Empty Pulpit

Take My Sermon Challenge

Article Type: Pastor to Pastor

By Rev. Phillip Leo, Church Communications Director

Let’s have some fun with a sermon challenge! Here goes…

Could you or would you ever compose and preach this sermon: “Jesus Is the Key to Your Financial Success”?

You’re still here, so I assume you’re either curious or just like to watch a slow train wreck!

I completely understand if you’re waiting for a pile-up. However, I am aware it looks like this sermon would plummet into the gully of “health and wealth.”

But I think I can successfully bring it into the station and even keep the scheduled time!

The Scripture for this sermon? “The house of the righteous contains great treasure; but the income of the wicked brings ruin.” Proverbs 15:6 (NIV)

I’d begin with the second half of this proverb and point how it easily wins our approval. “Exactly!” we exclaim. “What other result but ruin can be expected when the wicked spend their money?”

But then I would ask why this same approval is withheld from affirming that great treasure is found in the house of the righteous? Is one half of the proverb truer than the other? What changed? Why do we diffuse its power by spiritualizing treasure as a “crown of glory”? Why can’t treasure just be treasure?

Then I’d remind my hearers how Jesus himself said “all these things” will be added to those who seek righteousness first. (Matthew 6:33, NIV) He’s teaching the same thing! The corollary goes like this: Anyone pursuing righteousness pursues Jesus; anyone pursuing Jesus discovers blessing and even abundance.

This shouldn’t be a scandal or even a surprise. There’s blessing and even abundance when Jesus-followers use their money to keep the law of love. Frivolous and wasteful spending is set aside in favor of proper care for families and neighbors.

The righteous take wealth and lift up the weak with it. They protect the vulnerable with it. The result is a home and a community where “there are no needy persons among them.” (Acts 4:34, NIV)

This is financial success in Kingdom terms, and there’s no shame saying it’s because of Jesus. Indeed, it’s the very glory of God!

That’s my sermon, and I’m sticking to it.

But what do you think of it? Would you preach it?

I’d love to hear from you!


Barnabas Foundation is proud to be your partner in promoting financial literacy and generous giving at your church. You can email me at pleo@BarnabasFoundation.com or call 888.448.3040.

Rev. Phillip Leo is the Church Communications Director at Barnabas Foundation. Read Phil's online bio.