Real Change - How Money Can Hold Us Back
Real Change - Sermon with Gene SimcoMon, Jul 02, 2023 10am • 50:07SUMMARY KEYWORDSJesus, money, people, krazy glue, god, faith, man, put, talking, disciples, change, rich, running, Matthew, give, good, servant, told, kingdom, hospital
Good morning. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And I wanted to begin this morning by doing something I shouldn't do, and that is give you medical advice. I'm not a doctor, not even close, I have no medical training at all. I'm not certified to do any type of medical procedure, or anything like that. So with all that being said, let me give you some medical advice. Right, so. So did you know that if you get cut kind of bad, and you think you need stitches? You don't need to go to the hospital. If you have krazy glue. Now see, here's how I discovered this. I'll let you know. So this is years and years ago, so this is my wife is pregnant, Heather's pregnant. She's on the soundboard today. So this could go bad. She can like cut things out when she doesn't want. So, so she is pregnant with Sophie, our daughter. So this is almost 20 years ago, hard to believe. And she is carving I think it was a turkey, Gauri and Turkey and she had the big serrated like turkey knife, right? She cut her finger like down to the bone, like really, really bad cut. I wasn't in the room. But you know, the distress call was different. It wasn't like the I'm mad at you call and it wasn't like, it was just a different one. You're like, oh, something's wrong. So I come running. Now. You know, I get on the scene and then his blood everywhere down to the bone. It's nasty. And I got to be totally honest with you. The first thing that came to my mind, the first thing I thought was, I really don't want to go to the hospital. So BC that is before Christ. Right. But if I'm telling you the truth, I probably would have thought the same thing today. Right? You know, like, why can't you be more careful, we got to get to the hospital now. So I was like, Okay, now, here's the thing, I may not be a doctor certified to do anything like that at all. But I see, I've seen a lot of people get hurt, I got hurt a lot did martial arts in my past, if you know my story, so very accustomed to this type of thing happening. It cuts all the time. So I was like, Alright, here's what we're going to do. We're not going to the hospital, you're going to elevate it, you got to elevate it. Cuz when you got blood guns, you know, it's got to go above the heart. Just a tip. Stay calm, right. So now here's the funny part, running under cold water. Right, but the sink is here, our hearts here. So I got to get her below. I don't know, I cannot remember whether I got her a chair pregnant woman or I just said kneel on the floor, put your hand in going through this. I can't remember I didn't care. I was like, we're not going to hassle. So there we go. So you rinse it out. Some of the blood, it's a stop, you know, it's going to slow him down a little bit. We're doing good. Clean it out. Don't use iodine because it cinches and then you're not going to get a nice anyway, that's a good thing somebody knows. So anyway, so I clean it the best I can. And I get the krazy glue. And now it's about ready. So you've put it together nice and careful. Put a nice bead krazy glue over. Now we're going to have show Intel afterwards, you can all annoy my wife and say, let me see. And you'll be able to look at the scar that's not there because I did an amazing job. This was validated in a not so funny way. But excuse me if I make it funny, right? So later, like, I don't know, this is like four years later, five years later, we're at Disney World, right? So no, my daughter's there with us. She's now born. And she's like running around doing what kids do at Disney World, right? But she forget to Disney World. They also have curbs and you have to like you know, step upward down off of it. She forgets that her focus is on everything else. And Dan pulls right off the curb. And instead of you know, like bracing, doing something, you know, anything, she breaks the fall with her face. That's what happens. gets her chin. Alright, so now when it happened, I told you I was going to laugh. So whatever, I'm a bad person. Whatever. So I go run and the first thing that came to my mind was not was not I don't want to go to the hospital. I didn't think that this time, you know, I thought we're going to be rich, right? Because she felt like Disney. So that's the first thing it goes on. So and then my wife's probably thinking like, oh, no, her modeling career, right? Because he's falling on her face. And I'm like, modeling career. We don't need that for our financial future anymore. We're going to sue Disney. Right? So, you know, I didn't start that. But anyway. So she falls and I'm thinking oh, krazy glue like, here's my chance. Right? And I think it's her face right? He's you did a good job on your wife's hand, but it's a face like you can't do it. So I'm like, Okay, so the