Sunday, 14 October 2012

Giving to the Poor..Sermon Review

Sunday Sermon Review - October 14, 2012
(from my home church that I attend regularly)
Topic - Giving to the Poor ( money or Jesus )
Text - Matthew 19: 13-30

Matthew 19: 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
The service began with singing several songs including "How Great Thou Art" and " I Surrender All"
I had forgot to bring my Bible and note paper with me to church today so I took a few notes on my bulletin sheet but not like I would normally do.
We had a speaker do an update from Campus Crusade for Christ and also a compelling short video about defeating extreme poverty in our world.
Pastor Ben brought the message today. Here is some of what he said:
In our Scripture passage today, Jesus tells the young rich ruler to sell everything he has in verse 21 - If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor,  This brings two questions to mind (1) Why would Jesus say this? (2) Would Jesus actually say that to us also?
So (1) is Why? Jesus has just finished pointing out that we need to come to Him in childlike faith - verse 14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Then we see this rich young man coming to Jesus with the question - Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? To this Jesus responds - Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Pastor Ben pointed out that this rich young was not asking how to be saved when he asked about eternal life. The rich young man was a Jew so in his day he would have believed that being a Jew automatically put him in right standing with God. (Of course we know this is not the case) What he was asking was how to attain abundance in life and to fill the emptiness in his life. So Jesus points out that his wealth is what is blocking him from the abundant life and therefore he needs to sell it and give the money to the poor. This man's wealth had a hold on his life. God needs to be #1 and not our money.
Wealth gives people identity and security and therefore people are  not willing to give it up. Jesus says in verse 24  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. and this seems impossible to the disciples. (A note from me here: Please check my post titled " Can a Camel go through a Needle's Eye" link to post here   http://sharingthefaith-northernsparrow.blogspot.ca/2012/10/can-camel-go-through-needles-eye.html   as there is an important teaching on this that I share there.)
Wealth holds people from God and it is dangerous to trust money rather than God. It then becomes idolatry. If we have a place to live and food to eat we are "rich" - that is more than most people in the world have.
Ben asked the question - If we become reliant on our money to get our needs fulfilled - then what do we need God for?? What do you dream about for your future? Do you need money to fulfull that dream or do you need God to fulfill the dreams you have?
Money has a grip on us that pulls us away from God.
(2) Would Jesus every say that we should sell our possessions and give it to the poor? Yes it is a possibility he might say that. We need to be willing to live in obedience and surrender to the Lord.
We will be rewarded for living in obedience and surrender to the Lord. We will be rewarded here and more importantly in heaven.
Matthew 19: 27-29 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?   And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 
We need to believe that God is good. He is a good God. It is God's desire that we be in community with one another - praying for one another and helping those in need.

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