Where is Your Treasure? | Timothy "TA" Ateek

Timothy "TA" Ateek // Aug 8, 2023

Money is on our minds, but it shouldn't rule our hearts. This week, Timothy "TA" Ateek walks us through Ecclesiastes 5:10-6:6 to show us that money can bring joy and contentment or stress and anxiety; it all depends on whether you view money as a gift or a god.

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What's up, Porch? How are we doing tonight? It's so good to see you. If this is your first time ever at The Porch, thank you for trusting us with your Tuesday night. I'm so glad you joined us. I do want to give a special shout-out to all of the Porch.Live locations watching tonight. I want to say a special "Hello" to Porch.Live Fort Worth, Porch.Live Des Moines, and Porch.Live Boise. Thank you for tuning in with us.

So, here's the deal. I have three boys. I've mentioned them here at The Porch before, but they are 13, 11, and 5. Last September, my oldest son Noah turned 13. This was a big deal, because we had just moved to Dallas not long before that, so his thirteenth birthday was kind of a big opportunity to invite some new friends over to our house and for Noah to have a win with some new people.

Well, my wife and I totally failed our son, because we were like, "You know what? Why don't you have some kids over? We'll get some pizza, and y'all can watch a movie." Our house was full. There were a bunch of kids hitting puberty all gathered together, and we thought it would be enough to give them pizza and push "play" on Napoleon Dynamite.

Fifteen minutes into the movie, these kids start getting bored. I'm like, "Oh my gosh. It's social suicide. We have failed our son." All of these kids are standing up. They're moving around. They're going outside. They've had enough of Napoleon Dynamite, which was super offensive to me, but anyway… So, in the moment, literally, my wife Kat and I are in the kitchen, like, "What do we do? Do you know what to do? This is a big moment. We have failed our son. This is the end. He's never going to recover from this."

Then everything changed because I had an idea. "I'm going to start giving out money to these kids." So, that's what I did. I reached into my wallet, and I was like, "All right. Who wants to play some games with a chance to earn some money?" Every kid was like, "Yeah, I want some money." So, I pulled out all of the cash we had in the house. I was like, "We're going to be playing games for cash for the rest of the evening, and we're going to save this thing."

That party went to a 10 in no time. The game I played… I'm going to bring Grace. Grace, go ahead and come up here. This is a game that you and your roommates can play later on tonight. This is a $100 bill that I want to give Grace an opportunity to earn. All she needs to do is… Put your fingers like that. I'm going to drop it, and when I drop it, all you have to do is catch it.

Now, I know Grace. She's super competitive. She was a college athlete. I know how badly you want this. Right? I just need you to… Okay. That was bad. Bad drop. Here we go. Are you ready, Grace? Are you warmed up yet? Okay. She's ready. No, this is the game. Are you ready? Catch it. It's so frustrating, isn't it, Grace? Do you want to try one more time? One more time. You've got it. I promise. You've got this. Oh, you were so close. Thanks, Grace.

That game killed with a bunch of 13-year-old boys that night. The reason I show you that is… How many of you were sitting there like, "I bet I could do it"? It's natural. Everyone is like, "You know what? I bet I could do it." No. If Grace can't do it, I assure you, you can't do it. She is one of the more competitive people I've ever met. She would crush you in most things. All right? I don't need to know you to know she would probably win whatever the game is.

Here's the reality: money is a very powerful motivator. If I were to say, "You have a chance to earn $100," some of you would be like, "That would double how much I have right now. That would be incredible." What I saw with these 12- and 13-year-old boys was when money is introduced into the mix, it's a very powerful motivator.

Then what happened was this group of 12- and 13-year-olds all lined up. They got in a line, and one after another tried to grab the money, and one after the other failed. The amazing thing was everyone in line was like, "You know what? I bet I can get it." The guy who went before him… "Yeah, he's not coordinated enough, but I believe I will get it." And no one could get it.

The reality is that when that bill drops and you squeeze your fingers and you know you've missed it… That feeling of frustration that it was right there, but you don't have it… That is what King Solomon is getting at in the book of Ecclesiastes. All throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, which we have been journeying through for the last several weeks, he uses this word… In the Hebrew, it is the word hebel, which in the English is translated as vanity.

