THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE

Posted by Perry

Session #4: The Greatest of These is Love
6:30pm Adult Bible Study 9/22/10
623 E. 3rd St. South, Prescott, AR

Ice Breaker:

Describe the most outrageously sappy romantic scene from any movie you can think of. What does this teach us about love? How real, true or honest is this scene?

Opener:

What is your favorite love song? Why?

Read:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13
1Co 13:1 What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1Co 13:2 What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others.
1Co 13:3 What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.
1Co 13:4 Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or
1Co 13:5 rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do.
1Co 13:6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
1Co 13:7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
1Co 13:8 Love never fails! Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten.
1Co 13:9 We don't know everything, and our prophecies are not complete.
1Co 13:10 But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn't perfect will then disappear.
1Co 13:11 When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways.
1Co 13:12 Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don't know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.
1Co 13:13 For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love.

Explore:

1. When in your life have you felt most loved?
When someone gives up something in their life for me…(sacrifice)
a. when Linda left her Dad & Mom to live with me
b. when the church gives Me & Linda a salary increase during tough economic times
c. when someone invades my space, throws caution to the wind & gives me a hug
2. How did that love affect your life?
a. humbled me, then scared me because of the responsibility of taking care of her and knowing her parents were expecting me to do as good or better than they had done the last 18 years.
b. motivates me to work more 20 hour days b/c I’m not worth what the church is paying me
c. makes me stand a little taller b/c somebody actually shows some concern and cares about me

3. What does this passage say “love is”?
a. kind
b. patient
c. rejoices in the truth
d. supportive
e. loyal
f. hopeful
g. trusting

4. What does it say “love is not”?
a. jealous
b. boastful
c. proud
d. rude
e. selfish
f. quick tempered
g. keeps no record of wrong
h. doesn’t rejoice in evil

5. How does love as described in this chapter compare to love as experienced in our culture?
In our culture love is equated with:
a. lust
b. infatuation
c. romance
d. sex
Reflect:

1. Looking at the descriptions of perfect love in verses 4-7, in which one of these are you most weak? Which one is your strongest?
a. personal response
2. What will endure forever? Why?
a. Love…because “God is Love” 1 John 4:8
Live:

Which of these aspects of love could you express this week to someone to effectively show your love for them? [all of them, none is beyond our capability if we try]

THE FRUIT OF LOVE

Posted by Perry

Session #3: The Fruit of Love
6:30pm Adult Bible Study
Ice Breaker: 16 PRESENT

Give a different piece of fruit to everyone in your group as they come in (they can eat it if they choose to). Have everybody share about their fruit (name, flavor, color, where it’s from, uses, etc.). The leader needs to reveal a cluster of grapes, or a bunch of bananas. Tonight we’re talking about the fruit of love. We’re going to look at a list of various expressions of love but not different kinds of love. Its more like the individual grapes in this cluster (or bananas in the bunch).

Opener:

What grows up in your yard or around the outside of your apartment without any assistance from you? Weeds
What do you help grow? Grass, vegetables, flowers

Read:

Galatians 5:16-26
Gal 5:16 If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires.
Gal 5:17 The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should.
Gal 5:18 But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.
Gal 5:19 People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds.
Gal 5:20 They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are
Gal 5:21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.
Gal 5:22 God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful,
Gal 5:23 gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.
Gal 5:24 And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires.
Gal 5:25 God's Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 But don't be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are.

Note: The fruit of the spirit is LOVE! That is the definitive statement. Each expression after that is a vehicle of love, such as love expressed in joy, through peace, by patience, etc.

Explore:

1. What motivates you to live a loving life?
a. God loved us first & set the example
b. Response from people you show love to
c. Self-esteem boost/fulfillment
d. Worship- it pleases God
e. Conviction of the Holy Spirit

2. What two dynamics are in conflict within us? v17
a. Holy Spirit
b. Fleshly desires

3. If we are alive by the spirit, why do we still struggle with sin?
a. Our flesh retains the “sin nature” that we were conceived with

4. What does the author mean by “living in” and “keeping in step with” the Spirit?
Live under the influences of the Holy Spirit;
admit those influences fully into your hearts.
Do not resist him, but yield to all his suggestions; see the note at Rom_8:1.
What the Holy Spirit would produce, Paul states in Gal_5:22-23.
If a man would yield his heart to those influences, he would be able to overcome all his carnal propensities;
and it is because he resists that Spirit, that he is ever overcome by the corrupt passions of his nature.
Never was a better, a safer, or a more easy rule given to overcome our corrupt and sensual desires than that here furnished; compare notes, Rom_8:1-13.

5. What can be wrong about indulging our sinful nature once in a while?
People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds.
Gal 5:20 They worship [TO PLEASE] idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are
Gal 5:21 envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.
We are not depending on God when we give in to a temptation
Our fleshly desire would be greater than what God wants & that’s like having another god before Him which breaks the 1st of the 10 Commandments.
Reflect:

1. How then do we grow in the spiritual fruit of love?
a. Fertilize- positive peer pressure ( read how Jesus did it, be around others who practice loving others)
b. Exercise- the “act” of loving others

2. Which vehicle of love is most healthy in your life (joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control)? PUT IN ORDER…
a. Kindness, joy, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, peace, self-control, patience

3. Which vehicle of love needs to grow more in your life?
a. Self-control & patience

Live:

1. What is the biggest change Jesus has made in your life and relationships?
a. Relationships being about others instead of what I can get out of it

2. Is there anything in your lifestyle you need to change to help the fruit of love grow even more?
a. yes

LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Posted by Perry

Session #2: Love One Another!
6:30pm Adult Bible Study
Ice Breaker:

1. Handout 3x5 cards to everyone.

2. Ask them to write out a complete definition of love.
1. A deep, tender, indescribable feeling of affection and care and concern toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
4. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
6. An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.
2. To have a feeling of intense desire and attraction toward (a person).
Synonyms: love, affection, devotion, fondness, infatuation
These nouns denote feelings of warm personal attachment or strong attraction to another person. Love is the most intense: marrying for love.
Affection is a less ardent and more unvarying feeling of tender regard: parental affection.
Devotion is earnest, affectionate dedication and implies selflessness: teachers admired for their devotion to children.
Fondness is strong liking or affection: a fondness for small animals.
Infatuation is foolish or extravagant attraction, often of short duration: lovers blinded to their differences by their mutual infatuation.
1Co 13:4 Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or
1Co 13:5 rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do.
1Co 13:6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
1Co 13:7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
1Co 13:8 Love never fails!

3. Now, boil your understanding of love down to only one word.
CHOICE
4. Have each person share their definition and single word.

Opener:

1. Who was your first “true love” growing up?
Linda Dickerson
2. What was your most romantically fulfilling moment?
Wedding Ceremony – when she accepted me for who I was
I sang her this song during the ceremony
If by Bread
If a picture paints a thousand words,
Then why can't I paint you?
The words will never show the you I've come to know.
If a face could launch a thousand ships,
Then where am I to go?
There's no one home but you,
You're all that's left me too.
And when my love for life is running dry,
You come and pour yourself on me.

If a man could be two places at one time,
I'd be with you.
Tomorrow and today, beside you all the way.
If the world should stop revolving spinning slowly down to die,
I'd spend the end with you.
And when the world was through,
Then one by one the stars would all go out,
Then you and I would simply fly away
Read:
1 John 3:11-21
1Jn 3:11 From the beginning you were told that we must love each other.
1Jn 3:12 Don't be like Cain, who belonged to the devil and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? He did it because his brother was good, and he was evil.
1Jn 3:13 My friends, don't be surprised if the people of this world hate you.
1Jn 3:14 Our love for each other proves that we have gone from death to life. But if you don't love each other, you are still under the power of death.
1Jn 3:15 If you hate each other, you are murderers, and we know that murderers do not have eternal life.
1Jn 3:16 We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That's why we must give our lives for each other.
1Jn 3:17 If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God.
1Jn 3:18 Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.
1Jn 3:19 When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God.
1Jn 3:20 But even if we don't feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
1Jn 3:21 Dear friends, if we feel at ease in the presence of God, we will have the courage to come near him.
Explore:

1. How do most people define love?
Intense feelings for someone
2. What is John’s definition of love?
Give our lives for each other
3. What are the results when followers of Jesus truly love others?
We will truly help them in their time of need & not just talk about it
4. How does the cross of Jesus illustrate love?
Jn. 3:16…God so loved that He GAVE…that we as sinners in need might have eternal life
5. What stands out to you about His love?
Unmotivated & universal to all.
Nothing in me was attractive to Him, & He loved me first anyway.
Reflect:

1. What is the best example of love in action you have ever experienced?
Linda lay in the living room floor on a twin size mattress for 6 weeks while I lay in a recliner and recovered from a motorcycle accident. I couldn’t do anything for myself, so she did what was necessary for me.
2. How does it make you feel as you realize that God knows everything about you?
Humble/embarrassed…thankful that He knows “how” to love me (meet the needs I have that nobody else knows about & I would never tell)
Live:

1. How can you consciously practice Jesus-like love this week?
With your friends?
Seek God & study His Word to give my friends insight in how to have a better life.
Your family?
Don’t wait to be told by Linda what needs to be done, keep my eyes open, recognize the needs and be self-motivated enough to do the work to meet those needs.
A person in need?
Determine if it’s real or a scam & meet their need…whether a cup of cold water (fig.) or a swift kick in the pants (fig.)

