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Article Notes: Save Money, but Don’t Ever Think it Gives You Real Security

The title of this post is a paraphrase of an excellent post over at Kevin DeYoung’s blog. I appreciated how quickly yet comprehensively DeYoung develops a theology of money and acknowledges the complexity of doing so.

DeYoung points out how easy it is to develop unbalanced theologies of money because of how much the Bible says about money. Some options are the prosperity theology and an austerity theology. You could take numerous passages and argue both that God loves rich guys and God hates rich guys.

The place to start, DeYoung says, is in Proverbs, because there we are given numerous angles through which to look at money.

The post deserves a look. I really loved the takeaways DeYoung gave:

  • You’ll probably acquire more money if you work hard and are full of wisdom. But if all you care about is getting more money, you are the biggest fool.
  • Money is a blessing from God, but you’ll be more blessed if you give it away.
  • God gives you money because he is generous, but he is generous with you so that you can be generous with others. And if you are generous with your money, God will likely be more generous with you.
  • It is wise to save money, but don’t ever think money gives you real security.
  • Wealth is more desirable than poverty, but wealth is not as good as righteousness, humility, wisdom, good relationships, and the fear of the Lord.
I hope that’s helpful!
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Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: The Necessity of Belief — Sermon # 5: The Meaning of the City

This sermon was preached on October 5, 2003.

The teaching is based on Jeremiah 29:4-14

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

You can also find this particular sermon at Redeemer’s Free Sermon Resource, located here.

Intro:

We’re looking at the book of Jeremiah because Jeremiah’s times were quite a bit like ours. The great Babylonian power had come to Israel, invaded, and taken Israel as exiles of Bablyon. In Babylon, they found a huge, hostile, brutal city filled with all of these different people groups with radically different visions of nature, morality, and the nature of the world. How do you respond to a fragmented society?

We live in a society so that it’s getting so that most people in our society feel like exiles. For example, liberals feel like this country is becoming so conservative that they’re pulling their hair out. Yet, at the same time, conservatives are pulling their hair out because they feel that this country is becoming so liberal. That’s a fact. But how can that be? How can both liberals and conservatives feel like exiles? The answer is that we live in a fragmented society where there is no consensus about what is right and what is wrong — this is very much like the city the Jewish exiles entered into. So here’s the question: how do you respond to that kind of society? The answer of God to the exiles is astounding.

If you think you’ve heard me preach on Jeremiah 29, you’re wrong! I’ve never preached on it, but I’m always referring to it. Jeremiah 29 is one of the most important texts to Redeemer’s history.

Outline: How do you respond to a fragmented society? How do you relate to the city?

I. The wrong way

II. God’s way

III. How to get the power to do it

I. The Wrong Ways

  • The Babylonian Agenda:
    • The Babylonians were experts at dealing with uncooperative nations:
      • Expel them / drive them out: The Babylonians found that if you did this, they came back madder than before
      • Subjugation: You don’t drive them out, you push them down; you enslave them. The problem with this is that they keep having these uprisings madder than ever.
      • Assimilation: Here the Babylonians found what they were looking for. They said, “You can live with us, you can have the best jobs, as long as you live like us.
        • Ex: Daniel
        • Within a couple generations, a people group is gone, their distinctiveness is worn away.
        • v. 6 “Increase there, do not decrease.” Assimilation sought to have them decrease.
    • Tribalism: v. 8 “God says, ‘Don’t listen to the other prophets — they’re telling you things I didn’t tell them to tell you!'”
      • Assimilation means that I go into the city and engage it for my own power and wealth.
      • Tribalism means that I smile at the city on the outside, but inside I disdain it. I exploit it.

