Work and Money (workLife series #5)
Jason White



What does the bible say about MONEY and work? As we close out our work Life message series this Sunday, let’s talk about work and money. Money is certainly getting a lot of attention in the media right now, and it’s on a lot of our minds as we deal with inflation, a possible recession, and Christmas coming soon. What are we supposed to think about these things? What is the biblical perspective of work and money, and how do we deal with our changing economy?






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Yeah, today we are wrapping up this series on work life, which again, if you've been here, you know, what we've been looking at has been the biblical perspective of work. Well, what does God really think about the way that you and I spend the overwhelming majority of our time each and every single day of the week. And what we've learned is that the biblical perspective of work is that our our work is good that God created us to work even in the very beginning that it was a part of our original design, that he would work in us and through us to shape the world that he had created to add value to it and the cultures that we live in. And, of course, sin messed all of that up and made work harder. But we know through what Jesus accomplished through his finished work on the cross and his resurrection and ascension, that when we put our faith and trust in Him for salvation, and our sins are forgiven, and he comes to dwell in us that he redeems our work with him being in our lives, he can guide us into the work that he calls us to do the work that he created each one of us to be able to do, he empowers us to be able to carry that work out. And so really, what we've talked about is the biblical perspective of work is that God is worshipped as we enter into it with him. It's an expression of His life in us and through us, our work speaks of him because he is a worker, as a creator, and we are made in His image. And he uses our work in the world to bring light into this dark world and to impact others as part of His kingdom work what he's doing in this planet from heaven in and through us that we're called to on this earth each and every single day. And so our work is good. But what about work and money? What about money? I mean, if if work is worship, and money is a part of our work, how are we supposed to view the whole money aspect of our work, because I'm just willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of us when we think about work, and money, is probably not worship. I mean, we're thinking about the stress involved with it, like the amount of money we make, and how to keep as much of it as we can, or how we can get our hands on more of it, or how, with the inflation and a looming recession that may be coming, that we don't have enough of it to pay for everything it is that we need. I mean, that's certainly true in my life and your life right now, it is true, according to at least what they say from statistics, the American Psychological Association reported not very long ago that 72% of us, I mean, three out of every four of us are worried and stressed about finances today. This is something that's on a lot of our minds right now. And we think about work and money. You know, I think a lot of us also when it comes to work and money, think about, well, the identity that it can bring us if we were finally just able to get here if I could earn this much money and acquire these particular things and in be able to dress this certain way, or have this certain kind of house or vehicle than it would speak to others how important I am I might have some status in this world, we think of money and the way it might bring us fulfillment and satisfaction, if we could again acquire more stuff, we would, we would just be more happy, right? At least that's what we feel a lot of times when it comes to work and money. I think some of us when we think of work and money also go to big companies, corporations who who are all about the bottom line, right and will do anything to cut any corners to manipulate people and do whatever it is that they can to make more money. And so a lot of us when we think about work and money it goes to, to that kind of thing and the corporate greed that's out there. And we think of it kind of in an evil way, right? I mean, money's just evil and if that's part of work and work is worship, then where does that really fit in? Especially with all of these ways that we can think about and the stress that it can cause in our own lives? And so again, if the biblical perspective of work is worship, and money is a part of our work, then what role does it really play? And that's what we're going to dive into God's word and see if we can come to see it from God's point of view. And the first thing that we really need to see is that even though my can certainly, or a lot of problems, excuse me can be associated with money. The biblical perspective of it is that money is not really the problem. Money's not actually the problem in First Timothy chapter six, verse 10, the apostle Paul says, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. He says, Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. So a lot of times we quote that verse as saying money is the root of all evil. But, of course, as you heard me read it, and you see it on the screens. It's not what it says. What it says is the love of money is a root of a lot of different kinds of evil, right? It's greed, that it's the problem. I mean, it's when when we approach our jobs, because we love money, and we just want more of it, because we've got to acquire more of it to bring us satisfaction, we've got to get more of it to bring us security, we got to have more of it to bring us that identity. It's when we go to work to earn more of it out of the love for money, and what it can bring us that is the problem. That's where all these kinds of things that bring a lot of evil and darkness into our lives, and our businesses and throughout the world come into play. But here's the deal. Week two, we talked about how work was a big and important part of our lives, that work is a big part of our lives. But