The Motive Behind the Money

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

I saw that all labor and all skillful work is due to one person’s jealousy of another. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:4

Money is a part of life. Without money, we can’t pay bills, buy food and clothing, or travel. In normal life, we work, we make money, we spend money, we might save a little money, and we do the same the next day.

The Bible’s view of money and wealth is neutral–it can be used for good or bad. What defines it as such is our use of it and our motive of obtaining it. In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon, the richest man of his time, pondered the motive. He noticed that people go out and work and make money, some work even extra hard. He also noticed that many did this out of a jealousy for others. They wanted to keep up with their neighbors.

We live in a consumeristic society when it comes to money built on the very thing Solomon lamented. We work, earn, and spend so that we can have the newest best thing, or at least have what our neighbors have. Advertising firms know this. So do credit card companies.

Yet, as Solomon wrote, such an attitude is futile. Life isn’t supposed to be about keeping up with our neighbors.

In 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Paul gave a better motivation for money: Use it to be generous and to enjoy life. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with buying things that we want or enjoying ourselves, so long as such things honor God and so long as it doesn’t temper our willingness to share with others.

When we have a heart of generosity, we’re not so interested in what others have so that we can go and gain the same, but we’re interested in what others lack so that, if possible, we can help them gain. Let’s seek to have that heart and motivation behind what we earn.

Scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

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Sunday 09.30.18 (God and Money: Give Generously)

This week we’ll finish our “God and Money” series by taking a look at 1 Timothy 6 and what it means to be generous in our world. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering

Sermon Notes
Give Generously ~ 1 Timothy 6:17-19

The sermon in one sentence: Having learned to stay focused, plan well, and live within your means, work to increase your generosity toward others.

  • The attitudes of generosity (6:17)
    • Be humble
    • Be wise
    • Be hopeful
    • Be joyful
  • The actions of generosity (6:18-19)
    • Do much good (6:18)
    • Share more freely (6:18-19)

God and Money (sermon series)

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Songs for Worship
The Solid Rock
I Exalt Thee
All in All
Simple Living
Because I Have Been Given Much
Let Your Heart Be Broken

Sunday 09.23.18 (God and Money: Live Within Your Means)

This morning we’ll be in week three of four of our God and Money series, as we seek to discover how to grow in generosity. We’ll talk about avoiding debt by living within your means and how this helps us to be good managers of what God has provided. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@2pm Missions and Evangelism Team Meeting
@6pm Bible Study

Sermon Notes
Live Within Your Means ~ Luke 12:42-48 & Various Scriptures

The sermon in one sentence: Avoid the stranglehold of debt by living within your means so you can maximize generosity.

  • We are “stewards” of God’s resources (Luke 12:42-48)
    • We keep watch over what he has given and we use it wisely
    • We remember that all our money and resources belong to God, not to us
    • We maximize our wise use of resources to fulfill God’s purposes with our wealth
    • We minimize debt that hinders our wise use and generosity
  • To minimize debt and maximize generosity:
    • Maintain an attitude that you will avoid debt (Romans 13:8)
    • Adjust your lifestyle to avoid debt as much as possible (Proverbs 21:5)
    • Make a plan to pay off your existing debts as soon as possible (Psalm 37:21, Ecclesiastes 5:5)
    • Give more generously (Psalm 37:21)

God and Money (sermon series)

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Songs for Worship
Seek Ye First
Come Thou Fount
Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult
Thou Art Worthy
Take My Life and Let It Be
Freely, Freely

Sunday 09.16.18 (God and Money: Plan Well)

This morning, we’ll continue our God and Money series by taking a look at what the Bible says about how we are to be wise and plan well when it comes to our finances. This evening, we’ll join with other Osage River Baptist churches at Kamp Keirsey for the annual camp picnic. We hope to see you there!

@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@230pm Adrian Manor nursing home service
@5pm Camp Picnic at Kamp Keirsey

Sermon Notes
Plan Well ~ Various Scriptures

The sermon in one sentence: Wisely consider your finances in order to maximize your involvement in God’s purposes, because you belong to Jesus and everything you have is his.