What you need to know about hebel is, if you're talking about a physical substance, it's the idea of a mist or a vapor, but when you're talking about something metaphorical, you're talking about something meaningless or empty. It is the feeling you feel when the bill drops and you barely miss it, that squeeze of the hand with nothing to show for it. It's frustratingly empty.

So, we've been looking at Ecclesiastes, and we've been learning from King Solomon. All throughout the book, King Solomon is addressing different things. He's just pointing to various things in life, and he's like, "Yeah, that's hebel. That's frustratingly empty." Now we get to Ecclesiastes, chapters 5 and 6, and King Solomon talks about money.

The interesting thing is money is a major motivator. It is. People in this room… I guarantee you every person needs to hear a message about money. Why? Because money is applicable to all of us. Everyone needs money to operate in this life. Money determines whether you will eat or not. Money determines where you live and where you don't live. Money is the reason some of you posted that perfect picture from Europe this summer.

Money is the reason many of you were bitter at the people posting the perfect pic from Europe this summer. It's a powerful motivator. What Solomon is going to get at is when you look to money to not just be important but ultimate… When you make money the source of your fulfillment and the source of your satisfaction, it's going to be like that bill dropping and you squeezing your fist and then opening it to see there is nothing there.

Even if you, in a sense, grab hold of the money, and you become extremely successful in this world, you need to know that, in the end, if money is ultimate to you, it will be frustratingly empty. So, if you have a Bible, I want to invite you to turn tonight to Ecclesiastes, chapter 5. Now, as you're turning there, I do think it's important to make some caveats about money. It's important for us to state from the beginning: money is morally neutral. It's a morally neutral thing.

The Bible doesn't say money is the root of all evil; the Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. Money itself is morally neutral; it's what you do with money that can actually become something good or bad. But money is relevant to every person in this room. Money was really important to Jesus. Jesus talks about money in 16 of his parables, which is about a third of all of his parables. He talked about money.

Jesus talked about money more in the New Testament than he talked about heaven and hell combined. The Bible has about 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, and there are over 2,000 verses dealing with money and possessions. Money is referenced in one out of each 10 verses in the Gospels…Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Money was very important to Jesus.

Jesus goes so far as to say that wherever your treasure is, that's where your heart will be also. What does he mean when he says that? All he's basically saying is, "Hey, there is a collision point between what your affections are stirred for and where your passion is and where your money is." Your affection, your passion, and your money are going to go in the same direction. That's how important money is.

So, the question you need to answer tonight is…Will you have your money or will your money have you? What I'm really getting at is…Will you operate like money is a gift or is it a god? Because that will determine whether you're able to enjoy money or whether money will be a source of great stress, anxiety, fear, and a need for control.

So, that's where we're going tonight. Remember, we're learning from King Solomon. Solomon is most likely the wisest man to ever walk on the earth besides Jesus, and he was probably the richest man to ever walk on the planet. People estimate that his yearly income was over one billion dollars. He saw nine zeroes when he checked his bank account balance. He never had to keep a budget. He never had debt. He never had to eat at home to save money.

He never had to say no to himself. If he wanted something, he bought it. Money was in Solomon's wheelhouse. So, if he has something to say about it, it would be worth us listening to him on it. Here's what he says in Ecclesiastes 5:10. This is his thesis on money. Don't miss it. Here's what he says: "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity."

Look at what he's saying when he says, "He who loves money…" The idea of that word love there is the idea of a cultivated appetite. What he's saying is if the appetite of your heart and soul is cultivated for money… Meaning, if money becomes the thing your soul needs most in order to be fulfilled. He's saying he who loves money, he whose soul craves money, he who longs to be satisfied with money, he who looks and says, "The thing I need most in order to be happy in this life is more money…" He says that person will not be satisfied.

You are looking to money to do what it cannot do. You won't be satisfied. "…he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity." This also is hebel. It will be frustratingly empty, because even if you get your hands around money, in the end, in your hopes to feel full, you are still going to feel empty.