whiskers out of there because back in the day, nothing bad ever happened to Disney. You can't so we get whisked out of there we get the backlot tour that we don't want right so they take us to the hospital. I barely remember any of that to the hospital waiting for the doctor a really long time. Finally the doctor comes in. examines everything takes like the temporary stuff off and you know, she's going to clean it up. And then she pulls out of her like bull vest or whatever, the thing that looks like krazy glue. And I was like, Is that crazy glue? And she says no. And that for a moment, I was like, you know, my wife's like, thank goodness. She's like, but it's like krazy glue. And I'm like, Oh, you see, and now my wife's like, Oh, you're never going to hear the end of this story. Now. You know, I'm like, Hey, look at my wife's hand, you see it, see what? Exactly, there's no scar there, right? So I never stopped talking about that. It's still told the story. So that whole thing was where I'm going. Made me think of a story about a little girl, like my daughter, whose father was trying to teach her how to be generous, like generosity, we're going to start high here. And so he gives her $2. And he says, Listen, this dollars for the Lord. And this one's for you. So when you're going to save it, teaching her about like saving things, being responsible. And when we get to church, you're going to put it in the box. That's for the Lord. The other one, it's yours. My kids just start asking the questions, right to automatically ask every detail question. Right, so, so I can't spend it on anything I want. Yes. Can I spend it on candy? Yes. Can I go to the store now? And buy candy with you? Yes. So they're in the safe neighborhood, the store is right down the road. So she goes out the door with the dollars now. You're on bikes, if you're a girl. I'm not going to go there. But on bikes, you know, the streamers that you had on the handlebars? Does anyone do that anymore? Is that a thing? I think they're responsible for a lot of accidents, right? The kid does not need any distractions, right? So it's what they do. They're like, I'm going fast enough, look at my stream or go and then boom, you know, they get in an accident. So she's doing the same thing with the dollar. She's like, because kids do that kind of stuff. Like they'll grab things and look at my money. And so she's running along. But her focus is on entirely on the money now. And like my daughter, not on the curb, right? Boom, she falls down. But unlike my daughter, she puts her hand down. Now, that's not always a good idea. Because you can break your wrist but better than your face, right? So she falls down, boom, hits the ground. The dollar, like in a cartoon floats around and goes right into a storm drain. Well, the people see it. And they must be Christian because they're not like oh, we don't want to go to the hospital. Right? So they all rush over. They pick her up duster often everything Are you okay, go through the whole thing. She doesn't even have a skinned knee. She's, she's good. She's, she's clear. Alright, so let's get to the next thing. Oh, you know, we saw you lost your dollar. We're so sorry. But it went down the storm drain. It's we're not going to be able to get your dollar. She says that's okay. I start thinking it's pretty good kid. I don't even care. She lost half her money. Just $1 She's like, No, that's okay. That was the Lord's dollar. Alright, so today, you guys are not going to get off the hook easy. We're going to talk about money. So that that was why it's like a nice long icebreaker is going to get rough in here this morning. So got to get you guys to laugh a little bit, but that'll go away. Anyway, so last week, we talked about servant relationships. And so it intersected with this theme of sacrifice. We talked about sacrifice, giving up things for the sake of the kingdom, right. So different people have to give up different things. It's not all the same. But we looked at the young rich man as he's build in the Gospels. And well, we saw that his hang up was the money, right? He needed to let go of it need to get rid of that addiction, whatever it was to Him and follow Jesus. So we're going to talk about that we're going to see this theme continue. If you're new here, the Bible's not in chronological order. So for example, we're in the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament. And they give us the same story about Jesus's life and ministry. But different perspectives, right. So no contradiction. Is this different perspective. Some add a little bit here. Oh, yeah. You know, so maybe Matthew, you forgot that or whatever it is, right? So that's how it works. And I make you guys charts. So we're putting it in chronological ish order, and we're going to hop around a lot more than we did last week. Matthew 20, Mark 10. Yeah, we're going to mark 10. Luke, spent a lot of time in chapter 19. And then I'm going to hop over to John, because we get some details in a little bit.
