“GOD DOESN’T NEED OUR MONEY”   (Galatians 5:16-26)   2011 Stewardship Series, Message #1
FBC Earlville 1-9-11 10:30 AM Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Pastor

*  Today’s “special”:  “A  Hard Lesson” A minister was giving the children’s message during church. For this part of the service, he would gather all the children around him and give a brief lesson before dismissing them.
On this particular Sunday, he was using squirrels for an object lesson on industry and preparation. He started out by saying, “I’m going to describe something, and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is.” The children nodded eagerly.
“This thing lives in trees (pause) and eats nuts (pause)…” No hands went up. “And it is gray (pause) and has a long bushy tail (pause)…” The children were looking at each other, but still no hands raised. “And it jumps from branch to branch (pause) and chatters and flips its tail when it’s excited (pause)…”
Finally one little boy tentatively raised his hand. The minister breathed a sigh of relief and called on him.
“Well,” said the boy, “I know the answer you’re looking for is supposed to be ‘Jesus’ … but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me.”

*  You look at the sermon title and think, “oh no, another message on money!”.  But the treasurer tells me our finances are good.  Breathe a sigh of relief.  Let’s learn together the lessons God has for us this month.
*  Psalm 50:1-15 show that God does not need our money, for He owns it all!
*  So then what DOES He need?  What DOES He want from us?
*  Prayer

(Galatians 5:16-26)
*  The warnings of the journey (vs. 16-21)
*  The warfare of the journey (vs. 22-26)
a.  “Self-control” (dictionary) = “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites”;  KJV “temperance”
b.  Here are some helpful insights from Crown Finances (“www.crown.org.”)
1.   Here is the paradox:  self control does not come from self controlling self!
2.   When we first came to the cross, we brought with us baggage of the old nature.  We didn’t know that there is man’s economy and God’s Economy, and that the 2 battle each other.
3.  The truth is:  self is broken and sinful and needs help outside of itself
4.  The need:  a repentance from the bondage that has us relying on self.
5.  “Self-control” is a gift of the Holy Spirit,  and it becomes a wall of protection around us.
6.  Saving money is a fruit of that gift!
7.  And the fruit of living in God’s Economy shows up in 3 specific areas:
His Lordship over all areas of my life;  my commitment to be a faithful steward;  my growth in giving generously.
Old proverb from India:  “Being rich is not the one who has the most, but the one who desires the least.”
We need to ask ourselves:  what baggage of the old economy do we still have?

*  Self- control is a change of lifestyle that begins at the cross (Acts 24:25)
*  Self- control is an evidence of maturity in Christ (2 Peter 1:6)
*  The lack of self-control is a mark of today’s society (2 Timothy 3:3)

The Lord Jesus showed the gift of self-control before the High Priest (Matt. 26:62-64) and before Pilate (Matt. 27:12-14)
God doesn’t need our money.  He needs our surrender!

Close in prayer

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