Money can do a lot of things. It can. Like, it can make you feel temporarily secure. If you look at your bank account, and there's money in it, you might feel secure. Some of you ladies right now are like, "One of the hundred reasons I don't need a man right now is because I'm making my own money. I don't need the whole thing of 'I need a guy to provide for me.'" No, you're providing for yourself, so you feel really secure in that. Some of you guys are like, "If those girls could raise their hand really quick, that would be super helpful."

Money can make you feel temporarily secure. Money can make you feel temporarily significant. If you can afford to pick up the tab at happy hour or you have all the Vuori athleisure or you're living in that bougie apartment complex… I don't know what it is for you. If you have the Tesla… If you have what others don't, it makes you feel great about you. Money can have that effect. It can make you feel temporarily significant.

Money can temporarily relieve you from pain. Why? Because you go out and spend money you don't even have, but it's a distraction. It can numb some pain. But did you notice the recurring word I used? The word temporarily. It can do a lot of things temporarily, but it cannot do anything lasting. You either have to keep accumulating more or you have to keep spending more in order to be satisfied with money. It can't satisfy the deepest longings of your soul.

Some of y'all are like, "Well, let me at least try." If that's you, you're like that 12-year-old boy waiting in line, like, "I bet I can get it, though. It'll be different for me." No, it won't. How many unhappy rich people do I need to put in front of you before you say, "It wouldn't be any different for me"? John D. Rockefeller was considered one of, if not the wealthiest American of all time. Y'all know the story.

The story goes that someone asked him, "How much money is enough?" And what did he reply? "Just a little bit more." "How much money is enough?" to a guy who has more money than any of us will probably ever see. "Just a little bit more." See? The more money you have, the more you want, and the more you spend, the more you want to spend. That's Solomon's point. That's why he says, "He who loves money will not be satisfied." The more you have, the more you want. The more you spend, the more you want to spend.

Solomon's thesis is this: money is a terrible god. When I say our tendency is going to be to make money a god, all I'm saying is our tendency is going to be to look to money to do what only God can do, which is satisfy the deepest longings of our souls. One of the questions that has come up recently… Kat and I will ask each other on date night, "If you got a million dollars right now, what would be the first thing you'd buy?"

If you want to know my answer, it would be a top-of-the-line Super Air Nautique wakeboard boat. If you want to buy it for me, I won't have to get those million dollars. Anyway, different story. We ask that question to each other just for fun, because the reality is if someone gave us a million dollars, it wouldn't solve our problems. If I got that wakeboard boat, it wouldn't solve my problems. It wouldn't satisfy my soul.

I would get that boat, and I'd be like, "Yeah, but it would also be really nice to get a new car. And you know what? Now that we have the money, I kind of feel like we need a bigger house. Now that we have a bigger house, it feels like we should put in a pool. And now that we have a pool… You know what? We don't have a covered path." It's just one thing after the other. The more you have, the more you want. The more you spend, the more you want to spend.

But if I were to ask you, "If someone were to give you a million dollars…" Some of y'all would just feel instant peace. It's like, "Is that an option?" It's just instant peace, like it's the answer for your soul. That's the wrong answer. Only Jesus can do what you're looking for. So, that's his thesis: money is a terrible god. Then the rest of the passage is Solomon explaining what makes money a terrible god. Look at the first reason.

  1. Money is a terrible god because it has side effects. You know those commercials that come on TV? I get it. No one watches live TV, for the most part, but when you do watch live TV, you know those medicine commercials where people are like… There's really inspirational music, and people are running with their dog or having a barbecue with people and giving their dog a noogie. Or they're sitting on a beach in a bathtub next to their significant other, and you're like, "Where did those bathtubs come from? Did you bring those? Did you just find them?"

It's like, "I know what's a good idea. Let's get into these random public bathtubs." I don't know what I'm talking about right now, but you know, those medicine commercials where at the end there's that soft, soothing voice that comes on to tell you the side effects. It's like, "Talk to your doctor before trying this medicine. Taking this medicine can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, demon possession, or even death." It's like, "Wow! I should probably still take it."