In Matthew, so we're going to hop right in to the Scriptures. Matthew 2029, as Jesus and the disciples left the town of Jericho, a large crowd follow behind. two blind men were sitting beside the road when they heard that Jesus was coming that way they began shouting, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us. Be quiet, the crowd yelled at them. But they only shouted louder, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us. When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, What do you want me to do for you, Lord, they said, We want to see, Jesus felt sorry for them in touch their eyes instantly, they could see and they followed him. So we see here, faith, right. And then as a result of that change, we see gratitude, they follow Jesus. So now this gets a little bit confusing. And you see they're kind of like coming and going from Jericho. It's hard to figure out like where to put this As chronologically, check a bunch of sources and try to come up with a common denominator. Also, what's difficult is he's going to he'll Bartimaeus this blind guy. So you have a couple of options here. And it's important unless you're totally sure not to be so definitive. So what's happening here is either this next thing is the same event. And just one guy being highlighted, like, Oh, that was his name, by the way, because they both got hills, same thing happened, or it's a different event. He just does it twice. So that's probably what's going on here. They're just pointing out maybe this same guy. So bottom is Mark 10. Starting at 46, then they reach Jericho. And as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby. He began to shout, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, be quiet. Many of the people yelled at him, but he only shouted louder. Son of David have mercy on me. When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said to him to come over here. So they called the blind men cheer up. They said, Come on, he's calling you pardon me, as threw aside his coat, jumped up and came to Jesus. What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked my rabbi, the blind man said, I want to see. And Jesus said to him, Go, for your faith is healed you instantly the man could see and he follow Jesus down the road. Faith change, he follows Jesus. So now we'll see a little more change. We'll hop over Luke 19. One, Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore fig tree beside the road for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked at Zacchaeus and called in my name is IKEA. As he said, Come, come down quick. I must be your guest in your home today. Sookie as quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. He is going to be the guest of a notorious sinner. they grumbled meanwhile, that he has stood before the Lord said, I will give half my wealth to the poor Lord, and if I've cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much. Jesus responded, salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham, for the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. So here we see, this man exhibits great change. And it's really hard to hold back the jokes. He could have short changed himself, right? It's not going to keep going anyway. So change, right, so maybe not the young rich rule or they're giving away everything but have paying back people four times as much. Exhibits change Luke 1911, the crowd was listening to everything Jesus said, and because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the kingdom of God would begin right away. He said, a normal man was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. Before he left, he called together 10 of his servants and divided among them 10 Pounds of silver saying, invest this for me while I'm gone. But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, we do not want him to be our king. After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants whom he had given the money, you wanted to find out what the prophets were the first servant Master, I invested your money, made 10 times the amount well done, the king exclaimed, you're a good servant, you have been faithful with the little I entrusted you with. So you'll be governor of 10 cities as a reward. The next servant says, I invested your money I made five times the mount, similar thing, I'll make you a governor of five cities. But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money, because Master and said, I hid your money and kept it safe. I was afraid because you're Hardman to deal with taking what isn't yours and harvesting crops you didn't plant? You wicked servant, the king roared. Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I'm a hard man who takes what is it mine and harvest crops? I didn't plant? Why didn't you deposit the money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest. Then turning to the others. He says, take the money from that servant, and give it to the one who has 10 pounds. And they say, well, he already has 10 pounds. Yes, they can replied. And to those who use Well, what they're given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. And as for these enemies of mine didn't want me to be their king. Bring them in and execute them right here in front of me. So a lot going on here. But China make it simple for you guys. So obviously Jesus is talking about himself, right? He is going to return it tells us why he tells the parable to correct the impression that the kingdom of heaven is now the kingdom is now Jesus is coming back. So he's going to return is going to be killed. rise from the dead ascend to heaven, but he's coming back. So when the King returns, so you have to view the parable. With this context in mind. It's really important because people use These and they go real sideways with them. He told them the story to correct the impression that the kingdom of God would begin right away. So what this is all about is being good with whatever resources you have now, for the kingdom later, right? When Jesus comes back in, then you see, he's rejected, who is the king rejected by his own people, and we know in the story rejected by the Jewish people. So clearly, that's what's going on here. But he's going to come back and judge them, and it's going to be really serious. So that's