2. How will this action impact your own need for love?
We are never more like God than when we are “doing” for others. I think God is very satisfied with His life, therefore I will be too.

WHAT IS LOVE?

Posted by Perry

Session #1: What is Love?
6:30pm Adult Bible Study
Ice Breaker:

“The Five Love Languages” is Gary Chapman’s compelling book that poses that every human being receives and expresses love through a particular love language. This is his linguistical love list:

1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

What do you think about this concept? Which one or two love language(s) might you be fluent in? Which language do you most typically utilize to communicate love to the special person or people in your life?

Opener:

What personality trait or strengths did you pick up from your father? Your mother?
Dad – adaptability
Mom- creativity

Read:

1 John 4:7-21
1Jn 4:7 My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God's children, and we know him.
1Jn 4:8 God is love, and anyone who doesn't love others has never known him.
1Jn 4:9 God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life.
1Jn 4:10 Real love isn't our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.
1Jn 4:11 Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other.
1Jn 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts.
1Jn 4:13 God has given us his Spirit. That is how we know that we are one with him, just as he is one with us.
1Jn 4:14 God sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. We saw his Son and are now telling others about him.
1Jn 4:15 God stays one with everyone who openly says that Jesus is the Son of God. That's how we stay one with God
1Jn 4:16 and are sure that God loves us. God is love. If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and he will stay one with us.
1Jn 4:17 If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won't be worried about the day of judgment.
1Jn 4:18 A real love for others will chase those worries away. The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid. It shows that we have not really learned to love.
1Jn 4:19 We love because God loved us first.
1Jn 4:20 But if we say we love God and don't love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don't love the people we can see?
1Jn 4:21 The commandment that God has given us is: "Love God and love each other!"

Explore:

1. “Love” is mentioned 27 times in this passage; so what is love?
An attribute of God
2. What models of love do you see here?
a. know God through love
b. see God through love
c. no Fear in Love
d. obedience in Love
3. How can love be suppressed?
a. Don’t know God
b. Not loving one another
c. Be Fearful
d. Hate your brother
4. How can it be made complete or perfect?
a. Love one another
b. let God abide in us
c. have boldness in the day of judgment
5. How has God shown that He is love to you?
Sent His only begotten Son to be the substitute for our sins
Reflect:

1. How in your life has personal fear suppressed God’s love?
When I’m fearful I’m “snappy” and “short” with people instead of loving
2. When has God’s perfect love conquered your fears?
4th grade 1969 in my bed I feared going to Hell and God’s love saved me!
3. What is the connection between God’s love for us and the love we are to have for others?
Verse 11 if God so loved us (sacrificially), we ought to love others the same way
4. Is the love discussed here a feeling or action?
action
5. What does that say about true love?
It is a choice to do action
Live:

1. If you want to become more effective in loving others, what should you do?
Actions speak louder than words. Don’t worry about the “end times”, abide in
Christ.
2. How can you love more sacrificially this week? At home? At school or work? In a difficult relationship? Spell love T-I-M-E

FOR THE LOVE OF ABIGAIL

Posted by Perry


1 SAMUEL 25:23-42
CBC 9/19/10 SM (FAMILY DAY)
Phone rings/friend says/got someone for you to meet/be @ my house 30 min./going to football game/you hesitantly show up/friend & their date pick up your date/ & WHAM!/
Your dream come true/
Combination of posters on your bedroom wall/
Embodiment of all your fantasies/
Fulfillment of all your hopes/
And you knew like never before/
You were in love/
Here is the person you would marry/
You just met your “destiny”!

- Sounds good
- Way it’s supposed to be, right?
- How people fall in love
- NOT!
It would be nice but don’t plan on it.
- God designed us to love and be loved
- Got to be careful
- Lots of room for error
People try lots of ways to discover “True Love”
- Love that’s strong & deep
- Love that lasts forever
- They get heartache & pain
- Become broken & bitter
HOW ABOUT SOME HELP FROM THE BIBLE?
LET’S START WITH WHAT LOVE ISN’T
• Real love isn’t same as “Lust”
o Jon Bon Jovi “Today’s songs are about lust, not love.”
o Media in general has blurred the lines between love & lust
o Love values/lust uses
o Love endures/lust subsides
• Real love isn’t same as “romance”
o Emotional fireworks when couple holds hands, kisses etc.
o Special moments:
 Candlelight
 Mood music
 Slow dance
 Starry skies
o Romance is a feeling
 Love is much more
• Real love isn’t infatuation
o Fascination w/ an intense interest in someone of opposite sex
 Symptoms:
 Breathless
 Lightheaded
 Starry-eyed
 Addle-brained
 Loss of appetite
Joyce Hugget – “…usually thoroughly ‘me centered’ rather than ‘other centered.’ You fall for someone, you beguile yourself into believing yourself deeply in love w/ this person round whom your dreams revolve, you believe yourself ready to renounce your absorption with self for the sake of the well-being of this other person. Then, one morning, you wake up to discover that the euphoria has evaporated in the night. What’s more, you find yourself held captive by identical feelings for another person. When people talk about “falling in love” or “love at first sight” they are usually talking about infatuation. It can be an overwhelming “feeling”, but it’s not real love.
• Real love not same as sex
o Intensity of sex & intimacy of love not same
o Love is process
 Sex is an act
o Love is learned
 Sex is instinct
o Love requires constant attention
 Sex takes no effort
o Love takes time to develop and mature
 Sex doesn’t need time
o Love requires emotional and spiritual interaction
 Sex requires only physical interaction
o Love deepens a relationship
 Sex (operation independently of love) dulls a relationship & will eventually kill it
HERE’S WHAT REAL LOVE IS
Our example is Abigail & David
@ first meeting Abigail is married
Her husband dies and…vs 39
1Sa 25:39 David heard that Nabal had died. "I praise the LORD!" David said. "He has judged Nabal guilty for insulting me. The LORD kept me from doing anything wrong, and he made sure that Nabal hurt only himself with his own evil." Abigail was still at Carmel. So David sent messengers to ask her if she would marry him.
1Sa 25:40 (SEE 25:39)
1Sa 25:41 She bowed down and said, "I would willingly be David's slave and wash his servants' feet."
1Sa 25:42 Abigail quickly got ready and went back with David's messengers. She rode on her donkey, while five of her servant women walked alongside. She and David were married as soon as she arrived.
David knew he found “real love”
- Never says Abigail was “hot”
- Or David “fell in love”
- Does give us clues to real love
BACKGROUND:
David & ragtag army in exile/running from King Saul/asked Nabal, Abigail’s husband for food/(Mid-Eastern culture you never turned down someone hungry)/Nabal refused/ David had earlier been kind to Nabal’s ranch hands/David decided to kill Nabal & his household/Abigail finds out/goes out to meet David v23
1Sa 25:23 Abigail quickly got off her donkey and bowed down in front of David.
1Sa 25:24 Then she said: Sir, please let me explain!
CLUE #1: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
True love always includes respect
- Physical respect
- Intellectual respect
- Emotional respect
- Social respect
David respected her for single-handedly saving the household
Vs 26
Sa 25:25 Don't pay any attention to that good-for-nothing Nabal. His name means "fool," and it really fits him! I didn't see the men you sent,
1Sa 25:26 but please take this gift of food that I've brought and share it with your followers. The LORD has kept you from taking revenge and from killing innocent people. But I hope your enemies and anyone else who wants to harm you will end up like Nabal. I swear this by the living LORD and by your life.
1Sa 25:27 (SEE 25:26)
1Sa 25:28 Please forgive me if I say a little more. The LORD will always protect you and your family, because you fight for him. I pray that you won't ever do anything evil as long as you live.
CLUE #2: FAITH IN THE LORD
True love always includes a common faith in the LORD. (God is love…)
- Common desire to be kept from doing wrong
- Abigail heart of faith/common w/ David who was a “man after God’s own heart”
- Do I have a personal relationship w/ Jesus Christ?
- Does my boy/girl friend have relationship w/ Jesus Christ?
2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Vs 30, 31
1Sa 25:30 The LORD has promised to do many good things for you, even to make you the ruler of Israel. The LORD will keep his promises to you,
1Sa 25:31 and now your conscience will be clear, because you won't be guilty of taking revenge and killing innocent people. When the LORD does all those good things for you, please remember me.
CLUE #3: CONCERN
Abigail showed concern:
- For David’s happiness
- For his health
- For his spiritual growth
We are to love God MORE than we love ourselves
We are to love neighbor (boy/girl friend, spouse…) as much as we love ourselves.
Eph 5:28 In the same way, a husband should love his wife as much as he loves himself. A husband who loves his wife shows that he loves himself.
CONCL:
True Love Will:
- Nurture & cherish
- Not emotionally exploit or abuse
- Not pressure for sex outside marriage
- Not insist on other person breaking off healthy friendships
True Love can be found in David’s love for Abigail.

