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Finance (1 of 2)

Shane Willard

Page 9 of 10
To do something for someone, who can’t possibly do something in return for you; that in doing that, you would know the heart of God, because isn’t that what God did for you?

That we are called not to go to heaven one day, we’re actually called to bring heaven to every place there’s hell now. This is central to their financial freedom.

We could talk about the whole system they have for dealing with money (we’re going to), but if I give you the whole system, and you miss the heart of it - it doesn’t make any difference.

If I give you the whole system, but you’re going to be lazy…whatever; if I give you the whole system, and you’re going to make stupid decisions, selfish decisions – whatever.

If I give you the whole system, and you’re going honor each other, and honor what’s in your own life – whatever. If I give you the whole system, and you’re going to miss the bigger aspect, which is: do you know him...

This thing of ‘knowing God’ followed Jesus through His whole ministry. “This is eternal life, that they may know me”. “Depart from me, I never knew you”.

Jesus was nice to everybody; who’s the only person that Jesus said went to hell – only one. Jesus whole life, he only said one person went to hell. There’s a rich man, who overlooked a poor man at his gate – that’s the man that went to hell.

Before we excuse ourselves from that conversation… we are the rich man! If you drove here in an automobile, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you have, you’re in the richest 8% of the whole world.

If you left your spare car at home, you’re in the richest 1% of the whole world. If the home you have has a concrete foundation, and lumber is the primary building material - in other words, you don’t live in a trailer; if your home is not mobile, you’re in the richest 0.1% of the whole world.

We are the rich man, the question is: what are we going to do about it?

If you look at the rich man in Lazarus, the rich man goes to hell because he overlooked that poor man at his gate; and then even in hell what does he do? Abraham: send that beggar over here, to give me some water.

The man is in hell; and he still thinks he’s better than the poor man! The very thing that put him in hell; he still kept making the same decision to stay there.

You know anybody like that? You know anybody that made decisions that put their life in hell, then they’re in hell, and they kept making the same decisions? Sounds like us.

So this thing follows Jesus through his whole ministry: the rich man and Lazarus; and the sheep and the goats – what was the key?

In Matthew 25, what did the sheep and goats get separated by? Tzedakah; Generosity; is this not what it means to know me?

Acts 10, Peter shows up, he says: Cornelius – god has already counted you righteous; because he knows at some point you’re going to pray a prayer. God has already counted you righteous, because your generosity to the poor went up as a remembrance to him. Is this not what it means to know me declares the lord your God?

Let me close this session out with a scripture from first 1 John 3:16. John has picked up on this principle, and this is what he says:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, and we ought (here’s the application) to lay down our life for our brothers.”

This is how he interprets that: “If anyone has material good, and sees his brother with material need, how can the love of God be in him?” Tzedakah!

Verse 20 - “Dear children, let us not love in word only, but in action and in truth. This then, is how we know we belong to the truth, and how we can set our hearts at rest in his presence, whenever our heart condemns us, for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything”.

In other words, John says: you know those moments with God, when you’re not sure if you’re ok with him? The way to overcome that, is to look around you, and make people’s lives better; because it’s in that generosity that you can know you belong to God, and you heart is set at rest in his presence.