Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 23, 2011

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 4:4-7

Who doesn’t like to rejoice? I know I do!

But rejoice always? How can that be? ALWAYS? Even on a bad day?

And with your rejoicing ALWAYS give thanks.

These are two of the chief characteristics that should be typical of a believer. Unbelievers are often angry and selfishly feel that life deals them a bad hand.

So, how is it that I can ALWAYS, be rejoicing and thankful? How is that possible?

I see four causes for thanks giving and want to Call them to your attention.

First, you can be thankful for what God had done for you through Jesus Christ!

“For God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Thank you, God!

Next, you can be thankful for what God is doing for you now!

“I am come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Thank you, God!

Third, be thankful for what you know God will do because of His promises!

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Finally, you can always be thankful for what He is doing that you are not even aware of!”

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3: 20-21

Thank you, God!

You CAN be thankful always – regardless of circumstances or situations!

In fact, you can be thankful that you can always be thankful!

November 22, 2011

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:24-34

Jesus is introducing the Kingdom of God. It is a transformational new way of thinking and believing and behaving about everything. In this portion of His message He is teaching on how you, as a believer, should view your material possessions.

In our first segment we identified the point of this teaching - If you are a Christ-follower today you have chosen to enter the Kingdom of God. When you made that decision you chose to live under the LORDSHIP of Christ or the KINGSHIP of God – two ways of saying the same thing.

In yesterday's post we examined the problem of this teaching - You have to live out you commitment to a spiritual kingdom in a material world! Will these spiritual principles work in a world driven by greed and consumerism?

This morning, in segment three consider:
 What Are The Possibilities?



 COMMIT TO RELATIONSHIP – “Seek Him” - “Serve Him”

"But seek first his kingyodom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." V. 33

To invest your life you must connect with something much bigger and better than you. Jesus said that the first passion and priority of your life must be entering into a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you have chosen to enter the Kingdom of God you have committed to love Him more than anyone or anything in all the world. You can't live in His Kingdom and love anything or anyone more than you love Him.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" V. 24
Whatever you choose to serve obviously becomes your master. That should go without saying but Jesus chose to say it. He knows how easily we delude ourselves into believing we are "the captains of our fate and the masters of our soul".
If money and materialism are your master you will never have enough and never know satisfaction. You will live under constant concern about losing it or having it stolen. As Jesus said, "His yoke is easy and His burden is light" - serve Him! Invest your life and your eternity in Him.


Do the right things in the right way for the right reasons! That is righteousness in a nutshell. And righteousness does it all the time!

Of, course, it is easier to do the right thing when you commit to the right relationship!

When it comes to money and material things, the right way to do it is this pattern:

Give - The first 10% goes to God

Save - The next 10% to 20% goes to you.

Spend - Use the rest to pay bills and live on.

The pattern of the world is opposite - Spend - Save - Give. That's not right!


God’s Kingdom Is The REAL Kingdom!

How Will I Know?

When you get in the right relationship with Jesus and you begin doing the right things, you will see real rewards and real results! Those alone will help you know God is real. As you live in that reality and that righteousness God will become increasingly more real to  you - more real than the things you see - touch - hear and see!

Jesus says that when you do life right and when you handle your resources right you will know it because you won't be consumed with worry! There is a fret factor in life and there is a faith factor.

Which characterizes your life?

If you are consumed by worry:

Check your relationship - are you serving Jesus? Are you seeking Him?

Check your righteousness - are you doing life according to His rules?

Check your reality - is God and His kingdom more real to you than the world you live it? Are you possessed by the faith factor?