The teaching series we are in is about surrender.  Sam was right last week when he said, this series couldn’t be more perfect for the days we are living in.  Surrender is the only way to find everything you are looking for in life.

Jesus said:

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” NLT Matthew 16:24-25

Surrender is the only way to enter into your spiritual world.  Surrender is the only way to get rid of that mix of harmful emotions that can grow inside us.  Emotions that we can’t get rid of like anxiety, anger, depression, hopelessness, and fear.  Surrender is the only way to fully enjoy everything God has for us.

Last week when Sam spoke, I was so glad to hear him say, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.  The topic of surrender makes us squirm – right?  We don’t want to surrender.  We want to do what we want when we want how we want.  Somehow, surrender puts a limit on us and who wants to live with limits?  We hear what Jesus said but who really wants to give up their lives?

Instead of the word, ‘surrender’, maybe a better word or phrase would be, ‘what could be’.  That was the entire point of Sam’s talk last week.  He did such a great job of explaining that people struggle to surrender primarily because we don’t fully understand what could be.  Sam turned to Psalms and explained this beautiful verse.

How blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel.  MSG Psalms 84:5

Sam said surrender brings ‘what could be’ into our lives.  That means God living in you as you walk through life.  I think my favorite part of Sam’s talk was on Tuesday when he said, if you aren’t meeting with God in a meaningful way, you aren’t fully surrendered yet.  That is the key to surrender.

Do you struggle with surrender?  Do you want to turn this talk off now because it is making you squirm a little and you are not sure where we are going with this?  Here is what we want you to know.  Everything you are looking for in your life, will only be found when you surrender to God.

I want you to think through something that I think may completely change your view of surrender.  Do you believe that God, through the sacrifice of Jesus, has forgiven you of your sins?  Do you believe that God, through Jesus, has made a way for you to enter into heaven?  Do you believe, because of Jesus, you don’t have to earn your way into heaven with your human effort?

If you believe that God has forgiven you, can get you into heaven with grace, do you also believe He will take care of your day to day needs?  If all that God stuff is true, do you think it is odd that we would daily live in fear?  Do you know what I mean?  That sense of doubt and worry that He may not come through for us today.  You would think, if God can do the miraculous, remove sin and give eternal life in heaven, surrendering to God daily would be super easy.  Almost like a daily act of worship.  And that is what we are inviting you into.  Relax and enjoy God!

Jesus said this about trusting God day to day.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. NLT Matthew 6: 25-34

Last part reread in the Message Translation

31 What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. 32 People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. 33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. MSG Matthew 6:31-33

What is Jesus saying?  Relax.  God knows very well your daily needs.  The most important priority you can have in life are the things of God.  Replace that worry over your physical needs with pursuing a healthy spiritual heart.  When you surrender to God, you understand that God will care for you.  It’s logical then to conclude you don’t have to live a life of worry.  People who don’t trust God can’t do that.  They feel like they are missing out.

I want to close and give some questions to process what we are saying.

Do you believe that God, because of Jesus, has forgiven you of your sins?

Do you believe God is going to bring you into heaven someday?

If God can do that miraculous God stuff, do you think God can take care of you day to day?

Do you think it’s odd to believe that God can get you to heaven but continue to daily live in fear or worry?

Are you relaxed in life, enjoying every day that God has given you?

Do you worry about tomorrow?  Are you so worried about tomorrow, it steals your joy and fun of today?

What are you more focused on, ‘What God will give you’ or ‘What God has already given you’?

If you walk with fear, doubt and worry, I want you to pray with me.  “Dear Heavenly Father, I fully surrender my life to You today.  I renounce all fear, doubt and worry in my life.  God has never given me a spirit of fear but of courage.  Because of Jesus, I am a child of God.  Because of Jesus, God is preparing a place for me in heaven.  And, until that day comes, I will choose to daily live in faith and relax and know that God will care of me.  Father, please fill me with your Holy Spirit.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.”

