Jesus's detractors and critics often asked, "Just what exactly are you doing?" The Galilean rabbi would then explain and clarify his activity with the metaphor of 'kingdom.' He said things like, "the kingdom of Heaven is here!" and would tell stories that began with, "The Kingdom of God is like...." The evangelists of the four narratives of his life tell us that Jesus began his work, "preaching the Kingdom of God" and that in the end he was ultimately executed for insurrection of claiming to be a king.
A kingdom not only has a king, but also brings with it an administration, a platform of values, a culture and a priority of initiatives and economic principles. It is to this later point--economy--that Jesus addresses most of his parables--over half the parables of Jesus are about money, possessions, and work.
"The bottom line of winning is money." The Giants won the 2014 world series, three times in five years. Over 84% of ESPN watchers claim that the San Francisco Giants are now a dynasty. The word dynasty comes from a Greek word that means "lordship" or "power" and is often associated with the longevity of a kingdom. In the sports world three championships in five years is a reign, especially given the fact that many teams go twenty and thirty years without a championship, and the Giants went over fifty years without one. So how have they managed to win three?
When the Giants ownership hired Brian Sabean to be the General Manager Brian brought with him a philosophy of how to run a Major League Baseball team. This included the type of manager to hire, the chemistry of players, the way to run a team and culture and an economy. It has been the later that has contributed so much to reign and dynasty of the Giants. They spend their money with a Sabean-esque philosophy (contrastively different from a Ned Colletti, Dodgers philosophy). This arguably is the single most significant reason for their success.
"Whoever has the gold makes the rule." Every nation has an economic philosophy. And the leaders of nations clarify their economic agenda in their policies and legislation. This past week, in the 2014 mid-term elections, my neighbor pointed out how our voting resulting in electing leaders and passing policies that pushed agendas of economic inequality and stress the Misery Index. Kingdoms and money are inseparable.
Whoever has God's Kingdom in the heart needs not gold to rule. Jesus, when he steps on the scene declaring the Kingdom of God has arrived, goes to great lengths to talk about the economy of the new God Society. Jesus says when the Father places my Kingdom inside your heart you won't look at money the same way. When you enter into the Kingdom of God you will spend money differently from how you spent it in the Empire of the World. That is, there will be a marked difference in how you use money and in how your city uses money.
Last week I gave you three Kingdomnomics of Jesus.
- You are not the sum total of your accumulated assets, but you become what you give away.
- Live for the life beyond here and you will have the Beyond-Life, here and now. But live for the Here-and-Now and you will not only miss out on the life beyond, but miss out on the here and now.
- Worrying about money destroys relationships with those you love. Instead of worrying about money enjoy the relationships you have with God, with each other and with the world.
Here are two more:
- Financial Freedom is not having more money than debt; but having more contentment than want.
- Financial Planning is not about strategizing how much you will need to support yourself in retirement, but emptying out your life again and again in the present as a way of treasuring the resurrection.
This Sunday join us as we talk about Kingdom Economics and Financial Freedom.
Sunday | Celebration Gathering | 9:30 and 11:00
Come 5 minutes early. Sing and sway into God's presence.