I just want to be the soft, soothing voice that speaks in and is like, "You just need to know: the love of money can have serious side effects." Money is a terrible god. It has side effects. Solomon says… Do you want to know what the first side effect of loving money is? It increases friends. Having more money gets you more friends.

Look at what he says in verse 11. "When goods increase…" Meaning, when you have more money. "…they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes?" He's like, "Look. When you get more money, it's going to be interesting. You're going to naturally have more friends." Why? Because people are going to begin to see you for your money, and people are going to want to be around you because they're going to want something from you.

One source said that by the late 1880s, John D. Rockefeller was receiving thousands of letters a week asking for charitable donations. One historian said he was stalked, badgered, harassed, and followed wherever he went. He couldn't walk down the aisle at church without people asking for some money. Bernie Kosar, who was a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns decades ago, made millions playing in the NFL, and then he was in a 30 for 30 episode on ESPN. He had to declare bankruptcy.

One of the things that came out about this quarterback who had made millions in the NFL was at one point he was paying 60 different cell phone plans. Sixty! Why? The more money you have, the more friends you get. I mean, think about the old sage Kanye West and his classic song "Gold Digger." It has a lot of wisdom. He talks about having to take his girl's four kids to ShowBiz Pizza. And what does he say?

Okay, get yo' kids, but then they got their friends;

I pulled up in the Benz, they all got up in;

We all went to din' and then I had to pay.

What's his point? The more money you have, the more friends you get. (Some of you are like, "Did he really just quote 'Gold Digger'?" Send me the email. That's fine.) I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if some of my wealthier friends get asked weekly to consider investing in a new business venture or to support the work of a nonprofit. Why? Because people see them for their money. The more money you have, the more friends you will have. People will see you for your money.

Here's the deal. That's just a part of reality. That doesn't mean you don't go out and make money. But here's the issue. When money is your god, and you sniff out that anyone is seeing you for your money, do you know what's going to happen? You're going to get bitter. You're going to get angry. You're going to withdraw from people. You're going to see everyone through a skeptical eye, and you might even give less because you don't trust anyone.

The second side effect, in addition to increasing your friends, is money increases complexity. Look at what Solomon says in verse 12. "Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep." He's saying money doesn't just buy you what you want and empower you to take the most elaborate and extravagant vacations. It also increases complexity and responsibility.

Solomon contrasts a really rich guy who has a lot of stuff with a day laborer who just has enough to get by. What's his point? He's like, "The guy who just has enough to get by wakes up. He goes to work. He makes enough money to eat, and then he goes to sleep and wakes up and does the same thing over again. That guy sleeps really peacefully at night because there's nothing to lie awake and think about."

But the more money you have, the more complexity that is introduced into your life. The bigger the house, the more there is to clean. It's nice to have that beautiful landscape, but somebody has to keep it up. It's amazing to have the lake house or the ranch house, but someone has to manage those properties. You're like, "Well, I'll just pay someone to do that." Yeah, but you have to find the right people to do it, and then you have to make sure they're actually doing a good job at it.

Don't hear me saying, "Don't be successful" or "Don't buy the ranch house." Go buy it, and then let The Porch team use it for a staff retreat. We would love to do that. My point is it brings more complexity. I was talking to a friend, and his parents built this massive house on a peninsula on Lake LBJ outside of Austin. This house has eight different air conditioning units and 100 different sprinkler heads. Can you imagine 100 sprinkler heads? Like, there's a leak in the yard. Good luck.

It just introduces complexity. So, there's more of a temptation to lie awake at night, thinking about everything you're having to manage and what isn't working right and who's going to take care of that. Sometimes you can't enjoy yourself. If money is your god, you won't be able to enjoy yourself because you have to control all your stuff, and you won't be able to watch other people enjoy your stuff for fear of them breaking it or ruining it.

