Where Best to Invest

WHERE BEST WAYS TO INVEST

Financial Fitness –Part 5

 

Nothing is certain on this planet Even the economy of US and Canada. Recession hit us 2008 up to now.

 

Many lost their savings, the value of their homes, retire,

That’s why Jesus recom investing in bank that can’t go bankrupt!

 

MT. 6:19-20"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where

moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves  treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal!”  

                          

Jesus gave this as a command not a suggestion where to store your treasure

Why? Because he knows where to best invest.

 

Treasure: What one values, whether silver and gold or something intangible, and the storage place of what is valuable. That which is of exceptional value and kept safe.

Jesus is specifically talking about your earthly wealth.

 

               Two places to store – heaven or earth

               Heaven – eternal, secure

               Earth – temporary, unsecure

               Earth’s banks: Don’t ever bank on anything that can be:

                           o destroyed      - eaten by moths

                           o depreciated   - rusted by time                  

                           o depleted        - stolen by others!

 

               Interesting phrase ”Treasure in heaven” mentioned 5x in Bible!

               -  You can make deposits in the Bank of Eternity! 

               - “For yourselves”   - a personal acct!

 

               o I’LL enjoy forever what I INVEST IN HEAVEN!

               You can’t take it to heaven with you!  But- can sent it on ahead!HOW?

 

1 TIM. 6:17-18 “Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good.”

 

·  If you live in North America, you belong to the top 5% - you are richer than you think.

·  Our attitude towards worldly wealth determines where we invest it.

·  The source of our security is God not our worldly wealth. We are to enjoy what is given to us.

 

               o I INVEST IN HEAVEN EVERY TIME I USE MONEY FOR GOOD!

 

1 TIM. 6:18b-19 They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven--it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.”

 

o WHATEVER YOU KEEP STAYS WITH YOU. WHATEVER YOU GIVE TO GOD YOU INVEST IN HEAVEN!

        

              ANY FINANCIAL ADVISOR “Don’ put all your eggs in one.”

        Need a Balanced Investment Portfolio”   TRUE SPIRITUALLY!

 

Since God has 5 purposes for your life…

Maturity, Membership, Ministry, Mission, Magnification

 

GOD HAD FIVE INVESTMENT FUNDS     (TITLE)

      These are  proven…. protected... risk- free… & yields dividends forever!           

              

1.  GOD’S GROWTH FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to grow my character.

     

      à God is more concerned in our character rather than our comfort.

PR. 10:16 “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.”

       

    Proverbs 22:4 The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God is plenty and honor and a

    satisfying life. (The Message)

     

       Use it to grow spiritually... develop skills...  become mature.. improve yourself.

 

            There are a zillion ways to waste money  instead of using it to grow!

            NOT taking your CAR to heaven…Condo… Clothes…China…Couch… 

                                                CHARACTER!

 

            WE like spending money on COMFORT. Wiser to invest it CHARACTER

 

      LK 2:52“Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God & men”

o   Jesus grew in his thinking – mind

o   Jesus grew in his physical - body

o   Jesus grew in his relationship with God – spiritual

o   Jesus grew in his relationship with men – social

 

            Anytime you use money to…

                        o buy a Christian book or some teaching tapes

                        o attend a retreat or seminar

                        o sign up for an educational course or class

                                                 =   INVESTING IN YOUR GROWTH FUND

 

               ILL : Invest in a bible that you can use for your spiritual growth.

 

Pr. 23:23 “Invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don't part with them!” “…Buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.”(Mes)

 

Pr. 16:16“It is better—much better—to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.”          

 

2 PET 3:18 “Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”    Purpose; Become Like Christ

ISA. 55:2: Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength… and does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!”

     

            Are you spending more on junk food or soul food?

 

o Money is like fertilizer. It stinks if you just pile it up. But if you spread it around - it makes things grow!

 

      SO… Invest some money making yourself a better, smarter, wiser, more skilled person!

 

When you invest in your growth fund, you are investing in your character & you take your character with you in heaven

 

2.  GOD’S MUTUAL FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to encourage fellowship

           

            To build relationships with other believers.   To show love!

 

      ROM. 12:10 “Love one another with mutual affection.”

    Romans 12:10 (ESV) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another

in showing honor.

 

ROM. 12:13  “Share what you have with God's people who are in need. Show hospitality.

Romans 12:13 (ESV) Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

           

HEB. 10:24   Think of ways to encourage one another with outbursts of love and good deeds.”    

      Be creative!     Innovative!     Put some thought into it

 

Galatians 6:10 (ESV) So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

 

             Anytime you give to other believers- it draws you closer to them!

                        - buy a card or gift     - open your home

                        - provide a meal                    - take someone to lunch

                        - pay for babysitter    - help a small group member financially

WHY USE MY MONEY TO INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS?

 BECAUSE IT ENCOURAGE FELLOWSHIP

 

             1.  IT PROVES I’M IN GOD’S FAMILY

 2 COR. 9:12-13 This service of giving not only helps the needs of God's people, it also brings many more thanks to God and it is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ—the gospel you say you believe and because you freely share with them.”

                         You can give w/o loving, but…

 

            2.  IT CREATES UNITY!   

            It draws us closer together!  Why is this church so unified? 

            Because people in small groups are showing generosity to each other!

           

PS. 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity

 

            3. IT’S A WITNESS TO UNBELIEVERS

 

3 JN 1:5 “When you extend hospitality to Christian brothers & sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.”

                                               

      God’s 3rd purpose for your life is to grow up spiritually       (Jesus =model) so…

 

3.  GOD’S SERVICE FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to serve others.

           

      God wants you to use some of your money to serve the needs of others

      ILL:  Typhoon and flood victims – contributed more than 10K,

Feeding Centers – contributed more than 20k, not to mention our community outreach.

 

     Eccl. 11:1-2 (Mes)“Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don't hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.”

           

             Do your givin’ while your livin’ so you know where it’s goin…

 

      IMAGINE: If your father was a billionaire. He wanted to share his fortune with you.

                   But he knew you needed to be tested 1st‑ to see if u could handle it.

 

 So he gives you a set amount & says, "I want you to learn to live on less so you can use the rest to help others. I’m going to be watching you to see how you manage and distribute my resources. If you do well, I'm going to will it all to you." 

                                    How would you use that money?

 

      Opportunities for Service Fund Investing are all around you!

ILL: Salvation Army, Baptist Housing, in your own community, missions trip (port Renfrew), preparing taxes for the low income, volunteer in your kids school, give your service for free…

 

                        HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED IS A TEST OF YOUR FAITH!

JAMES 2:15-17 “Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, ‘God bless you! Stay warm! Eat well!’ but then you don't give them any food or clothing. What good does that do? Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.”

 

            So many promise about investing in God’s Service Fund:

 

Pr 11:24  “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.”

 

            POINT: The more you help others -  the more God blesses you! 

              WHY? God wants you to be like Him!   God is a Giver! 

 

     Proverbs 11:24–27 (ESV) 24One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another

     withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25Whoever brings blessing will

     be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. 26The people curse him  

     who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it. 27Whoever

    diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.

 

Pr. 28:27 “Give to the poor and you will never be in need. But If you close your eyes to the poor, many will curse you.”

 Pr. 19:17  “ When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back.”

 

4. GOD’S GLOBAL FUND:

      I can invest in eternity by using money to bring others to him.

      He wants you to use some money to take the Good News around the world!

 

      Lk.16:9 “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that

      when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

 

      Invest in getting people into heaven! Imagine getting to….   

      This is the highest use of your money.  To reach one more!

 

                        Will anyone be in heaven because of you?  

            ILL: When you save to go on a MISSION Trip…

                           That’s an investment in the GLOBAL Fund!

            ILL: When you help others go on MISSION trips

                        That’s an investment in the GLOBAL Fund!

 

      We call it the Global Fund because God’s interested in the WHOLE WORLD!

 

      3 JOHN 1:8 “We must support believers who go on trips like this so

      that we can work together with them in spreading the truth.”

Caring for the Lord’s Workers NLT

5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.

 

 

2 COR. 9:13  “You honor God through this genuine act of service  in your commitment to spread the Good News of Christ through your generosity in sharing…” 

           

5.  THE TREASURY FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to WORSHIP GOD

     

Pr. 3:9 “ Honor the Lord by giving HIM the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns...and overflow your barrels...”

            Giving the 1st 10% is called a tithe. Anything above that “offering”

 

ILL: Giving an offering brings pleasure to God! is the ultimate act of worship!     

Should never leave during…

                                                           

      MT. 6:21 “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”                                   

 

·       Want a heart for Microsoft?  Sony?  Buy some stock!         

·       Wherever I put my money shows my priorities & values:

                                   

            Q: Where is your heart today?

            A: Wherever your treasure is!  boat.. business...hobby

 

            Q:  Where do you WANT your heart to be?  Put your money there!

            Every time you feel distant from God- give an offering!

 

                   I grow closer to God….. every time I tithe as an act of worship!

                      become more like Jesus … break the grip a materialism….

     

JOB 22:24-25  “Give up your lust for money…Then the Almighty himself will be your treasure!”

                         

      CLOSE:  Imagine- Currency changed in Canada- end of 2014

     

POINT:  If your treasure is on earth  - everyday you’re moving away from it!      

                                 if it is in heaven …. moving closer to it!  

 

 

Jim Elliot- “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Or you are a fool if you try to keep what you cannot take in eternity and neglect what God secured for you.              

 

Concluding challenge:

 

What I want us to do now is I’m going to ask us in a minute to bow our heads and pray. 

 

So I’m going to ask you to do something.  To not get up, to not leave, to sit still and look at this verse that we put on the screen as we give our offerings. 

 

But first let’s bow our heads for prayer

       As we close let me ask you this question: Where are you storing up your treasure?  Here on earth or in heaven?  Are you investing more in things or are you investing more in people?  Because only people are going to heaven.  No things are going there. 

 

Would you pray this prayer in your heart:  Dear God, forgive me for all that I’ve spent on things that aren’t going to last.  I want to start investing in heaven.  I want to start investing in these godly funds.  I want to use my money the way you want me to use it, as a tool for good and for God.  So today I commit to using some of my money for the Growth Fund.  And I want to start using my money to grow my character and enhance my life and to grow in spiritual strength and to grow in wisdom and knowledge and become all that you want me to be. 

 

God, I want to use some of my money to invest in the Mutual Fund.  Help me to see ways that I can use some of what you have given to me to build love in other people, to strengthen relationships, to help people become closer to you by showing love to them through my gifts and generosity.

 

Lord, I want to use some of my money in the Service Fund.  I want to invest in eternity by using my money to serve others in acts of charity.  In helping the poor, in helping those in less fortunate circumstances than I am in.  I want to learn to be generous.  I want to be a blessing to others. 

And God, I want to invest in the Global Fund.  I want to use some of my money to bring people to you.  I want people to be in heaven because I gave.  Because I invested in Bibles and in literature and in cds and in materials that could be passed around, because I paid for people to go to a retreat or to camp, because I helped people to go on a MISSION trip.  I want to spread the good news of Christ through my genuine act of service. 

 

And Father, I want to show where my treasure is by investing in eternity through my gifts and offerings to you.  I want to honor the Lord by giving you the first part of all my income. I want to give up my lust for money so that the Almighty himself will be my treasure.  I want to be what you want me to be.  I want my treasure to be in you.  Help me to remember that I’m not a fool to give up what I cannot keep for that which I cannot lose.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

 

           

 

Where Best to Invest

WHERE BEST WAYS TO INVEST

Financial Fitness –Part 5

Nothing is certain on this planet Even the economy of US and Canada. Recession hit us 2008 up to now.

Many lost their savings, the value of their homes, retire,

That’s why Jesus recom investing in bank that can’t go bankrupt!

