MONEY: god or gift

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BIG IDEA

In Luke 19, we see that money wields controlling power over us because it offers us everything our sinful flesh desires—acceptance, fame, security, instant gratification, control over our life, etc. But it can’t deliver. Idols never give what they promise. Look at Zacchaeus! Though incredibly rich, he was climbing up a tree just to get a look at Jesus. This is not a content man; this is a desperate man. But how can we tell if we, like Zacchaeus, are worshiping money as a god? Jesus essentially says, look to your bank statement when he proclaims “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Where we most easily place our money (spending or saving) is the indicator of what we worship, not matter what we say we believe. Most of us have worshiped or are still worshiping money as a god. But how can we repent? The same way Zacchaeus did. We need to be blown away by Jesus and his gracious salvation. When we see Jesus’ sacrificial generosity (taking our death on the cross in order to give us life through His resurrection) we will be freed from the controlling power of money. Then, and only then, will we repent from worshiping money as a god and start using money to worship God. When we are looking to Jesus’ sacrificial generosity, we will stop asking “how much should I give” and start asking “how much can I give.” Jesus didn’t tithe his blood. He gave everything He could. When we are in awe of Him and what He’s done, we’ll be generous.

SCRIPTURE

Luke 19:1-10 1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he

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also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

DISCUSSION

1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? Was there anything new? Was there anything confusing? 2. What stands out to you in Luke 19:1-10 and why?

Idols never give what they promise. Look at Zacchaeus! Though incredibly rich, he was climbing up a tree just to get a look at Jesus. This is not a content man; this is a desperate man.

3. Have you seen this to be true in your own life? Explain your answer. Have you seen this to be true in others, maybe those who don’t know Jesus?

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Where we most easily place our money (spending or saving) is the indicator of what we worship, not matter what we say we believe.

4. Where do you most effortlessly put your money (whether it be spending or saving)? What idol do you think you are feeding by where you’re putting your money? Try and be specific in your answer, while all helping one another to see the truth in each situation.

When we are looking to Jesus’ sacrificial generosity, we will stop asking “how much should I give” and start asking “how much can I give.” Jesus didn’t simply tithe his blood. He gave everything He could. When we are in awe of Him and what He’s done, we’ll be generous.

5. Are you consistently giving sacrificially to fuel the mission of Jesus to make disciples, love cities, and plant Churches? If so, talk about the joy it is to give. If not, in what way is an idol keeping your from giving? How can you repent and start being generous? (help one another see the truth) 6. Spend some time praying for one another, praying for the lost, praying for your city, and praying for God to provide for the future church plant in Checotah (launching May 4th).

GOOD WORD

Jesus was able to call Zacchaeus to climb down a tree and receive His life, because one day He would climb up a tree and receive Zacchaeus’ death.

He’s the resurrected Author of Life who gives grace to idolatrous enemies and changes them into generous Children.

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