  1. Money is a terrible god because it can be lost. If you're tracking, Solomon's thesis is money is a terrible god. He starts out and says, "Look. Money is a terrible god because it has terrible side effects. It increases your friends, and it increase complexity." Now he's making the point "Money is a terrible god because it can be lost. There's no guarantee that you will always have it." Look at the story he tells, starting in verse 13.

"There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger."

Do you see the picture he's painting? He's like, "Look. Here's a guy who had a bunch of money, and then things went really badly. There was a bad venture, and he lost everything. He has a kid, and he has nothing now to take care of his kid with. So, he's going to die in a similar way that he was born.

He brought nothing into this world; he gets to take nothing out of it. He was empty-handed on the day of his birth; he's going to be empty-handed on the day of his death. Because he has lost everything, because money has been his god, he's going to live his life in darkness and in much vexation, sickness, and anger."

This is a picture of a guy who has lost everything. This is why money is a terrible god. There's no guarantee that you will always have it. When money is your god, that can wreck you. Isn't that the plotline to that TV show Schitt's Creek? You have Alexis, David, Moira, and Johnny. They've lost everything. It's like their lives are over because they've lost all their money. That might be you. If money is your god and you lose it all, it can be devastating.

I was reading this article that was written by a guy who went from riches to rags. When I was a kid, there was this TV show on… I didn't really watch the show, but it was a famous TV show. It was called Roseanne. I'm not telling you to go watch it. I didn't watch it, but it was a famous show for 10 seasons. One of the writers for the show wrote an article about his life. He basically is a modern-day version of what Solomon just talked about. He's a guy who lost everything and went from a cushy life to being homeless.

Here's what he writes in the article: "On Christmas Day, 2001, I sat down at my Yamaha G2 grand piano… It was late afternoon, and the warm, orange light of the fading day poured into my five-bedroom house—paid for by my $300,000 a year income as a Hollywood comedy writer—in San Marino, California, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles. My wife, Marina, was cooking dinner for me and our eight children, and it was as happy a Christmas afternoon as I would ever have.

On Christmas morning, 2008, I woke up on the floor of the 1997 Chrysler minivan I lived in, parked behind the Kinko's just two miles from my old house in San Marino. It was raining, and I was cold, even though I had slept in three layers of clothes." This is a guy who graduated from college with honors. He became a successful writer and made a ton of money, but the TV show he was working for was taking a toll on his family.

He had saved up. He had about $500,000 in savings, so he stepped away from the show to devote more time to his family. He took about two years off from work to invest in his family. After those two years, he tried to go back and get a job, and he couldn't land a job. He began looking and searching and applying and applying. This guy didn't become an alcoholic. He didn't become a drug addict. This was simply a guy who couldn't get a job, and then the market crashed in 2008. He lost everything, and he ended up homeless.

The reality is here is a guy who was trying to do what was right, yet he still lost everything. It's a good reminder that money can be lost. That's why it's a terrible god: there's no guarantee you will always have it. If money becomes your god, and then you lose all of it, you're going to go through life angry and bitter, and you're going to play the victim. You're going to go through this life wishing you could go back to the glory days of your past.

What I appreciated about this guy in the story is his life… Now the money he makes is from contract jobs he finds on Craigslist. There hasn't been this major recovery story where his riches have been restored, but here's a guy… There was no bitterness in the article. He didn't blame anyone. He's content in life and survives off of what he makes off of Craigslist, because he has realized that money isn't the thing that can satisfy.

So, I just tell you that… Some of y'all are in your early- to mid-20s or maybe your late-20s to early-30s, and you just haven't lived enough life to reach this point. The reason we're talking about it now is who you are now and how you view money now will determine how you respond later. So, I'm just trying to help you believe from now that money is a terrible god, because if you believe from now that money is a terrible god, and you never look to money to be your god, then you can have it or you can lose it, and your life will not depend on it.

What would it look like for there to be 2,000 young adults who leave tonight, saying, "Look. Money is important. We have to have money to live, yet I won't live for money"? There's a major difference. What if we were people who embodied Hebrews 13:5? Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he [God] has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" The good thing about God is that you might lose all your money, but God will never lose you. Never.