A GOOD REASON TO TRUST JESUS

Posted by Perry


PHILEMON 1:17-19
CBC 9/5/10 SM
Conflict happens…
Even between “believers”
Example for Reconciliation is given to us by Christ himself
(undeserved substitute)
Phm 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
(unpayable debt)
Phm 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
(unbelievable payment)
Phm 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
WE HAVE AN UNDESERVED SUBSTITUTE (V. 17)
• Partnership based on life in common with Jesus Christ
o Partner in Gospel Ministry
o Partner by prior life-long arrangement
• Benefits of “partnership”
o “accept him as you would me”
o Paul taking Onesimus’ place
 His substitute
o Forgive him as you would forgive me
o Hold no obligation against him as you would me
o Take him back the way you would accept me
• Paul gave Onesimus his “full plate” in exchange for his “empty” one
o Philemon was to receive Onesimus’ “full plate
• Jesus takes our place like Paul took Onesimus’ place
o “Father accept Perry as you would accept me”
o “Father I’m going to die in Perry’s place”
o “Father I’m taking Perry’s punishment for him”
2Co 5:21 Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.
WE HAVE AN UNPAYABLE DEBT (VS 18)
• Onesimus had incurred an “unpayable” debt
o He owed Philemon a monetary debt
• Onesimus a runaway slave
o Cost $500 denarii
 500 days wages
 Cost to Philemon to replace Onesimus
• Onesimus had stolen from Philemon
o To fund his fugitive lifestyle
o Onesimus was out of money, helpless, bankrupt
• Onesimus was under the penalty of death
o He had abandoned his master who had purchased him
o That could not be paid back by monetary means
• That’s a picture of US!
o We have “abandoned” our master…God
 Disobeyed & sinned
 Ran away & hid
 We are bankrupt
 We can work for all eternity & never satisfy the requirement of the penalty…DEATH!
Eze 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
WE HAVE AN UNBELIEVABLE PAYMENT (V. 18, 19)
• I’m writing w/ my own hand…”I Will Repay the Debt”
o Paul knew & understood the magnitude of Onesimus’ debt
o Paul’s desire that the “Broken Fellowship” would be restored
• Jesus didn’t send an angel to do His work, it was “By His Own Hands”
o He understood the magnitude of My debt & Yours
o Jesus’ desire that “Broken Fellowship” between us & God would be restored.
• He went to Calvary’s Cross
Mat 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
o He was paying the debt for the consequences of OUR SIN
o He also went further & put “righteousness” into our account so we wouldn’t be “debt free & destitute”
CONCL:
A man was caught stealing milk from the store/arrested & taken before the judge/How do you plead? Guilty/He asked for leniency/had 2 small babies at home & had nothing to give them or money to buy milk with/instead of seeing them starve, he stole milk/ judge explained that since he pleaded guilty he had to be charged accordingly/judge assessed the fine $10 for the milk/man had no money to pay fine/judge got up, laid down his gavel, walked off the bench, walked to clerks desk, paid $10/man was set free/judge then gave man $100 to provide for future need (imputed to him righteousness…)
INVITATION
That’s a GOOD REASON TO TRUST JESUS!
Would you give him your heart & life today?

FROM UNDERACHIEVERS TO OVERCOMERS

Posted by Perry


1 JOHN 5:1-6
CBC 9/5/10 SN
Overcome - nik-ah'-o
From G3529; to subdue (literally or figuratively): - conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.
• Don’t settle:
o For 2nd best
o For substandard
o Don’t just survive
o Don’t just get by
o Keeping nose above water
• GET THE VICTORY
o Win the big prize
o Obtain the best
WHAT MUST WE OVERCOME?
1Jn 2:15 Have no love for the world or for the things which are in the world. If any man has love for the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 Because everything in the world, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world.
• Desire of flesh = “passion”
• Desire of eyes = “possession”
• Pride of life = “position”
o Unbridled ambition
o Desire to put self first
Jesus said:
Joh 16:33 I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world.
• Disciples can have “confidence”
o Confidence we will have tribulation…
o Confidence we can be overcomers b/c Jesus was an overcomer
HOW CAN WE BE OVERCOMERS?
• We “will” face opposition in this world
o Helen Keller observed that the victories wouldn’t be as sweet if their weren’t difficulties to overcome
• V4 Overcoming requires NEW BIRTH
o Described to Nicodemus
o Not one lost person living a joyful, fulfilled, victorious life
 Don’t have ingredient for victory
• V4b, 5 Overcoming requires BELIEF
o Can’t overcome by “Trying”
o You overcome by “Trusting”
Eph 2:8 Because by grace you have salvation through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is given by God:
Eph 2:9 Not by works, so that no man may take glory to himself.
Eph 2:10 For by his act we were given existence in Christ Jesus to do those good works which God before made ready for us so that we might do them.

• What are you trusting in today?
o Self effort?
o Good works?
o Jesus Christ?
• V6 Overcoming requires BLOOD
o Not just “any” blood
 But, SINLESS blood
 Only Jesus could provide that
Heb 9:22 And by the law almost all things are made clean with blood, and without blood there is no forgiveness.
• Sin demands a sacrifice
o Jesus was that sacrifice for us
HOW CAN WE LIVE LIKE OVERCOMERS?
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness; and loving not their lives they freely gave themselves up to death.
• We live like overcomers by the strength we receive from our relationship with the LORD.
o How much are you around Him?
How much of Him has rubbed off on U