MT. 6:19-20"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where

moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves  treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal!”          

Jesus gave this as a command not a suggestion where to store your treasure

Why? Because he knows where to best invest.

Treasure: What one values, whether silver and gold or something intangible, and the storage place of what is valuable. That which is of exceptional value and kept safe.

Jesus is specifically talking about your earthly wealth.

               Two places to store – heaven or earth

               Heaven – eternal, secure

               Earth – temporary, unsecure

               Earth’s banks: Don’t ever bank on anything that can be:

                           o destroyed      - eaten by moths

                           o depreciated   - rusted by time                  

                           o depleted        - stolen by others!

 

               Interesting phrase ”Treasure in heaven” mentioned 5x in Bible!

               -  You can make deposits in the Bank of Eternity! 

               - “For yourselves”   - a personal acct!

 

               o I’LL enjoy forever what I INVEST IN HEAVEN!

               You can’t take it to heaven with you!  But- can sent it on ahead!HOW?

 

1 TIM. 6:17-18 “Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good.”

 

·  If you live in North America, you belong to the top 5% - you are richer than you think.

·  Our attitude towards worldly wealth determines where we invest it.

·  The source of our security is God not our worldly wealth. We are to enjoy what is given to us.

               o I INVEST IN HEAVEN EVERY TIME I USE MONEY FOR GOOD!

1 TIM. 6:18b-19 They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven--it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.”

o WHATEVER YOU KEEP STAYS WITH YOU. WHATEVER YOU GIVE TO GOD YOU INVEST IN HEAVEN.

              ANY FINANCIAL ADVISOR “Don’ put all your eggs in one.”

        Need a Balanced Investment Portfolio”   TRUE SPIRITUALLY!

GOD HAD FIVE INVESTMENT FUNDS     (TITLE)

      These are  proven…. protected... risk- free… & yields dividends forever!                         

1.  GOD’S GROWTH FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to grow my character.    

      à God is more concerned in our character rather than our comfort.

PR. 10:16 “The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.”

Proverbs 22:4 The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God is plenty and honor and a satisfying life. (The Message)

            Use it to grow spiritually... develop skills...  become mature.. improve yourself.

           There are a zillion ways to waste money  instead of using it to grow!

            NOT taking your CAR to heaven…Condo… Clothes…China…Couch… 

                                                CHARACTER! 

            WE like spending money on COMFORT. Wiser to invest it CHARACTER

      LK 2:52“Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God & men”

o   Jesus grew in his thinking – mind

o   Jesus grew in his physical - body

o   Jesus grew in his relationship with God – spiritual

o   Jesus grew in his relationship with men – social

            Anytime you use money to…

                        o buy a Christian book or some teaching tapes

                        o attend a retreat or seminar

                        o sign up for an educational course or class

                                                 =   INVESTING IN YOUR GROWTH FUND

               ILL : Invest in a bible that you can use for your spiritual growth.

Pr. 23:23 “Invest in truth and wisdom, discipline and good sense, and don't part with them!” “…Buy wisdom, buy education, buy insight.”(Mes)

 Pr. 16:16“It is better—much better—to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.”          

2 PET 3:18 “Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”    Purpose; Become Like Christ

ISA. 55:2: Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength… and does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul!”

     

            Are you spending more on junk food or soul food?

 

o Money is like fertilizer. It stinks if you just pile it up. But if you spread it around - it makes things grow!

 

      SO… Invest some money making yourself a better, smarter, wiser, more skilled person!

 

When you invest in your growth fund, you are investing in your character & you take your character with you in heaven

 

2.  GOD’S MUTUAL FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to encourage fellowship

              To build relationships with other believers.   To show love!

      ROM. 12:10 “Love one another with mutual affection.”

    Romans 12:10 (ESV) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

ROM. 12:13  “Share what you have with God's people who are in need. Show hospitality.

Romans 12:13 (ESV) Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

HEB. 10:24   Think of ways to encourage one another with outbursts of love and good deeds.”    

      Be creative!     Innovative!     Put some thought into it

Galatians 6:10 (ESV) So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

             Anytime you give to other believers- it draws you closer to them!

                        - buy a card or gift     - open your home

                        - provide a meal         - take someone to lunch

                        - pay for babysitter    - help a small group member financially

WHY USE MY MONEY TO INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS?

 BECAUSE IT ENCOURAGE FELLOWSHIP

             1.  IT PROVES I’M IN GOD’S FAMILY

 2 COR. 9:12-13 This service of giving not only helps the needs of God's people, it also brings many more thanks to God and it is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ—the gospel you say you believe and because you freely share with them.”

                         You can give w/o loving, but…

 

            2.  IT CREATES UNITY!   

            It draws us closer together!  Why is this church so unified? 

            Because people in small groups are showing generosity to each other!           

PS. 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity

            3. IT’S A WITNESS TO UNBELIEVERS

 

3 JN 1:5 “When you extend hospitality to Christian brothers & sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible.”

                                               

      God’s 3rd purpose for your life is to grow up spiritually       (Jesus =model) so…

 

3.  GOD’S SERVICE FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to serve others.

           

      God wants you to use some of your money to serve the needs of others

      ILL:  Typhoon and flood victims – contributed more than 10K,

Feeding Centers – contributed more than 20k, not to mention our community outreach.

 

     Eccl. 11:1-2 (Mes)“Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don't hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.”

           

             Do your givin’ while your livin’ so you know where it’s goin…

 

      IMAGINE: If your father was a billionaire. He wanted to share his fortune with you.

                   But he knew you needed to be tested 1st‑ to see if u could handle it.

 

 So he gives you a set amount & says, "I want you to learn to live on less so you can use the rest to help others. I’m going to be watching you to see how you manage and distribute my resources. If you do well, I'm going to will it all to you." 

                                    How would you use that money?

 

      Opportunities for Service Fund Investing are all around you!

ILL: Salvation Army, Baptist Housing, in your own community, missions trip (port Renfrew), preparing taxes for the low income, volunteer in your kids school, give your service for free…

 

                        HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED IS A TEST OF YOUR FAITH!

JAMES 2:15-17 “Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, ‘God bless you! Stay warm! Eat well!’ but then you don't give them any food or clothing. What good does that do? Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.”

 

            So many promise about investing in God’s Service Fund:

 

Pr 11:24  “The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.”

 

            POINT: The more you help others -  the more God blesses you! 

              WHY? God wants you to be like Him!   God is a Giver! 

 

     Proverbs 11:24–27 (ESV) 24One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another

     withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25Whoever brings blessing will

     be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. 26The people curse him  

     who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it. 27Whoever

    diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.

 

Pr. 28:27 “Give to the poor and you will never be in need. But If you close your eyes to the poor, many will curse you.”

 Pr. 19:17  “ When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back.”

 

4. GOD’S GLOBAL FUND:

      I can invest in eternity by using money to bring others to him. He wants you to use some money to take the Good News around the world!

      Lk.16:9 “Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

      Invest in getting people into heaven! Imagine getting to….   

      This is the highest use of your money.  To reach one more!

                        Will anyone be in heaven because of you?  

            ILL: When you save to go on a MISSION Trip…

                           That’s an investment in the GLOBAL Fund!

            ILL: When you help others go on MISSION trips

                        That’s an investment in the GLOBAL Fund!

      We call it the Global Fund because God’s interested in the WHOLE WORLD!

 

      3 JOHN 1:8 “We must support believers who go on trips like this so

      that we can work together with them in spreading the truth.”

Caring for the Lord’s Workers NLT

5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 

2 COR. 9:13  “You honor God through this genuine act of service  in your commitment to spread the Good News of Christ through your generosity in sharing…”  

5.  THE TREASURY FUND:

I can invest in eternity by using money to WORSHIP GOD

Pr. 3:9 “ Honor the Lord by giving HIM the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns...and overflow your barrels...”

            Giving the 1st 10% is called a tithe. Anything above that “offering”

ILL: Giving an offering brings pleasure to God! is the ultimate act of worship!     

Should never leave during…                                                           

      MT. 6:21 “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”                                   

·       Want a heart for Microsoft?  Sony?  Buy some stock!         

·       Wherever I put my money shows my priorities & values:

            Q: Where is your heart today?

            A: Wherever your treasure is!  boat.. business...hobby

            Q:  Where do you WANT your heart to be?  Put your money there!

            Every time you feel distant from God- give an offering!

                   I grow closer to God….. every time I tithe as an act of worship!

                      become more like Jesus … break the grip a materialism….

JOB 22:24-25  “Give up your lust for money…Then the Almighty himself will be your treasure!”

      CLOSE:  Imagine- Currency changed in Canada- end of 2018

POINT:  If your treasure is on earth  - everyday you’re moving away from it!      

                                 if it is in heaven …. moving closer to it!  

Jim Elliot- “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Or you are a fool if you try to keep what you cannot take in eternity and neglect what God secured for you.              

Concluding challenge:

What I want us to do now is I’m going to ask us in a minute to bow our heads and pray. So I’m going to ask you to do something.  To not get up, to not leave, to sit still and look at this verse that we put on the screen as we give our offerings. 

But first let’s bow our heads for prayer

       As we close let me ask you this question: Where are you storing up your treasure?  Here on earth or in heaven?  Are you investing more in things or are you investing more in people?  Because only people are going to heaven.  No things are going there. 

Would you pray this prayer in your heart:  Dear God, forgive me for all that I’ve spent on things that aren’t going to last.  I want to start investing in heaven.  I want to start investing in these godly funds.  I want to use my money the way you want me to use it, as a tool for good and for God.  So today I commit to using some of my money for the Growth Fund.  And I want to start using my money to grow my character and enhance my life and to grow in spiritual strength and to grow in wisdom and knowledge and become all that you want me to be. 

God, I want to use some of my money to invest in the Mutual Fund.  Help me to see ways that I can use some of what you have given to me to build love in other people, to strengthen relationships, to help people become closer to you by showing love to them through my gifts and generosity.

Lord, I want to use some of my money in the Service Fund.  I want to invest in eternity by using my money to serve others in acts of charity.  In helping the poor, in helping those in less fortunate circumstances than I am in.  I want to learn to be generous.  I want to be a blessing to others. 

And God, I want to invest in the Global Fund.  I want to use some of my money to bring people to you.  I want people to be in heaven because I gave.  Because I invested in Bibles and in literature and in cds and in materials that could be passed around, because I paid for people to go to a retreat or to camp, because I helped people to go on a MISSION trip.  I want to spread the good news of Christ through my genuine act of service. 

And Father, I want to show where my treasure is by investing in eternity through my gifts and offerings to you.  I want to honor the Lord by giving you the first part of all my income. I want to give up my lust for money so that the Almighty himself will be my treasure.  I want to be what you want me to be.  I want my treasure to be in you.  Help me to remember that I’m not a fool to give up what I cannot keep for that which I cannot lose.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

 

           

 

 

THE HABITS OF FINANCIAL HEALTH

We’re now on the fourth week of on the Financial Fitness series. This series is not about how to get rich and be set for life. It’s about growing to be a better manager of God’s resources so we can participate in God’s work of bringing people back to himself.

Today we are going to talk about “THE HABITS FOR HEALTHY FINANCES”

Sow a thought, reap an act; Sow an act, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny.

To get healthy in any area I must develop healthy habits

If I want to be healthy in any area of my life, I have to develop healthy habits in that area.

If I want to be physically healthy, I have to develop the physical habits of eating right, exercise, sleep, lower stress.

If I want to have a healthy marriage, I have to develop healthy habits of relationships – the way I talk to people, the way I listen to people, the way I respond to problems.

These are habits that I have to develop.

And if I want to develop healthy finances, to be financially fit, there are certain financial habits I have to develop in my life.