II. God’s Way

  • v. 5-7 — Build homes! Move in! Build gardens! Increase! And seek the peace and prosperity of Babylon. This was a city whose hands were dripping with the blood of Israel’s people!
  • This must have been utterly astounding for God’s children to hear. He wanted them not just to engage the city as a tribe, but he wanted them to seek the shalom of the city! The peace and prosperity of it! He wanted them to pray for it!
  • St. Augusten, The City of God: He says that the whole Bible is basically a tale of two cities — the city of man and the city of God.
    • People go into the human city to make a name for themselves, to get a self, to get power and achievement, “then I’ll know I’m somebody.”
      • This makes it a place of exhaustion: they go into the city needing to get — love, power, recognition, a resume
      • This makes it a place of oppression: we’re working so hard to get up the ladder that we’re willing to step on people
    • In contrast, the city of God works not on the basis of pride, but of peace; not on the basis of human effort, but on God’s grace
      • This makes it not a place of exhaustion, because the people enter it looking to give, not looking to get, because they already know who they are. It’s a place of joy.
      • This makes it not a place of oppression, but a place of justice.
    • City of Man: Your life to benefit me; City of God: My life to benefit you
    • Very often these cities are referred to as Jerusalem and Babylon
  • So, we live in the city of man, right? Someday God will come and destroy the city of man.
  • Up until Jeremiah, everyone thought that was how it was. Then, all of a sudden, God says, “Move into Babylon and seek its peace.” But that makes no sense! I thought God was going to destroy the city!?”
    • Matt 5: Jesus says to his disciples, “You are a city on a hill! Let your light shine before men.” The good deeds Jesus is talking about are living and service.
  • Every city is two cities. The city of God is a mini-city in every city, they are an alternate city in every city, in which they take sex, money, and power, and instead of using them for exploitation and pride, they use them in life giving ways.
  • The way you bear witness in the earthly city to God’s city, is that you don’t go in there to work for your sake (assimilation), don’t work their for your tribe’s sake (disdain), work in the city for the city’s sake.
  • St. Augustine says that the minute you’re born again you get dual citizenship in these two cities.
  • Citizens of the city of God are the very best citizens of their earthly cities. They don’t move in to make themselves or their group stronger, they move their for the city’s sake.
  • When Jeremiah talks about shalom, it’s worth thinking. “Peace” isn’t strong enough. Shalom means total flourishing in every dimension: socially, economically, spiritually, physically. God is saying that if you are a child of God this has got to be your attitude toward the earthly city in which you reside.
    • You’re working for the social peace of your city, helping the different racial groups get along.
    • You’re working for the economic shalom of the city, not having a career just to advance yourself or your cause, but to bring everyone in the city up, to seek the prosperity of everyone in it. If you don’t feel that way about New York City, you’re not thinking out the implications of this passage.
  • God is saying don’t lose your difference in the city, but at the same time don’t guard jealously your difference in the city. He’s saying, “Use your difference to serve the city!” Your difference is that you belong to the one true God — use that to serve them.
  • Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity, describes early centuries of Christianity and the plagues that occurred in many cities…
    • If you live in a city for yourself or your tribe, you get out when bad things happen — you don’t want to die!
    • But that’s not what the Christians did in early Christianity. They lost their lives happily for the sake of their neighbors.
    • Stark is trying to figure out how this one little religious group of Christians eventually shaped an entire empire.
      • When the dying pagans recovered from the plagues, they were faced with the question, “Wait, what are you here for?”
      • The Christians said, “We’re not here for money, we’re not here to make a name for ourselves, we don’t need money, we don’t need acceptance, we don’t even need to live!”
      • As a result, the Christian gospel captured the imaginations of the people. Christianity did not capture their imaginations by trying to take over or trying to get their people into office! They got power by not trying to get power.