THE "ACT" OF FORGIVENESS

Posted by Perry


MATTHEW 18:21-35
8/29/2010 SM
Mat 18:21 Peter came up to the Lord and asked, "How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?"
Mat 18:22 Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
Not hard to understand “concept” of FORGIVENESS…
Difficulty comes w/ the “act” of FORGIVENESS…
STEP 1: ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU’VE BEEN SERIOUSLY HURT
- Admit it
o Don’t be “macho”
o Don’t be in “denial”
o Get in position to pursue forgiveness
- Not every incident qualifies for Forgiveness
o Minor disappointments
o Passing slights
- Qualifying offences
o Pain inflicted is
 Personal
 Unfair
 Deep
o Betrayal
o Brutality (physical/emotional)
- Hatred can take root in our heart
o Can’t get rid of it by covering it up
o Hate is sign that forgiveness is needed
STEP 2: SURRENDER YOUR RIGHT TO GET EVEN
- ILL: 7yr boy screamed/Mom found 2yr sister pulling his hair/Mom got her loose/told boy little sister didn’t understand that it hurt/boy nodded and left room/later Mom heard little sister scream/ rushing in Mom asked what happened/boy said, “she understands now.”
- Few would dispute our right to get even.
o Rule of world: do unto others as they’ve done unto you
- Forgiveness lays aside our right to extract our revenge.
o We leave ultimate justice & vengeance to God
o We deliberately choose path of forgiveness for ourselves
 1st step down a different path
- Some argue this will make you a “doormat” to be trodden underfoot
o Reality-unleashes a power not know to man
ILL: Albert Tomei is a justice of the New York State Supreme Court. A young defendant was convicted of gunning down another person execution style. The murderer had a bad record, & was no stranger to the system. He only stared in anger as the jury returned its guilty verdict.
The victim’s family had attended every day of the two-week trial. On the day of sentencing, the victim’s mother and grandmother addressed the court. When they spoke, neither addressed the jury. Both spoke directly to the murderer. They both forgave him.
“You broke the Golden Rule—loving God w/ all your heart, soul and mind. You broke the law—loving your neighbor as yourself. I am your neighbor,” the older of the two women told him, “so you have my address. If you want to write, I’ll write you back. I sat in this trial for two weeks, and for the last 16 months I tried to hate you. But you know what? I couldn’t hate you. I feel sorry for you b/c you made a wrong choice.
Judge Tomei writes: “For the 1st time since the trial began, the defendant’s eyes lost their laser force and appeared to surrender to a life force that only a mother can generate: nurturing, unconditional love. After the grandmother finished, I looked at the defendant. His head was hanging low. There was no more swagger, no more stare. The destructive and evil forces within him collapsed helplessly before this remarkable display of humaneness.”
[source:www.preachingtoday.com]

- In choosing path of forgiveness, grandmother unleashed a power that could not be tapped any other way.
o It was the only thing that caused the defendant to hand his head in guilt.
STEP 3: SEARCH FOR THE REAL PERSON BENEATH THE EVIL MASK
- We like to caricature our wrongdoer
o Emphasize all bad things about them
o Twist anything that looks remotely good
o Quick to cast doubt on their every motive
o We see them only and always in one way…evil
- Forgiveness requires we look for the real person behind the caricature
o See that they have hurt
o They are weak, needy & fallible
o Find reasons for our hearts to turn toward mercy instead of malice
- Don’t grant them “victim” status & excuse all their wrong
o We’re forgiving not excusing
o Simply treat them as another participant in this messy thing called life
- Motivation?
o Doing for them what God did for us
o God looked beyond our sin & saw something worth loving
o We’ve been called to do that too
STEP 4: DESIRE THAT GOOD THINGS WOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR WRONGDOER
- Move from dreaming of bad things toward them to hoping for good things in their life
o Forgiveness doesn’t mean there is no punishment
o Punishment that leads to sorrow brings them to where they need to be
o Key is in the motive:
 Anger/hatred?
 See their heart changed?
STEP 5: IF POSSIBLE, ENJOY THE HEALED RELATIONSHIP
- Sometimes person can’t join you in moving toward reconciliation (may be dead)
- Sometimes person won’t join you in moving toward reconciliation (won’t admit guilt)
- Reconciliation demands they understand pain they’ve caused you & must be sorrowful over it
- When they are…make sure you enjoy the healing & renewed relationship that comes with “complete forgiveness”

ENJOY THE JOY

Posted by Perry


3 JOHN 1-4
CBC 8/22/10 SM
3Jn 1:1 I, a ruler in the church, send word to the well loved Gaius, for whom I have true love.
3Jn 1:2 My loved one, it is my prayer that you may do well in all things, and be healthy in body, even as your soul does well.
3Jn 1:3 For it gave me great joy when some of the brothers came and gave witness that you had the true faith and were walking in the true way.
3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to have news that my children are walking in the true way.

JOY-2 B glad, rejoice/delight/mirth/ glee/hope/extreme cheerfulness/
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of "the greatest justice since John Marshall." At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: "I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers."
Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 13.

Are You Missing The Joy?
3 areas we are to “enjoy”
ENJOY HEALTH
My loved one, it is my prayer that you may do well in all things, and be healthy in body, even as your soul does well.
What would be our condition if our physical health were tied directly to our spiritual “activity”?
• How far could you jog based on how much you worship/pray/…
• How (healthy) long would you live if connected to how much you read your Bible?
We have a “Commission” to reach the world
• Hard to do much when sick
Daddy-in-law-“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got your wealth”!
• Do we “enjoy” our health or take it for granted?
• What should we do to be healthy?
o Eat right…
o Exercise…
o Regular check-ups…
o Take your medicine…
Why is health important?
…it is my prayer that you may do well in all things…
• Christian walk…
• Individual goals
• Family activities
• Prosperity in business
Jesus ministered to the “whole” person, not just the spiritual side
• Cripple-take up bed & walk
• Blind- now I see
• Withered hand-made whole
• Enjoy the joy
ENJOY ENCOURAGEMENT
3Jn 1:3 For it gave me great joy when some of the brothers came and gave witness that you had the true faith and were walking in the true way.
Gaius has been doing good!
• Entertaining missionaries
John sends a “letter” & tells him he’s doing good.
• Do we take people for granted?
o Send a letter
o Let them know, “they’re making a difference”
o Let them know, “someone has noticed”
• Encouragement can go a long way
o Enough discouragement
o Life issue: SELF ESTEEM
o Very few drug abusers have a high self esteem
• Who here doesn’t need encouragement occasionally?
o We all need it
• It brings joy when we encourage or when we are encouraged
• Enjoy the joy
ENJOY GROWTH
3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to have news that my children are walking in the true way.
Makes effort worth the while when someone learns from our teaching and acts on the information:
• School teacher-when former student does good
• Parent-when child exceeds family goals for them
• Pastor-when congregation begin walking w/ God & winning loved ones to Christ
Invest your time in “people” that do not know Christ
• Understand they won’t all be saved
• They won’t all understand
• They won’t all even care
Eventually someone will “get it”
• Their actions change from bad to good
• Their attitude improves
• Their anger subsides
• They grow & minister to someone else
• Enjoy the joy
CONCL:
Use your joy showing people how to have a healthy life.
• Exercise with them
• Share healthy recipes
Use your joy encouraging people
• Send a card
• Pray with them
• LISTEN to their troubles
Use your joy involving yourself in people’s lives
• Sacrifice some time, talent & treasure
• Invest in someone’s life

A CLEAN SWEEP

Posted by Perry


PSALM 4:1-8
CBC 8/22/10 SN
Name fastest growing business in USA today?...mini-storage
• We buy things we don’t use
• We rent space to store things we don’t need or use
• Mini-storage-$15 billion/yr
• Movie industry-$9 billion/yr
2,330 sq ft avg. American house
55% larger than in 1970
Not enough “storage” room
1 in 11 rent storage today
1995 1 in 17 rented storage
25 million active storage units today
• Become a Nation obsessed with material things
• Our lives can also become cluttered with “things”
Let’s look @ how to make a “CLEAN SWEEP”
Psa 4:1 (A psalm by David for the music leader. Use stringed instruments.) You are my God and protector. Please answer my prayer. I was in terrible distress, but you set me free. Now have pity and listen as I pray.
BE A GOD-SEEKER
• Know where to go when U get over-loaded…GOD
• Know “terrible distress” is coming to your door
• Know God can set you “free”
• Know He will listen as we pray
Psa 4:2 How long will you people refuse to respect me? You love foolish things, and you run after what is worthless.
CALL EVIL WHAT IT IS…EVIL
• How often is our life cluttered with thoughts & actions that are evil?
o Lack of respect for God
o Love of foolish things
o Run after worthless (temporary/material)
Psa 4:3 The LORD has chosen everyone who is faithful to be his very own, and he answers my prayers.
LIVE A HOLY LIFE
• God’s children are never ignored
• Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us
A group of botanists went on an expedition into a hard-to-reach location in the Alps, searching for new varieties of flowers. One day as a scientist looked through his binoculars, he saw a beautiful, rare species growing at the bottom of a deep ravine. To reach it, someone would have to be lowered into that gorge. Noticing a local youngster standing nearby, the man asked him if he would help them get the flower. The boy was told that a rope would be tied around his waist and the men would then lower him to the floor of the canyon. Excited yet apprehensive about the adventure, the youngster peered thoughtfully into the chasm. "Wait," he said, "I'll be back," and off he dashed. When he returned, he was accompanied by an older man. Approaching the head botanist, the boy said, "I'll go over the cliff now and get the flower for you, but this man must hold onto the rope. He's my dad!"
Psa 4:4 But each of you had better tremble and turn from your sins. Silently search your heart as you lie in bed.
STAND IN AWE
• to stand in awe;
• to reflect on the course which they were pursuing, and on the consequences of that course, and by so doing to cease from their plans, and to sin no further.
Psa 4:5 Offer the proper sacrifices and trust the LORD.
OFFER RIGHTEOUS SACRIFICES
• sacrifices offered by right motives
o why are you helping that lady with the broken-down car on side of road?
• Wear clothing of a New Believer
o Compassion
o Kindness
o Humility
o Meekness
o Patience
o Forbearing & forgiving
• Psa 4:6 There are some who ask, "Who will be good to us?" Let your kindness, LORD, shine brightly on us.
• Literal translation-“Who will show us good?”
o Wealth?
o Honor?
o Palaces?
o Sensual pleasure?
o Literature?
o Refined social enjoyments?
o Psalmist says, “favor & friendship of God”
Psa 4:7 You brought me more happiness than a rich harvest of grain and grapes.
• True “happiness” comes only from God
o Better than material goods
o “fizz” goes away after awhile
o God’s “fizz” is eternal
Psa 4:8 I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, LORD, will keep me safe.
• Lay down & sleep soundly AT THE SAME TIME
o True rest for our whole self
o Mind at “rest” peace/ turned off/ b/c nothing God can’t handle
o Calm confidence in God!