the context. What you should not be thinking is, Jesus just told me how to make a lot of money. That's not the point. The point is not now. Later, did you catch it? It's important, not now, later, right? Remember, the rich man is storing your treasure in heaven will see that over and over and over again. So this is really abused quite a bit. And it may sound familiar. And it's better to also read in Matthew, Matthew 25, it's probably another time Jesus telling this parable, because it's a little bit different. You have three servants, but kind of the similar thing ends up happening. It's very, very much the same. But you need to think you need to call back because it's one stream of words. Jesus is still talking to Matthew 24. He talks about like the final judgment and all this stuff. And about the slave and the master. It's about being ready. Right. So that's the first parable He tells you need to be ready for the Kings return. It's kind of like this. Then the bridesmaids, right. 10 bridesmaids, five, were smart. They gathered up the oil. I got to stay up late at night waiting for the bridegroom to come five. Not so smart. They don't buy the oil. Right? He gets there while they're gone. I don't know you. What's that about? Oil management? No, it's about being ready. It wasn't a trick question. It was about you guys have obviously heard a lot of bad teachings, right? So it's not about oil management. It's about being ready for Jesus to come back then he tells this parable, a different version of it. It's not about money management isn't more about money management, than it is about oil management for the bridesmaids, yet people abuse it. And when you do this, like it's real funny. Greed causes you to totally miss the point. Totally missed the point. It's about being totally ready. Geez, could come back at any moment. Well, how are you behaving yourself? What are you doing? He's not going to come back and say, Did you save a lot of money? I don't think so. Not going to be worried about that. Right? He's more likely to say did you give all your money to the poor, like so. It's not when people do this. And one thing just you guys got to listen for if you have someone and I'm just trying so hard not to say popular names right now. But if you have like these money management guru, guys, guru of earthly wealth, guys, like using the scriptures, abusing the scriptures, right to try to get people to think that they're going to be rich, and they don't mention Jesus once. Stop listening. Stop listening, don't listen to that person anymore. They're a false teacher. The whole point of all of this is Jesus. That's it. It's not about anything else. It's about him being our master are waiting for his return. And us doing whatever He tells us to do. With all this stuff. That's all going to get melted. If you read the Bible doesn't matter. Sorry, Earth Day people, but it's going to be gone. All our efforts are futile. Jesus is going to come back. Everything gets destroyed. New heavens, new earth, Jesus is saying, that's eternal. Put your trust and that. That's the point. So sometimes even the disciples they get a little off. So John 12 one, we'll hop over there. Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany the home of Lazarus, the man he had raised from the debt at dinner was prepared in Jesus's honor Martha sir, that's what Martha does. And Lazarus was among those who ate with them. Then marry took a 12 ounce jar of expensive perfume made from Essence of Nard. She anointed Jesus feet without wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple would soon betray him said that perfume was worth a year's wages, it should have been sold into money given to the poor, not that he cared for the poor, he was a thief. And since he was in charge of the disciples money, he often stole some for himself.
Now before we blame it on Judas, let's go to Matthew. The disciples were indignant when they saw this plural. What a waste. They said, it could have been sold for high price and the money given to the poor. Jesus replied, leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You'll always have the poor among you, but you'll not always have me. If we go to Matthew, He continues, I tell you the truth. Whenever the good news is preached throughout the world, this woman's deed will be remembered and discussed. So this sounds familiar to the worshiping woman member I talked about her did like almost exactly the same thing, man. Most likely, in this case, two different things, although again, they're not in chronological order. So if you get confused, yes, we went over this before worship, that is worship. The point the disciples completely overlook this act of worship over what? Money they're worried about the money. Last week if you weren't here, or you forgot, it's okay. The young rich ruler just fail, as it says in bold before the story, right? What must I do to inherit eternal life? Oh, what are the commands, right? So he goes through like the back half of the 10 commandments. I've done all those my whole life. Jesus loves him, and tells him the truth. Well, here's the thing, sell everything you have give it to the poor, then you will have treasure where in heaven. A guy went away sad, why the money stopped him from following Jesus. He couldn't change to follow Jesus. And Jesus was requiring that change now. In the scriptures, we'll see a contrast right? Be tween those who had faith. And those who experienced change, or couldn't experience the change, right, because of a lack of faith. So you see a fear of losing the money impacting these people, the blind men, they had the faith to be healed, right? And they were grateful gratitude and change Zacchaeus pretty big deal. I'll give away half of everything I own. And if I've cheated, anyone tax collectors would that's why they call them senators were notorious for charging too much interest. And they shouldn't be doing that to their own people, the Jewish people. So they're sinners. That's what's going on here. I'll get back four times as much. That's a lot. So this could be like everything that guy has. He's unwilling to follow Jesus change the servants. Right. So that one the wicked sir, fear, I was afraid, right, I might lose your money. Fear over money, the rich man last week, and