III. The Power — How can it be that Christians did this?

  • Centuries after Jeremiah, Jesus entered Jerusalem, the city of God — and he gets executed and thrown out. You never executed anybody inside the holy city, because it was necessary to send them out to die, because it was symbolic of the consequence of sin; you lose the community, you lose the blessing, because you’re thrown out.
  • It wasn’t a symbol of Jesus; it was a reality. Hebrews 13:12-14.
  • On the cross, Jesus was cosmically thrown out so that you and I could be brought in. Sin deserves to be thrown out of the city, but Jesus Christ took it for us, so that when you believe in Jesus, you become automatically enrolled in the city of God–and that makes us salt and light in the city that is.
  • Why? Because if you know who you are, you move back into the earthly city not needing anymore and being ready to give.
  • Frank Sinatra was wrong; he said that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. But Jesus gives you something better. There is a mansion in the truly greatest city in the universe, there is applause, acclaim, a ticker-tape parade waiting for you. If you know that, you can move out into the city with poise!
  • Michael Foucalt, the post-modern theorist, says that we create and bolster a self through the exclusion of the Other. E.g., If I feel good about myself because I’m a hard worker, I have to despise people who are lazy.
  • But what if you’re identity is in Christ? What if it’s not in being a good Christian who goes to church and reads the Bible, but in Christ? Because Jesus Christ, when I was doing all the wrong things he died for me! If that’s the basis for my whole life, then how do I look out at the city filled with people who are doing the wrong things? I love them! Because Jesus dying on the cross was dying for them, and for me.
  • Here in NYC, there is a saying that you need to get rid of your idea that there’s one truth. If you believe that, I’ll accept you; if not, I won’t. You’ve got to assimilate to be accepted. But Jesus gives you a resource for that, because he died for people who didn’t believe in him. Christianity gives you the power to love people who don’t believe like you do, who are not like you.
  • Do you see this? Do you understand it?
  • Jesus lost the city that was, so that you and I can be citizens of the city that is to come.

Practical Applications:

  1. Live in the city: when Paul wanted to capture a region, he went to the city, because he knew that if you captured the city you captured the region. The way to capture the imagination of the United States is to capture the imagination of its cities. The Bible says history began in a garden, but it will end in a city. What does Revelation say: I see the suburb of God coming down? No, it’s a city coming down! A diverse, artistic, energetic city. If you hate the city, I don’t know what you’re going to do with the New Jerusalem. When we all get to the New Jerusalem, you’re going to have to show people how to use the subways.
  2. Don’t live in the city selfishly: If you are so driven by your ego or your family expectations, if you’re working so hard in your career that you’re not thinking of the poor, then you have to wonder if you’re really living for the city, or are you just using it. If you’re just using it, you having come to grips with your identity in Christ. God won you over not by taking power, but by losing it. He won you not with a sword in his hand, but with nails in them. That’s why the hymn goes like this:

Not with swords loud clashing nor roll of stirring drums,

but with deeds of loving mercy the heavenly kingdom comes.

David Bisgrove Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David 2009 — Sermon #14: David Fails the Lord

Sermon preached on September 13, 2009.

The teaching is based on 2 Samuel 24:10-25.

David Bisgrove preached this message. Rev. Bisgrove is one of four Lead Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; his preaching style is very similar to that of his Senior Pastor, Tim Keller.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at theRedeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction:

With any biblical text, you have to look not only at the story, but the story beneath the story. Otherwise:

1) We’re crushed–none of us will live up to a man whose poetry is sung 2,000 years later.

2) We’re confused–how can a man of God sin like this?

The last chapters of 2 Samuel have “intentional summation.” They are put here at the end to highlight major themes in David’s life:

I. Negatively, spiritual presumption

II. Positively, spiritual discernment

I. Spiritual presumption is at the heart of every sin

  • We forget this simple truth: there is a God and I’m not Him
    • This is the rhythm of the Old Testament: I will be your God and you will be my people
  • We presume that we know better than God, that we know what’s best for us.
  • Spiritual presumption comes from a perfect storm:
    1. Foolish: All sin comes from ignoring the wisdom gap between God and us
    2. Evil
    3. Personal

1. Foolish:

    • Wise people, even if they don’t understand it, embrace God’s law
    • the Bible is a blueprint for ultimate reality
    • the rules aren’t there to restrict us, but to liberate us and help us to live in fallen humanity. We follow them because we want more, not less.
      • For example,holding my daughter’s hand when crossing the street, I don’t do this to restrict her, I do this to keep her alive
    • sometimes you need to disparage yourself enough to ignore that God feels like a killjoy
      • For example, I had a high school teacher who offended me by saying that students can’t grow up and do whatever they want–it’s the only thing I remember from high school

2. Evil; perverted

  • using everything God has given us for our own ends
  • God’s plan for everything is repeated by the prophets: shalom
  • David was seeking to create a standing army instead of a militia; God isn’t having it, he won’t let them become the kind of people who look like the rest of the world, exploiting the weak
    • how do you find life? Give it away. You love and embrace aliens and strangers, you don’t enslave them
    • God so loves the world… “If God were not angry at how we were destroying ourselves, He wouldn’t be loving.”