  1. Money is a terrible god because its intended purpose is to be a gift. That's a really long point, but I needed all of those words in it to make sense. Money is a terrible god because its intended purpose is to be a gift. Money can't do what you want it to do, which is satisfy the deepest longings of your soul. Why? Because money has been created simply to be a gift from God, but it was never made to be your god.

That's why Solomon says in verse 18, "Behold, what I have seen to be good…" Watch this. Up until this point, he has talked really negatively about money, but now he spins it and talks positively. "Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God."

First off, Solomon is saying, "Look. All of life is a gift from God." The fact that you have breath in your lungs is a gift from your Maker. Everything you have in your life has been given to you by God. Any money you make… You might be like, "No, it's because I went out and worked really hard." But how were you able to work hard? It's because God gave you a brain. You're like, "No, but I'm super creative, and I'm a strategic thinker." How did you get that way? God gave you that brain.

You're like, "No, I got it from my parents." Okay. Well, where did they get it from? Just trace it back as far as you want to go. At some point, it's going to start with God. Everything you have is a gift from God. So, what is his point? His point is "Enjoy it." Glorify God by enjoying the life you've been given. Enjoy doing the job you have to the glory of God.

Enjoy the money you have. Go eat a nice meal sometimes. If you have it, go on a nice vacation. At the same time, tap into the joy of blessing other people with your money. Experience the joy of giving your money away to God's purposes being fleshed out throughout the earth. But enjoy what God has given to you. Let it be a gift. That's why in verse 20, Solomon says, "For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart."

He's like, "Look. If you get to a place where money is what it is…it's simply a gift…then you know what? You can just go from day to day, and you don't have to sit there and think really hard about today because you're just filled with joy. You're just moving along, enjoying God and all he has given to you, and you can be satisfied today."

Let me tell you, if you want to experience the joy in your heart Solomon is talking about… What does it look like for young adults in Dallas, Texas, to do something with this? I would encourage you: thank God for what you do have instead of complaining about what you don't have. Stop waiting to get more stuff to finally be satisfied in Jesus. We don't seek Jesus for Jesus' stuff. We seek Jesus for Jesus. Jesus is far more satisfying than anything this world could offer. So, thank God for what you do have instead of complaining what you don't have.

Secondly, view yourself as a steward instead of as an owner. View everything you have as a gift from God. Steward it; don't own it. I shared this in the main service on Sunday morning just a few weeks ago, so if it's a repeat for some of you, my apologies, but I know a lot of people don't come to Watermark here. We'd love for you to come to Watermark if you don't have a church home.

One of the best examples I've ever seen of this idea of stewarding what has been given to you is by my friend David. What I shared on that Sunday is, several years ago, I was working at a church in Austin that did a wakeboard camp during the summer. These families would bring their top-of-the-line wakeboard boats to this camp.

I remember walking down the dock, and I saw my friend David standing in the middle of his boat, which was tied to the dock, and he was just standing there looking perplexed at his boat. He was just confused. I was like, "David, is everything okay?" Here's what you need to know. David had given up his week to drive middle school girls and their counselors around so these middle school kids could learn how to wakeboard and their counselors could tell them about Jesus.

These middle school girls had brought permanent markers onto David's boat, and while they were riding around, they were coloring, and marker had gotten on the seats of this top-of-the-line boat. So, I was like, "David, is everything okay?" and I will never forget what he said. He said this to me 10 years ago. He was like, "Yeah. I was just standing here wondering why God wanted marker on his boat." Isn't that amazing? He was like, "This boat isn't mine."

David had sold his company years earlier for $50 million. This was a guy who viewed his house as belonging to Jesus and not him, so they consistently hosted people, opened up their home to people. People would come and stay with them, because it wasn't theirs anyway. If people wanted to use their boat, they gladly loaned it to people, because it wasn't their boat anyway.

If you were to look at their refrigerator, it was covered from top to bottom with support letters from people around the globe who were going overseas to take the gospel to those who had never heard, because David had come to a place in his life where he had decided if there was a believer who was seeking to do something for the glory of God, he felt called to give to it. He had decided, "This isn't mine; this is his in the first place." So, own nothing; steward everything.