that work is not our life. Work is a big part of your life, but it is not your life. Remember that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. So the work is not your life. Money's not your life, Jesus is your life, he is your satisfaction, he is your identity, he is your security, he is your fulfillment. And so if we were to approach our work with that perspective, if we were to approach our work, knowing and understanding and trusting that Christ is our life, then we could actually dive into our work each and every single day, not looking for something, the work, or the money that we're going to earn from it can bring us to fill a void in our lives. But now we're free from that enable to enter into it. Because Christ is supplying all that we need as our life and as our source. approaching our work with Christ as our life is the ultimate key to making sure that we're not trying to get something from money, again, that we feel like we're sometimes missing. So so this is important for us to remember, because we're all going to feel that emptiness every now and then we're all going to feel the lure of needing more money to fill a void, you know, that we do have in our lives from time to time, but we've got to remember that that is ultimately Satan at work in our lives to try to deceive us to try to, to rob us of the life that he knows, we already have in Jesus, he's trying to convince us that Jesus is not enough that money is going to bring us something that Jesus isn't providing us in that moment, he's going to say, see, you feel empty, Jesus really isn't able to come through for you and all that you need. But this money will do it for you. The things that you can buy with it will do it for you the status it will earn it will do it for you. And Satan is behind all of these things deceiving and in scheming to be able to try to steer us away from the life that he knows we already have in Christ. And so this is the first thing that we've got to see from a biblical perspective is that again, money is not really the problem. Money is not the root of all evil, the love of money is money makes a terrible God. That Jesus is a great God. That's why he is our source. He is our life, which leads us into the second thing we need to know or remind ourselves of when it comes to work and money and the stress of paying bills and keeping up in this world that we live in. And that's this scripture is categorically clear that God is our provider. God is our security, not our money and how much we have in our bank account. One of my favorite passages in scripture that I go to, to remind myself of this, and I'm sure you do as well is found in Matthew chapter six. And here's what Jesus says, beginning of verse 25. He says Therefore, I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or do drink or about your body, what you will wear Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes, Look at the birds of the air they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. How much are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying at a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes, see how the flowers of the field grow, they do not labor or spin yet, I tell you that not even Solomon, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. And if that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today. And tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith. God is our provider, our ultimate provider if he takes care of the birds, if he manages and takes care of the lilies and dresses the fields in this way, and you are that much more valuable to him and you are, no matter who you are, no matter where you've been, no matter what you've done, that's demonstrated through him going to the cross for you, He will provide for you. The apostle Paul in chapter four of Philippians, beginning of verse 19, says, My God will meet all your needs, according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Notice what that doesn't say it doesn't say My God will meet some of your needs. And it's up to you up to you to make sure you get all your other needs met through your work. And through the money that you earn, right, God will meet all of your needs, according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. So if you're one of the 72% of Americans right now, who are stressed about money, who are stressed about the economy, and the inflation and the possible recession that might be coming, be reminded today, guys, that God still sits on his throne, just because things have changed, and there's a little bit more inflation, and we don't have as much money in our pockets. And we're worried about all of those kinds of things, doesn't mean that God stepped off of his throne and isn't ruling and reigning any longer. He's still sitting on his throne, Jesus is sitting at his right hand, and he's still ruling in reining in if you are in Christ, which you are, if you've put your faith and trust in Him for salvation, then he is ruling and reigning and providing for you, he is meeting all of your needs, through that union that you have with him and that you get to experience each and every single day of your life. Now, if money isn't the problem, and if God is our provider, and he's going to meet all of our needs, then Does that just mean that you and I sit on the couch in wait for him to send a drone by the house and drop loads of cash down our chimney or something like that, right? You think of the The Hunger Games and the little parachute stuff that gets dropped in because they had a need? And that stuff? Is God just gonna go You didn't send money phased you're gonna He's gonna provide for you. Right? So I'm just gonna sit here and let him provide I'm gonna trust, right, that's my job to trust and let him provide. Of course, that's not the way I mean, I guess he could do that, right. And I'm gonna say God is incapable of doing that. I doubt that's how he's going to provide for you. But maybe you'll get that blessing. I don't know. Here's what we do know. But one of the ways that God's provides for us is through the work that He created us to do. If the work that he calls us to do is good. It's a part of His life