3. Personal

  • We’re not just breaking God’s laws, we’re breaking His heart. He says, Love me because you trust me, obey me because you love me.
  • Sin is always characterized by adultery; it is barest betrayal
  • Money: We put money away because we want a “standing” cushion, just like David wanted a standing army
  • Power: You’ve got to make it up the ladder–the Bible says look down the ladder, and use what I’ve given you to help those below you
  • Do you really want to find your life? Give it away.
  • We’re getting in bed with the world right in front of God.

II. Spiritual Discernment: David has really grown

  • the more mature you are in God, the more you will repent
  • a spiritually mature person can’t imagine life w/o repentance
  • repentance breaks the ice off our birdbaths
  • ultimately the things we build our lives on leave us anxious, wondering if it’s enough
  • Proverbs 33: No king is saved by the size of his army
  • David models the gospel: He is the shepherd who abused his power, but now he’s going to lay his life down for the flock
    • God says, “No, I’ll take a substitute”
    • until finally, God takes out His full wrath and anger on the perfect substitute

Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David — Sermon #15: David Prepares His People

Sermon preached on September 20, 2009, in the Ethical Culture Society Location, at the 9:00 AM service.

Teaching is based on 1 Chronicles 29:1-20.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction: There is lots of material on David: 2 biographies (1 written by Samuel, 1 written by the Chronicler), making him one of the most written-about ancient figures of all time.

Outline:

1. The Problem

2. The Presence

3. The Practice

4. The Promise

I. The Problem

  1. Under David, Israel had never flourished so much; he’s dying now; he brings out their fears right away: Solomon is young and inexperienced.
  2. No one has ever sought God on their own; there’s always someone who acts as a bridge.
    1. David is addressing this: What happens when that bridge person dies? Moves away?
    2. Robert McCheyne gets at this in his sermon, “What Have I to do with Idols?”
      1. Warning: Don’t put your minister above God!

II. The Presence

  1. David is saying, “I want you to stop getting God through me, and instead I want you to bring God’s presence into your midst.”
  2. Ch. 28: David doesn’t want to build a monument to himself, but a resting place for the ark of the covenant.
    1. The ark is a major theme in David’s life
    2. Someone touched it, and they died
    3. It was taken into battle at Jericho, and the walls fell
    4. Philistine battle during Eli’s time: Israelites lost the ark; it plagued Philistine villages;
  3. The point is that God is not a God you can put in a box; He’s not a God you can have at hand; He’s not a God you can conjure; He’s not a tame God.
    1. We try rubbing the lamp with good deeds and tithing and being an obedient son
  4. God doesn’t want to be put in a box and taken into battle.

III. The Practice

  1. If the presence isn’t controllable, what can we do?
  2. We can’t control him, but we can invite him
  3. If you try to control God, he departs
  4. If you come with conditions, he departs
    1. If you say, “I’ll be happy to pray if you can get me a good job, etc.”
    2. The If is your real God; He is only your commodity, your money.
  5. If you have conditions, you’re treating Him mechanically, not personally.
    1. Love Him Himself, not as an object
    2. I want to marry you. Why? Because when I think about your trust  fund I get excited.
      1. You would leave if someone did that to you, and He will too.
  6. Say: I don’t care if my life goes the way I want it to.
  7. The only way Solomon will hav ethe presence is wholehearted devotion, complete consecration
  8. William Borden: He took a trip around the world, and wrote “No reserves” in the back of his Bible; then, after Yale, he wrote, “No retreat”; finally, before his death, he wrote, “No regrets.” Borden of Yale
    1. He had no idea his life would impact anyone. He just did his job, no conditions–and that’s why glory fell on him.
  9. Kierkegaard: Purity of heart is to will one thing.
    1. The problem is, no one can give God that!
    2. Ezekiel 8 and 9 describes the presence leaving the temple forever

IV. The Promise

  1. “You will have a son,” God told David, “and his kingdom will last forever.
    1. This wasn’t Solomon; it was Christ.
    2. David wanted to build the temple; Jesus said, “I am the temple.”
  2. Jesus is the only man who ever gave God wholehearted devotion, unconditional consecration
  3. Jesus earned the presence of God, yet He got the absence!
    1. Jesus’ blood was spread on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant
    2. Jesus was the ultimate David, who didn’t just give us this temple at the cost of his money, but at the cost of his life