As we close today, remember, because of Jesus, God forgave us of our sin.  God invites us into heaven.  And God did all the work.  And if all that God stuff is true, it’s odd that we would daily live in with fear, doubt and worry.

Tomorrow we want to talk about the hardest area to surrender.


Yesterday we said that because of Jesus, God forgave us of our sin. He invites us into heaven.  And He did all the work.  We can’t get to heaven with our human effort.  We said, if all that God stuff is true, obviously, God can care for us day to day.  It would be odd that we would daily live in with fear, doubt and worry.

Today I want to talk about the hardest area of our lives to surrender.  What do you think it is?  Hit pause and ask each other what they think it is.  It’s money.  Why?  With more money, we think, we will have more fun and more security.  When we believe that more money provides more fun and security, we will begin to pursue money.  We begin to pursue relationships with people who have money.

What does Jesus say about this?

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

Doesn’t that just sound like Jesus?  We want money and it sounds like He doesn’t want us to have money.  No wonder people don’t want to surrender their money to God.  Ugh, doesn’t it sound like a Pastor is about to talk about tithing?

Jesus said you have money and resources and the worst thing you can do is hoard it here on earth.  Is Jesus against us having money or nice things?  Absolutely not.  He is simply pointing out the obvious.  Your money won’t last.  You can’t take it with you.  You never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.

Jesus then gives this advice.

20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

Jesus does want us to save money.  In heaven.

Yes, He gives us money so that we can prepare for hard times.  That means we save.  And we save for retirement.  God expects us to save, it’s responsible.  Yes, He gives us money to take care of ourselves and our family.  He wants us to spend our money for our day to day needs.  We work and work hard to save and spend.  And yes, He gives us money to advance God’s kingdom.

Would you like to just stop Jesus for a moment and ask why?  Why would I live this way, putting money into heaven?  What’s in it for me – today?  Won’t I have less?

Next verse Jesus said,

21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

When you put your money, your resources, into your stuff here on earth, you will care deeply about stuff on earth.   You will care about things that won’t last.  You will get emotionally attached to things that won’t last.  You will get mad, frustrated, happy, thrilled about your house, car, clothes and stuff.  But you probably won’t care as much about the orphan or the homeless in Harrisburg or a New Hope child at Christmas.

The opposite it true, too.  If you help someone adopt a child, you will care deeply about how that child is doing as they grow up.  When you help raise money or products to give to the homeless, you care about those getting help.  If you buy a gift for a New Hope child at Christmas, you care about that little boy or girl and want them to be filled with Christmas joy.

Jesus is pointing out that money has emotional power.  Where we put our money, it has power and your heart will follow where you put it.

Don’t you want to stop and talk to Jesus?  Jesus, I’m supposed to view money like God views it.  But I don’t.  I live in a real world of bills.  I want more stuff and all you are telling me is, have less stuff.  Is there any real impact on my life if I don’t?  Can’t I just pretend to view it like God does?

Jesus continues.

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.  But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

Wow.  No, you can’t fake it.  What you do with your money completely impacts your soul and how you view life.  Jesus makes it so clear.  When we live with God’s view of money and God’s heart of generosity, you are happier and more content.  It’s like light coming into your soul.  It refreshes you.  However, if you don’t see money like God sees it and you are self-absorbed with it, it ruins you.  Quite literally, it ruins your attitude.  You live in fear thinking, ‘I will never have enough.’  You become very discontent with what you have and jealous of what others have.  The answer is, you think, I need more.

We need another time out to talk to Jesus on the side.  Jesus, you are being very black and white.  Life isn’t like that.  Why can’t we do both?

Jesus continues.

24 a “No one can serve two masters. Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

That makes sense, right?  Pretty simple and understandable.  Jesus continues.

24 b For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

So far, this isn’t deep teaching.  Everyone can all grasp this.  But then Jesus ends with something shocking.

24c You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:19-24 NLT

You would think Jesus would say, you can’t serve God and Satan.  He doesn’t.  Jesus says the two masters in your life are God and money.  Jesus is making it clear, it is black and white.  You will end up pursuing and loving one and you will end up ignoring and hating the other.