INESCAPABLE LOVE

Posted by Perry


Hosea 1:1-1:10
CBC 8/15/10 SN
Hos 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
Hos 1:2 When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD."
Hos 1:3 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Hos 1:4 And the LORD said to him, "Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
Hos 1:5 And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel."
Hos 1:6 She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the LORD said to him, "Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all.
Hos 1:7 But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen."
Hos 1:8 When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son.
Hos 1:9 And the LORD said, "Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God."
Hos 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," it shall be said to them, "Children of the living God."
Hosea: “most shocking book of OT”
• Jerry Springer material
o “I Married A Prostitute.” “Clergyman’s wife cheats on him.
o His children belong to three other men.
o After selling herself to everyone in town, Gomer ends up as a slave.
o Her husband, Hosea, eventually buys her back for $12.50.
o He claims that he knew she would be unfaithful to him in the beginning, but God told him to marry her.
o God also told him to buy her out of slavery and love her again.”
The first message from the life of Hosea is: God’s love is unreasonable.
Who can explain love?
If love always made sense it would not be love.
It does not always respond to logic.
The thing that God had asked Hosea to do did not make sense.
But then, God’s love for Israel did not make sense either.
The question of the book is not why God would ask Hosea to marry Gomer, but why God would marry Israel.
Why would God commit himself to a group of people he knew would not be faithful to him?
It doesn’t make sense.
If God was going to make a commitment to a nation why wouldn’t he choose a nation he knew would be faithful?
Why wouldn’t he choose people who would be grateful for his love and thankful for his blessings? Why wouldn’t he select those who would be inclined to follow his laws and appreciate the wisdom of his ways?
According our way of thinking, God is unreasonable.
We would choose to love someone who loved us.
We would look for someone we thought would be faithful to us.
But God chose the cast of the Jerry Springer show.
Listen to this outrageous verse from the Bible:
“If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
When God enters into a covenant of love with us, the covenant does not depend on our faithfulness, but on the faithfulness of God.
We keep thinking that God only loves good people, but God loves sinners.
He pursues them like he asked Hosea to pursue Gomer.
In his pain he goes looking for them.
He is betrayed but he longs for them. When they become enslaved by their sins, he buys them back.
The Bible describes our predicament: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

But in spite of that, God did something completely irrational
— he loved us and sought for a way to buy us out of our slavery to sin.
The Bible says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
That is why the Bible can say, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Singer Steven Curtis Chapman said it well: “In The Gospel, we discover we are far worse off than we thought, and far more loved than we ever dreamed.”
It doesn’t make sense.
second message that the life of Hosea teaches us is: God’s love is tough love.
Hosea never minimized the nature of the wrong Gomer had done to him.
The pain was real and raw.
His love had been betrayed.
He did not gloss over the situation.
He took it seriously.
And when Gomer insisted on being unfaithful to him, he let her go.
He understood that it was to her own detriment.
He knew what was ahead of her.
She no longer wanted anything to do with him, so she would no longer have his help.
She was on her own.
It was what she wanted, but she could not see the mistreatment she would suffer. She would be used and abused.
She would be called names by those who were supposed to love her.
She would be beaten and treated like an animal.
There would be many things that Hosea could not protect her from since she had run away from him.
She would learn the lessons of life the hard way, and live out the consequences of her poor choices.
As Hosea would later write about people like her: “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7).
In the second chapter of Hosea, God describes what he will do to his unfaithful people:
“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now’” (Hosea 2:6-7). As with Gomer, many times we have to learn the hard way that God’s way is the best way.
We waste our lives and our love on many other things until we have been abused long enough that we say, “I will go back to my God, for then I was better off than before.”
Many people have quoted William Ernest Henley’s poem entitled “Invictus,” which praises the indomitable human spirit:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul....
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
That’s a fine poem.
There is only one problem:
it is not true.

We are not the master of our own fate, or the captain of our soul.
There is another who claims that right. And to fail to recognize that God is the master of the world, and your fate as well, or worse, to rebel against the true Captain of your soul, is to do so at your own peril. If you do so, God will give you your own way, but you will not like it.
His love is a tough love.
The third message that the book of Hosea is giving us is: God’s love is unconditional.
We often give up on people.
Some even write others off, or count them as dead, when their love or trust has been betrayed.
But God is different.
In chapter three, Gomer’s sin has worn her out, and now she is stripped and being sold as a slave on an auction block. None of her former beauty remains. Perhaps she is diseased.
It may be that she is being sold by a house of prostitution, or a slave owner who no longer finds her desirable. Whatever the case, Hosea does the unthinkable.
He buys her for himself.
The price was very low — less than half an ounce of silver and some barley, a grain inferior to wheat.
It was half the price a female slave would normally bring.
Apparently, she was not worth much to anyone at this point, and they were just glad to get rid of her.
In the beginning she was a beautiful woman.
The name Gomer means “perfect,” possibly a reference to her appearance and desirability.
But now her beauty is gone — ruined through hard living, and no one will have her except one man.
Hosea will make her his wife again, a living symbol of God’s unconditional love for faithless Israel.
The Lord said to Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites” (Hosea 3:1).
It would have been one thing for Hosea to excuse a foolish, even sinful mistake by his wife, but even after he confronted her she continued brazenly in her sin.
She flaunted it.
She mocked him and forgot everything he had ever done for her.
But God told him to buy her back out of slavery.
God asked him to do this because it is what God does.
Hosea was acting like God.
God’s love is unconditional.
King David wrote “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). The question is:
why would we want to go away from God? Why would we want to run from him?
The answer is that it is part of who we are.
It is our nature to run from God, and it is God’s nature to pursue us
— even when we are at our worst.
You can never run so far that you outrun God’s love for you.
No matter what you have done, no matter where you have been, he wants you and sees you as his beloved bride.
God doesn’t throw us on the garbage heap when we fail.
There is God’s unconditional, inescapable love.
We see ourselves as we are, but he sees us for what we can become.
The apostle Paul asks this amazing question:
“Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
That is the way God’s unconditional love works.
His kindness leads us to come home.
The Bible says, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).
Perhaps you have been unfaithful to your heavenly Lover.
You may have wandered far away.
You may have disgraced yourself.
Perhaps you think that it is too late, or that what you have done cannot be forgiven.
But all you have to do is say, “Lord, I want to come back.
I want to come home.
I will no longer live in unfaithfulness.
I give my myself totally and completely to you.”
When you do, you will find his arms open wide.