even the disciples struggle with it. It's powerful. Disciples were indignant when they saw this What a waste. They said. It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor and yeah, if it's worth a year's wages. It's a lot. They sell perfume that expensive, like Sephora or Hermes right. Probably. You'd expect the disciples to get it right. But their concern is solely about the money even in light of worship. This is a magnificent thing they're seeing here. It's beautiful. What about the money Jesus, and we know about Judas. John tells us, he's stealing the money. Also, he betrays us spoiler alert for money. He betrays the Lord for money, what a powerful effect it can have on our thinking, our faith, it's unbelievable. Their ability to change which requires that faith. We've talked about in the past, like Colossians, as it were even a little bit a little bit. But it says a greedy person, someone who's loving money isn't idolatry, her worshiping the things of this world. It's kind of crazy. If we worship money, we cannot change. Matthew from a sermon on the Mount 624. No one can serve two masters. Four, you will either hate one and love the other. You will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Look at that word there. That's a pretty good translation. And sleeved. That's important. Remember that? Now, a little bit of a disclaimer. If you're new here, and you haven't been listening to me, or you haven't been listening to me, we see people even in the gospels, the women, they were what support your benefactors. They're supporting Jesus's ministry. You can't do that if you don't have money. Kind of important. We'll see that Lydia supports Paul Phoebe in Romans 16. benefactor for Paul Philemon had to have money. We talked about slavery last week. So you can go back and watch it for the context. I'm going to do that right now. But he owns a slave. He owns an animus got to have money to do that. So we see people supporting the church, and we're going to see, Paul instructs Timothy, what to do with the rich people in the church. What do I tell them? It doesn't say give away all the money. It's not exactly for everyone. So maybe the ministry you've been called to it might not be your thing. And I'll talk about that in a few minutes. So it's not mutually exclusive here. So as Christians, we can have money, but are we being good stewards of it for what? The Kingdom? Are we enslaved to it? That's the question. The problem is when you're placing your faith and money, that's the problem. Our faith should not be there. And so many people do big one is. So you know, if I just had money, it would solve all my problems. Try being a pastor in Naples. I will tell you, it does not. I have not yet seen one instance of anyone coming in and being like, hey, Pastor, I never need to meet with you, because I'm rich. And that just, that's it, I don't have any problems because of that. Right? And I've told people this, and then you get on the other side of things in Naples. It's a crazy, crazy city to be a pastor. And because it's like Corinth or something, you know, I drive down the neighborhood, and I see a woman pushing her kids to 711 in a shopping cart. And then there's a Maserati in the next driveway, I'm like, this is a crazy place, right? And so they hate on one another. That's what's always going on here. So I'll tell both you stop it. Like, you know, because this is another thing people say, Well, she doesn't have any problems because she has money. Really. So that would solve all your problems. All of a sudden, you got a bunch of money. And they think that they're like, yeah, like you have cheeses, you crazy person need money? Why aren't you excited about and why do you have them? It's, it drives me nuts, right? So just the thing, money will solve all my problems. You mean not God. But that's what happens. They make the money, God. And that's why greed of a greedy person, someone who worships money. They're an idolatry. So I want to hop back to Luke 12. We did this a while ago, I often tell this kind of parable. It's good on the subject. So what happens here in this context is a man approaches Jesus, and He wants him to settle a dispute. The guy's greed wants to settle a dispute between him and his brother about like their father's inheritance, right? So she's like, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you. And then he says something really important. Beware guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. And so he tells a story, I'll paraphrase. Basically, it's this man who has fertile fields and lots of crops and things. And he's like, wow, you basically run out of room in his barns to store all this, obviously, extra stuff. What do I do, I know what I'll do, I'll tear down the barns and build bigger ones. And then I'll have everything I need. And I can sit back and say, we're all set. But God said to him, you full, you will die this very night, then who will get everything you work for? Jesus is speaking in this. Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth, but not have a rich relationship with God. Keep reading against Jesus starts talking about needs number we talked about once, and needs pay attention, he starts talking and I'll just read this to you because I want you to just focus, then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life. Whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear for life is more than food in your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens, They don't plan to harvest or store food in barns for God feeds them, and you are far more valuable to him than he birds can all your worries at a single moment to your life. And if worry can accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things? Now, a little note here, this is very similar to some of the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, a good teacher is going to repeat on topics that are really important. So he does that. Notice this people will throw the Don't worry, don't worry about anything. Jesus says don't worry about anything we talked about, like fear in the Bible, right? Don't worry about anything, but pay attention. The context of the Don't worry statements are money. You just told that parable about the guy in the barns the fool? Who was the fool the guy that was worried about all this stuff? And then he starts telling these parables, right? continues the flowers Look at the lilies. So he's like doubling tripling down on this, and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing. It's Solomon in all his glory, like the richest person the Bible was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, they'll certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Know how this correlates? Jesus correlates this problem with a lack of faith. Why do you have so little faith you can't have two masters he's said