At the end of this service today I’m going to do a special prayer for those of you who are really struggling financially.

We’re going to have a time of asking God to do a miracle in your life financially.


But why should God do a miracle in your life if you don’t change the attitudes, actions, and behaviours that got you in the hole in the first place?

God loves to do financial miracles. And he does them all the time. But he says first you’ve got to get your act together. You’ve got to do it the way I said for you to do it.

 

In this series we’ve been in on financial fitness for a few weeks, we’ve looked first at the fundamental laws of money that God talks about in his Word, in the Bible, in the book of Proverbs and in the book of Ecclesiastes.

Today we’re going to take little turn and this week and next we’re going to look at some practical areas.

 

Next week we’re going to look at the five ways to make money work for you.

The five best ways to use your money on this planet. That’s a good message I’m excited to share.

But this week we’re going to look at the eight habits for getting out of the hole.

Eight habits for getting financially free. And they’re all in God’s Word.

We’re going to look at these verses from the book of Proverbs.

Each of these habits is in order. In other words the first habit is the most important one. The second one is the second most important one. The third is the third most important. I have listed these in their order of how you do them.

1st habit for financial health

1. REMEMBER GOD IS MY SOURCE!

My salary is not my source. My savings is not my security! Not the economy, not my rich dad and mom, not the govt., not my employer but GOD!

DEUT. 8:18“Always remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability TO PRODUCE WEALTH.”

We have a tendency to forget this truth all the time because we get accustomed to receive and we think that we are entitled to every blessings God has to give.

God is the giver, the source of our ability (wisdom, life, strength) to produce wealth

To produce wealth:

Let’s get a better perspective on wealth

Wealth To understand the biblical view of wealth, one must understand the biblical account of creation. On that account God created the universe—and everything therein—“out of nothing” (Gen. 1:1–27).The truth is that God owns it all – but loans it to you while on earth. We are not like God who creates out of nothing. We need raw materials to produce something. To grow and harvest apple we need an apple seed.In order for us to produce wealth, we must do it God’s way not ours. We must do it according to the principles God laid on his word.

The diff between Capitalism, Communism & Christianity

Capitalism – What’s mine is mine and I will use it as I sees it fit

Communism – What’s yours is mine and I will take

Christianity – What’s mine is God and I will use it for His glory

Understand this: God wants you to be productive!

Nothing wrong with prospering - as long as you do it the right way

Remember – It’s not God’s will for all to be millionaire or billionaire!



2nd habit for financial health

2. MAKE MONEY HONESTLY!

God doesn’t bless cheaters!

PR.15:27”Dishonest money brings grief to the whole family.” 27Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,…(ESV)

It might ring instant happiness but in the end it will result in grief

How? Not giving a full day’s work. Christians= best reputation!

o Padding an expense acct. Wasting resources

o Fudging on taxes

PR.16:11“The Lord demands fairness in every business deal; he sets the standard.”

11God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business. (The Message)

o You don’t misrepresent the used car/house you’re selling

o God blesses integrity

PR. 28: 8If you make money by charging high interest rates, you will lose it all to someone who cares for the poor.”

8 Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor. (NLT)

PR. 13:11“Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; but wealth from hard work grows”

 

Warren Buffett’s #1: Never lose what you’ve already made!

More people have lost more money this way- than any other!

EVERY Get Rich Quick scheme sounds great on the surface

Greed makes people gullible. Easily duped.

Take this wise advice:

1. Stick with what you know à Scam: “A secret ”

2. Never decide on emotion à Pressure to decide NOW!

3. Never risk borrowed money to Get Rich Quick scheme

4 Test the idea with others. Get counsel. Ask for advice. (spot the flaws)

5. Doubt the guy who’s always chasing “a BIG deal”

 

Pr. 21:5Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.”

Hasty” Make financial decisions SLOWLY! Sleep. “Plodding” With compounding interest, turtles always beat rabbits

3. HONOR GOD FIRST!

Whatever I want God to bless - I put him 1st in!

Remember: “Whatever you keep stays with you. Whatever you give to God He bless and multiply” Your TIME, TALENTS, TREASURE!

Most of you are already doing this, so let me quickly summarize

What Tithing is all about

 

àTHE PROMISE:

PR. 3:9-10“Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns. . . to overflow!"

Tithing. Right off the top! Why 10%? See Purpose

 

àTHE PURPOSE:

DEUT. 14:23“The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.”

o an act of gratitude - for helping me earn it

o a demonstration of priorities - shows who’s 1st

o an act of faith – in the promise of God:

 

àTHE PLACE of tithing is where you worship:

MAL. 3:10“Bring to My Storehouse a full tenth of what you earn... Test me in this, says the Lord. ‘I WILL open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need.”

 

àTHE TIME,The Day…

1 COR. 16:2“On the first day of every week put aside some of what you have earned during the week, and use it for the offering. The amount

depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn.”

4th Habit is

4. SAVE MONEY WISELY

Saving is God’s IQ test: 10-10-80 principle

If I want God’s blessing on my finance, if I want to get out of debt, I must learn to save money wisely. Notice this is number four.

First I remember God is my source.

Second, I make the money honestly.

Third, I honor God first.

And fourth, I save some of it.

 

You say, Pastor, are you telling me to save my money before I pay my bills?

That’s exactly what I’m telling you to do because that’s what the Bible says.

If you wait until all your bills are paid off to start saving you will never save anything. Most people are going to get to retirement flat broke because they spent all their money and never saved anything.

 

The Bible clearly says you pay God first and you pay yourself second.

Then you spend the rest on your bills, repayment, and things like that.

If you don’t you will never save anything.

 

John D. Rockefeller was the Bill Gates of his day. He was the first mega millionaire in America. They asked him one time, “How do you get to be a mega millionaire?” He said, the ten-ten-eighty principle. I tithe the first ten percent. I save the second ten percent. And I live on eighty percent. The ten-ten-eighty principle.

 

Did you know that God says your savings account tests your IQ? It shows how smart you are. By looking at your savings you can tell how wise you are with your money.

PR. 21:20 “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” LB

 

Illustration:

Ave. Japanese saves 25% of income European - 18% Amer. -1%

Q that will increase your savings: Do I really HAVE to have this?

We must have more pleasure in saving rather than spending

When you save- you are making money work for you!



PR.24:27 “Develop your business first before building your house.”

Got a raise- don’t go buy a new car. Invest it! Raise your saving not your lifestyle

 

ECCL. 11:2 “Invest what you have in several different places, because you don't know what disasters might happen.” NCV Diversify!

PR. 13:11“Money that comes easily disappears quickly, but money that is gathered little by little will grow.”

 

5. KEEP GOOD RECORDS

Write it down! You must keep track – finances

PR. 21:5 “Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough." TEV

PR.27:23-24Riches can disappear fast...so watch your business interests closely. Know the state of your flocks and herds LB

Money talks... “I just don’t know where it all goes!” A Warning!."

Ignorance + Easy Credit = Trouble!

What I Own...Owe...Earn...& Where it goes

 

Pr. 23:5 “Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and Flown away like an eagle.” TEV

Money don’t talk – they walk away

 

6. PLAN MY SPENDING

Budget = Planned Spending. Telling your money where you want it to go... Again, look at ..

PR. 21:5“Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough."

impulse” buying, unplanned - based on emotions. Ever bought anything w/o thinking & later regretted? Nip in B.U.D.G.E.T.

PR. 21:20“... stupid people spend their money as fast as they get it." NLT

PR.21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty” NLT

7. SET UP A REPAYMENT PLAN

You didn’t get into debt overnight….

Seek the help of trained advisors in our church or outside who can help you do this.

 

PR. 3:27 “Don't withhold repayment of your debts.” LB

Settle your debts. Make a plan.

 

ROM. 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding.” NIV

( paying only minimum)

v8 Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. (The Message)


8. COMMIT IT ALL TO GOD.

Pr.16:3“Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed” NLT

3Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. (The Message)

Who is ultimately in charge of your finances? You, your spouse, your kids, others or God? The problem is a lot of people leave God out of their finances up until they get into trouble.

Debt is not your biggest problem. A symptom of on unmanaged life

Major problem: People-so busy getting more - no time to enjoy what they have.

ECCL. 5:19“If God gives us wealth and property and lets us enjoy them. We should be grateful and enjoy what we have worked for. It is a gift from God.”TEV

What most people do: The order God blesses:

1. Spend it (then) 1. Dedicate it

2. Worry about it 2. Tithe it

3. Repay it 3. Save it

4. Save it 4. Repay it

5. Give it 5. Enjoy it



CLOSE with 2 things:

1st Next 2 min I’m going to put these 8 Habits slowly on the screen.

Ask yourself – which ones do I need to work on?

I don’t want you to get up & leave.

This may be the only 2 min. you sit quietly & think about your life

Look at your outline again and think which one you need to work on/need help.

Develop Good Habits (on screen)

1. Remember God is my Source                     5. Keep good records

2. Make money honestly                                6. Plan my spending

3. Honor God first                                          7. Set a repayment plan

4. Save money wisely                                    8. Commit it all to God

 



 

 

THE LAW OF CONTENTMENT

THE LAW OF CONTENTMENT
Financial Fitness – Part 2

Contentment: a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. Freedom from anxiety or worry (1 Tim 6:6). The idea of contentment comes from Greek word that means “independence” or “self-sufficiency.” But the apostle Paul used the word in a Christian sense to show that real satisfaction or sufficiency comes from God: “I can do all things through Christ..”

As long as your yearning exceed your earnings = you will always be in bondage. Statistics Canada reported Dec 13, 2013 that the level of household credit market debt to disposable income increased to 163.7 per cent in the third quarter from 163.1 per cent in the second quarter. That means Canadians owe nearly $1.64 for every $1 in disposable income they earn in a year.

Add to this is the housing affordability issue, rising gas price, pipeline crisis - BC vs Alberta & Feds. Looming possibility that the gas prices will rise to 2.50 per litter this summer.

Proverbs 14:30 (CEV) It’s healthy to be content, but envy can eat you up. 

Proverbs 14:30 (NLT) A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. 

Envy, jealousy, - desire to possess another person’s gifts, possession, or achievements. Its not only what you eat that makes you unhealthy but also what’s eat you. 

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (CEV) It’s better to enjoy what we have than to always want something else, because that makes no more sense than chasing the wind. 

Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NIV84) Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 

 

THE EFFECT OF ALWAYS WANTING MORE

1.  MORE FATIGUE.

 “Do not wear yourself out to be rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.”  Prov. 23:4

The race to get more -drives us to overwork. Very visible in BC

Lee Tolstoy, Russian writer: Peasant offered all land-walk-1 day with a promised that everything he walked on is his. He walked so fast dropped dead from exhaustion!

Isn’t this the picture of people today? Dropping to exhaustion, tired of trying to gain everything in our short life. A rat race- Got to keep up! You might win the rat race but in the end you are still a rat

2.  MORE EXPENSES.

 “The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth—except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!”     Eccl. 5:11 (NLT) 

It is expensive to have more money because you need an accountant, house worker, mow the lawn, cook the food. There is no shortage of people who can help you spend it. Many dream of becoming rich (or will a lotto).. But are you ready to handle that large sum of money? Always costs more to have more! If grass is greener- the water bill higher!

We think we don’t make enough. Truth: we want too much! A lot of need is just greed. God said, “he will supply our needs not our greed”

3.  MORE ANXIETY.

 “A working man…can get a good night’s sleep.  But the rich man has so much that he stays awake worrying.”  Eccl. 5:12 (GN)

The more you have ... more- worry about (I don’t worry about yacht, sports car because i don’t have any). Anxiety – A state of mind may range from genuine concern to obsession that originate from a distorted perspective of life. How to. save it...invest.. maintain.. insure.. avoid tax. Study: Insomnia increases with income!