Application:

  1. If you want to give yourself unconditionally, look at your money
    1. It’s possible to give money while withholding yourself, but it’s not possible to give yourself while withholding money.
  2. Creativity: Revivals have 2 things: extraordinary prayer and communicating the gospel
    1. You can’t get into Narnia the same way twice; God doesn’t want us to think that Narnia is the wardrobe
  3. The possibilities of experiencing God’s glory are immense; if you’re not aiming for that, you’re settling for two little
    1. Repent
  4. Take your hands off your life; give yourself unconditionally

(Notice: the notes below may be partially mine–I can’t tell from my notes)

  1. God, even if you don’t have a calling for my life, even if you never tell me what to do, I love you. The one thing I’ve wanted more than You is a clear calling–forget that. Forget it. I won’t conjure you.
  2. Kill me, if that’s what You want. Renew my heart to “be faithful unto death.” And if you won’t, fine–I’m bound to You. There’s no turning back.

Tim Keller Sermon Notes – Series: Money and Possessions in the Teachings of St. Luke – Sermon #1: Money and the Woes of Jesus

Sermon preached on June 6, 2010.

Teaching is based on Luke 6:19-26; 30-35.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction

  • In June we’ll be looking at what our attitude should be toward money and possessions, and each week it’ll be out of the writings of Luke. This author talks more about writing and possessions than any other one biblical author. Tonight we’ll frame up the series by looking at a concept that’s all through the NT but often hard to put your finger on.
  • When Luke talks about money, he so often does so when he’s talking about the Kingdom of God. What is that? That’s what I want to talk to you tonight.
  • When the Bible says the Kingdom of God is coming, it means the king is coming, Jesus is coming. But when a king comes, it means he’s bringing a kingdom, an administration.
    • For example, if you get a new coach on a team, you also get a new way of doing things. The leader brings his or her priorities, motivations, dynamics, values, and each kingdom produces a certain kind of person.
    • What we have in this passage is a contrast b/w Jesus’ kingdom and the way the world operates. The “woes” in this passage are connected to the kingdom of this world
    • “In the life of God’s people will be seen a remarkable reversal of values: God’s people will prize what the world calls pitiable, and will suspect what the world calls prizeworthy.” – Michael Wilcock (sp?), Commentary on Luke

Outline

  1. The world’s kingdom
  2. Jesus’ kingdom
  3. How you know which kingdom you’re in
  1. The World’s Kingdom
    1. You see in vv. 24-26 woes being pronounced on a certain way of life.
      1. Woe is not meaning, “You’re condemned.”
      2. When someone in the olden days used to say, “Woe is me,” he wasn’t condemning himself, he was pitying himself. Jesus is expressing pity on these people, not condemning them.
  2. What are the values of this world’s kingdom?
    1. Prizing Power: Woe to you who are rich.
    2. Prizing Comfort: Woe to you who are well-fed (having your physical desires satiated fully)
    3. Prizing Success: Woe to you who laugh (not saying “happy”, Gk means “to gloat b/c you won”)
    4. Prizing Recognition: Woe to you when all men speak well of you.
  3. Is he saying it’s bad to have these things?
    1. No: he’s saying these are bad only if you get your deep consolation from them. Jesus uses the Gk word for “deep consolation” to describe the Holy Spirit!
    2. He’s saying that when these things are your comfort, when they’re what you live for, when they’re what your identity is based on, you are a member of the kingdom of this world even if you are coming to Redeemer and taking notes on the sermons and doing all the right Christian things.
      1. He’s saying that if these are your paraklesis, your deepest consolation, you will be disappointed. He pities you.

