18
God put each one of us in this world today, in the situations where we are now. He has given us talents and skills to do what we do to earn a living. Employment is not deserved or a right, it is a gift! We should always remember and be grateful for that which God has granted us.
3. It's not yo' money.
"The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine," says the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2:8
Money is the most recurring topic in the Bible, and rightfully so. We allow money to grab us (as we desire to grab it), and we don't want to let it go. God knows this, and for this reason, the Bible speaks to us often about money and how to handle it. The first commandment is that we shall have no other gods before God; sadly, money is one such god that often gets in our way. To have that devoted relationship with God, we need to let go of our desire for money so that it doesn't control us. This will allow us to do God's will.
4. It's not yo' stuff.
Psalm 50:10-12 tells us that God will call to His people, "For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beast of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness."
Everything belongs to God, and all we own and can see around us is a gift from God. He can give us things and He can take them away. Because of this, we need to place our things in God's care, trusting Him with everything. We thereby honor and worship the Creator, not "our" money" or "our" possessions. We need to place God first, where He belongs, giving Him glory for the blessings He has granted to us.