sermonette: Money, Control, and Sacrifice
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 20-Apr-19; Sermon #1483s-AM; 24 minutes
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Solomon's observation that "money is the answer to everything" (Ecclesiastes 10:10), suggests that, though wealth is neutral, the inordinate and obsessive desire for money as a means of control is evil. Equating money with power is an illusion when one factors in the exigencies of inflation, business cycles, theft and natural disaster. Wealth is a strong tower only in the minds of deluded individuals like the rich young ruler, who valued the ephemeral and unreliable power his wealth provided over the eternal power provided by God. Wealth will certainly damage our character if we permit it to control us. Riches cannot buy forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, or eternal life. When God convicts us that we cannot serve two masters, He requires that we choose between Him and whatever has the power to become a competitor to Him in our hearts. While Simon the Pharisee held his purse strings tightly, the woman bestowed gifts on Christ with almost childish abandon. Appreciation of Jesus gives birth to a spirit of generosity. Has our gratitude for Christ's sacrifice motivated us to give up a measure of control?