and don't be concerned. He continues about what to eat what to drink. Don't worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. He goes picking this up. So don't be afraid, little flock for gives your father great happiness to give you the kingdom. Everything you want. Sell your possessions. This is Jesus still talking? Luke 12 and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you were in heaven and the purposes of heaven. Never get old to develop holes. Your treasure will be safe. No thief can steal it. No moss can destroy it Wherever your treasure Is there the desires of your heart will also be seek the kingdom of God and he'll give you everything you need. Give to those in need, and your treasure will be in heaven like the rich man, this gives your father great pleasure to give you what? Everything you want. Know, the kingdom. But still, we often seek security here. Despite this is repetitive. And this isn't the only place it is. Now, with all that being said, I'm going to throw myself under the bus. So, you know, if you've heard parts of my story, it's important to do that, you know, it's like, look, the pastor has had his struggles and still has his struggles. Okay, so not like trying to, that may be the way it feels Jesus is doing that I'm reading the scriptures to you on purpose. Not pastor Jean saying it's Jesus. It's important is more important than anything I can say. But often our test becomes our testimony, our mess becomes our message. So I like to share a little bit with you. Right? So struggle, like with being selfish about the hospital, right? Right. So been there but my wife has told her story if you've heard it, you know what her thing was? My thing was not that right. So I, you know, I can have a drink and then walk away from it, whatever. That's not my thing. My thing was money. That was my I had a money, addiction. Right. And so all these things have like a root. And I'll just very quickly condensed my story here to tell you that when I was a kid, I had dyslexia, I'll just call it that for sure. It basically dyslexia and they had a hard time diagnosing. I went to a lot of doctors, but it meant that I was never going to be good in school. Never, because it was impossible. And my dad, my mom was more patient with dad, not patient with it. Not patient, he was an angry person. He was a violent person. And he called me lazy and stupid. That's what I'm, I'm lazy. I've heard that so much. You're skinny, you're lazy and stupid. Like that was it? It's hard to constantly. Alright, so that's just that's the psyche through my whole life, right. And so if you know me, I did martial arts my whole life. But I also was a musician. And my whole family was were musicians. It's like, no big deal to be, you could be amazing. And like, they don't care. They're like, You got to practice more. So just my whole life was music. And so well, you know, how do you make money in music? Well, you know, you can't get into a good college, right? Where there's music and do that kind of music classical. So I'm going to do rock and roll, right. So I discovered that, and I got into rock bands. And there were good. There were good bands. We were very popular. We did well. But I learned very quickly that even if you do well, if you're not the top point, 5% you're making no money. You live in a van, you just live on drugs. I've had a friend, like we get tattoos with cigarette money and hope for the best. Like, that's how we live. And that's not too far off, right. And then there's tons of drugs and alcohol and all kinds of bad stuff. So eventually, I kind of got Sam, I'm like, I'm going to die like this is really bad. So I went back to martial arts to be healthy. And there was an opportunity for me to open what we call the martial arts gym. It's not as formal as a dojo, and I was right on the cusp of like, The Ultimate Fighting Championship stuff, like, met the Gracies, or the family that like, started the whole thing. And so I was in the right place at the right time. I published all kinds of stuff on the internet, we own jujitsu net, our schools blew up and all sudden, like overnight, we went from sleeping on the mats or her college dorm, and she's working several jobs to pay her way through college route on her own. We're both out on our own my wife and I since like, teenage years. Poverty, but like, all of a sudden, like, you know, there's a Mercedes in the driveway, and there's a driveway, you know, so it's just crazy. You know, it just it was a crazy, crazy flip. And when I got there, I was like, I am never going to be poor again. Never. And I ran for from every insecurity came right along with me. Right? So I don't have a Harvard ring, but you know, whatever. But I have this $30,000 Watch, you know, it was just insanity. I would be driving out the Benz dealership. And like, before I got onto the road, I'm looking at the next Benz I'm going to buy. There was no stopping it. You couldn't dump enough money into that God hole. It was just unbelievable. Just Money, money, money, money. I make more money than the valedictorian of my high school, you're just totally insecure. But then measuring my value as a human being and other people's values by how much that's how you're as smart as you are the money you made. I really believed that. I bought into it all the way that pun intended. It was terrible. My whole value was in that everything meant everything to me, so I get it. I totally understand. I put my faith in it. We moved I was able to retire in my mid 30s. We moved down here to Naples we have to wait till we're like 70 mid 30s. I retired, passive income coming and everything was great. I'm in Paradise. Paradise, opened more businesses. It was