4.  MORE CONFLICT.

More fatigue +more expenses + more anxiety = more conflict!

 “A greedy man brings trouble to his family.”  Prov. 15:27

“People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.” 1 Tim.  6:9 (NLT) 

5.  MORE DISSATISFACTION.

 “If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want.  It is useless.”  Eccl. 5:10 (GN) 

“It’s foolish to think wealth brings happiness!”  (LB)
“I have learned the secret of being content … whether living in plenty or in want.”  Phil. 4:12

HOW TO LEARN CONTENTMENT

1.   REFUSE TO COMPARE MYSELF WITH OTHERS.

“We do not dare classify or compare ourselves…it is not wise.”  2 Cor. 10:12

“You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.”      Exodus 20:17

2.   ENJOY WHAT I HAVE.

 “If God gives a man wealth and property…he should be grateful and enjoy what he has…it is a gift from God.”  Eccl. 5:19 (GN)

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”  1 Tim. 6:17

 

3. REMEMBER THAT LIFE IS NOT ABOUT THINGS. 

“Jesus said, ‘Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.’” Luke 12:15 (GN) 

“O God, I ask for two things from you before I die: First, help me never to tell a lie.  Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!  Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.  For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.” Prov. 30:7-9 

4. FOCUS ON WHAT WILL LAST FOREVER.

 “We fix our attention, not on the things that are seen, but on things that are unseen.  What can be seen lasts only for a time; but what cannot be seen lasts forever.”  2 Cor. 4:18

 

 

FOUNDATION OF FINANCIAL HEALTH

Foundation of financial health

Jesus talked more about money than he did about heaven or hell. Because we spend more time thinking about money than heaven or hell. We spend much of our time thinking about how to get it, how to make it, how to save it, how to spend it, how to invest it, how to protect it, how to insure it and all the other things. It dominates much of our lives. So Jesus had a lot to say about money management. He also told us that money management is a spiritual discipline. That God is actually watching how I handle my wealth to see what he can trust me with, in true spiritual riches in heaven.

Matthew 6:19–21 ESV “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.

In the Parable of the Ten virgins and the Parable of the Talents Jesus emphasized the need to be always prepared because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. He talks about the kingdom of God, the coming of the kingdom of God and how we should live in anticipation of its coming. 

Text: Mt. 25:14-30 

In Matthew 25:14, the beginning of the story. It says this, “The Kingdom of heaven [Jesus said] will be like a man going on a journey [this businessman] and he called his three servants together and he entrusted his property to them.” 

The end of the story. Two of the guys have a good report. One of the guys has a bad report. Then Jesus draws some spiritual truths out of it. 

Circle the word “his” there in that verse. It says “He called his three servants together and entrusted his property to them.” So when we’re talking about money here, whose money are we talking about? The money owned by the master or the money owned by the servants? The master. It’s not the servants’ money. It’s the master’s money that he’s giving to them to take care of. 

This by the way, is called stewardship. You’ve heard this word before – steward or stewardship. That’s the old English word for “manager. A steward is a manager and stewardship simply means management. We are called to be stewards of our time – manage our time. We are called to be stewards of our influence. We are called to be stewards of our health, of our minds, of our relationships, of our opportunities. Everything you have you are to be steward of or a manager of. He says here “He entrusted his property to his servants.” This is the first law of financial freedom. It is this. 

 

7 FOUNDATIONS FOR FINANCIAL FITNESS

1st THE LAW OF POSSESSION: EVERYTHING I HAVE BELONGS TO GOD

God is the creator, therefore everything belong Him

Isaiah 40:28 ESVHave you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

1 Chronicles 29:12 ESV Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

Matthew 25:14 ESV “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.

It’s not my money. It all belongs to God. You say, “But wait a minute! I worked for this!” Everything we have and enjoy came and is owned by God. Your body, mind, energy, intelligence and everything you have are a gift from God. So you don’t really own anything in life. It’s all on loan. You didn’t bring anything into the world and I’ve been there at the other end too, at the funerals, nobody takes it out with them. You never see a hearse driving a U-Haul. 

So you only get to use it while you’re here. It’s God’s money. God loaned it to somebody before you. He’s loaned it to you for eighty years. And he’s going to loan it to somebody else after you die. You don’t own it. It’s all under management. The master owns it all. God is the owner.

This is really important because we tend to forget it. We forget and when we forget it, you know what the sign is that you’ve forgotten that it’s God’s and not yours? When you think it’s yours, you worry about it. Worry is a sign that you think it’s all yours. 

What is a talent, a Roman talent? is seventy-one pounds of gold ( Today’s gold price = 1,958,400). That means if you got a talent of gold you got 1.9 million dollars. This is not a small investment. If you got one talent, which he gave to one guy, Jesus gave you 3.9 million dollars to take care of while he’s gone. If he’s given you five talents, he’s just given you 9.7 million dollars to take care of. This is not a small amount. He’s really trusting.

God has made a huge investment in you. But the first law, the law that God possesses everything; it all belongs to him.

“To one servant he gave five talents of money, to another two talents of money, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he left on his journey.” Matt. 25:15

Then the second law it says, He gives five talents to one, two talents to another, one talent of gold to another, “…each according to his ability” then he left on his journey. 

2nd THE LAW OF ALLOCATION:  GOD HAS LOANED ME MONEY

Matthew 25:15 ESV To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

You don’t really own it. He’s loaning it to you for thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, eighty, ninety, at the most, a hundred years. Say this, “The money I thought I own is only loan”

You notice in this story that Jesus tells, everybody gets a different amount. It’s obvious. We’re all not equally wealthy. We’re not all equally of the same economic status. It says one guy got one talent. Some guy gets two talents. Some guy gets five talents of gold. 

VS. 16-18 “The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents also doubled his money. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and just hid his master's money.” 

 

There are a couple things I want to point out here. 

1. Money is a tool to be used. You put it to work. 

2. You use money and you love people. If you get that reversed you’re going to be in trouble. Because if you start loving money, you will use people. 

3. People are to be loved; money is to be used. 

4. You are to never love money. You’re to use it. It is a tool to use. 

The love of money is the root of all evil. Money is a neutral thing. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s what you do with it.

NOTE: Everyone gets different amount 

You don’t get to choose what you receive. God is the one who determines it according to our ability. But You get to CHOOSE what you do which God gives you! Waste it… Spend it … Hoard it… Use it .. Invest it!

God gives you that freedom as a TEST 

BUT ONE DAY you’ll explain to God the choices you made!VS. 19 “After a long time the Master of the three servants returned to settle his accounts.” circle “accounts”

3rd THE LAW OF ACCOUNTABILITY: ONE DAY GOD WILL AUDIT ME!

Matthew 25:19 ESV

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

A final exam on the life God gave you! A Life Audit , not by C.R.A. but by G.O.D! & He has all the records!. God has made an investment in you. He’s given you intellect, passion, ability & He is counting on a return!

Rom 14:12 “Each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

Irresponsibility never lasts. It catches up with you!. The master said, “What did I do with what he gave me?”

1st guy: Good Returning to Report
VS. 20-21 “The man who had received five talents brought the other five he had made. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!” Doubled investment! 100% return! 

2nd guy- another good return
VS. 22 -23 "Then the servant with the two talents of money also came. ‘Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; now see that I have gained two more!’ His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!” Resourceful! 100% ROI!

3rd guy- not a good report
VS. 24-26 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!’” 

BURIED IT! Did nothing! 
• Then blamed his master for his mismanagement! a victim! 
• The easiest thing to when one fails is to blame others.
• You blame your parents, your school, govt., etc…

PROV. 19:3 (TEV) “People ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame the Lord!” When you BLAME you are BEING LAME. 
You only have yourself to blame. Who told you to buy the things you have that caused you to be in financial trouble?
God “When did I tell you to do that?”
Notice the Master’s response to this whining:

VS. 27“You should have at least put my money into the bank so I could make some interest!” 

4th  THE LAW OF UTILIZATION:  I MUST WISELY USE GOD’S MONEY! 

God expects me to use what I’ve got. Not to hoard it, not to sit on it, not to hide it, not to bury it, not to deny it. But money is a tool and it is meant to be used. It is not meant to be stockpiled. 

Money is like manure. If you spread it all around it helps things grow – like fertilizer. But if you pile it up it just starts stinking. Money’s like fertilizer. You don’t pile it up. God says money is to be used. God expects me to invest what he loans me. This third guy, what’s the problem with him? He’s cautious, he’s conservative. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He just sits on it. He takes what his master has given him and doesn’t do anything with it. 

TWO INSIGHTS:

1. You can’t please God by doing nothing (MUST RISK!)
Without faith...impossible! Whatever...Doing nothing with my talent is inexcusable. Doing nothing with your money is inexcusable!. Doing nothing with your time is inexcusable!

2. God would rather you try to serve Him in faith & fail than do nothing
“I’d rather attempt to do something & fail…” Who is most likely to do nothing with what God gave him? The 1 talent person! “Since I’m not a superstar, I’ll just sit here…Just because you can’t be “the best” –doesnt excuse you to do nothing! Some of you have no joy in life. No spark /no enthusiasm WHY

PLAYING IT SAFE! Sitting on the sidelines of life! Spectators. Not using your talents the way God intended. Living for yourself. Not involved in ANY service to others!

5th  THE LAW OF MOTIVATION: I MUST MOVE AGAINST MY FEARS!

Matthew 25:25 ESV so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’

Now we get to the heart of the matter! Every talent have corresponding fear:
· If you have a talent singing, there will be a fear that nobody will like it. 
· If you have a talent in business, there will be a fear of, what if I fail? · If you have a talent in any other area there will always be the what if’s in the back that keep you from stepping out and doing what God created you to with your life, investing. 

GOD PROMISES blessing IF you’ll follow his commands. BUT THEY REQUIRE FAITH!
There are 3 kinds of fear that can bury your “talents”
1. SELF-DOUBT “I could never do that! ... “I’m not qualified”
2. SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS: “What will others think?”
3. SELF-PITY - “I failed in past so I’ll never try again”

God uses ordinary people. Moses-murderer. David-adulterer, Jacob-failure
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been-but where you’re headed!

READ AGAIN VS. 25 “I was afraid and went out and hid your money in the ground.” 
Remember how he prepared a little speech to justify himself! Blamed his boss! “It’s your fault I failed! You were unreasonable!” Fear ALWAYS causes me to make excuses to do nothing! Satan often attaches a fear to a talent God has given you! If you give into the fear… never see the return on investment God intends

Must move against your fears!

VS. 28-29 The Master’s reaction: “Take away the money from this servant and give it to the one with ten talents. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance! But for those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away.” 

6th THE LAW OF APPLICATION:  IF I DON’T USE IT I’LL LOSE IT! 

 

Why do some seem to get less & less in life? They aren’t using what they’ve got!

 

God has the right to take away ANYTHING I don’t use to invest for Him! That is a principle of the universe that you cannot deny. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. If you’re not using what you’ve got, you don’t get what you’ve got. God has the right to take away anything that I don’t use to invest for him. Because it’s all his in the first place.

Universal Law: You forfeit what you don’t use! Refuse to exercise - lose muscle! Refuse to think - mind goes dull! Refuse to practice - lose a talent!

o Flip side: If I DO use what God gives me- He will give me more!
Heb. 13:21"God will equip you with all you need for doing his will"

A Promise!
Q: What do you need more of? Energy? Time? Talent? Money?
Whatever you need more of - start using it to help others! Whatever you sow…you will reap. But you will say, “I don’t have enough time to give, not enough money to Give.”
• You need more time? – give your time to God • You need more money? – give your money to God • You need more energy? – give your energy to God
 

When you sow a seed, you don’t get one seed back. You always get exponentially, geometrically more. If I sow one kernel of corn, plant it in my backyard, I don’t get one kernel of corn back. I get a stalk of corn with hundreds of kernels on it. I always get back more than I sow. That is the law of sowing and harvesting

7th  THE LAW OF COMPENSATION: GOD WILL REWARD ME FOR GOOD MANAGEMENT (Stewardship)

God will reward me for good money management. Money is the acid test of your faithfulness. God uses it more than any other thing in your life to test your faith. Why? Because it’s the thing we have the hardest time with. 