Jesus is teaching, there is an undeniable connection between your spiritual heart condition and what you do with money.

I want to ask you a couple questions to help process this.

Does the simplicity of Jesus’ teaching frustrate you?

Jesus said there are two masters, do you wish there was a third category?

Did you know, how you deal with your money is a spiritual indicator of what’s going on in your heart?

Who do you think you serve, God or money?  Which one do you want more of?  Which one do you pursue?  Which one do you care about most?

How do you live?  Are you generous and content?  Are you living in fear, with discontentment and jealousy?

Sunday point:  Because of Jesus, God forgave us of our sin.  God invites us into heaven.  And God did all the work.  And if all that God stuff is true, it’s odd that we would daily live in with fear, doubt and worry.

Monday point:  There is an undeniable connection between your spiritual heart condition and what you do with money.

Tomorrow, we talk about how we surrender this area of money.


How do we surrender our money to God?  To answer this, we are going to turn to the book of Timothy.  This is a letter that Paul, an older man at this point, wrote to a young Christian leader called Timothy.  It’s a letter of encouragement and practical living.  If you can imagine a grandfather having a ‘life talk’ with a young man – this is what we are reading in 1 Timothy 6:6-12, 17-19 NIV.

Vs. 6 Godliness with contentment is great gain.

If you can follow God and be content, you’re doing great; you are thriving, it’s the best way to live.  Money and possessions aren’t wrong and they don’t ruin you but if you have that constant itch that demands that you need bigger, better, more to be happy, that is a problem.  You will struggle to be content as you live out a Godly life.

Vs.7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

Contentment is really found when you see money and possessions through the lens of eternity.  What makes a person rich in this world means nothing in the next world.  When you have that perspective, you understand what really matters.

Vs. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Thanks, Paul, but you don’t have a wife and kids and live in my neighborhood.  I’m not content with food and clothing.  I want more.  I want health care, 401k and money for college and maybe a new car.

Here is the deal about our lives.  You and I live in a culture that excels at using marketing and making you feel like you don’t have enough.  We are constantly reminded that we are falling behind.

Don’t you want to ask Paul, dude, why shouldn’t I want more?  He continues.

Vs. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

Our culture wants you to believe, you are falling behind while others are having more fun.  What is created inside us?  We become discontent.  It makes us want to get more money so we can get more stuff.  And if we have to, we are okay going into debt to get whatever it is.  When we live this way, we are opening ourselves up to harmful things.

 Vs. 10a For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Here is the famous verse that people misunderstand.  Money isn’t wrong or evil.  The love of money is evil.  Why?  Because when you believe that you must have more money to be happy and secure, you are beginning to walk down a road where you are willing to commit any sin to get more money.  And no, you don’t start with bank robberies and murder.  It begins with ignoring God.

Vs 10b Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

This means people believe that more money will bring more fun and security.  They no longer believe that walking with God brings more fun and security.  So, they leave church and their faith.  And if you bring up any God teachings about money with them, they look at you as if you are the most uneducated, simple person who just doesn’t understand.

Vs 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

Paul is telling Timothy, grandpa is telling his grandson, surrender money to God.  You need to make the adult, mature decision to refocus and pursue something different.  It’s the only way that you will be able to get away from feeling discontentment.  The way that you deal with discontentment is not by chasing bigger, better, more.  You deal with it by pursuing something entirely different.

Vs 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

Timothy, with people you are leading, tell them to put their hope in God.  Everything they are looking for is found in God.  Tell them to be generous.  Generous in doing good, good deeds and giving.

Vs. 19  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

And there it is.  That is what Jesus taught, ‘…lay up treasures in heaven…’   This is how you surrender in the area of money.  How?  It’s very simple and very practical.  And if you are greedy, this will cause you enormous pain and you might create fantastic arguments as to why this doesn’t apply to you.  We surrender when we are generous.  Generous with doing good.  Generous through giving.  You get out your wallet and you give.