crazy. making all kinds of money. I can live in Naples now. weren't rich, right? So because otherwise I wouldn't have like, tried to think I could get rich off Disney. But compared to Naples, you come here to Naples, you think you're rich up north, and you come here and you're like, Oh, right. So that's what started to trigger though it was actually a good thing. Because Wait a minute, what value does this really have? Like, what's this all about? And I started to kind of question things. And one of the first things I said before coming to this church, because we came as members. First, before I came here was like, I need faith. I realized it. I'm like, I have really placed my faith in the wrong thing. This is no good. I need faith. And then what happened was, over the course of time, and this was my hang up, I got called into ministry. And the first thing I said like they started real slow. They're like, we kind of think you know, you belong in ministry and not the business world. And like, the first thing I said to my pastors, like, you're stupid, actually said that you're dumb for taking this is the worst job in the world. Like, you're stupid. Right? So. So you know, he was very, very patient with me. He didn't say anything back. So you know, but you know, it just tons of things happen. We don't have time. So I got called into ministry. And the first thing the second thing was, like, I don't want to be that poor. Like, I want to make a lot of money. I have goals. I have dreams, like things I want to do. And they're like, you don't get it at all. And I didn't. Initially I was very disobedient, very disobedient the thing I did not listen, I was like, nope. But God put me in the hospital. Alright, so he gave me some time out to think about it. And then I changed, right. So I need to be kicking against the goads. As they say, I need to be proud, a little bit harder. I changed but here's the thing. I'll say this to you, right. So it's not about me, but so you understand where I'm coming from. That's where this is where I belong. Never in my life. Never in my life. Have I reached the point where I'm like, Just been content, like content, like a evil word to say in our culture. Like, I'm just going to. I don't really know. I don't know. If you asked me like, What do I want? I'm like,
I want a better pizza oven. Running knows me. He's like, Okay, we get the point.
When's your birthday? So, no one ever said that to me. I'm just throwing it out there. Right, but if I can make good pizza, I'm good, right? Like I really don't want for much. I'm good with my old truck. I saved it. God allowed me to keep some things. I'm okay. I don't need a bigger house. I don't like just like doing this. I like reading God's word hanging out with people talking about food, right? I'm content. But you see the lesson. You see the lesson. Like I had a lot like compared to normal people. Hola. Hola. Hola. Hola. I had like, all the nicest things. Amazing. And I was not happy. It was just a hamster wheel. Right? Because you put your faith in something. Nothing. It's material. That's what happens. You just do that. And you never reach that point of your ask yourself if you're not some people are congratulations. But if your content right, but if you're not. If you ever just ask yourself like, what, what? Where am I going? When is the time going to come when I am? I'll give you a good answer. If you're not putting it in Jesus, if it's anywhere else, when you die. That's it. You're going to be on that hamster wheel forever. The never going to be good enough. And like Naples the lesson you should be learning. All right, I'm going to pull up in a Ferrari the guy on the like Limited Edition McLaren is going to pull up next to me like I got one of those in the trunk. But uh, you know what I mean? You Good luck. Good luck keeping up with the Joneses. Especially here. Like I'm laughing at you. I'm watching your drawing. Oh my gosh. You know, like with the receipts, I have a C class. Now I have an E Class. And it just never ends. And then you go to the next brand.
Stop it. You want to find contentment? It's in Christ. That's it.
It's the only place it is. That's it. And it can keep us from certain things like it did me I'm teaching your lesson not everyone's called into ministry. Alright. So just want to make the disclaimer. Not everyone's called him to that level. I have to be an example to everybody. So I can't be like having so much money. Right? That's just my thing. You know, maybe people my wife was called into the business world. She stayed there. Right and as a result, great benefactor to the church. We get her time talents and her treasures. Thanks. You gets like you know, these bonuses. I'm like, digitize it. It's funny, but that's okay. We need VDS we need those. I'm not talking about the one friends I'm talking about the one in the Bible. We need those right. We need the church needs benefactors. None of this happens. And if you're new here, go upstairs. Look at what we do. We have recovery meetings here. We feed those in need. We do all kinds of thing that's not free. is not free. So we need your help. And if you have the funds to help us Now being said, right, so not everyone's equally the same, but it's so it has so much gravity that it's mentioned so much in the Bible. So just to encourage you just before I go into the last couple scriptures here and try to close, just Satan loves it. He just must love it. Because it can totally, if we put our focus on the money, what we can stumble to that was the whole night you get it right. You can't be focused on the money. And we miss out and this is the thing, this is where the devil has to be laughing. Because when we do that we shortchange ourselves. We actually miss out on the bigger blessing. Why are you getting all the stuff that you want to get? Because you want to be content? And you never will be? The secret is letting go of it. That's the secret for not being so attached to it. And it's such a big deal. Listen to what Paul writes. It's him and so I'll give you the context. First, Timothy, you don't know anything about the Bible. First Timothy, Second Timothy, Titus, I put finally men in their pastoral epistles. Right. What does that mean? Basically, Paul is giving instructions to those who are running