in us and through us, and we're going to get paid for that work, then ultimately, that's God, providing for us through the work. The apostle Paul even told the church at Thessalonica for even when we were with you, he reminds him writes them, hey, we gave you this rule, the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat. He was dealing with some idleness in the church. And he was saying, listen, God provides for our needs through the work that he gives us to do. Now, that's not one of those statements that goes, stretches to any and every situation, right. There are certainly circumstances and situations that people find themselves in where, where they can't work and need to be cared for in a different way and provided for in a different way. But I think in general, what we see is that God provides us, for us through the work that he creates for us to do. I mean, the apostle Paul even worked outside of the ministry in the work that the Lord called him to there. He said the same thing and the first letter to the church at Thessalonica. In chapter two, verse nine, he says, Surely you remember brothers and sisters, our toil and our hardship. Remember, we worked night and day in order to not be a burden to Anyone while we preach the gospel for you, we know from other places that the apostle Paul is a tentmaker. And he gave him skills and ability and crafts, he learned to be able to do this trade. And this was one of the ways that the Lord was working in him and through him to provide for his needs, along with the ministry that he called him to, to preach the gospel while he was with these people. And that again, all came from the Lord Deuteronomy 818 tells us to remember the Lord your God, for His heat, who gives you the ability to produce wealth, he gives you the gifts, he gives you the talents, he allows for you to be able to grow up potentially where it is that you did to get the education that you did, to be able to enter into the work that he created for you to do, and he empowers you to carry it out. And through it. He provides money from that. And it's his way of saying, look at how I've provided for you. And so how do we approach this? Well, we continue to work, we get up tomorrow morning, and we dive into our work with Jesus, guiding us into it, empowering us to be able to carry it out, allowing him to use that for us to get paid to provide for our needs, he will take care of you through it now. One of the things that I think a lot of us wonder about with that, then is how much I mean, if God is going to provide for us through the work and he's going to he's gonna meet our needs through the work, then how much do we really need? Now I think that's the question that a lot of us ask some times especially as Christians, we wonder about, you know, is it okay to be rich? Is it okay for me as a Christian to desire to make more money if God's providing for my needs right now? Should I want more? Is it okay for me to want to get paid more at my job? First Timothy, chapter six, verse nine says those who want to get rich fall into temptation in a trap into an into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. And so I mean, you know, it might seem that first glance that Paul saying, it sounds like it might be a sin to get rich to have money. But is that really what Paul's saying here? It's not what Paul's saying here, because I read to you earlier, First Timothy, chapter six, verse 10, which is the verse right after verse nine, that we just read here. And there's a word at the beginning of verse 10. That's a connector to connection word it says For so after saying those who want to get rich fall into temptation to trap into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin instruction for connecting what he just said, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. In other words, Paul's connecting this idea of those who want to get rich with those who love money, have a love of money, where they're just wanting to get rich, for the sake of getting rich, they're wanting to get rich, to be able to buy them something they can provide for it to be their security for, for it to provide that identity and that status, and all of those things that we talked about a second ago to bring us something that only Christ is supposed to be able to bring us. And when we dive into it that way, when we approach our work with the idea of the love for money, and what it's going to say about me and all the things that I can get and had that I've always wanted my whole life that I'm going to get something out of that's going to fulfill me and satisfy me in some way. Then Paul says, that's a trap. Again, who's that language of? Satan, right? He sets the traps, he's the deceiver, he's the one who, you know, puts the carrot right in front of us that says, This looks good, doesn't it? This is the life that you can have, if you'll just get more money, the stuff that you're missing right now. And as soon as you grab it, he shuts the door and locks it in there. And it's filled with ruin and destruction, because it's a counterfeit life that he's offering us. He is up to making sure that you and I are robbed of the life that we have in Christ and money is one of the ways in the tools in his hand to be able to do that. Now, with that being said, I do want you to see what the Apostle Paul says a little bit later in First Timothy chapter six. So he addresses those who want to get rich and what it can happen to your life that it can cause ruin and destruction and loving money in these particular patterns in that but he does come back and he actually addresses the rich now. So look down at verse 17 of Chapter are six and he says command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope and wealth which is so uncertain that but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything, for our enjoyment. Notice again what Paul does not say here, he does not call them out for being rich. He didn't call them out and say, Hey, Timothy, get all the rich people together and tell them how bad of a people they are for having all of that money, how sinful they are for making sure that they've earned a lot of money for being rich. That's