Why does being generous work?  Do you remember yesterday when Jesus said if you are greedy your soul is filled with darkness?  How do you shed light into a dark soul of selfishness?  You open the door by being generous and allowing light in.

To close out today, I want to ask you a couple questions.

This whole money talk, is it disappointing to you?  Does something inside you just want to say, ‘Just stop!’?

Are the things of God like being generous and giving disappointing to you?  Does Paul’s letter to Timothy frustrate you?

Is contentment hard for you?  Do you find yourself thinking, I need more to be happy?

What do you think about surrendering money through giving?  Did you want a spiritual answer, like pray more?  Did the practical answer make it simple or frustrating for you?

What are you going to do right now about this?  Nothing?  Will you immediately act on this?

Are you explaining to yourself why this doesn’t apply to you?

Sunday point:  Because of Jesus, God forgave us of our sin.  God invites us into heaven.  And God did all the work.  And if all that God stuff is true, it’s odd that we would daily live in with fear, doubt and worry.

Monday point:  There is an undeniable connection between your spiritual heart condition and what you do with money.

Tuesday point: To surrender, to open the door and allow light into our souls, we must be generous, we give.

Tomorrow I want to give you 8 facts about money.


Welcome back.  We want give this last talk about money.  Here are 8 fun facts about money.

First, we manage God’s money.

Lord, you are great and powerful.  You have glory, victory, and honor.  Everything in heaven and on earth belongs to you.  The kingdom belongs to you, Lord; you are the ruler over everything.  Riches and honor come from you.  You rule everything. NCV 1 Chronicles 29:11-12

Have you thought about this?  Who gives you life?  Who gives you energy and the ability to accomplish anything in life?  Who provides, who protects, who sustains your life?  The answer is God.  To view our lives as if we have any control over these bigger issues is called pride.

An example of this would be the Children of Israel.  They were freed from slavery by an undeniable move of God and what did they do?  Around three months later, Aaron built a golden calf and told Israel, this is the god who brought you out of Egypt.  Do you see what happened?  God did everything and because they wanted control, they built and worshiped a lump of gold.

We do the same thing when we take what God has given us, take control and think, look what I did.

Now please hear me.  No, I am not suggesting you sit at home, pray and do nothing.  I am not suggesting that at all.  This is not some kind of spiritual welfare program.  Yes, if you go to school or work hard, you will earn more than if you do nothing.  That part you do control.  We are talking about the bigger issue of who empowered you to work hard and provide for yourself.

Scripture says:

Unless the Lord builds a house, the builders’ work is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, sentries do no good.  It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest. TLB Psalms 127:1-2

Again, the point is who empowered you?  What is the spiritual condition of your heart?  Is it humble to God?  Do you give back to God in recognition that all good things come from Him?  Do you muscle through life on your own effort?  Do you have pride in thinking, ‘I don’t need God’?  Do you give as little as possible because it’s yours and you are afraid to have less?

Second.  God doesn’t want your money or need your money, He’s good.

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. NIV Matthew 6:24

The reason God enters earth and talks about money more than any other subject is because there is a clear link between the spiritual condition of your heart and how you manage your money, or I should say, ‘God’s money.’  God doesn’t want your money or need your money.  Sam always cracks me up when he says, ‘God isn’t in heaven biting His nails hoping you give this Sunday.’

The issue is your heart.  It’s about the emotion and passion and love you have for God or money.  How we view and deal with money is a direct reflection of the spiritual condition of your heart.  Do we love God or do we love money?  Who do we run to for life and security?  If I believe that God can get me into heaven, surely, I believe God will provide for me day to day.

Third.  You are supposed to follow wisdom and save money.

The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets. TLB Proverbs 21:21

All that I have is God’s and I get to manage His money for Him.  If God gives us the ability to make $10, wisdom says, stay out of debt so the full $10 can be used.  Spend $7-$8 for living.  Save at least $1-$2 for emergency fund and retirement.  Give $1.  Sound crazy?  Here is something to think about.  If you started living like this 10 years ago, where would you be today?  How much would you have in savings?  In retirement?  In heaven?