  1. Money is a terrible god because no matter how much you have you will still need Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter how much money you have. You will still need Jesus. Look really quickly at the story he tells in chapter 6. He says, "There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires…"

He's saying picture someone who has everything, all of the money he could ever want, all of the possessions…the house, the Tesla, the boat, the extra homes, the lake house, the box seats to the Mavs games, to the Cowboys. He has everything. She has everything.

"…yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.

For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet _ [the stillborn] _ finds rest rather than _ [the guy who had everything but couldn't enjoy it]_ Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?"

Do you know what he's saying? He's like, if you have everything, but you don't have Jesus, in the end you have nothing, because you can't enjoy all you have apart from Jesus. You're like, "I sure can." No, the problem is when you make your stuff your god, in the end, you're always going to want more. It will never be enough until your stuff can just be your stuff and Jesus can be your God. That is where satisfaction happens. Why? Because you have been made for Jesus.

You have been made to worship. You have. You are worshiping something with your life now. Your soul is made to worship. Your soul was made to worship Jesus. But we look other places. Jim Carrey, a famous actor… Many of you have heard this quote. He said, "I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see it's not the answer." Blaise Pascal said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ."

What you don't want to do is find yourself in a place where you have everything you want and nothing you need. What do I mean by that? I grew up in the Park Cities. I grew up surrounded by people who had everything they wanted, but they didn't realize what they were lacking. See, they had everything they wanted, but many of them had nothing they needed.

You could have all the money in the world, but here's the reality: you cannot buy your way into a relationship with God. That's the wrong currency. Cash is not the currency of heaven. The body and blood of Jesus Christ is the currency of heaven. Money will not get you into heaven. If you get to the end of your life, and you're on your deathbed, and you're looking back on all you've made and all you have, you just need to know that's the end of it. It stays here. It will not be enough for God.

The Scripture says you have been bought at a price, and that price was the body and blood of Jesus Christ. See, money is not enough, but Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection are enough to make you right with God. That's why I say everyone here was created to be in relationship with Jesus. Jesus Christ is the only way to have a right relationship with God. This is what eternity with God costs. This is what salvation costs. Salvation costs the body and blood of Jesus Christ. That's the price.

I'll end by pointing you to Judas Iscariot. We know Judas as the guy who betrayed Jesus. I want you to think about Judas for a moment. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Why? Because money was his god. Judas was in charge of Jesus' bank account. Judas used to pilfer from Jesus' bank account. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Yet when he got those 30 pieces of silver, it's like he caught the bill.

It's like the money dropped and he caught it, yet what did he do? He went out and bought a field and committed suicide. Why? Because he realized he had chosen the wrong god. Money is a terrible god. So, the question you need to answer is…Will you have your money or will your money have you? You've been made for Jesus. If you don't know Jesus, would you come to him tonight? Would you put your trust in him? Would you let Jesus be the satisfaction of your soul?

Maybe you're here tonight, and you're sitting there saying, "Look. I realize that money doesn't have a healthy place in my life." If you need to come down front and pray with someone, there will be people down front. We would love to pray for you. If you need to go up to the prayer chapel, you can go up and just get alone with God and do business with him.

If you need a copy of the Word of God, the Bible, we want to give it to you. You can go out to the welcome desk and ask for a Bible. We will gladly give it to you so that you can begin to center your heart on what is true. But do business with the Lord tonight. May we be a group of people… May this room of 2,000 young adults leave here tonight believing that nothing is better than knowing Jesus Christ. Let's pray together.

Lord Jesus, you're a good King. I thank you that you went to the cross, that you died, you were buried, you rose from the dead, and you conquered the grave so that we might have life. You did what money could never do. You made a way when there was no way for us to be right with God. So, if there's anyone here tonight who doesn't have a real relationship with you, Jesus, I pray that tonight they would come, they would put their faith in you, they would surrender their life to you, that they would know you as Savior and King. We love you, God. Would you, Lord Jesus, be the satisfaction of our souls? In Jesus' name, amen.