  • Those who are wise “will count the costs” (Luke 14:27-33)
    • Jesus uses realities of money to illustrate the point: He is worth following and everything we have belongs to him
    • Therefore we should use our wealth to honor God
  • Four main purposes of money to help us love others well according to God’s will:
    • To provide for you and your family (1 Timothy 5:8)
    • To give help to those in need (Matthew 6:2)
    • To support the spread of the gospel (Philippians 4:10-19)
    • To enjoy life with family and friends (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10)
  • Three aspects of planning well in order to maximize your involvement in God’s purposes:
    • Budget wisely (Proverbs 13:16)
    • Spend wisely (Proverbs 21:17, 20)
    • Save wisely (Proverbs 6:6-11)

God and Money (sermon series)

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Songs for Worship
Worthy of Worship
Lord, I Lift Your Name on High
All that Thrills My Soul
How Great Thou Art
My Tribute
I Surrender All

Sunday 09.09.18 (God and money: stay focused)

This morning we’ll kickoff our new Sunday School / Small Groups year with doughnuts and coffee in the gym at 930 before classes begin at 945. Then during our worship gathering, we’ll begin our God and Money series with a look at 1 Timothy 6:6-10, learning how to stay focused with a proper perspective on wealth. Then on Sunday evening, we’ll conclude our Follow Me video study. We hope to see you there!

@930 Sunday School Kickoff in gym
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Follow Me video study in youth room

Sermon Notes
Stay Focused ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-10

The sermon in one sentence: Stay focused by remembering that wealth is temporary but godliness brings eternal gain.

  • Godliness provides the best gain, so pursue godliness with more passion than you pursue wealth (6:6, 9-10)
  • There is only a small amount that you need for life, so enjoy what you have and be content with the basics (6:6, 8)
  • Wealth is only temporary, so be wise with your wealth and don’t waste it by hoarding it (6:7)

Note: Everyone in attendance will receive a free copy of the book The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money by Art Rainer (one per household)

God and Money (sermon series)

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Songs for Worship
Better Is One Day
My Jesus, I Love Thee
Count Your Blessings
I’d Rather Have Jesus
Holy and Anointed One

Upcoming Sermon Series

In a recent church survey, we asked if there were any particular sermon topics people would be interested in hearing. We received back quite a few topics that Pastor Mike is planning to use to finish out 2018 once we wrap up our journey through Exodus at the end of this month.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough time for every idea (though they may be visited further in the future). Below are the series and sermons planned from August through December.

August: The Art of Prayer and Fasting
08.05 “Learning to Pray” (Luke 11:1-13)
08.12 “The Art of Praying Well” (Romans 8:26-30)
08.19 “Learning to Fast” (Isaiah 58)
08.26 “The Art of Fasting Well” (Matthew 6:1, 16-18)

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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September 2: TBD

September: God and Money (personal finance)
09.09 “Stay Focused” (1 Timothy 6:6-10, Matthew 6:24)
09.16 “Plan Well” (Proverbs 6:6-8, 13:6, 21:20)
09.23 “Live Within Your Means” (Romans 13:8, Proverbs 22:7, Psalm 37:21)
09.30 “Give Generously” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

God and Money (sermon series)

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October: Finding Light in the Darkness (hope in the face of despair)
10.07 “The Greatest Light” (Genesis 3, John 1)
10.14 “The Light of Hope: Battling Depression and Fatigue” (1 Kings 19)
10.21 “The Light of Peace: Battling Anxiety” (Matthew 6:25-34)
10.28 “Shining the Light: Supporting Others in Their Dark Times” (Romans 12:9-15)

finding light in the darkness (sermon series)

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November – December: The Life of… (biblical character studies)
11.04 “The Life of Mary”
11.11 “The Life of David”
11.18 “The Life of Hannah”
11.25 “The Life of Daniel”
12.02 “The Life of Tabitha”
12.09 “The Life of Barnabas”

the life of 00

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Sunday 06.04.17 (wealth and the glory of God)

This Sunday we’ll take a look at Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12 on the topic of wealth and the glory of God. Then on Sunday night we’ll continue our study on God’s attributes by considering God’s sovereignty. We hope to see you there!

If you’ve missed a Sunday in our Ecclesiastes series, you can catch up on the four most recent sermons on our sermon page.

Sunday Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Attributes of God study in the church library

Sermon Notes
Wealth and the Glory of God ~ Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12

  • Seek the good of those under your influence (5:8-9)
    • God wants us to love others the way that he loves us through Christ–including what we do with our wealth and resources
  • Be satisfied with what God provides (5:10-12)
    • A love for God and thankfulness for his provisions, centered on Jesus, leads to satisfaction
  • Make wise investments (5:13-17)
    • We make wise earthly investments caring for future generations, and wise heavenly investments showing others the love of God through Christ
  • Enjoy the fruits of your labor (5:18-6:6)
    • Set your hope on God, seek to do abundant good to others, be generous, and enjoy the rest
  • Trust God with the future and don’t be consumed with worry (6:7-12)
    • Whether we’re rich or poor, wise or foolish, we cannot control the future, but we have a God who does for his glory and our good