Blessed Life | Week 2
Turn to: Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13
Last Sunday, we saw Zacchaeus go from a broken life to a blessed life when he encountered Jesus. He immediately begin to reflect Jesus. He obeyed out of the tenderness of his heart!
We keep on Talking about the BLESSED LIFE this week with:
“Breaking the Spirit of Mammon”
Matthew 6:24 NO ONE… (not 1 person) can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon is the only thing that God says you can not serve alongside of Him.
What is mammon?
(not English or Greek) – Mammon is an Aramaic word meaning riches.
It might be “money” in your translation of the Bible. Which is not a far off word.
But, Jesus frames the word to mean something much deeper than simply money. He makes it sound like something more of a god or a spirit of riches.
Many believe mammon came from the Syrian God of Riches which can be traced to Babylon and the tower of Babel. Mammon represents a prideful, self-made, arrogant spirit of man that says we don’t need God. We can do it on our own.
The spirit of Mammon came from here. Mammon is a spirit. Jesus was referencing this Syrian False God of riches.
Mammon is a spirit that rests on money. All money has a spirit on it. It either has the spirit of Mammon on it. Or the Spirit of God. Jesus said that you can not serve God and mammon.
Let me say it another way:
All your possessions are identifying with the God of all sufficiency or the god of self sufficiency.
The BROKEN LIFE is one where you are constantly in charge and stressed about whether you are going to make it or not
The BLESSED LIFE is one where you are confident that God is in control.
Trying to serve God and Mammon is like putting one foot a boat and keeping one foot on the dock and trying to go somewhere on the boat. The dock (self sufficiency) won’t take you any where, and the only way the boat can is for your to get all the way in!
The BLESSED LIFE requires you to get in the boat all the way and completely rely on God, meaning that you will not rely on your own self-sufficiency!
So…How Do you Break the Spirit of Mammon?
How do make sure that you are not self sufficient but instead relying on the sovereignty of God?
Here are some raw stats about the financial giving at PSM this year. (as of 11/1/12)
There were 792 “giving units”. Most of these could be considered households, however, it is possible for there to be more than one giving unit per household if people want to keep their giving records separate (ex- each kid gives separate from parents).
514 gave less than $200 this year
142 gave between $200 – $1000
101 gave between $1000 – $5000
22 gave between $5000 – $10,000
13 gave over $10,000
Giving money to God often hurts.
We make a conscious decision to take money that we would normally spend on something else, invest, or save and give it to our local church. It can sound like a great decision on Sunday morning when the preacher lays out the scripture and vision of the local ministry. However, the truth is that later in the week or month, you will FEEL THE BURN.
When you look at your bank account online and see that there is a significant amount of money “missing”, your mind begins to struggle. This is normal. We often feel the weight of any investment. Any sacrifice whether it is physically working out, ‘doing the right thing’ with a relationship, or exerting time to study for a test will at some point be really tough to walk through. A pressure point. Tension. Questions…should I have really done that?
I’m not talking about giving God a tip. When we give God a minimal amount that is not a sacrifice or significant to our overall income, it does not take faith. In fact, you need minimal motivation (and no scripture) to make this type of contribution. We can put a litte in the offering and in the back of our minds, think “if this doesn’t work or if they don’t spend it correctly, then it doesn’t really matter. There is no real loss to me.”
Because of the Old Testament standard, we often use 10% as a guide today. Giving the first 10% of our income to God immediately gives us a different viewpoint of God and our money. All of the sudden we are relying on God. We are believing that when we start ‘feeling the burn’ of missing finances, that His grace is sufficient. He will carry us with our remaining 90% better than we could have handled 100% by ourselves. Not only will God deal with us individually (in a positive way) because of our personal commitment to him through sacrifice, but our local church will have financial resources to reach others.