BECOMING A PERSON OF INTEGRITY

Posted by Perry


1 Chronicles 29:17
CBC 8/8/10 SM
What is the “Value” of our church?
What makes our church valuable?
• Bank account?
• Property Value?
• # of yrs in existence?
• What we contribute 2 community?
What makes a “church”?
• People!
Value of a church directly related to the value of the people.
• So what are U & I worth?
$20 bill illustration: This is a $20 bill. Crumple it up, step on it, roll it around and then hold it up again and ask, is this still a $20 bill?”
value remains no matter what the item looks like on the outside –
• no matter how scarred, bruised or beaten,
• value is still the same.
• That is integrity.
Becoming a person of integrity means:
"Deciding to integrate my heart’s value into my daily actions" ~ John Maxwell
John 10:25 - Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me”
• HE says, what I say and do testify as to who I am.
• A person of integrity is validated by their words and their deeds.
• If we are pure in heart we can be pure in action.
• Integrity is making my daily actions line up with my heart’s values.
Our “actions” & “communication” reveal our hearts value (integrity)
• Progressive or non-progressive?
o Jesus was progressive
• Open to new ministry tools or anchored to personal preferences?
o Jesus exposed Pharisees…
• Great Commission minded or “us 4 and no more” philosophy of the frozen chosen?
We must value Benefits of Integrity
Let’s be realistic – none of us will change unless we understand the value of change.
Integrity provides me with Protection (less fear)
Psalm 25:21 - May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
• Less stress
• No “cover-ups”
• What U C is What U get
• Same on Sat. nite as SM
Integrity provides me with Security (greater confidence)
Proverbs 10:9 - The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
• CBC to be a “Lighthouse”…
• Giving “true” guidance 2 community
• “Hope” 4 the hopeless
o Spiritual/eternal life
o Relational
o Financial
Integrity provides me with Guidance (better decision)
Proverbs 11:3 - The integrity of the upright shall guide them; But the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.
• Innocence of the straight will transport them
• Distortion of covert will ravage them
• Following Jesus & His Word is innocence
• Promoting personal preference (sin nature) is distorted & perverse
Integrity provides me with Hope (future rewards)
Job 4:6 - “Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
• Complete trust of God will never fail us
o Eternal life/after death
o Stewardship/finances
o Relationship decisions
o Ministry tools for church to use to reach community
• How God Speaks
o Still small voice
o Confirmed by His Word (Bible)
o Circumstances (open & closed doors)
o Counsel of friends who “walk with God”
PERSONAL INTEGRITY CHECK
1) ASK GOD TO TEST MY HEART
o What R my values
o His values or my preferences?
2) STUDY TO KNOW WHAT IS TRUE
o What does Bible say?
o Is God blessing & giving an increase to our “planting & watering” (procedure & programs)?
3) APPLY GOD’S WORD TO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES / WORK
o Practice what Jesus preached
4) REMAIN FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF CIRCUMSTANCES
o When things don’t go “our way”
5) REFUSE TO BE PERSUADED BY OTHERS
o Not just Teen-agers that battle “peer-pressure”
CONCLUSION
Is CBC built on “rock” of Jesus Christ?
• Proper view of scripture?
• Emphasis on Bible
• Doctrinal soundness
• Doctrinal practice
Does CBC have correct Church Gov’t?
• NT principles as blueprint
• Christ the head of the church
• Evidence of order
• Functional goals & objectives
Does CBC have correct purpose?
• Worshipping God
• Evangelism
• Discipleship
• Love
• Promote God’s design for family
Does CBC have the proper environment?
• A high view of God
• A sincere faith
• A spirit of sacrifice
• A proper attitude toward church leadership
• A spirit of unity
Does CBC have members that are faithful?
• Exercise their spiritual gifts
• Contribute time, talent, treasure, energy & prayer for church success

THE FINER POINTS OF "WORSHIP"

Posted by Perry


ISAIAH 6:1-9
CBC 8/1/10 SN
Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.
Isa 6:2 Above him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Isa 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.
Isa 6:6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
Isa 6:7 and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin forgiven.
Isa 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me.
Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Does Worshipping God take a back seat to other “more important” activities in our life????
• What motivates us to worship over
o Trip to mall
o Recreation
o Spending time w/ family away from church service
• Habit?
• Struggling w/ life…God…etc?
• Here against your will?
• If you are a “spectator” instead of a “participant” it’s easy to miss…
TRUE WORSHIP IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM REALITY
• Worship happens in the course of life
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord
• In yr Japan bombed Pear …
• In yr Kennedy assassinated…
• In yr hurricane Katrina…
o In middle of life
o Good & bad I worshipped
• Worship in “Sanctuary”
o Must bring in w/ you all the baggage of what’s happening in the world
Psa 86:6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.
Psa 86:7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.
• Natural part of worship to bring your concerns with you
o Fears
o Worries
o Burdens
We have so many concerns we need an opportunity to bring them to God.
TRUE WORSHIP FOCUSES ON GOD
Many make a mistake at this point
• Assume worship focuses on us and our preferences
• Hear a lot about what “people” are not getting…
o Not getting fed
o Not being nurtured by worship
o Struggling with our worship
o Not getting anything out of worship service
• What About God?
o Is He getting anything out of it?
o Is He being blessed
o Is He enjoying our worship?
• Until God gets something out of our worship…WE NEVER WILL!
• We treat worship service as “entertainment”
o That’s why when something better comes along it’s easy to miss… we’re used to “changing channels”!
• It is the presence of God that fills true worship
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.
TRUE WORSHIP ALWAYS BEGINS WITH AN AWARENESS OF GOD’S HOLINESS
There was a time when people were “aware” of the Holiness of God
• Stood for reading of Word like standing when American Flag comes by
• There was awe & wonder
• We’ve almost reformed God into our “little buddy”
o We can worship or postpone till it’s more convenient
• Our God is an “AWESOME” God
Isa 6:4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.
• Moses was afraid before the burning bush
• Jacob afraid and filled with awe as he saw staircase to heaven
• God’s holiness demands our attention
TRUE WORSHIP HELPS US SELF-EVALUATE & SEEK GOD’S FORGIVENESS
• Cannot come into worship w/out being aware of God’s holiness
• Can’t be aware of God’s holiness w/out being aware of our sinfulness & shortcomings
• Confession results in forgiveness
TRUE WORSHIP WILL RESULT IN OUR LIVES BEING DIFFERENT
• We will want to “serve” more
Isa 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me.
God challenges us to do something
• Isaiah had to “speak a message” to the people
• What is God calling you & me to do “this week”?
• Look around, who’s not here
CONCL:
What do we do “after” we worship???
Isaiah said, “Here am I send me”

