The Sermon on the Bill Dan Lightfoot 1485
Usually I ask you to get out your Bible. I am going to do that today. But I am not asking you to get out God's Bible; I am asking you to get out man's bible. I am referring to a dollar bill. Will you please get out a dollar bill?
1. You can hold it real tight if you wish. You can say, "Boy, this is mine! This is my dollar bill." You can even wrinkle it up just a little bit.
2. It is something we use every day. We laugh about how it is shrinking in size and not worth very much.
3. We once said the dollar bill is a "Jimmy Carter Penny." But a great sermon outline is on this dollar bill. I hope we succeed in preaching that sermon today.
4. I want to show you truths on this dollar bill that perhaps you have never really seriously considered. We have it, we handle it, but we never look at it.
No Triskaidekaphobia Here
A. Thinking the number 13 is unlucky has an obscure origin.
1. ...the Valhalla banquet . . . to which 12 of the gods were invited. Loki, the Spirit of Strife & Mischief, intruded, making 13, & Balder, the favorite of the gods, was killed."
2. … superstitious Christians added their own version when there were 13 at the last supper. Judas, the 13th, betrayed Christ.
3. Europe is highly superstitious. Immigrants bro't it to America so that there is seldom a building with a 13th floor.
B. But America flaunted the concept with 13 original colonies. 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence. 13 stripes on our flag. And for minorities, the 13th amendment to the constitution.
C. The dollar bill continues the tradition with…
1. 13 steps on the pyramid
2. 13 letters in the Latin phrase above the pyramid: 'Annuit Coeptis'.
3. 13 letters in 'E Pluribus Unum' on the banner in the eagle's beak.
4. 13 bars on the eagle's shield.
5. 13 leaves on the olive branch, with 13 olives
6. and 13 arrows in the other claw.
(Note: Eagle faces the olive branch, peace. Only when forced to will he face the arrows…)
D. If you're a triskaidekaphobe, you may never use a dollar again.
1. On the other hand, this bill is the pacesetter in the global economy…
2. There's nothing to superstition. It is actually idolatry. It is trust in "the gods", or the spirits, or dumb luck...
3. But that's not the sermon. -- Look at the back of your bill.
4. Two circles. Great Seal of the U.S. Franklin, et al took four years to develop it. Two years to ratify it. It has a lot of symbolism.
I. "WE ARE FAVORED OF GOD."
Do you see a pyramid? Right above the pyramid are two words: annuit coeptis. In Latin this phrase means "God has favored our undertaking."
1. On the dollar bill-- our currency, our means of exchange -- is a phrase honoring our God as the cause of our prosperity.
2. This phrase says we are a nation under God. It says the world was created and has been sustained by God.
B. That certainly agrees with the scripture:
1. In Psalm 24:1, David says, "The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains."
2. In Rom. 11:36, Paul, as he concludes the theology in Romans, says, 'For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things."
C. Your dollar bill says that God is, & it also reminds us that God is good.
1. Through history men have seen the presence of God's providence...
2. The 2nd Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert, founder of the colony of Maryland -- "Great & manifold are the benefits wherewith Almighty God hath blessed this colony "
3. Benjamin Franklin spoke to the Constitutional Convention, Thursday, June 28, 1787 (read excerpt)
4. The recognition of this truth gives rhyme & reason, meaning & destiny, purpose & direction to our lives. My family is dedicated to God. My job belongs to God. My recreation belongs to God. All that I am & have belongs to God. (I trust it is so with you…)
5. Not only is that in your Bible. It is right there on a dollar bill.
D. This phrase also reminds us of the peril of privilege.
1. We are stewards of time, talents, possessions and self.
2. Jesus says, "To whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required."
3. Every week I hear murmurers & gripers. But I have traveled halfway around this old globe, & I am confident that nearly anyone else on earth would gladly trade places with those of us in America.
4. We are living better than most kings. In fact, I wouldn't trade my life for any king I know on earth.
a. We are the richest, the healthiest, the freest, people of the world.
b. This is a land of Bibles. You can't go a mile & not run into a church house. Our dollar bill ought to remind us of our blessings.
c. We don't live in a land threatened by an outside foe. We are not starving like many in Africa. We are a wonderful nation and God has blessed our undertakings. We need to remember that we are blessed as no other people.
5. Jesus said, "You're the salt of the earth and the light of the world." As such, we are to penetrate. We are to care. We are to minister.
6. This dollar bill reminds us that we are blessed by God to share and help others.
III. HERE IS "A NEW ORDER OF THE AGES."
A. Look at your dollar bill again. Look beneath the pyramid -- at the Latin phrase: Novus Ordo Seclorum. It means "a new order of the ages."
1. That is what the gospel is. The gospel produces a new creation, a new birth, a saving life that is found in Jesus Christ.