VS. 21 “The Master replied, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, I will now put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” 

MONEY IS GOD ACID TEST OF HOW MUCH YOU TRUST GOD

Luke 16:11-13 “If you are untrustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people's money, why should you be trusted with money of your own? No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." 

Money is a bad master but a good servant. If you work for money your life will always be in debt. If you make money work for you, you will have financial freedom

 

THE CHURCH AT PHILIPPI: WHAT MATTERS MOST - PHILIPPIANS 1:18b-30

What matters most

Legal challenge to Canada Summer Jobs Program new 'abortion' clause underway

As most of you will already know, the Trudeau government recently announced that any organization or business that wishes to apply to the Canada Summer Jobs Program must first prove their eligibility by submitting an “attestation” that affirms their organization’s support of abortion, transgenderism, and a laundry list of other progressive causes. Justin Trudeau’s idea of diversity is limited to those who actually agree with him on nearly every issue, and his government is now setting an extremely dangerous precedent by insisting that Canadians meet certain ideological criteria before becoming eligible for a previously neutral government program.

The notion that people who disagree with the government on controversial moral issues such as abortion must either adopt the government’s view or be excluded is acceptable in totalitarian regimes. It is not acceptable in Canada — a country that strives, in the words of the Charter, to be a “free and democratic society.”
Brian Bird, policyoption.irrp.org,; Jan 16, 2018

It’s much worst at Philippi.
Let’s go through additional background information to help in our study of the Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
The People of Philippi
•   Patriotic Roman City - loyal to Caesar, the were considered mini Rome
•   The system of Patron/Client - Networked together family, business, social, economic

Under Roman Regime
•   Day to day culture controlled by Rome
•   Religious dimension - Economy, politics tied to religious life
•   The greater influence of Caesar himself which commonly called = saviour, king or a son of a god
•   Caesar reign is recognized as “good news”
•   Every is expected to be loyal to the emperor

Imagine you belong to an assembly called Philippians
•   Jesus is recognized as Lord and King not Caesar
•   You proclaim another gospel
•   Jesus is recognized as Saviour not Caesar
•   You claim the your real citizen is in heaven not Rome
•   You have a Jewish Saviour which was crucified by the Roman

What does it make of you now?
As a believer who happen to be a Philippian, you are outside of the parameter of an acceptable place in the society.You are going to suffer because of your other commitment.

In Acts 16 we find the accounts of how Paul and Silas suffered in Philippi

Acts 16:16–24 ESV But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Paul and Silas was punished and thrown into jail without due process of the law.

Imprisonment: served to advance the gospel
Philippians 1:12 ESV I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. If it were not for the gospel, whatever happened to Paul will be just a random events.

The advancement of the Gospel is God’s priority

Two groups preaching the gospel:
In Phil 1:15-17 addressed the two groups of people preaching the gospel while he was in prison.

Philippians 1:15–17 ESV Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

If it happened then it’s also happening now. That people (believer as they claimed) preach Christ with right and wrong motives. If Paul’s imprisonment and the people preaching the gospel with right and wrong reasons are advancing the gospel, then we should rejoice.

Philippians 1:18 ESV What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

Yes, and I will rejoice,

Paul expressed his confidence that he will receive deliverance either by dying or by being alive for the advancement of the gospel

So what is the bigger picture that enables Paul to look beyond his circumstances and rejoice? It is his confidence that these things will turn out for his deliverance (1:19). This confidence is based on two things: the prayers of the Philippians and the support of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 1:19–20 ESV for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

From Paul’s perspective to live or die is a no-lose proposition. Whatever his end might be, he come out benefiting from the outcome.

Let’s summarize the progression of Paul’s thought.

•   Imprisonment, rival preaching - what now?
•   Rejoice and continue to do so - why?
•   leads to deliverance - say what? How?
•   Imprisonment, rival preaching - what now?
•   Rejoice and continue to do so - why?
•   leads to deliverance - say what? How?

Philippians 1:21 ESV For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Big idea: If seeing Christ exalted really was the most important thing in our lives, how would that change our priorities and perspective?

·      What would it do to our outlook for the future?
·      How are we to live differently? In private and public?
·      How will you to live with your spouse?
·      How will you parent your children?
·      How will you act an employee or employer?
·      How will you serve God through this church?

Philippians 1:21 ESV For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

We are going to tackle the practical implications of life and death, aside from what we think or feel. How can Paul say that Christ will be exalted either in his life or death? Living means continued work for Christ, and dying means going to be with Him. The simplicity with which Paul treats life-and-death issues casts things in a whole new light.

To me indicates that Paul’s values system reflects his own perspective on the matter, but by implication it is one that we should adopt as well.

What matters most to Paul? What should matter most to the Philippians? What matters most to you?

The advancement of the gospel

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. I Cor 9:19-23

While in prison, Paul was presented with a dilemma or a problem

I. THE DILEMMA: Paul’s Dilema: v.21-24

Philippians 1:21–24 ESV For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

In this section, Paul went into details his dilemma of whether he will stay or he will go. Seeing that either he live or die the gospel will advance he is free to participate or not, should he stay or should he go?

This section is essentially a pro/com list, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of living versus dying. It’s critical that we get the context of Phil 1:21 so as not to misapply this truth in your life. In here Paul walks us through his decision making before giving us his choice whether to go or stay.

I do hope that this will help us in our decision making process too.

To live (in the flesh) = Christ, fruitful labor, your benefit

To die = gain, depart to be with Christ, better

Dying seems to be the better option

After listing the pros and cons of each option, Paul makes known his choice. He could have skipped comparing the options, but doing so would have obscured the significance of his decision.

II. THE DECISION

a. Paul: Remain in the flesh for their progress

Philippians 1:25 (ESV) Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,

The needs of other seems to the choice for now

It is clear that departing is better path considering he will exit from the pain, suffering and persecution of life but Paul chose to stay, to stay for their sake. Convinced that the Philippians’ needs outweigh his own desire to depart and be with Christ, Paul chooses to remain serving them.

Paul’s decision to remain (free or not) and serve the church was not conditioned on anything; he decided to put the Philippians’ interest before his own.

Implications: Personal or corporate
·      Opening up his decision-making process challenges us to follow in his path.
·      How do we decide to get involved in a ministry or not, to minister to someone else’s needs or not?
·      Do we consider only our own interests?
·      What about the interests of others?

But if remaining was on Paul’s to do list, then the Philippians must understand what he expected them to do in return.

b. Philippians:

Paul begins to reflect more on the situation of the Philippians. In the light of his experience, he now call their attention to how they ought to live.

      1.  Live in a manner worthy of the gospel

Philippians 1:27 (ESV) Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Philippians 1:27 (NLT) Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.  ...

Express your real citizenship in heaven.
·      Your primary citizenship is not Romans but heaven.
·      Your King and Saviour is not Caesar but Jesus.
·      The goodnews that you will proclaim is not the reign of Caesar but the reign of Jesus, the Kingdom of God.

How them will you live?
                    Philippians 1:27 (ESV) ... I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, ..
                   One spirit -
spirit of God, having received the same Spirit, stand firm as one in the  
                    spirit of God

                    What does it practically look like to stand firm in one spirit? Paul elaborates on this           
                    by providing both a positive and a negative component.

                       a. Striving side by side
                       Philippians 1:27 (ESV)... , with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the
                       gospel,

                       The positive part is contending for the faith—and not just in any old way. He  
                       wants them to contend with one mind—not every person for themselves.
                       With one mind = one soul

                       Even the action of striving (ESV) includes the idea of unity. It could be more
                       literally translated as doing something side by side (see LEB).
                       It’s not gonna be easy.

                       b.  Not intimidate
                      
Philippians 1:28 ESV and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a
                       clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

                       The negative part has to do with how we respond to opponents. Adversaries will  
                       come from outside and within the faith. It should not come as a surprise that
                       we’ll face opposition to the gospel, even if it doesn’t entail imprisonment like
                       Paul faced.

                       The key question is: how will we respond when it comes? Will we be alarmed and  
                       cower? Will we allow ourselves to be intimidated? Since we know that opposition
                       is inevitable, it’s critical to decide how we will respond now, before our backs are
                       pressed against the wall.

       2.  Share  in the suffering

         Philippians 1:29–30 (ESV) For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you
         should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sak
e, 30 engaged in the same
        conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

        In these last two verses Paul brings the whole discussion back to v.12.

        Paul’s main goal is to make the Philippians understand that his imprisonment and suffering  
        are not a mistake
, but part God’s large plan - to advancement the gospel.

        Paul was not looking for empathy. He is preparing them that there is more to following  
        Christ than believing.

       The word translated as granted is more often used in the context of forgiveness, sharing  
       the same basic root as grace. It is also used to describe granting something positive, as in
       2:9 where Jesus is given a name above all others.

       So why phrase it this way? From a human perspective, not many people want to suffer.
       Suffering is often viewed more as a burden to bear than as a gift to cherish.

       Phrased as it is, Paul presents suffering as a special thing graciously granted by God. It’s
       like the difference between an invitation saying, “Come on over!” and one that reads, “We  
       graciously request the pleasure of your presence.” Runge, S. E. (2011).

For Paul, the key is exchanging our view for God’s. Paul processes his circumstances through God’s perspective, and he challenges the Philippians to do the same. We shouldn’t just accept the fact that we may suffer for Christ; we should embrace it.

 

Closing Challenge:

What matters most? “The advancement of the gospel whether I live or die
If seeing Christ exalted really was the most important thing in our lives, how would that change our priorities and perspective today?

 

 

THE CHURCH AT PHILIPPI : "IT'S NOT ABOUT ME" - PHILIPPIANS 1:12-18

 

This letter although written inside the Roman prison.

There were two reasons Paul wrote this letter:

1. Philippians is a thank you note from a missionary to a supporting church.
2. The second reason was due to a conflict between two women. He mentions and names them in 4:1–2. Unlike other epistles there was no extended doctrine to discuss, no error to refute, no wrong to correct.

In verse 6, Paul expressed his confidence in God over their lives.

Philippians 1:6 ESV And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

In verse 7, Paul gave the reasons why

Philippians 1:7 ESV It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

This is the same person who wrote
Romans 8:28 ESV And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

No matter what happened in the past, happening in the present and will happen in the future, we can be assured of God’s blessings if we are living our God’s purpose for our life. What is God’s purpose for you, me and the church?

1 Peter 2:9 ESV But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

The only reason the church is still on earth is for this reason. If I’m not living according to this purpose, do you think that God will do what Romans 8:28 promised? NO! I hope that you got the sense of what Paul said on the first 11 verses of chapter 1.

Let’s open our bible to:

Philippians 1:12–18 ESV

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Our focus on: The Gospel, The difficulties that result in sharing it.

Big Idea of the Message: God will use every opportunity—good or bad—to spread the message of Jesus.

TIME MAGAZINE: American Psychiatric Association (APA) has officially confirmed what many people thought all along: taking ‘selfies’ is a mental disorder. The disorder is called selfitis, and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self  and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.

APA said there are three levels of the disorder:
Borderline selfitis : taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media
Acute selfitis: taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media
Chronic selfitis: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self  round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day

Title of the message: It’s not about me

When it comes to God, it’s not about me. When it comes to the gospel, it’s not about me. Focusing on the work of God in the life and ministry of Apostle Paul. What did Paul learned that gives him joy?