IT'S IMPORTANT WHERE U LOOK

Posted by Perry



COLOSSIANS 3:1-11
CBC 8/1/10 SM
3RD chapter of Col. About “How To”
How To Break Free From UR Past
• Jesus is supreme over
o Creation
o Church
o Christian
Paul says we are set free from “powers” around us
• Set free for living live above moral reproach
God’s Plan
• Make us new
• Challenges us to live as new people
• We don’t have to be like we’ve always been
• We can break free from the past…if we know where to look
Col 3:1 You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side.
Col 3:2 Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth.
Col 3:3 You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God.
Col 3:4 Christ gives meaning to your life, and when he appears, you will also appear with him in glory.
Col 3:5 Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.
Col 3:6 God is angry with people who disobey him by doing these things.
Col 3:7 And that is exactly what you did, when you lived among people who behaved in this way.
Col 3:8 But now you must stop doing such things. [LIST #2] You must quit being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others.
Col 3:9 And stop lying to each other. You have given up your old way of life with its habits.
Col 3:10 Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better.
Col 3:11 It doesn't matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
LOOK UP! Vs 1-4
Col 3:1 You have been raised to life with Christ.
• We have a new “STATUS”
o New way of life
o Power source for living
Now set your heart on what is in heaven…2 Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth.
“Set”-seek something out w/ desire to possess it
• A “daily” activity
o 1st set heart on things of heaven
o 2nd set mind on things of heaven
o Thoughts influence actions
Php 4:8 Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
Col 3:3 You died,
• Positionally in Christ
• No obligation to live like we used to
• Old nature is put to death!
which means that your life is hidden with Christ,
• Security & satisfaction
o Pic-treasure stored in a secure place
who sits beside God.
Col 3:4 Christ gives meaning to your life,
• w/out Him we’d be dead in sin
Joh 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life!"
• b/c Christ is our life we have new attitude about anything that happens to us
o if He is our “life” we have nothing to fear!
and when he appears,
• fact of His return is certain
• time is indefinite
• keep looking up
you will also appear with him in glory.
• Make visible what was invisible
• Real “position” of the believer
• We will be “transformed”
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
• Outlook determines Outcome
LOOK OUT! Vs 5-9a
Col 3:5 Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.
• we have spiritual power to slay those desires that want to control us
• HOW????????????
Phinehas of Numbers 25 shows us…
Num 25:1 While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men had sex with Moabite women.
Num 25:2 These women then invited the men to ceremonies where sacrifices were offered to their gods. The men ate the meat from the sacrifices and worshiped the Moabite gods.
Num 25:3 The LORD was angry with Israel because they had worshiped the god Baal Peor.
Num 25:4 So he said to Moses, "Take the Israelite leaders who are responsible for this and have them killed in front of my sacred tent where everyone can see. Maybe then I will stop being angry with the Israelites."
Num 25:5 Moses told Israel's officials, "Each of you must put to death any of your men who worshiped Baal."
Num 25:6 Later, Moses and the people were at the sacred tent, crying, when one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman to meet his family.
Num 25:7 Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the priest, saw the couple and left the crowd. He found a spear
Num 25:8 and followed the man into his tent, where he ran the spear through the man and into the woman's stomach. The LORD immediately stopped punishing Israel with a deadly disease,
Num 25:9 but twenty-four thousand Israelites had already died.
Num 25:10 The LORD said to Moses,
Num 25:11 "In my anger, I would have wiped out the Israelites if Phinehas had not been faithful to me.
Num 25:12 But instead of punishing them, I forgave them. So because of the loyalty that Phinehas showed, I solemnly promise that he and his descendants will always be my priests."
• Slay them w/ passion of Phinehas
• Don’t push them aside
• Don’t wound them
• Don’t ask them to leave
• Don’t experiment or play w/ them
• Don’t rationalize
• Thrust the “spear” clean thru
WHY??????????????????
• Sexual sin different that any other sin
o No prophylactic for the soul
o Sexual expression not just something we do…
o IT REFLECTS WHO WE ARE!
• Sexual sin was & is everywhere
o Sex outside of marriage was big in Paul’s day
o Wrong then, Wrong now
• Sexual sin destroys people
o One of Satan’s favorite tools
o Trip up almost anyone
o David wiped out for period of time
o Marriages destroyed on regular basis
o Samson’s downfall…sex
DO WHAT????????????????
• Don’t do it! Stop right now!
• Confess to God & whoever you are wronging!
LOOK IN! vs 9b-10
You have given up your old way of life with its habits.
• Looking “in” we realize “we can stop” what we once did (Freedom)!!!
Wiersbe – “We were formed in God’s image, and deformed from God’s image by sin. But through Jesus Christ, we can be transformed into God’s image once again.”
LOOK AROUND vs 11
• See others as Christ sees them
• In Christ there are no barriers
o Nationality
o Race
o Education
o Social standing
o Wealth
o Gender
o Religion
o Power
• Paul says these must not be in the church
o Racial distinctions
o Religious distinctions
 Acts of surgery give no advantages in Christ
o Cultural distinctions
CONCL:
Stop looking “down”…

HOW TO DEAL WITH DISASTER

Posted by Perry


I don't know what to say at the Funeral Home, I don't know how to help my friends or my self when there is a tragedy.
Here is the "Formula" for "Dealing With Disaster"
Can be in 10 minutes, 10 days or 10 months
JOEL 1:2
CBC 7/25/10 SN
Joe 1:2 Listen, you leaders and everyone else in the land. Has anything like this ever happened before?
NAME A DISASTER (audience part)
• 9-11
• Albert Pike flood
• Pearl Harbor
• Holocaust…
Has anything like this ever happened before? (text)
STEPS TO DEAL W/ DISASTER
Step #1
Joe 1:13 Mourn, you priests who serve at the altar of my God. Spend your days and nights wearing sackcloth. Offerings of grain and wine are no longer brought to the LORD's temple.
Step #2
Joe 1:14a Tell the leaders and people to come together at the temple…
Step #3
Joe 1:14b …Order them to go without eating and to pray sincerely.
Step #4
Joe 2:12 The LORD said: It isn't too late. You can still return to me with all your heart. Start crying and mourning! Go without eating.
Joe 2:13 Don't rip your clothes to show your sorrow. Instead, turn back to me with broken hearts.
Step #5
Joe 2:17 Tell my servants, the priests, to cry inside the temple and to offer this prayer near the altar: "Save your people, LORD God! Don't let foreign nations make jokes about us. Don't let them laugh and ask, 'Where is your God?' "
explain God’s role in disasters
o Romans 8:28
o Evil in world causes harm
o Earth decaying naturally from effects of sin (curse)
Step #6
Instead, turn back to me with broken hearts. I am merciful, kind, and caring. I don't easily lose my temper, and I don't like to punish.
proclaim the “TRUTH”
Step #7
Joe 2:32 Then the LORD will save everyone who faithfully worships him.
invitation to know God
Step #8
Joe 2:20 …The LORD works wonders
Joe 2:21 and does great things. So tell the soil to celebrate
Joe 2:22 and wild animals to stop being afraid. Grasslands are green again; fruit trees and fig trees are loaded with fruit. Grapevines are covered with grapes.
rejoice
o repent & experience peace!
Step #9
Joe 1:3 Tell our children! Let it be told to our grandchildren and their children too.
• remember
o we have short memories
o how long did it take for the patriotism to fade after 9-11?
CONCL:
Might want to write these steps down…we’re not through experiencing disasters till Jesus comes & gets us!

A CHURCH PEOPLE WANT TO ATTEND

Posted by Perry


I THESSALONIANS 1:8
CBC 7/25/10 SM
1Th 1:8 And because of you, the Lord's message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don't have to say a thing about it
Our Commission is to spread the Gospel to all Nations
• we must do this in an appealing way
• getting people’s attention and holding it is a matter of making the message “delivery” interesting
ILL: after a long, dry sermon/ preacher announced that the board would meet after the service/1st man to show up was not a board member/ preacher said, “you must have misunderstood, this is a meeting of the board.” Man said, “if there is anyone more bored than me I want to meet them.”
DOOR TO DOOR SURVEY:
“If you don’t go to church, why?”
• Boring
• Irrelevant
• Asking for money all the time
• I’m too busy already
• I feel awkward at church
BORING:
• not a funeral parlor/nor a carnival show
• interesting/thot provoking
• music that’s “alive”
• non-judgmental friendliness
IRRELEVANT:
• what Bible says about real life
• how can we have a better life
o relationships
o career
o more fun & joy
ASKING FOR MONEY:
• get DVD from 7/11/10
• tithing is your ticket to financial freedom…
TOO BUSY ALREADY:
• too busy to die but we all will
• we pretty much do what we want to…
o if it’s beneficial
o if it’s interesting
FEEL AWKWARD AT CHURCH
We got winners, we got losers
Chain smokers and boozers
And we got yuppies, we got bikers
occasionally hitchhikers
• Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this church
We got cowboys, we got truckers
Broken-hearted fools and suckers
And we got hustlers, we got fighters
Early birds and all-nighters
And the veterans talk about their battle scars
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this church
I love this church
It's my kind of place
Just walkin' through the front door
Puts a big smile on my face
It ain't too far, come as you are
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this church
we got high-techs
Blue-collar boys and rednecks
And we got lovers, lots of lookers
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this church
Yes I do
But I love this church
It's my kind of place
Just trollin' around the hall ways
Puts a big smile on my face
No cover charge, come as you are
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this church
• If U still feel awkward
o Loosen you tie
o Drop the false front
o Love your neighbor regardless
o And quit thinking it’s all about you
A CHURCH PEOPLE WANT TO ATTEND IS ONE THAT’S A CENTER OF GOOD NEWS
• we need good news, not a scolding every Sunday!
o U don’t have to go to Hell
o There’s forgiveness of sin
o God is still in control
o God wants everybody to go to heaven…
o There’s help for the hurting, abused & violated
A CHURCH PEOPLE WANT TO ATTEND IS ONE WHERE TOUGH THINGS IN LIFE ARE MADE SIMPLE
* God cares for U…simple
* salvation for the lost…simple
* there’s comfort for the afflicted
* there’s love for the unlovely
* there’s patience for the unpatient
* there’s hope for the hopeless
* there’s boldness for the timid
A CHURCH PEOPLE WANT TO ATTEND IS ONE THAT’S A FAMILY CIRCLE WITH LOVE PREVAILING (NOT JUDGMENT)
1Th 3:12 May the Lord make your love for each other and for everyone else grow by leaps and bounds. That's how our love for you has grown.
ILL: National study revealed that no woman ever shot her husband while he was doing the dishes!
• times we don’t agree on everything
o mostly b/c we’re selfish
o Love is a matter of work!
o Agree to disagree
• do things to demonstrate that love
o do somebody’s dishes (fig. speaking…)
A CHURCH PEOPLE WANT TO ATTEND IS ONE THAT AIDS IN OUR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
1Th 4:9 We don't have to write you about the need to love each other. God has taught you to do this,
1Th 4:10 and you already have shown your love for all of his people in Macedonia. But, my dear friends, we ask you to do even more
• life is a process
o not born with all the answers
o when we can get answers to life’s questions @ church it makes it worth attending
o U may not get them from the preacher or teacher…
 May be from someone you’re sitting close too…
2Ti 3:16 Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.
2Ti 3:17 The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.
CONCL:
Someone well said: What power the church would be…
If all the sleeping folk would wake up
If all the lukewarm would fire up
If all the dishonest would confess up
If all the disgruntled would sweeten up
If all the discouraged would cheer up
If all the estranged would make up
If all the gossipers would shut up
If all the true soldiers would stand up
If all the church members would pray up

