Sermon on November 26 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
(‘Proverbs’ – Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times)
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth (10:4)
The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and He adds no sorrow to it (10:22)
One person gains freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed
People curse the one who hoards grain, but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell (11:24-26)
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf (11:28)
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasises have no sense (12:11)
Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow (13:11)
Do not wear yourself out to get rich: do not trust your own cleverness – Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like and eagle (23:4.5)
Two things I ask of you Lord; do not refuse me before I die; Keep falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches, but only give me my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you, and say ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God. (30:7-9)
‘All the things I would do if I had a little money…’ (Money, Money, Money – Swedish pop group, Abba)
1. GOD MADE MONEY A BLESSING – AND IT’S AVAILABLE!
- Do not despise wealth… (10:22)
Wise people neither despise money and wealth, nor turn them into what they are not.
- …depend on handfuls, not windfalls (10:4; 12:11; 13:11; 15:16,17)
God gets ahead by handfuls – slow, patient and diligent efforts over a lifetime.
2. WE MAKE MONEY A CURSE – AND IT’S POWERFUL!
- Fight greed because it hurts you (11:24-26)
- Fight greed because it hurts others (11:28; 15:27)
Love money more than God and you will wither. Treasure Him as your treasure and you will see what is valuable.
- Fight greed because money doesn’t last (23:4)
The question is not ‘How much of my money should I give to God?’ Ask: ‘How much of it do I keep back to myself?’
3. JESUS SAVES POOR SINNERS – AND HE’S GRACIOUS!
• Ask for more of Jesus – and you will be richer (30:7-9)
• Give to magnify Jesus – and you will not be the loser
‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty you might become rich.’
(2 Cor. 8:9)
Remember! Jesus, though rich in heaven gave it all up that we may discover the greatest treasure of life. Do not waste your life, or your money. Put it to good use for the gospel and the kingdom.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Why do we think that only ‘the rich’ worship money or struggle with greed? Is that true?
- How can the perspective that money and possessions are temporary help you fight against greed?
- What is the antidote to greed? Think of some ways you can help yourself to be content and stay content.
- If what we do with our money shows where our hearts lie, what adjustments might you be making to magnify Jesus in the world?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Dani Simmonds