not what he says. He simply says to those, hey, tell those who are rich not to put their hopes in it? Because Because why? Because he says it's uncertain, right? I mean, we're experiencing that today, right? We've all experienced that at different times, it's never certain no matter who's sitting in the White House, no matter who's in control of Congress, or the Senate money is on certain. But guess who's not uncertain? Jesus, right. Jesus same yesterday, we're told, do the same today does the same tomorrow. And forever, Jesus is certain. And so that's why we put our hope in Him because we're in union with the one who is certain. And so he has provided for you, he is providing for you, and he will continue to provide for you because he won't change. And that to you are in union with. So we put our hope in Him, we don't put our hope and riches, he says, but again, he does not say that it's a sin to be rich, he does not say that it's sin to want to make more money. It's just if it's for the sake of making more money. Because what he does say next, then is if you are blessed to be able to have a lot of money, what to do with that. Then he says in verse 18, he says, command them again, those who are rich, which by the way, let's be reminded that compared to most of the rest of the world, that's all of us, right? So command them, those who are rich, to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous, and to be willing to share. And in this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life. That is truly life. I love that last phrase, take hold of the life, which is truly life. So there there's there's a life. But then there's life that's truly life. Right? There's there's life that the world says is life. But then there's true life. And we already talked about that which is found in who? Jesus he is the life, the resurrection, the life, the way the truth and the life. And so what we're saying is, is that when we take hold of Jesus in the demonstration of that is, is being rich in good deeds, being willing to be generous, being willing to share not holding on to our money with clenched fist, right? Because this provides me my security, this provides me my word, this gives him more identity, I can get more stuff with it in this way. And you say no to all that stuff is found in Jesus, then as the life It frees us up now, to be able to do this with our money. It doesn't have to hold on our lives, it will have a hold on our lives, if those are the things that we're going to to try to find the life because that's the trap that Satan sets for us. And so we have to hold on to it. Because I've got to take, I've got to get something from that, that I'm missing in my life. But when we were reminded to take hold of the life, which is truly life, which is Jesus Himself, do you see how that frees you up to not do this with your money, but to do this with your money, and for me to do this with my money. And so Paul says when we're blessed with that we're to be rich in good deeds, to be generous and to be willing to share. In other words, God wants to use the riches that he blesses each one of us with, to be a part of His kingdom work that he's doing in this world. He's doing a kingdom work from heaven through us into this world. And one of the tools one of the instruments that he uses is money. It's not the only one that he uses, but it's one of the tools that he uses. This was even the way that we see God working to fund the ministry of Jesus Himself. We talked about this I don't remember not real long ago and if you were here, you may remember this but did you know that God used rich women to fund the ministry of Jesus He did I mean, Luke chapter eight of Luke, in his Gospel, he's telling us about these ladies that traveled around with Jesus in the 12 disciples. And after introducing him to us in verse three, he says, Listen to these women who I just named, he says, we're helping to support Jesus to support them out of their own means. Think about that for just a moment. Jesus turned water into wine. Jesus took two fish. And he took five loaves. And he said, five to 15,000 people after multiplying them. Do you think Jesus could have turned something into money? Do you think Jesus could have taken some money and multiplied it into more money? Of course he could. God could have funded Jesus's ministry through doing miracles through Jesus here, I'm just gonna make some money to fund the ministry that I'm called to. Here, I'm gonna multiply some money to fund the ministry. But do you know what God chose or who God chose to find? The ministry, people, even though Jesus could have done it all he chose to find and be a part of His kingdom work by using money and instrument, a tool in the hands of his people to fund the ministry that He sent Jesus to do. This is what he did during Jesus's time. This is what he continued to do. After Jesus's death and resurrection and ascension. In Acts chapter 16, we're told that the apostle Paul met Lydia in Philippi. And we're told that Lydia when he described her was a dealer in purple cloth. Most commentators me would write about that saying that meant that she was probably a pretty wealthy woman that she was a successful business woman, right. And so that's probably demonstrated by the fact that she had had a home big enough that she invited all of them to come to, and stay at her home and started a house church out of there in Philippi. In other words, think about this. God gifted Lydia to be a business leader, to be successful in business, to bring her a lot of riches and wealth, to be able to use as a tool to find ministry as a part of His kingdom work in Philippi. And this is what God does, in and through each and every single one of us. Today, he did it then he does it now, when he puts his life in. So I was talking to one of our members today, this this week about a job that they used to have, and, and he was describing the business owner, the one who had started the entire company, and how he kind of had this biblical perspective of work, he understood it and just was one of those guys that really felt like he was gifted by and really called by God to do what it is that he was doing. And