God’s way of dealing with money leads to financial freedom and spiritual dependency on Him.  Our culture’s way of dealing with money is spend.  And if necessary, go into debt to get what you want.  It leaves us in financial bondage and spiritually dark with greed.

Fourth.  If you are in debt, work your tail off to get out of it. I don’t care how many jobs you get, you must get out of debt.

The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave. NASU Proverbs 22:7

Remember I said that we are not talking about a spiritual welfare program?  The financially healthy way to live is work and work hard.  Give glory and worship to God.  Save, spend and give.  Stay out of debt.  If however, you find yourself in debt, be aggressive to get out of it.  Yes, work a couple jobs if you must to get out of it.

Fifth.  If you have a job, don’t quit until you get another job and I don’t care if you don’t like your current job.

Do I need a bible verse to support this?  This is common sense.  You may not like work.  Actually, that’s why we call it, wait for it, work.  No one enjoys work 100%.  Until you find a job you may enjoy more, work.  We call this integrity and courage to do the right thing and provide for yourself and your family.

Sixth. If you are younger, no one owes you anything.  You must work.

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV

We live in interesting days.  Kids expect what their parents have taken a lifetime to create; immediately.  It’s an entitlement mentality and it’s not supported in scripture.  What working does for you over a lifetime is, it develops you.  You learn and grow up and see the value of money.  However, if you are just given something for free without those life lessons, you aren’t able to handle it.  You end up not respecting it and wasting it.

There is integrity in work.  If you learn that, you are wise.  If you avoid that, you are foolish.

Seventh.  Money is good.  The problem is the love of money.

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. NIV 1 Timothy 6:10

This is a big misunderstanding.  Money is not bad.  It’s a tool in life to be used to love people.  The love of money if different.  When you love money, you will be willing to use people to get more of it.  So, go make money.  Work hard.  Build the company.  Create new ideas.  Just don’t fall in love with money.

Here is a secret about life and money.  There are two parts to life.  The first part is when you are young.  The second part is when you are old.  If you work hard, stay out of debt and save while you are young, you can enjoy being old.  If you play hard, go into debt and don’t save when you are young, you will be forced to work hard when you are old.

Hear me, we love people and use money.  Never love money and use people.

Eighth.  Some fun facts.  If you live in America, you are wealthy.

If you make $25,000 a year with no kids, you are in the top 15% of the world in wealth.

If you make $50,000 a year with 2 kids, you are the top 10% of the world in wealth.

If you make $75,000 a year with 3 kids, you are the top 7% of the world in wealth.

If you make $140,000 a year with 0 kids, you are the top 1% of the world in wealth.

Source: global rich list calculators.

Our issue in America isn’t needing more.  Our issue is, we don’t know what to with all we have.

Sunday point:  Because of Jesus, God forgave us of our sin.  God invites us into heaven.  And God did all the work.  And if all that God stuff is true, it’s odd that we would daily live in with fear, doubt and worry.

Monday point:  There is an undeniable connection between your spiritual heart condition and what you do with money.

Tuesday point: To surrender, to open the door and allow light into our souls, we must be generous.

Today: Understand money.  It’s from God and we use it as a tool while we love others.  We never love money and use people to get more money.

I want to offer you help and ask some closing questions.

If you are looking for practical help with budgeting, investments, wills, etc. we can get help for you.  If you want help getting out of debt, we can get help for you.  If you want to have follow up questions, please email us.

After all this talk about surrendering money, what do you think?  Do you hear this and walk away unchanged?  That means you live that weird Christianity where you have the information but it doesn’t change how you live.  Do you create arguments as to why what Jesus said doesn’t apply to you?  Remember what Sam said, if you don’t surrender, you won’t experience ‘what could be.’

Who owns it, you or God?