Let me share 5 lessons, 5 truths about from out text this morning:

1. God will accomplish his plans even without me. v.12

Philippians 1:12 ESV I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,

Paul credentials before and after his conversion, his missionary work, church planting
Philippians 3:4–7 ESV though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

Paul talks about the he is “chief of sinners”. God will do even without Abraham, Moses, David,.... The “ME’ generation is not only this generation but every generation. Man is not the center of universe. The world does not revolve around. Everything revolve around the SON. God created the world from nothing. Don’t you think that he need you to accomplish his will?

God don’t even need me to make Living Hope a reality. He don’t need my sacrifices so someone will plant this church. He will do even without me. The same for all of us. We need to guard our heart from becoming prideful. It is by his grace and nothing else when I’m here standing today before you. God said to King David, “you were nothing when I called you”. If God will do what he needs to do even without our participation. We need to be grateful to the opportunity He gave. We need to serve him with and attitude of humility and reverence. God is not on the losing end but we will if we don’t submit our life to him. It is my privilege and so is yours.

John 1:12–13 ESV But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

We will experience joy in the midst of trying time if we live as privileged people.

2. God’s priority is to advance the Gospel. v.12

Philippians 1:12 ESV I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,

God only advance his agenda. Not mine, not yours.What’s makes the gospel so special? What is the gospel? The other word for gospel is good news. From Paul’s perspective, God is more concerned in the advancement of the gospel rather than his comfort.

John 3:16 ESV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The gospel is God’s invitation to a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Can any other good news be better than the GOSPEL?

Quote: Charles Spurgeon: On his deathbed, (Dr. Archibald Alexander) was heard to say...”All my theology is reduced to his narrow compass-Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.”

God’s priority is the fulfillment of his plans rather than ours. If you know the only way out of a burning building, a way out of danger, will you not make it your priority to collect your material possessions or to get there or tell others about it. Right after Adam rebelled against God command in genesis 3, God’s priority was to fulfill his plan of restoring the broken relationship with man.

Adam and eve tried to cover their sin with leaves but God in his love provided a better and permanent solution, Jesus Christ. If you don’t make Jesus your priority, you will not get to the Father

John 14:6 ESV Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

God’s priority in the OT is the Gospel

Galatians 3:8 ESV And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

God knows best how to advance the Gospel even allowing believers to suffer or be martyred. Isaiah declared, “God’s thought and ways are higher than ours”. If the gospel is God’s priority so should we. We must make it our priority too. We need to align our life (time. talent, treasures) to advance the gospel. As a church, we need to invest in the advancement of the Gospel not my own agenda, not our agenda.

“A great many learned men are defending the gospel… a vert proper and right thing to do. Yet … the best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out.” Charles Spurgeon

Did you receive the Gospel? Do you proclaim the Gospel?

 

3. God can get the message effectively than any means. v.13

13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.

God’s delay is not denial. With all of our ideas on how bring the message out, God’s way is still the best way. How can the gospel go out if Paul is in prison? With no internet, email, facebook or instagram what will happen now? Paul was a high profile person. Enemy no. 1 of the Jews, metal workers & enemies of the Way. God used Paul’s imprisonment to get the message out that he is Christ follower to no less than 1000 men.

… so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.

The Imperial Guard

The imperial guard consisted of the cohortes praetoriae, which together with the cohortes urbanae and vigiles made up the garrison of Rome. In the military system as established by Augustus there were nine cohorts of the praetorian guard, three of the urban troops, and seven of the vigiles. Each cohort numbered 1,000 men, and was commanded by a tribune of equestrian rank. The praetorian prefects (praefecti praetorii), of whom there were usually two, were commanders of the entire garrison of the capital, and stood at the highest point of distinction and authority in the equestrian career. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Vol. 1–5, p. 257).

If you were tally all of them Imperial guard plus the prison guards and prisoners, it will be more than a 1,000

Part of the Imperial guards were guarding Paul. They also know that he is a Roman citizen and can easily free himself if he renounced his faith in Christ. In the past God used evil rulers to fulfill his will. The likes of Egypt’s Pharos, the Persians Kings to name a few were used by God to punish his people and his enemies, to protect his people, to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. We see here the power of living testimony.

John 13:34–35 ESV A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Our love for one another is a powerful testimony. As people see the love of God real and alive in us, they themselves will tell it to others. God will even use the enemies of the cross to proclaim its saving power.

4. God can embolden believers from coward to courageous. v.14

14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Paul was imprisoned in a roman jail in Rome when he wrote this letter. Instead of going in to hiding and being silent, the believers found renewed courage through the imprisonment of Paul.They become confident in the Lord led them to become bolder to speak the word of God without fear. In the absent of Paul in the public scene, believers came out of hiding a boldly preach the gospel.

Take note: they were preaching in Rome the seat of world power that day. Talk about being bold. From being coward to courageous! We are gravely mistaken that the preaching of the gospel are only for the pastors or trained leaders. It’s every believers mandate to “preach the word in season and out of season”

2 Timothy 1:7–8 ESV for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

Paul remind young Timothy that it will not be by his own power and ability he will be able to fulfill God’s calling to preach the gospel but through the power of the Holy Spirit. Timothy was not to be ashamed of the gospel and and Paul but share in the suffering for the gospel.

Acts 1:8 ESV But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

We will suffer for the gospel if we preach it even unto death.

Illustration: Communicating the Gospel

There is a dramatic story concerning the life and influence of King George V. (King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.) In the latter years of his reign, it was his custom to broadcast a Christmas message to the empire. During one of these broadcasts, when the ears of the world were waiting to hear the voice of the king, an engineer observed that an important wire had snapped. America was cut off! Time was of the essence. Suddenly, as though nudged by an angel, a mechanic seized the broken wires. Holding one in each hand, he was thus able to complete the circuit which permitted the royal message to be transmitted to the United States. The voice of the king passed through the body of the engineer. In the broken connections of our world, how can the Word of the Lord be heard unless it passes through the preacher?

Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 301). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Take a greater RISK to share the gospel

5. God can turn deception to the advantage of the gospel. v.17, 18

Philippians 1:15–18 ESV Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Can a person do the right thing for the wrong reason? I think we can all agree with the YES answer. There are times that I justify the means by the ends. I justify the way I did things because of the ends. Even religious practice can be done with the wrong motive. Praying, reading the bible...This is what happened with the believers (if they truly are) in Rome. Not all agree and even recognize Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. In one of his letter, he even had to defend his Apostleship, he had to defend his calling.

These so called preacher of the Gospel did it out of envy and wanted to complete with Paul and show others that they to can do it even better. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians addressed these attitudes.

1 Corinthians 1:11–13 ESV For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

This is a sad picture that is even happening in the body of Christ today. Instead of working together to advance the Gospel, there is envy and competition. There is competition between believers, between pastors, between congregation.

I must confess that there were many times that I fell into the temptation. Wishing that I was better that the other Pastor. Envy and self ambition is a deadly combination. It will destroy a person, a congregation, a community and even a nation.

When Judas betrayed Christ, the devil thought that he had won. But he did not know that victory will always belong to God in the end.

Philippians 1:18 ESV What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

God will use every opportunity—good or bad—to spread the message of Jesus. Rather than bemoaning our circumstances, we should rejoice that God can use them to share the light of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Church at Philippi : "Complete" - Philippians 1:1-11

Big Idea of the Series: This ten-week series is a great opportunity to our congregation dig into the book of Philippians. ‘The Church at Philippi’ focuses on the joy each of us receives when we devote our lives to God and others.

Background of the book: Verse by Verse through the Book of Philippians Introduction

I.      AUTHOR:  Paul, 1:1

II.      DATE OF WRITING:  A.D. 62, Paul is writing from jail in Rome.

III.      FOUNDING OF THE CHURCH IN PHILIPPI

Paul visited Philippi on his second missionary journey.  On that visit he led a number of people to Christ who formed the church there.  Some of these were Lydia and her family, the Philippian jailer and his family, and the girl possessed by a demon (Acts 16:14–34).

The city of Philippi was a Roman colony.  As such, it was a miniature Rome.  It mimicked Rome in every way.  It was strategically located on an important trade route between Europe and Asia.

The city was named after Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great.

IV.      OCCASION

There were two reasons Paul wrote this letter:

1.      Philippians is a thank you note from a missionary to a supporting church.

2.      The second reason was due to a conflict between two women.  He mentions and names them in 4:1–2. Unlike other epistles there was no extended doctrine to discuss, no error to refute, no wrong to correct.

Text: Philippians 1:1–11

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Big Idea of the Message: We find joy in experiencing God’s unearned forgiveness and knowing that nothing can stop him from finishing what he has already started in our lives.

Message title: “Complete”

Key verse: Philippians 1:6

Pauls letter to the Philippians is a window to Paul’s faith. This letter will help understand what kind of believer, of follower and apostle is Paul. 

I. Paul’s Core Conviction

Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Although Paul used the pronoun “he”, he is specifically referring to God. He wants to communicate to the Philippians that God is a personal God and he wants them to connect with God through his attributes. 

    a. Sovereignty of God - v.6

    And I am sure of this, that he who began... a good work in you will bring it to completion at the    day of Jesus Christ. 

    That God is in control and he will complete the good work he started in our life. He is dependent on no one to bring into completion the plans that he started

    b. Goodness of God - v.6
    …he who began a good work

    God’s goodness is perfect. Whatever God began is good, perfect...

    c. Faithfulness - v.6
    … will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.    … will perfect it

     Numbers 23:19 (ESV) God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should         change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not  fulfill it? 

    d. Lordship - v.1-2    

     Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at       Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

    (NASB95) Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,  

    Lordship means Christ has full control and ownership of our life. We are under God’s         disposal to do his good and perfect will. 

These are some of Apostle Paul’s core conviction that he expressed through all his letters from the  letter to the Roman believers to Philemon. These are some of unshakable conviction that enabled his to experience joy even in prison. When we anchor our faith in the unchanging nature of God, joy will abound in our life.

II. The work of God in the life of Phillipians through the ministry of Paul

    a. Their life cause thanksgiving to God. v.3
    3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 

It does not mean that they are perfect or don’t have issues but their overall life as a church is a cause for thanksgiving. God is at work in their lives and in the church as a whole.

     b. Their life brings joy to others. v.4
     4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 

Not only their life cause Paul to give thanks to God but also praying for them is a joy. 

    c. They were Faithful partners. v.5

    5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 
They were Paul’s biggest supporter when he started right to the end.

    d. They were Risk takers . v.7

7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 

They were not afraid to stand by Paul’s side in supporting him outside and inside prison and as he proclaim the gospel through defending and confirming it to others.

III. Paul’s primary concern for the church at Philippi

       a. That their love may abound more and more, v.9
Philippians 1:9 (ESV) And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 

The first essential that Paul prays about is that their love may “abound.” It is one thing to have love; it is yet another to have abounding love. Their love needed to be enlarged.

The word “abound” means to overflow, to be over and above, more than enough. This is a love that dominates one’s life. Love is no mere category. An unbiblical life categorizes itself: in one category there is love yet in another category there is bitterness and resentment.