All of us need to do our part to make this church one people want to attend

F*R*I*E*N*D*S

Posted by Perry


ECCLESIASTES 4:9-12
CBC JULY 18, 2010 SM
ILL: Jackie Robinson/1st African-American major league baseball player/faced jeering crowds @ every stadium/made an error on a play in his home stadium, Brooklyn/fans began to ridicule him/stood @ 2nd base, humiliated/shortstop “PeeWee” Reese came over & put his arm around Robinson’s shoulder & faced the crowd/fans grew quiet/Robinson later said that arm around him saved his career
• I WISH I HAD A FRIEND LIKE THAT
o Maybe glad U have friend like that
• ? Are U a Friend like that?
o How do U do that?
Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
Ecc 4:10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Ecc 4:11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
Ecc 4:12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

• Recently acquired a FB page
o FB is where “friends” share
o Identifying ur “friends”
HELP FRIENDS SUCCEED IN LIFE
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
• sometimes we’re too selfish to be a friend

o absorbed w/ personal success
o need 2 B absorbed w/ success of our friends
o PRAY 4 their success
o ENCOURAGE them
o PRAISE them
PICK YOUR FRIENDS UP WHEN THEY FALL
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
• We will eventually fall & need picking up
Pro 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
• Your children are watching your example
• Society succeeds or fails on how we treat the weak…
o More emphasis on Eagle’s egg than human in mother’s womb
BE WARM 2 UR FRIENDS IN THE COLD TIMES OF LIFE
11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?
• cold times
o relational problems
o health problems
o financial problems
• is the local bar meeting more needs than the local church?
o It is permissive (permission to fail)
o Accepting
o Inclusive fellowship
o Un-shockable
o Democratic
o Tell secrets & they don’t usually get told
• God had put into human hearts
o Desire to know & be known
o To love & be loved
o Church needs those qualities above
• When I encounter graphic circumstances in my Chaplaincy ministry
o I ask if our church could handle this
o Some of you have helped me…
o We’ve got a long way to go…
 Homosexuality
 Pre-marital sex
 Incest
 Divorce
 Teen pregnancy
 Run-aways
 Unemployed
 Addiction(s)
Swindol says, “We’re the only outfit I know that shoots its wounded. We can become the most severe, condemning, judgmental, guilt-giving people on the face of the planet Earth, and we claim it’s in the name of Jesus Christ. And all the while, we don’t even know we’re doing it. That’s the pathetic part of it all.” (Leadership, Vol. 4, no. 1)
STAND UP FOR YOUR FRIENDS
12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
• Make a mutual verbal commitment
• Be willing to risk what others think
• Don’t wait 4 ur friend to ask 4 help
o Take the initiative
o Make the call
o Send the message
CONCL:
CONFESS 2 UR FRIENDS UR FAILURES
• Be honest with your true friends

THE "TRUST" FUND

Posted by Perry


MALACHI 3:7-11
CBC 7-11-10 SM
Mal 3:7 even though you have ignored and disobeyed my laws ever since the time of your ancestors. But if you return to me, I will return to you. And yet you ask, "How can we return?"
Mal 3:8 You people are robbing me, your God. And, here you are, asking, "How are we robbing you?" You are robbing me of the offerings and of the ten percent that belongs to me.
Mal 3:9 That's why your whole nation is under a curse.
Mal 3:10 I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing.
Mal 3:11 I will also stop locusts from destroying your crops and keeping your vineyards from producing.

God is interested in our money because HE’S INTERESTED IN US & we need money to live!
• preacher, don’t talk about money, talk about something “spiritual”
o vs on faith – 500
o vs on prayer – 500
o vs on money – over 2000
o 1 out of 10 NT vs deal w/ money
o widow’s mite
o unjust steward
o rich young ruler…
• how we handle our money is supreme test of where our heart is
• Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Adrian Rogers: “a faith that hasn’t reached your wallet, probably hasn’t reached your heart
• Our survival is connected to “money”
o How can God care about us and not be concerned for our survival?
3 SCHOOLS OF THOUGH – MONEY
First – it’s all mine/I worked/earned it/deserve it/ can do what I want/ I can give or not give/ $1 or $20…
I AM THE OWNER & I SHARE WITH GOD WHEN I WANT TO!
Second – Tithe belongs to God, and the rest is mine (90%). In obedience I give Him (10%) and I’ll do what I want with the rest
I AM THE OWNER AND I SHARE WITH GOD BECAUSE I HAVE TO!
Third – It all belongs to God…the tithe/the rest of it too/I return to Him what He commanded/He entrusts me with the rest of His money/I ask for guidance on the 90% to be a good steward of His money/I will be judged some day for what I do with His money today.
IT’S ALL GOD’S AND HE SHARES WITH ME!
ILL: money is like “fly paper”/fly wants honey on paper/I got the honey/he tries to leave & fly paper says, “I’ve got the fly”/before you know it money can have us!
We don’t “GIVE” to God (v 7) we return to Him, He owns it all anyway.
A DEFINITE PROPORTION
• throughout history God’s people have practiced tithing 10% off the top
• it was put in people’s hearts BEFORE the “Law” was given Gen. 14:17-20
• Abraham commenced it Gen 28:22
• Moses came along w/ the Law, Later Lev. 27:30-32
• Malachi confirmed it (text)
• Jesus commanded it
Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
• WHO ARE WE TO CANCEL IT?
• “Living Water” flows free @ CBC
o these things cost money
 utilities
 literature
 maintenance
 salaries
 transportation
 missionary support…
• Tithing is to be a “delight” not a duty
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
A DESIGNATED PLACE TO BRING IT
V10 Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house.
• local church where your membership is/or where you are “fed”
• offerings above the tithe can go to other ministries, but not the tithe
• ILL: try going to McD’s & eating & then tell them when it’s time to pay that you have a burden for Burger King, you’re going to send the money over there….??
V10 “I challenge you to put me to the test.”
• statement “I can’t afford to tithe”
o means you’re tithing “last” & it’s supposed to be “first” off the top
o God’s not interested in “left-overs”
o God wants to “stretch” our 90% further than we can
V11 I will also stop locusts from destroying your crops and keeping your vineyards from producing.
• God promises to “rebuke the devourer”
o Put Me first & I’ll rebuke these enemies of your finances
• 90% w/ almighty God’s blessings or 100% w/out God’s blessings…you choose
DIVINE PURPOSE
Ill: in Africa/monkey that’s delicacy to eat/build little box w/ small hole in one side/fill box w/ nuts & fruit/monkey slides hand in/grabs fruit/can’t get hand out of hole w/ fist clenched/won’t let go for anything/walk up to monkey & knock him in the head/
• would rather commit “monkeycide” than drop that food
• R U committing financial suicide?
o b/c you won’t let go of that tithe?
o Who’s in charge of your finances? You or God?
o IT’S A TRUST FUND!
o All God wants from You is You?
o Have you been saved? R U His child?
o He gave everything to you
o Will you give everything to Him?