2. That was the overwhelming purpose of most who came to settle this land and found a new country.
a. Recently we noticed C. Columbus' purpose was to spread the gospel in a new world…
b. The first colonial grant to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 was to enact statutes for the colony in harmony with the true Christian faith…
c. The 1st Charter of Virginia -- emphasizes the establishment of the Christian religion as one of the purposes of the charter.
d. Mayflower Compact, 1620-- "Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith … a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia…"
B. Our dollar bill reminds us of those purposes.
1. It does not say that we have freedom from religion. It says that we have freedom of religion and for religion.
2. I don't want men legislating morals. They would make bad matters worse. We have turned our government over to the radical, to the perverted, to the fellow who is under a license to sin.
a. They would take away all the things that only godliness and decency can give us.
b. The morals of men have turned the sin of homosexuality e.g., into a protected & favored species…
c. Modern morals says there is no truth, merely choice…"We all lie," says Dan Rather, so that makes it OK.
C. But this dollar bill reminds us of the new order that we still have some semblance of:
1. So, I am glad I can live a pure, godly, holy life.
2. I am glad this pulpit is open & (at least for now) I can say anything I want to say. I am glad I can choose my job, my place to live, my friends, & my lifestyle. A truth that is even written on a dollar bill.
D. Alexis de Tocqueville was a French historian who lived years ago. He came to visit America. When he looked at all of it, he reached one conclusion. He said, "America is great because America is good." He said that when we lose our goodness, we will lose our greatness.
1. I agree with him. The prerequisite of greatness is goodness. Until America is good, we have no right to claim greatness. The beauty of this truth is that you and I can be good.
2. No law in the United States forbids goodness. Gal 5:22, 23 -- "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. "
3. Psalm 78:7-8 -- "That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments, 8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God."
a. What's this passage saying? We have an obligation to the born & to the unborn. We must help them to know God; they must be bro't to God; ...be with God & for God. Their trust must be in Him.
IV. WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE.
A. Have you noticed that there is an eye all lit up in the top of the pyramid?
1. We used to sing, "There's an all seeing eye watching you." That is what the dollar bill is saying. It is saying, "We are accountable."
2. We are accountable for every dollar. That dollar is not mine. It is not yours. It is God's. I am responsible for the way I earn it, the way I spend it, and everything involved with it.
3. Somebody says, "God just gets 10 percent ."
a. No, God gets a hundred cents on the dollar. I am a steward for God. He gave me this dollar and He is going to judge me in light of my attitude toward it.
b. Right here on the dollar is a reminder of our accountability to an all-seeing eye.
4. Haggai 1:6, Haggai talked about giving.
a. "You have a bag with holes in it." Here is the picture he painted. A man goes to market. He fills up his old tow sack with grain. (burlap bag to some) He starts home, & as he goes down the road, he looks back. He sees that he has been losing grain all along because of a hole in his sack. Haggai was reminding them that their bag of religion had a bunch of holes in it.
b. Haggai's message to us is that in our grasping we are losing. When God is not first in our lives, we do not really prosper.
5. Malachi said it this way in Mal. 3:8-10, "Will a man rob God?"
a. You know that is the most repugnant thought one can entertain. Would a man rob his mama and daddy? Would a man rob the church? Would a man rob his friends? Would a man rob God?
b. Why, that is a question that shouldn't ever be considered.
c. But God answered it by saying, "Yet ye rob me." How? "In tithes and offerings." He said, in essence, "Bring them into my storehouse, and I'll open up the windows of heaven, and I'll take care of you."
6. Beloved, I am not raising money. We are raising souls.
V. "IN GOD WE TRUST."
A. In the middle of your dollar it says, "In God we trust." That is a pretty good sermon, isn't it? May be a lie, but it's still an awfully good sermon.
1. Every time we exchange a dollar bill, are we truthful or are we lying?
2. Do we really trust God? (Am I getting a little too close to us? Don't most of us have the idea that just a few more dollars would cure all of our ills?)
3. I can remember when we made a lot less. We turned on the A/C by raising the windows. I knew where the milk barn was and I knew where we got our eggs.
4. Money didn't make us happy forty years ago and it won't make us happy today.
5. Our money is saying that money within itself is futile. "In money we trust" is damnable. Even the dollar bill doesn't make that claim.
6. We make a lot of claims for the dollar bill that it doesn't even make for itself. That dollar bill says, "Dan, you had better remember that it is in God you trust and not in this."
B. It agrees with scripture:
1. Psa 144:15 David said, "Happy is the people whose God is Jehovah."
2. Psa 124:8 -- "Our help is in the name of Jehovah, who made heaven & earth."
3. 1 Tim 6:17 --"Charge them that are rich that they do not trust in their riches but that they trust in Him, the only living God."
4. Jesus said it distinctly in Matt 6:19-20 -- "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,"
5. This is what the dollar bill is saying, "In God we trust."
1. Nothing reveals a man and his thinking more than his money. The dollar bill contains four powerful lessons: "in God we trust," we are accountable, here is "a new order of the ages," and God has blessed our undertakings.
2. God is the One in whom we trust and hope. We have tried to capture your imagination and your attention. If you need to be baptized, everything is ready. If you need to be restored, if you would like to be identified with this congregation, come. We can't offer you money, but we can offer you God.
We hope that by visiting this website, you have been blessed.