as he described him, he said, many wakes up every day and just looked for Jesus to to work in him and through him to do his work. Well, he looked for Jesus to run the company with integrity and, and really to honestly try to make a lot of money. Not for the sake of just making money to make money, though, but to be able to be used as a part of God's Kingdom work in Him and through them. And the way he tells the story is that they did end up making a lot of money, they were really successful in that. And as a result, we're able to hire a number of people, and to be able to pay them good wages. And God used that to be able to provide for these people and their families. One of the really cool things that stood out to me though, was he told me that a lot of the years at the very end of the year, they would take the books and they would calculate all the you know, expenses and income, and they would find the bottom line of profit that they had made. And when they had that bottom line of profit, which a lot of times was a significant amount of money, they would just take it up in divided equally among every single employee in the entire company. It didn't matter if you were the vice president. Or if you were the one who cleaned the toilets, you got the same amount. Because he was allowing the Spirit to lead and guide him to just be a blessing to others. He told me about how many nonprofit ministries they were able to give to how they were able to give to their church and just bless the kingdom work that God was doing in and through these different organizations and the people around the world and he talked about how he was rich and deeds, how he was generous, how he was willing to share just as Paul had taught in First Timothy chapter six, as this is Jesus. This is Jesus at work in Him and through Him in the work that he gets If did him for and created him for and called him to do and empowered him to carry out as part of His kingdom work to be a part of what he's doing in this world. Now some of you would go, Alright, I'm not really a business owner like that I don't have a big corporation, I don't have a lot of money to be able to do those kinds of things is kind of a far fetched example over there, and I get it. But that's, hopefully you see my point, right? That's really not the point. The point is that Jesus is at work, and each one of us to do the work that he has called me to do, or you to do, or you to do, whatever it is, whoever it is, and to empower us to be able to carry it out. I was listening to a podcast this week where crystal Payne was being interviewed, she's known as, as the money saving mom, she writes a blog and has helped 1000s and 1000s of people learn how to save money and manage their money. Well, and the person that was interviewing them, asked her to give some tips on ways to be able to save day in and day out. And she kind of cut him off and said, Hold on, hold on, I actually believe that the day in and day out is important, she said, but what's even more important is first having a why, behind the what. And then she began to describe for her and her family being Christians, the why she said I could go into learning how to budget and save money and have extra money for all of these things. But it's so important to know the why, behind the what and she said for us in my family, being believers in the having a heart of Christ living in us and through us, we are called to save and manage our money well and earn as much as we can in all of these ways so that we can be extravagantly generous, and she just went on and on about talking about the joy of being able to free up so much money and make more of it. So they can just give more away and be a part of what God is doing. And that is the why behind the what I mean, we've we've talked about the making of the money. And it's not necessarily sin, and all of those kinds of things, we didn't really talk much about the management of the money, which we're not going to dive way into. But that's certainly a part of it. But what I want you to hear her saying, and what I think that applies to all of us is she saying, Listen, I may not be the business owner that this guy was and be able to do it on the magnitude of him. But for me, in my house, we're still called having good been given a new heart by Christ that lives in us to be extremely generous with what it is that he blesses us with. And so we look to Him to guide us into the work that he called us to do. We look to him to empower us to carry it out, we look to him to manage the money that we have, so that we can be freed up to give extravagantly generous amounts and be able to share with others. And this is for all of us, each and every one of us who live in union with Jesus. So that's the biblical perspective of, of work and money. It's not evil, the love of money certainly is, but money is not evil. It's a tool, God is our provider, he's going to meet all of our needs. And as he meets our needs through it, he's going to work in and through us to be rich and good deeds ourselves, to be generous ourselves, to be willing to share our selves with those in need. So I guess now that we've covered the biblical perspective of work and money, the only other question is, what does that look like in your life? What's it look like in your life, to be rich in deeds, to be generous, and willing to share with those in needs? What does it look like to enter into the work that he's called you to do? To allow him to empower you to carry it out, and to get paid well for what it is that you do? So that he can provide for your needs, and use you to be a part of His kingdom work with this tool, this instrument that he's given? You? You may not know the answer to that question. I don't know what that looks like for you. So my encouragement to you is to fix your eyes on Jesus because He knows. And as you keep your eyes fixed on him a trust in Him as your life he's going to lead you into what that looks like. He's going to free you from the stronghold and the grip that it can have on our lives. And he's going to be able to work through us to be rich in those good deeds, extravagantly generous, and share it with others. Let's pray