Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sunday Sermon "First Place in Everything" - Money...

Sunday Sermon Review June 17th, 2012 - "First Place in Everything" - Money...

The preacher at our church today was the Lead Pastor of our church.

Today is Father's Day. Church started with singing "This Train is bound for Glory and "Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

 The MC of the service reminded us that God is the perfect Father and that we should look to Him for direction. This was followed by Scripture reading from 1 Peter 1.
Verse 7 says: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

There was a children's feature where all the children were called up to the front for a talk about Father's Day. The children were shown a wrench which reminds us how Dads fix things around the house, a baseball glove to show that Dads often play sports with their children, money to indicate that Dads provide food and clothes for the family and finally a toy car to represent that Dads drive kids to various places. The children were reminded to thank their Dad for taking care of them and to thank God who takes care of us all.

The preacher came up to speak and wished all Fathers a happy day. He read Colossians 1:15-23 (which I have posted entirely below) focusing in on verse 18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
He said that in the NRSV the ending of verse 18 reads - so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

When we become disciples of Jesus, He requires that He become  first place in our everything. It is part of the Christians's journey to bring everything under His control.
The preacher choose to focus on God wanting to have first place in our money, finances and possesions. He gave 4 principles about money.

1) Money is not evil - It is not wicked or dirty even to have a lot of it. In the Old Testament God often used wealth to bless people richly. He refered to Abraham , Isaac and Jacob.

Warning - Money is only one of the ways that God chooses to bless people. Money is not the marker or measuring stick of God's blessing in our lives.
Sometimes people will think that because we are poor, that we are not receiving blessing from God. This is not true. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:20 that God blesses the poor. - And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

The Measuring Stick or Primary Signs of Gods Blessing in your life is if the fruits of the Spirit are present in your life. He read from Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

2) Caretakers or Stewards: Money and posessions do not belong to us. God owns all things - He simply entrusts things to us and into our care. Our culture would have us think we need to own more things.
God entrusts us with money and possesions  so that we will use them to :
A) Glorify God
B) to Extend the Kingdom  and not to use them on our own desires and wants.

3) Become Wise in Handling Finances
Proverbs is a book of wisdom which teaches us to seek wisdom and  to work, to work hard in order to provide for our families and others around us,  not to attain the latest gadget or item of fashion. He suggested reading a few good books on finances and to check out the Crown Financial website as well as the Mennonite Foundation website.
We need to become a GENEROUS PEOPLE. - He read 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

God loves a cheerful giver. We need to look beyond our own needs and become generous towards others. Jesus calls the church  to go into all the earth. The preacher asked the question - How do I give more?? and still provide for my family. He said to hold money and finances loosely.

4) Money can Become an Idol.  -- it can take the place of God in our lives.
Matthew 6 : 24  - No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

You can not serve God and Money. Money has the ability to take the place of God in our lives. God gives us meaning in our lives, value, significance and security. If we are not careful money will try to provide meaning, value , significance and security in our lives.
The preacher mentioned a book he was reading by Timothy Keller where Keller says that as a Pastor, he has had many people come to him confessing various sins but no one ever came confessing greed and yet greed is a core issue.

We need to repent:
1) Confess that we may be caught in greed. The Holy Spirit will reveal this.
2) Choose to place Jesus 1st in our finances by becoming more wise and more generous.
3) Decide to serve God , not money

Let Jesus have first place in everything!

Thought for the week - " Never blame any day in your life. Good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience, worst days give you a lesson."

Colossians 1:15-23
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

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