~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a short teaching by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Power of the Tithe: A Short Teaching, from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
Jesus taught more on money than any other single subject. Money is an important subject to God!
Read how Jesus interacted with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:17-22)
Notice that Jesus looked at him and LOVED HIM. He was not being harsh with the young ruler by telling him to sell whatever he had. He was being loving! He didn’t mind the man having money. He just didn’t want money to have the man! This is just like a parent talking with their child. Jesus created this man. He was teaching with the heart of the Father – he saw that his disposition towards money was hurting him. Look, Jesus offered to this man to “come and follow Him.” Jesus only offered that opportunity to 12 other men – the disciples. Such a bummer that the young man walked away sad!
Jesus is NOT opposed to riches AT ALL! It is easy to assume that, but that is not the case at all. In fact, Jesus promises a 100x increase to those that give up things in this life for Him:
“Then Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:28-30)
Now look at what Jesus says in the sermon on the mount: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Where you truly believe your provision is from – in your heart of hearts – that is where your treasure is – and therefore where your heart is going to be! Most people in their heart of hearts do not believe that God is their source. They may think it on a superficial level, but suddenly take away their job and see where they are at then. Most people believe in their heart of hearts that there provision is their job and/or their spouse – and the idea of losing that would strike them with fear. If that is the case, Jesus is saying that is where your heart is. If our treasure is God, then we will never be shaken. Mark Crawford says “insecurity is security in the wrong things.”