the churches, right. So that's Timothy Ephesus, Titus Creek. So that's what's going on here. That's your context. He's giving instructions. Funny enough. He talks about slaves being obedient to their masters. He talks about false teachings and I'm just going to read this to you and then I will put on the screen. Teach these things, Timothy, encourage everyone to obey them. Some people may contradict our teaching, but these things are wholesome, wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life, and you want to teach us something different, is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words, and stirs up arguments, and even jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Well, first Timothy six, six, yet true godliness with contentment, itself is great. Well, after all, we brought nothing with us when we came into this world. And we can't take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be. There it is, again, content. But people who longed to be rich fall into temptation, and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. Been there? For the love of money is the root of all evil. It says in the Greek culture has kind of crept into the translations not all kinds. Greek says, All the best translations, the original. And some people craving money have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows, many pays. Not only can money causes just to like, take us away from the faith, but it can cause us to stumble. Again, there are rich people in the church. So I want you to pay attention to this. This is what Paul instructs Timothy to tell him. First Timothy 617. teach those who are rich in this world. He doesn't say no. Get out of the church, right? No, in this world, but not to be proud. Not to be proud, and not to trust in their money, don't show it off, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich and good works and generous to those in need. Always being ready to share with others. By doing this, they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future. Not here so that they may experience true life. Sound familiar? Bible's talking about it again, over and over and over again. Do not be proud of your money. Don't trust in it. Be generous. So we come to the Scripture, we must ask ourselves, what is our faith really in? Where are we storing our true treasure? Are we making good investment and something eternal? Or a poor investment? And something that he says Jesus says, moths can eat and rust destroys? Is the kingdom of God enough? Are we making ourselves our own kingdom? Is that what we're building here? Who do we serve? And what do we worship? I mentioned Colossians earlier. So I want to kind of close on this Colossians three one. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of the earth, For you died to this life and your real life is hidden with Christ and God and when Christ was your life has revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. He's talking about Jesus coming back. So put to death, the sinful earthly things lurking within, you have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, or evil desires. It's not the only one. Don't be greedy for a greedy person is an idolatry of worshipping the things of this world. Again, some encouragement for you guys, as I close up here, shared with you my story. But I'll tell you one thing I told you about contentment. It's a real thing. You can be content with your stuff. Do I worry? Yes, I do have concerns about money. Yes. But you know, if you know what your things are, like, I put boundaries in place like someone with drug addiction might have or something like that. Same thing. I don't obsess over money. Other pays the bills, the church, same thing, they just pay off. I don't even know I have no idea how much we're making, like, no clue. And worry about that. I'm fine. But I used to obsess over I cannot tell you how many. I check the bank account, check the bank account, check the bank, like it was unbelievable. I realize like how crazy I was in that. But here's the thing I want to just encourage I want to leave you with some encouragement, because sounds like a lot for a lot of people. I get it. Like that's kind of our thing. It's crazy. I can honestly testify before you today. Like, there were times. And I'm like, you know, paper got very structured on paper. Like, there was no way I can live off of this. Like, there's no way like, what, like, are you really calling me into this? Like, it didn't make sense on paper. But our God is not a paper God. There wasn't one month where I missed any payments on anything. I always had not only everything I needed, but I didn't ever stop going on vacations. It was just the money was there. The money was there. And I had everything and some and always more. But the secret it took me years to figure it was just letting it go. Not having any faith in it not caring, like whatever. God's got it. If he wants me to have that. I'll have it. If he doesn't, I will. That's just fine. So you can get there if you're not if you are there, amen. Praise God. It's amazing. Because if you are still in that cycle, you are enslaved. You are not a free person. It's an illusion. I'm free. No, no, no, no, no, it's making you more of a slave. It's not freeing you. And man, getting rid of those shackles is life changing. It's so freeing. And you'll feel it. You actually feel like a weight has come off of you. So if you want to experience that, come talk to me. I'll be hanging out. We'll talk about food too. But you can talk about Jesus for an hour. But we can continue talking about that. Right? You want to meet with me. That's totally cool there other people here to meet with to we love you. Right? We care about you. We want to see you have true freedom in Jesus Christ and experience that. Amen. I pray for you, Lord. Thank you for everyone who came in today. I pray for everyone who could not be here today. Hopefully they'll lots of message and I just ask that you let most importantly not my words but your word permeate into their hearts. I pray that we see change and freedom in Jesus Christ. All right, thank you. Please bless us as we go out so that we can be a blessing to all we encounter, all for the sake of the kingdom. We ask these things in Jesus's name. Amen.