Paul’s prayer is that love will abound in knowledge. This word, “knowledge,” means full, experiential knowledge. To love in God’s economy is to love beyond emotion and feeling. There is something at the foundation of this love. A Christian is to be a specialist in love. That love is to abound in knowledge. An indifferent, vague, sloppy love is not Christian love. It is an informed love. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. Discernment,however, is an advance upon knowledge. Discernment is the correct use of the facts. But we must have knowledge to have discernment. The more we know, the more we can divide things that differ. We can separate and make distinctions. Discerning love can tell the difference between maudlin love and authentic love. Maudlin love may not employ “tough love” when necessary. Maudlin love loves on the basis of sympathy, not empathy. Authentic love requires both knowledge and discernment. As well, God wants us to “abound still more and more” in love that loves on the basis of knowledge and discernment.

    b. Their life live out according to the will of God. v.10-11

Philippians 1:10–11 (ESV) so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

 The word “approve” means to test for approval. This is spiritual discernment. Discernment is the ability to distinguish between the chaff and wheat, the dross and the gold, the genuine and the superficial. Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. “Excellence” carries with it the sense of what is vital. In Greek, excellence means to bear apart or to differ between; as with metals, you learn to tell one from another, the greater from the lesser. So things of excellence are things of greater value.

This speaks of the quality and character of life. When we live according to the will of God, we live pure and blameless life. “Being” indicates this is something we receive. We receive it by God’s grace. We do not earn it or work for it. “Fruits” is singular in the Greek. This may refer to the filling of the Holy Spirit. This is the produce of righteousness, the harvest.

“Of righteousness” means produced by Christ and, so, supernatural. The word “of” indicates source: this is imputed righteousness (righteousness that God unilaterally gives). The believer has a righteous stand before God resulting from being clothed in Christ’s righteousness, and ought to produce fruit for God. Practical righteousness is to flow from what God has done.

“Filled with the fruits of uprightness which come through Jesus Christ”: The term of Christian growth and development is the status of uprightness before God, yet it is not a status that one achieves by oneself; rather it is begun by God (3:9). Such inner qualities, partially described in Galatians 5:22–23, will be evident to others. The fruit of the Spirit comes through Jesus Christ, for it is really His life lived out through believers. Such fruit magnifies God, not self.

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven is not colour blind: My Skin, Racial Reconciliation

 

We are going to start a three-week series that biblically addresses the topics of both racial tension and gospel-centered reconciliation. It’s no stretch to say that the issue of race has become a hot topic recently. We are going to look at the different ways the local church can better reflect the diversity of God’s Kingdom, listen to those who are different than us, and pursue justice in all areas of life.

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines Racism

1. the belief that each race or ethnic group possesses specific characteristics, abilities, or qualities that distinguish it as inferior or superior to another such group.

2 discrimination against or antagonism towards other races or ethnic groups based on such a belief.

According to 2011, Canada had a foreign-born population of about 6,775,800 people. They represented 20.6% of the total population, the highest proportion among the G8 countries. Between 2006 and 2011, around 1,162,900 foreign-born people immigrated to Canada. These recent immigrants made up 17.2% of the foreign-born population and 3.5% of the total population in Canada. Asia (including the Middle East) was Canada's largest source of immigrants during the past five years, although the share of immigration from Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America increased slightly.

The vast majority of the foreign-born population lived in four provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, and most lived in the nation's largest urban centers.

More than 200 ethnic origins were reported in the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS). In 2011, 13 different ethnic origins had surpassed the 1-million mark.

Nearly 6,264,800 people identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group. They represented 19.1% of the total population. Of these visible minorities, 30.9% were born in Canada and 65.1% were born outside the country and came to live in Canada as immigrants. A small proportion (4.0%) of the visible minority population was non-permanent residents. Combined, the three largest visible minority groups-South Asians, Chinese and Blacks-accounted for 61.3% of the visible minority population in 2011. They were followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, Southeast Asians, West Asians, Koreans and Japanese. As was the case with the immigrant population, the vast majority lived in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta. Seven out of 10 lived in the three largest census metropolitan areas: Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver.

What does these statistics mean to us as a nation, as a church?

Globe and Mail publish an article March 9, 2010

A massive demographic change is taking place that could alter Canada's economic, political and education systems and exacerbate the divide between rural and urban communities. By 2031, one in three Canadians will belong to a visible minority. One in four will be foreign-born, the highest proportion since the end of the last wave of mass immigration that began around 1910.

Questions?

1. So would you say there’s a racism problem in our country?

2. And what are the concrete examples of that? What does that look like?

 

The answer will depend whether how well you understand racism if you are aware of what’s happening in your surrounding, with whom you spend most of your time with, your interest on the subject.

Google, “racist incidents in Vancouver” will reveal an increasing number of the racist incident do occur and is happening around us.

Racist confrontation on Vancouver train caught on camera | CTV News

Straight.com published the following list of Racist incidents last Aug. 1,2017-09-06Here's a summary of six local incidents that were reported in the news.

·      Ku Klux Klan flyers were found in Abbotsford in October and January (as well as in Chilliwack in July 2016).

·      Anti-Chinese flyers were distributed in Steveston in November. Neo-Nazi posters appeared in New Westminster in January.

·      This year, a smoke bomb was also set off at an antiracism rally in downtown Vancouver in March. Then in April, Vancouver–False Creek NDP candidate Morgane Oger was the target of transphobic flyers that were denounced by B.C. political parties.

·      Over the past few months, a number of incidents across the Lower Mainland have involved graffiti expressing a variety of hateful attitudes, including racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and Islamophobic phrases and slurs.

What is our response to this issue as a church?

This morning, I want us to go through how the bible addresses the racial issue. We are going to look to at what I call bookend of the bible, Genesis and Revelation to understand the origin and purpose of race.

Our Text: Revelation 7:9-17 but the key verse is verse 9

I titled my message today: Heaven is not color blind

Revelation 7:9 (ESV) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Big Idea of the Message: Salvation is for all people, regardless of nationality, race, or economic status. The local church should reflect this truth.

Point #1: No one loses their “race” in heaven.

Text: Revelation 7:9 (ESV) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, ...

This passage is Revelation provides a wonderful picture of heaven. Who will be united with God for eternity? “[A] great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages…”

John described the scene in heaven as a great multitude, which no once can count. He went into details the composition of the great multitudes:

a. every nation - ethnos, ethnic - a large group of people based on various cultural, physical or geographical ties

b. all tribes - a social division of people; often based on lineage

c. peoples - a large group of people based on various cultural, physical or geographical ties

d. tongues - a distinct people group; understood by the language associated with them.

Heaven is not colorblind. John described a great gathering in heaven in the future where there will be people from every nation, tongue, and race. In heaven, no one loses their ethnicity, their race, their tribes & language. Heaven celebrates diversity. Heaven celebrates the uniqueness of God’s creation.

The scene that John described in heaven is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in:

Genesis 12:2 (ESV) And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing.

Genesis 15:5 (ESV) And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

“How many times have you heard someone say that they “don’t see color,” “are colorblind,” or “don’t have a racist bone in their body?” Maybe you’ve even said this yourself. After all, the dominant language around racial issues today is typically one of colorblindness, as it’s often meant to convey a distaste for racial practices and attitudes common in an earlier era.

“Many sociologists, though, are extremely critical of colorblindness as an ideology. They argue that as the mechanisms that reproduce racial inequality have become more covert and obscure than they were during the era of open, legal segregation, the language of explicit racism has given way to a discourse of colorblindness. But they fear that the refusal to take public note of race actually allows people to ignore manifestations of persistent discrimination.” Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/color-blindness-is-counterproductive/405037/

Nowhere in the Bible that God you will find that God made a mistake in creating different races. The story Tower of Babel - from one language to many , we read what man uses God good design for another purpose.

Genesis 11:1 (ESV) Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

Genesis 11:4 (ESV) Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

What is the real reason behind the building of the tower? Is there anything wrong with building a tall tower? The sees their heart, he knows their real motivation.

Genesis 11:7 (ESV) Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Genesis 11:8 (ESV) So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

God created every nation:

Acts 17:26 (ESV) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

Deuteronomy 32:8 (ESV) When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

Job 12:23 (ESV) He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away.

God appointed you to be born in a particular race, family, tongue. You are not an accident. You need to celebrate your uniqueness as a person, as part of a race. We need to welcome different race, culture, the nation in our midst. We need to acknowledge that no race is superior to other. God created all of us in his image. Let’s thank God for bringing other race in our church. Let us celebrate our differences, our diversity. Let’s use them to reflect God’s good design. Let’s make our church a place where other race will feel loved and valued. Rather than “eliminating” our idea of color and race, how can we celebrate diversity? Notice how this passage doesn’t say that one loses their “race” in heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is one of beautiful diversity!

I look forward to the day that we can celebrate the culture of other here in our church.

No one loses their race in heaven. No one should also lose their race when they come to our gathering.

Point #2: People are saved by grace through faith, not by “race”.

As John continued to describe the great gathering in heaven, he also gave the reason why they were there.

Revelation 7:9 (ESV) ... standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Revelation 7:14 (ESV) I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

They were there for only one reason, they were made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. Their clothes were washed by the blood of the Lamb.

John 1:12–13 (ESV) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus gives the invitation to all (that means to all without any exception). Becoming a child of God is not by virtue of blood, family line, race, tribes and tongue but only through Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

It is by the grace of God so no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:14 (ESV) For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

The wall of hostility is the wall that exists between Jews and Gentiles. The Gospel, salvation is not only for the Jews but for the Gentiles too (non-Jews)

Romans 1:16 (ESV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Galatians 3:28 (ESV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Believers are all one in Christ Jesus. None is spiritually superior over another, that is, a believing Jew is not more privileged before God than a believing Gentile (Greek, in contrast to Jew, suggests all Gentiles; cf. Col. 3:11); a believing slave does not rank higher than a believing free person; a believing man is not superior to a believing woman. The Bible Knowledge Commentary 3:28

Colossians 3:11 (ESV) Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Entrance to heaven is only through Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain. At the end of this age, Jesus will welcome people from every tribe, nations, race, & tongues who were washed by his blood. Salvation is for everyone. Christianity is not a white man religion, is not a western religion, it’s not exclusive to a particular race.

 

When Jesus gave the great commission, it is not a great omission, or exclusive commission. His great commission is to go into all the world, people group, race.

Acts 1:8 (ESV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

“If we as a body of Christ are supposed to reflect the Kingdom of Heaven, and we’re not seeking diversity, have we missed the message of Revelation 7?” Salvation is for all people, regardless of nationality, race, or economic status. Our church should reflect this truth.

Our mission is to reach all nations. God brought many nations to Canada. 99.9% of us here are immigrants. God brought us here not to enrich us financially but to participate in God’s work of bringing people back to himself. Some of you became a born again believer in Canada. Some of you were used by God to share the good news of salvation to a friend/relatives/co-worker and some of them are now part of the body of Christ.

As a church, we must make every effort not only reach those whom we are comfortable but also those who have difficulty communicating or different from us. When God brings someone here from the different background, take time to know them and make them feel welcome. Don’t be afraid to share the good news of salvation (gospel) them.

Point #3: Worship of God is the central focus in heaven not the race, tribes or tongues.

Revelation 7:9 (ESV) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7:15–17 (ESV) “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

You will notice as you read Rev 7:9-17 that the “throne” (the throne of God) was mentioned seven times giving emphasis that the focus in heaven and heavenly worship is God sitting on his throne and to the Lamb. There is no issue which race is superior to the rest but all them are before the throne of God worshiping and serving God. The beauty of this gathering with different tongues present is that they all cry out with a loud voice, “Salvation belong to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb”. John heard in unison this declaration coming from different tongues. God brings all their voices together in unity.

Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV) Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The picture of heavenly worship affirms us that real worship brings people together, unite people from different race, different tongues and celebrate their diversity. If you look into the worship gathering of people from other nation, other race you will discover that they don’t conduct their worship the way we do here in North America. How do the Africans, Hispanics, European, Asians worship differ in style?

Have you ever caught yourself using the term “worship” in reference only to congregational singing or the music at a Christian conference? You’re not alone. Over time in Christian circles, music and worship have become synonymous. Comments such as “Man, worship was great this morning.” “I just don’t like their style of worship.” “Let’s stand and worship together.” “The worship at Passion was just so powerful.”

