Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 19, 2012

“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." Matthew 6:24

A 16-year-old named William left home to seek his fortune. His earthly possessions were tied in a bundle carried in his hand. One day he met an elderly canal-boat captain who listened to his story that his family was too poor to keep him, and the only skill he had was making candles and soap.

The old captain knelt and prayed for the boy’s future and afterward gave him some advice.

“William, someone will be the leading soap-maker in New York. It could be you. Be a good man, give your heart to Christ, pay the Lord all that belongs to Him, make an honest soap, give a full pound, and I’m certain you’ll be a prosperous and rich man.”

The 16-year-old who listened to godly counsel was William Colgate, who not only prospered beyond his wildest dreams but was able to give millions of dollars to the Lord’s cause.

William Colgate found great success in life and was able to bless many with his generosity because early in life he committed to putting first things first.

The blessing comes down even to us today. Some of you used soap made by Colgate this morning in the shower. Or, some of you used toothpaste made by Colgate. Either way – we are blessed this morning because William Colgate put first things first!

I would not be a good pastor if I did a sermon series about stewardship and failed to remind you of the importance of putting first things first. I want you to find blessing in your life like William Colgate did!

Actually, my goal has been to take you beyond stewardship to a bigger idea – LORDSHIP! And Lordship requires that you put God first in every area of your life and keep Him there by keeping first things first.

What Is the Point?

There was a man the side of the road hitch hiking on a very dark night in the middle of a storm. It was late at night and no cars were passing. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw a car coming towards him and stop. Without further thought, he got in the back seat of the car, closes the door and, when he turns to thank the driver for stopping for him, he realizes there’s nobody behind the wheel. The car starts slowly down the road again. The guy looks at the road ahead and sees a curve coming his way. Scared, he closes his eyes and starts to pray for his life. Just before the car reaches the curve, a hand appears thru the window and turns the steering wheel. The guy, paralyzed with fear, watches how the hand appears every time they come to a curve in the road. Gathering his strength, he leaps from the car and runs to the nearest town. Wet and in shock, he goes to a cafe and asks for a cup of stiff coffee. He quickly drinks his coffee and starts telling everybody about the horrible experience he’s just been thru. A silence envelopes the cafe when the man begins to weep like a baby out of sheer fright from the experience he has been through. About half an hour later, two guys walk into the same cafe and one says to the other, "Look Bob, there’s that guy who got in the car when we were pushing it down the road"

The first thing you must do is make sure you have chosen to be in the right kingdom. Everyone belongs to a kingdom. You are either in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of evil. You are either in the kingdom of light or the kingdom of darkness. No one is without a kingdom.

Jesus makes it clear which Kingdom you need to be in!

“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.”

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.

The question is – do you?

How do you know?

A missionary in the New Hebrides watched some native killing hogs. These natives cut off the hogs’ tails and put them over in a pile. When the missionary asked the natives why they did this, they replied, “The meat is for us, the tails are for our gods.” Some Christians are just as foolish and sinful. They take everything for themselves and give God the leftovers, if anything.

If God is the King of your life and if Jesus is the Lord of your life – YOU DON”T GIVE HIM THE LEFT OVERS! You give Him the first AND the best of EVERYTHING:

1) Your Passion – What you love

2) Your Pay Check – What you earn

3) Your Pastime – What you do with your time

4) You Possessions – What you have

5) You Priorities – How you make your decisions

In other words, as a Christ-follower – you live like He is the KING of your life!