II. Jesus’ Kingdom

  1. Here are the people who inherit his kingdom. He says, “Blessed are:
    1. The Poor
    2. The Hungry
    3. The Grieving
    4. The Exluded
  2. Now, what does that mean?
    1. Some say, “Simple! Christians are those who seek these things.” But that is too simple. He can’t be saying that. It doesn’t match the rest of the text.
    2. Jesus is NOT saying, “You must not be successful, you must be persecuted, you must be poor.”
      1. People who believe this tend to be proud: I’m better than those comfortable Christan.
      2. OR they tend to be proud: I’m afraid of being comfortable, I’m afraid of being successful.
    3. No, he’s not saying you must SEEK poverty
    4. Just as he said, “On the surface, success, etc, can look great, and can still be pitiable.”
    5. So too, here: He is saying that these things look bad, but they’re not always so.
    6. He’s saying members of His kingdom can TAKE poverty, they can take hunger, they can take grieving, they can take exclusion
  3. One of the ways you can tell what kingdom you’re in is how do you deal with poverty? How do you deal with rejection? How do you deal with failure?
  4. If you’re in the world’s kingdom, losing success, recognition, etc, causes a meltdown in your life. You can’t tolerate it.
    1. Lk 16 Parable of Lazarus and a Rich Man
    2. Abraham says, “Your riches were more than just riches. They were your comfort; they were who you were.”
    3. This is the only parable in which one character is given a proper name (Lazarus) and one isn’t (the rich man)
    4. It’s one thing to be a rich man, or a teacher, or a writer, but it’s another thing if that’s all you are. If you lose the riches, or the job, there’s nothing left of you, you go into meltdown, you have no other identity.
  5. v. 23 Rejoice, because Christians say, “I’m not just my art, I’m not just my money.” They say, “I’ve got a name! I’m not just a _____.”
  6. The way you can tell the difference b/w someone in the world’s kingdom and someone in Jesus’, is because when affliction hits, it’s not the end of the world—we can even value it, b/c we know it’s producing something in us.
  7. Some people have always said, “It’s weird that the sermon on the mount says blessed are the poor in spirit, but then you get to Luke 6 and it doesn’t say that.” Which is it?
    1. You cannot become a Christian, you can’t even be in the kingdom of God, unless, spiritually speaking, you “get poor.” You don’t become a Christian by saying, “Oh father, look at all the things I’ve done, pls bless me.” No, you say, “Father, I’ve got nothing to offer, but please, I’m grieving, I’ve got no hope in myself, my only hope is in your grace-based salvation.”
    2. The one way you know that you’re no longer into works-righteousness is if you see materially poor people you no longer look down on them.
    3. One of the ways you know you’re repentant, you’ve really had your heart broken by the knowledge of your sin, you’re no longer hard-hearted to grieving people: your heart goes out to them.
  8. Jesus is saying in Luke and Matthew that those who are spiritually changed are radically changed in how they view people who are poor, grieving, etc.
  9. Karl Marx paraphrase: “You can’t tell people there’s a heaven. It’s the opiate of the people! It keeps them from caring about social justice in this world.” But this text, Luke 6, says Karl Marx is wrong.
    1. If Marx is right, and all my comfort is to be found in this life, then if fighting injustice means losing my job or my wealth, then I can’t do it, because this is all I’ve got!
      1. But if this material comfort isn’t all I’ve got, then I’m free to blow the whistle, I’m free to fight injustice.
    2. In this way, the gospel is not the opium of the people, it’s more like the smelling salts.

III. So, what are the signs that you’re in the Kingdom of Jesus?

  1. You don’t melt down when the troubles come
  2. You have become spiritually poor yourself
  3. You care about the poor and marginalized
  4. It’s what you do with your money
    1. This is why I included vv. 30-35
    2. If anyone doesn’t give money you’ve lent them, you shouldn’t ask for it back.
    3. This is not talking about giving to everyone who asks of you on the street.
    4. The word “give” used here is the word for “lending.”
  5. In those days, if someone came to you and asked for a loan, it usually meant they were in real trouble. And whether or not you gave to them depended on the Greco-Roman patronage system.
    1. If a patron had a request for a loan, the patron who was smart and saavy would be happy to have someone owe them if they could get a future favor from them.
    2. Jesus is blowing that up here, saying, “How dare you use the patronage system!”
      1. If you are in my kingdom, you will be so radically generous that it will outrage, it will shock, the people of your day. You are so free from needing all these things that you are radically generous.
  6. If your accountant isn’t in the kingdom of God, and they see what you’re giving away, they’re going to think that you’re nuts.
    1. By the way, no offense to any accountants in here.
    2. Jesus is saying that whatever your cultural norms are for giving, you will blow through those.
      1. Outrageously generous
      2. Promisicuously generous
      3. Insanely generous

