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Jun 03, 2018

Wealth keeps its value by Wisdom

Wealth keeps its value by Wisdom

Passage: Proverbs 1-31

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Proverbs, Searching for Wisdom

Category: wisdom

There’s no true value in wealth apart from its wise enjoyment and deployment. Wisdom points us to the goodness of wealth by prompting us to generosity with it. So why’s it so hard to keep from thinking of wealth as an end in itself?

Order of Worship

Call To Worship: Psalm 96:8-11a
Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 8:11-14
New Testament Reading: Matthew 6:19-25
Sermon Title: Wealth keeps its value by Wisdom
Central Text: various passages in Proverbs (see below)
Benediction: Hebrews 13:20-21

06.03.18 Sermon Slides

06.03.18 Song Lyrics


Lord of The Ring - Let it Go


Call To Worship: Psalm 96:8-11a
LEADER: 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
ALL: Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice!

Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 8:11-14
Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. . .

New Testament Reading: Matthew 6:19-25
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for 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 God and money.

Central Text: various passages in Proverbs

3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

10:4 A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

10:15 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
the poverty of the poor is their ruin.

11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

11:28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

13:7 One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
8 The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
but a poor man hears no threat.

13:11 Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

14:20 The poor is disliked even by his neighbor,
but the rich has many friends.
21 Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner,
but blessed is he who is generous to the poor

16:8 Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice.

16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

18:11 A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
and like a high wall in his imagination.

22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
2 The rich and the poor meet together;
the LORD is the Maker of them all.

23:4 Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.

28:25 A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.

30:7 Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the LORD?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

Benediction: Hebrews 13:20-21

LEADER: 20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

ALL: Amen.

Related Scripture

  • Job 31:24-25
  • Luke 12:15
  • 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Discussion Questions & Applications:


  • What notions or principles have guided your decisions on how you gain and use your resources? How, if at all, have those changed over time?
  • What is the good of wealth? When does it become something other than good, and how do you know when it does?
  • What are all the things you can remember Jesus saying about those with wealth? What might we infer by the variety of responses about how we’re to enjoy and deploy wealth wisely?
  • What if anything inhibits your generosity--what fears or otherwise?
  • If guilt isn’t supposed to be the motivation for generosity, what is? How is that cultivated?


  • There are two ways to have enough money: one is to acquire more; the other is to desire less.  - G.K. Chesterton
  • The More you get the more you will want. Augustine
  • Instead of rejecting our resources, humility teaches us to receive them as gifts and to use them for God’s glory and the good of those around us.  - Andrew Wilson
  • Little men spend their days in pursuit of such things [wealth, fame, possessions]. I know from experience that at the moment of their deaths they see their lives shattered before them like glass. I’ve seen them die. They fall away as if they have been pushed, and the expressions on their faces are those of the most unbelieving surprise. Not so, the man who knows the virtues and lives by them. Ideas are in fashion or not, and those who should prevail are often defeated. But it doesn’t matter. The virtues remain uncorrupted and incorruptible. They are in themselves the bulwarks with which we can protect our vision of beauty, and the strengths by which we stand, unperturbed, in the storm that comes when seeking God.  - Signor Marratta in Mark Helprin’s A Winter’s Tale
  • I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusement, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our giving does not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say it is too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our commitment to giving excludes them. - C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity


  • How many times have
    You heard someone say
    If I had his money
    I could do things my way
    But little they know
    That it's so hard to find
    One rich man in ten
    With a satisfied mind  
    “A Satisfied Mind,” Red Hayes & Jack Rhodes
  • It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the [help] of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.  - Gandalf in Tolkien’s The Return of the King


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