The woman Jesus encountered in a Samarian well, John 4:23 (ESV) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. The Samaritan woman raised the issue of raise when it comes to worship. John 4:20 (ESV) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

“Sunday morning remains one of the most segregated hours in American life, with more than 8 in 10 congregations made up of one predominant racial group. And most worshipers think their church is fine the way it is.

Two-thirds of American churchgoers (67percent) say their church has done enough to become racially diverse. And less than half think their church should become more diverse.”

Source: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/january/sunday-morning-segregation-most-worshipers-church-diversity.html

Worship should unite us instead of dividing us. When our focus in on God the rest take a back seat. In heaven the redeemed from all nations, race, tongues & tribes will gather together and will raise their voices in unison crying out, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb”. Christian worship is the only place where racial reconciliation will happen. Where all the redeemed race, tribes, nations and tongues can come together in a unit. We may not fully attain here on earth the kind of worship in heaven but with the help of God, we can work toward the day that our worship will reflect all race, tribes, nations, and tongues is the part of our church.

 

PARENTING 101: FAMILY VACATION

Parenting 101: The foundation of parenting

Often, during the spring and summer, many families use their time off to take a vacation. These trips can be a great opportunity for families to spend time together, show each other love, and model grace to the world. But what if we took this same approach during the other fifty-one weeks of the year?

This three-week sermon series discusses both the importance of family relationships, and how parenting is a way for parents to help their children understand God's grace and love.

Typically, family vacations bring fresh opportunities for togetherness through extended time with siblings and parents—like trying a new adventure, building joyful memories, and strengthening relationships. Sometimes, though, this same forced togetherness requires us to extend grace to one another in levels that our regular schedules and separation may allow us to ignore or delay. Parenting is a tough assignment not only for parents but also for kids to.

Week 1: We are going to look at God’s covenant with Abraham to help us in our parenting assignment.

Text: Genesis 18:17-19; Genesis 12:1-3

Genesis 12:1–3 (ESV)

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Genesis 18:19 (ESV)

19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

Big Idea of the Message: Just as God used Abraham’s family as a display of His covenantal love, He can use our families to help others come to know Him.

The safety of covenant, that promise of unconditional love, is where grace happens in our relationship with God and our relationships with each other—especially our family. The family bond was created by God to be a covenantal bond that displays His love to the world.


Families of the ancient Near East exhibited six characteristics (Levine, “Biblical Women’s Marital Rights,” 88–89):

1. Endogamous (tending to marry within one’s own tribe)

2. Patrilineal (descent carried through father’s line)

3. Patriarchal (father as head of family)

4. Patrilocal (bride comes into the family of the groom)

5. Extended (not limited to one generation)

6. Polygynous (man can take more than one wife)


1. Wives and children were property of the father and could be sold to pay debts (King, “Hammurabi’s Code,” #117; Levine, “Biblical Women’s Marital Rights,” 89).

2. In this structure, the rights of the individual are subsumed for the good of the whole.

3. Male authority in a family is central. Identity was not focused around an individual, but around the whole. In other words, “[y]ou were who you were because of the family you were born into” (Wenham, “Family in the Pentateuch,” 20).

4. The family of the ancient Near East was also the chief economic unit. Property was passed through familial lines only, with particular favor toward the firstborn son (Sánchez, “Family in Non-narrative Sections,” 37). Marriage included negotiation of a bride price. A bride price could be the equivalent of several years’ wages. It was transferred from the man’s family to the woman’s family for the right to marry her. The central unit of the household, the married couple, began under serious economic negotiations (Wenham, “Family in the Pentateuch,” 23).

The Lexham Bible Dictionary Gospels and Acts

Jesus redefines family in the Gospels.

He challenges allegiance to biological family (Matt 12:46–50; Mark 3:31–35; Luke 8:19–21). Osiek and Balch argue, “[T]he first three Gospels demonstrate that family ties are only as good as their potential to support discipleship” (Osiek and Balch, Families, 218).

Matthew and Mark warn that disciples’ enemies will come from within their households (Matt 10:21, 36; Mark 13:12).

In Luke 14:26, walking away from siblings, parents, and children may be necessary in order to be a disciple of Jesus. Those who leave their families for Jesus are promised rewards (Matt 19:29; Mark 10:29–30). Familial relationships were often tied to gods worshiped by a family. Such verses may reflect how some early believers followed Jesus, while others remained loyal to their household gods.

The familial structure is also underscored in the Father—Son relationship between God and Jesus, a relationship best emphasized in the Gospel of John.

The emphasis seems to imply that “kingdom relationships held a higher priority than family relationships” (Westfall, “Family in the Gospels and Acts,” 146).

Abram lives in a well-established city called Ur (Gen. 11:28, 31) at the height of its splendor. The city was a prosperous center of religion and industry. Strategically situated about halfway between the head of the Persian Gulf and Baghdad, in present-day Iraq. Mesopotamia; an important metropolis of the ancient world situated on the Euphrates River. Strategically situated about halfway between the head of the Persian Gulf and Baghdad, in present-day Iraq, Ur was the capital of Sumer for two centuries until the Elamites captured the city. The city came to be known as “Ur of the Chaldeans” after the Chaldeans entered southern Babylonia after 1000 B.C. References to “Ur of the Chaldeans” in connection with Abraham are thus examples of later editorial updating. Accordingly, the city of Ur was a kind of theocracy centered in the moon deity. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Joshua 24:2 (ESV)

Abram lived in a society much worse than ours today. God calls him to leave this comfortable home and venture out on a life of faith (12:1–9). It is a miracle of God’s providence that Abraham resisted Ur’s polluted atmosphere and set out on a journey of faith to Canaan that would bless all mankind.

Message Title: Parenting 101: The foundation of parenting

1. Our authority comes from God

Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, ...

Our authority as parents comes from God not from the state. God is the one who created marriage and family. We cannot be mere accommodation of personal preference and politically correct redefine these institutions. It is a sad reality that in many countries, parents don’t have full authority over their children.

Genesis 1:27–28 (ESV)

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God calls his creatures to live under authority. He is our authority and has vested authority in people within the institutions he has established (home, church, state, and business). You must not be embarrassed to be authorities for your children. You exercise authority as God’s agent. You may not direct your children for your own agenda or convenience. You must direct your children on God’s behalf for their good.

The purpose for your authority in the lives of your children is not to hold them under your power, but to empower them to be self-controlled people living freely under the authority of God.

As a parent, you must exercise authority. You must require obedience of your children because they are called by God to obey and honor you. You must exercise authority, not as a cruel taskmaster, but as one who truly loves and serve them.

Jesus set an example for us when he washed the feet of his disciples

John 13:13–16 (ESV) You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

If authority best describes the parent’s relationship to the child, thebest description of the activity of the parent to the child is shepherding. The parent is the child’s guide. This shepherding process helps a child to understand himself and the world in which he lives. The parent shepherds a child to assess himself and his responses. He shepherds the child to understand not just the “what” of the child’s actions, but also the “why.” As the shepherd, you want to help your child understand himself as a creature made by and for God. You cannot show him these things merely by instruction; you must lead him on a path of discovery. You must shepherd his thoughts, helping him to learn discernment and wisdom.

Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with the wise becomes wise.”

As a wise parent your objective is not simply to discuss, but to demonstrate the freshness and vitality of life lived in integrity toward God and your family. Parenting is shepherding the hearts of your children in the ways of God’s wisdom. The only safe guide is the Bible. It is the revelation of a God who has infinite knowledge and can therefore give you absolute truth. God has given you a revelation that is robust and complete. It presents an accurate and comprehensive picture of children, parents, family life, values, training, nurture, and discipline—all you need to be equipped for the task of parenting. God’s ways have not proved inadequate; they are simply untried.

We need to shepherd our children under God’s authority. God’s calling to Abram is a calling to start anew. It is a call to submit under his leadership, under his authority. And this calling extends to us parents of today. Tripp, Tedd. Shepherding a Child's Heart . Shepherd Press. Kindle Edition.

2. We act in God’s behalf

… 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice,

Parenting, especially the role of the father, holds an important influence in how people perceive and experience God. Even secular circles acknowledge the psychology of people attributing to their perception of God the same characteristics they found in their earthly father figures. “Sociologists say it’s common for people to perceive that God is like the fatherly figures in their lives. If dad is caring, patient and concerned then children will believe God has those same characteristics. And the opposite holds true when a father is harsh, judgmental or absent.”

Genesis 18 calls fathers to direct their children to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just.

Being a parent means working in God’s behalf to provide direction for your children. Directors are in charge. It involves knowing and help them to understand God’s standard for children’s behavior. It means teaching them that they are sinners by nature. It includes pointing them to the mercy and grace of God shown in Christ’s life and death for sinners,” (Tedd Tripp, Shepherding A Child’s Heart, 34).

Parents are chosen to provide leadership to their children reflecting God’s heart, to act in behalf of God.

Genesis 18:19 (The Message)

19 Yes, I’ve settled on him as the one to train his children and future family to observe God’s way of life, live kindly and generously and fairly, so that God can complete in Abraham what he promised him.”

 

Here God adds that Abraham has been chosen to be obedient (“to keep the way of Yahweh”) and to instruct his children in the way of Yahweh. Parents, God has given you the authority to shepherd your children so they will know the way of the Lord and keep it. Parents, what are you teaching your children? Church, what are we teaching our children?


3. The central focus of parenting is the Gospel

so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what was promised him

Genesis 12:2–3 (ESV) God’s promise to Abraham

2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

It is to Abram that God makes the keynote promise that will shape the whole story of God’s people. God declares his covenant plan to bless Abram and his descendants. All other nations will be blessed through this nation and judged by their response to its people. Already God has a plan to bless and reunite the races he has scattered from the tower of Babel (11:1–9).

Here we have a glimpse for the first time the good news that God will one day restore the world and bless its peoples. The Bible Guide God’s Call to Abram

Indeed, such will be the influence of Abram that all the families of the earth shall be blessed in him. The inclusion of all the families of the earth anticipates the spread of the gospel and salvation in Christ to the ends of the earth.

Galatians 3:8–9 (ESV)

8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Our parenting goal must be the proclamation of the Gospel.

The Great commission is central to our parenting goal.

We exercise our authority as parents based on the authority of Christ. The discipling of our children starts with the Gospel. Parents, don’t miss this one.

Many people have children, but do not want to be parents. Our culture has convinced them that they need to quench their personal thirst for fulfillment. In a self-absorbed culture, children are a clear liability. Tripp, Tedd. Shepherding a Child's Heart . Shepherd Press. Kindle Edition.

The success of our parenting will be measured if our children passed on to their children what we passed on to them. Much like the success of our church will be measured on how many were sent out rather than how many occupy a seat every Sunday.

The gospel is powerful and attractive to save the lost.

Romans 1:16 (ESV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Therefore, I expected that God’s Word would be the power of God to salvation for my children. But that expectation was based on the power of the gospel and its suitability to human need, not on a correct formula for producing children who believe.

The central focus of parenting is the gospel. You need to direct not simply the behavior of your children, but the attitudes of their hearts.

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

You need to show them not just the “what” of their sin and failure, but the “why.” Your children desperately need to understand not only the external “what” they did wrong, but also the internal “why” they did it. You must help them see that God works from the inside out.

Therefore, your parenting goal cannot simply be well behaved children. Your children must also understand why they sin and how to recognize internal change.

Closing Challenge:

Just like what happened to Abraham, you can start a new family line, a new tradition of godliness even if you’re the first born again Christian in your family.

John 1:12–13 ESV

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Give a clear invitation for people to enter for the first time into grace-filled covenant with God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You have a decision to make today!

Joshua 24:14–15 ESV

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”