From a series from the winter of 2011.
The next few weeks will be a series based on one of my favorite movies – Jerry Maguire (note: when I mentioned this to a friend recently he was surprised because of the R rating and some of the content – so I have to admit that I have only seen the TV version). I just the love the story lines (good vs. evil, riches-to-rags-to-riches), and the life-lessons (love is a choice not a feeling, hard work and dedication are worth it, and caring about your clients will take care of the bottom line). And there are some truly classic quotes – the most famous being “Show me the money!”
Rod, Cuba Gooding’s character is telling his agent, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise’s character, to “show me the money,” i.e. get me a big contract. Rod wants the big money but he is not a team player, he is not concerned about wins/losses, and he is a terrible teammate. It is not until Rod starts to focus on the right things (hard work, playing to win, giving it his all) that he gets his big contract which provides us with a few good lessons.
1. Having or even wanting money is not bad or wrong; having nice things isn’t necessarily wrong– it is a matter of your focus and what you are doing with it that counts. Money is a very important topic for God:
- He gave us more than 800 verses about money.
- Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined.
- Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.
- 11 of 39 parables talk about money and 1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.
So clearly money is important to God but is it what drives us? Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
2. God is in control and He provides our needs. Yes, we need to work but we don’t work to provide for our needs. Matthew 6:31-33 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Our purpose in working is to represent Christ in the marketplace. If we get this backwards we can end up manipulating people rather than ministering to them.
3. Finally, it is a matter of trust – Malachi 3”10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” God Himself states “Test me in this.” If God is saying test me in this I bet we can trust Him.
I recently heard this very helpful principle regarding giving: If you are not giving, give; if you are giving, then give generously; if you are giving generously, then give sacrificially. Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
God is in control and if we can trust Him as our Lord and Savior for eternity we can trust Him to provide for our needs here on earth.
In His Service,