An Encouragement and a Warning

  1. An encouragement
    1. The whole thing rests on v. 23. The reason you can do all these things is because you know that you have real riches, real honor, real joy waiting for you at the end of time.
    2. But how can you be sure? How can you be certain?
      1. The hint is in v. 19: “And the people all tried to touch him b/c the power was going out from him and healing them all.”
    3. I love all the places where Jesus heals people and makes them whole by losing power, by losing strength.
      1. Remember the place in Mark where the hemoraging woman touches him, and she’s healed, and he says, Power has left me, who touched me? It’s pointing to the cross.
    4. All these woes fell on Jesus
      1. He was perfectly rich, and he became poor so we could become rich
      2. He was perfectly happy, and he became the man of sorrows so we could have eternal joy
      3. He was perfectly in and loved and he became an outcast
      4. He was persecuted and destroyed so we could join the kingdom of God
  2. That’s your encouragement, now here’s a warning:
    1. My personality is always to end with an encouragement, so this week I thought I’d change it up and end with a warning.
    2. Daniel 5 tells about a dying kingdom. Belshazer was the leader of the city of Babylon. Now, he must have known that the Persian army was showing up and there was no way to stop him. So Belshazer throws a party! They were laughing, toasting, acclaiming each other, and they were satiating all of their sensual desires, and in the midst of all this festivity, suddenly the handwriting begins on the wall, essentially saying, “Your days are numbered.”
    3. Some years ago I was reading a commentary on Luke 6 by Earl Ellis (?) and he referred to Daniel 5, and said, “It’s a good passage to read if you’re reading what Jesus says here.” I said, “What?”
    4. But are you someone who’s looking for power, success, riches? Are you a typical New Yorker? Then your days are numbered. When Jesus showed up, He was the handwriting on the wall for the kingdom of this world.
    5. I don’t want you to be like Belshazer.
    6. Repent, grieve, become spiritually poor.

Closing with prayer: This isn’t a matter of summoning our strength to live this way. We need the gospel to come home to our hearts. We need to see your beauty. One of the ways to do that is the Lord’s Supper now.

Brief sermon note – Mark Driscoll, “The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Poverty,” Phillippians 4

Mark Driscoll, Fall 2007

The Rebel’s Guide to Joy series (taught from the book of Philippians)

Sermon: “The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Poverty”

Teaching is based on Philippians 4

This is a sermon that edified me much, causing me to reflect on the absolutely giving nature of God. Unlike the gods of any other religion, ours is a God that gives.

Pastor Mark ended this excellent sermon with an illustration: When Mark was 3 or 4 years old, he asked his dad if he could go to work with him. Mark’s dad was a construction worker, but, being gracious, he said yes. That morning, Mark’s dad put on his jeans, t-shirt, and hard hat, and Mark did the same. Mark’s dad filled his thermos with coffee, Mark filled his thermos with juice. Mark’s dad filled his lunch box, and Mark filled his. Mark was a man, going to do man work. He was a little man, but he was a man. When they got to the job site, Mark’s dad showed Mark the plan for the day, what Mark would be responsible for, why it was important, etc. After he had given him instructions, Mark got his little tool box and went to work, thinking, “Boy, it’s a good thing I’m here.”

Looking back, Mark sees that what his dad gave him to do was little more than a pile of scrap wood and some nails, but at the time Mark thought it was crucial work. Mark’s dad didn’t take him to work because he needed him to do help–in fact, Mark’s dad likely got less done that day than he could have had he left Mark at home. Mark’s dad took him to work because he loved him and wanted to include him.

God is our Father, and He can fix our spheres of life way quicker without us–He could do it with a snap of his finger.

God is your Dad. Your Dad doesn’t need you, He wants you. Your Dad’s not taking advantage of you, He’s including you. Your Dad could get more done if He did the work without you, but He loves you.

What great motivation to go about the work of God in pursuit of humility and faithfulness to this exceedingly perfect Father, our God. Thank you, Father.