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Investing in the Kingdom. Worshiping God through your money and your time MITACF Large Group February 8, 2002. Money: a private matter?. Jesus didn’t seem to think so: Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God. 11 of 39 parables talk about money

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Investing in the kingdom l.jpg

Investing in the Kingdom

Worshiping God through your money and your time

MITACF Large Group

February 8, 2002


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Money: a private matter?

  • Jesus didn’t seem to think so:

    • Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

    • 11 of 39 parables talk about money

    • 1 of every 7 verses talk about money in The Gospel of Luke


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A spiritual matter

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

-- Jesus (Mt. 6.21)


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3 myths about money:The Rich Fool (Luke 12)

  • Myth #1: Our need for it will end

    • In story, seems like a justice issue

    • Jesus warns us about greed

      • Subversive

      • Inadequate

      • Relative

    • The spiritual issue: you’ll never have enough, and it will enslave you


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3 myths about money:The Rich Fool (Luke 12)

  • Myth #2: It will provide security

    • “Take life easy…”

    • “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”

      • Dot-com’s

      • I-bankers and depression

    • The spiritual issue: trust in inanimate objects instead of the Living God


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3 myths about money:The Rich Fool (Luke 12)

  • Myth #3: It will last forever

    • No U-Haul’s to heaven: you can’t take anything with you

    • “Anything that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” -- C.S. Lewis

    • Jesus uses strong words: “You fool!”

    • The spiritual issue: we’re investing in temporary things, when we can invest in things that will last forever


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3 good ways to view money:The shrewd manager (Lk 16)

  • Way #1: It’s only temporary

    • He knows that he’s going to lose his job, and thus his control of the money

    • Spiritual insight: our money is only worth what worth we give it.


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3 good ways to view money:The shrewd manager (Lk 16)

  • Way #2: It’s not my money

    • The manager seems dishonest, unless He’s been given this authority

    • The master commends him for acting “shrewdly.”

    • “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” (Ps 24.1)

    • Spiritual insight: we’re just managers too of God’s resources


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3 good ways to view money:The shrewd manager (Lk 16)

  • Way #3: It can be used for something eternal

    • The point is, the manager had the right perspective: “welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

    • No U-Haul’s, but Greyhounds

    • Spiritual insight: invest the temporary for something eternal


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The power of money

  • Money is not neutral, but powerful. It’s constantly lying to us.

  • Instead of serving money’s purposes, let money serve God’s purposes.


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A rival deity?

“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.”

-- Jesus (Mt. 6.24)


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Investing in eternal homes

  • Track your spending

  • Begin tithing

    • Tithe your income

    • Tithe your spending

  • Create a budget

  • Short-term: Create a generosity fund, and give it away

  • Long-term: missionaries, ministries over a sustained amount of time


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Time: another resource

  • Like money, especially for students, time is a valuable resource

  • Same principles apply:

    • Your time is not your own

    • Invest in important (eternal) things


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But differences abound…

  • Unlike money…

    • The same amount of time (168 hours a week) is allotted to all.

    • Time cannot be gained or hoarded without limit

    • Time can be lost without effort or proactive desire

    • The applications will differ a bit


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There is never enough time

  • Results of the survey

    • How much “free time” do you have?

    • How do you tend to spend it?

    • What would you do with a day off?


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The lure of laziness

  • Laziness = freedom

  • “Some people would do anything to be able to do nothing.” – Frank Tyger

  • Ignores: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mt. 25:21, 23)

  • The spiritual issue: avoids God’s purposes for their lives for the sake of “freedom.”


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The lure of busyness

  • Busyness = significance

  • “It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.” – Mabel Newcomber

  • The spiritual issue: Doing everything except doing what God wants you to do, leading to a dysfunctional relationship with God


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Symptoms of hurry sickness

  • Constantly speeding up daily activities

  • Multi-tasking

  • Clutter

  • Superficiality

  • An inability to love

    • Busyness kills compassion


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Hurry sickness

“Hurry is not just a disordered schedule. Hurry is a disordered heart.”

-- John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted


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A key to spiritual health

“ ‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,’ he said at last…’

“ ‘There is nothing else.’ ”

-- John Ortberg, The Life You’ve Always Wanted


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Jesus’ invitation

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

-- Jesus (Mk. 6.31)


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Cures of hurry sickness

  • Urgent v. Important. Make room for relationships (w/ God and others) and ministry.

    • “The greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.” -- Charles Hummel, The Tyranny of the Urgent.

  • Slowing. John 15 and pruning.

  • Solitude


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Seeking true community

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him who is not in community beware of being alone… Each by itself has profound pitfalls and perils. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair.”

-- Detrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together


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Time investments

  • Investing in others, not just your normal group of friends

    • Set aside time for building relationships

    • Make eternal “trades”

  • Daily “hangout”

  • Weekly “timeout”

  • Yearly “logout”


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But, I don’t have the time or the money right now!

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with very much…”

-- Jesus (Lk. 16.10)


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The main question:Who are you becoming?

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”

-- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory


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Who are you becoming?

“How you live now will shape how you live in the future.”

-- Susan Cho Van Reisen, Urbana 2000 Speaker


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Making wise investments

  • With money, seek Kingdom investments by leveraging your resources for eternal purposes

  • With time, seek Kingdom investments by creating space for ministry and God

  • Both our investments in time and money reflect what’s truly in our hearts


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