Invest Part 1
USE THIS IMAGE ON A SLIDE IN BRADFORD
1Samuel 17:34-37 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,
35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.
37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
David’s paradigm in facing Saul and the Giant was his RELATIONSHIP with God.
1Samuel 17:45-47 45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David’s relationship with God gave him both CONFIDENCE to face and VICTORY over his challenges.
David INVESTED in and developed His relationship with God.
1Samuel 13:14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (Ref. Acts 13:22)
Eternal life is a RELATIONSHIP with God, not the product of religion.
John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Mark 12:30-31 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
The orientation of Jesus’ message was RELATIONAL.
Ways to INVEST in your relationship with God:
Time and Talents:
1. By spending TIME with God reading the BIBLE, prayer, and praise. (Ref. Joshua 1:8; Matthew 4:4 ; Colossians 4:2; 1Timothy 2:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:4-6; Psalm 150)
2. By faithful OBEDIENCE (doing, applying) to God’s word, written and revealed. (Ref. James 1:22; 2:14-26; Matthew 7:24-29; Hebrews 5:12-14; 2Timothy 3:16-17; 1Timothy 2:15; Galatians 5:25; Romans 8:14)
3. By being the CHURCH; the assembling together of God’s people for worship, mission, and sharing life together (aka: fellowship). (Hebrews 10:23-25; 1Peter 4:8-10; Romans 12:3-16; 14:19, 15:1-2 Ephesians 4:11-16)
4. By SHARING the faith with others. (Ref. Philemon 1:6; Matthew 28:18-20; 2Timothy 4:2; 1Peter 3:15; Matthew 5:16; Mark 16:15)
5. By honoring God with our TITHES and OFFERINGS. (Ref. Deuteronomy 14:23; Matthew 19-21, 32-33; 23:23; 2Corinthians 8:7, 9:6-15; Malachi 3:8-12; Proverbs 3:9-10; James 5:1-6; 1Timothy 5:17-18; 1Corinthians 9:1-14)
6. By being GENEROUS to bless others. (Ref. Matthew 6:1-4; 2Corinthians 8:1-7, 9:6-15; Proverbs 11:25, 22:9; 1Timothy 6:17-19)
7. By spending money on things that will STRENGTHEN spiritually (Bibles, devotionals, christian music & movies, etc.).
Our relationship with Jesus, becomes our LIFE and VICTORY. (Ref. Colossians 3:4)
Romans 8:31-32, 37 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Joshua 3:14 - 4:7 4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,
6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Throughout history God has commanded His people to erect memorials to REMEMBER.
By forgetting, we ROB ourselves and future generations of the inspiration and the correction that comes from past experience.
We establish MEMORIALS to help us and future generations to remember.
Regarding our self:
Remember lessons learned from SUCCESS.
Remember lessons learned from FAILURE.
Remember God’s WORKS.
Remember God’s PROVISION.
Remember God’s JUDGMENT.
Remember our RELATIONSHIP (God’s LOVE).
We remember so WE do not drift away and so we can point OTHERS to Jesus (Hebrews 2:1-4)
Deuteronomy 8:10-20 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.
God’s blessing of ability to produce wealth is a benefit of his COVENANT.
Warnings of CONSEQUENCES are given to those who FORGET.
1Corinthians 10:1-12 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
Establish some MEMORIALS in your life of what the Lord has done for you.
Beauty & The Beast Part 3
Matthew 5:38-45 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Jesus teaches us to NOT fight fire with fire.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
We are to be INTENTIONAL to treat all people, even our enemies with love.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Being “perfect” like God is to live a life of LOVE, being under the LAW of love.
Mark 12:30-31 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”
The single law that governs the kingdom of God is: Love GOD and love PEOPLE.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
In loving the unlovely there is potential to change a LIFE; even turn an enemy into a friend, a sinner into a saint, and a beast into a prince.
By your choice to love or hate you choose to be a life TAKER or a life GIVER.
(Ref. Mark 12:30-31; 1Corinthians 13:1-8; 16:14; Romans 12:9; 13:8-10; 1John 3:11-15, 18; 4:7-8, 18-19; Galatians 5:6, 13-14, 22-23; Ephesians 4:15-16; 5:1-2; Philippians 1:9-10; Colossians 3:12-14; Proverbs 10:12; 16:16; 21:21; 1Timothy 1:5; 4:12; Titus 2:2; Hebrews 10:23-25; James 2:8; 1Peter 4:8)
Beauty & The Beast Part 2
For better or for worse our decisions in life have a RIPPLE effect.
Our choice has a consequence, POSITIVE or NEGATIVE.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19-20 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years…
Our choices affect our SELF.
Proverbs 19:3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord.
Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
1. My choice of bad company/friends will result in a negative influence in my OWN life.
2. My choice to be bad company/friend will result in a negative influence on the life of SOMEONE ELSE.
Proverbs 22:24-25 24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
1Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Our choices affect OTHERS.
1Corinthians 10:23-24 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
1Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
We must COMMIT ourselves to make CHOICES that lead to life.
Joshua 24:14-15 14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
God holds us responsible to make a DECISIVE decision and it’s outcomes.
Beauty & The Beast Part 1
The Prince was JUDGED for his idolatry of image and proud behavior.
Isaiah 3:16-26 The Lord says,“The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion;
the Lord will make their scalps bald.”
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench;
instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness;
instead of fine clothing, sackcloth;
instead of beauty, branding.
25 Your men will fall by the sword,
your warriors in battle.
26 The gates of Zion will lament and mourn;
destitute, she will sit on the ground.
The fixation with image is idolatry and is DECEPTIVE and DESTRUCTIVE.
1Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
John 7:24 “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
The Beast was an OUTWARD expression of the INWARD ugliness.
Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Ref. Matthew 12:35; 15:16-20)
Belle was not wooed or fooled by the external APPEARANCE of beauty or success.
Belle was able to speak TRUTH authoritatively into the life of the Beast that ultimately led to his redemption.
Belle was the epitome of EXTERNAL beauty that comes from INTERNAL beauty.
1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
Eternal beauty, beauty of the highest value comes from what is on the INSIDE.
Recovery Part 4
We have a RESPONSIBILITY to help others enter into the life of God.
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
The healing is in the HELPING.
Philemon 1:6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
As we help others, we gain a DEEPER understanding and experience in our own life.
Isaiah 58:6-12 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
“Every yoke”, it doesn’t matter what kind of yoke.
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
HEALING (Heb. aruwkah)- Heal or restore to soundness and wholeness.
APPEAR (Heb. tsamach) - sprout, grow up abundantly or thickly.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
As we spend our SELF on others, it opens up the channel of God’s guidance, hope and resources for life.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
A Jesus ruled life…
1. Is a life SPENT on a transcendent cause.
2. Is a life that HELPS others.
3. Is a life that has a change of REPUTATION.
4. Is a life that experiences a change in QUALITY.
5. Is a life that leaves a lasting LEGACY.
RECOVERY PART 3
Recovery, Repentance, and Salvation are both a CRISIS and a PROCESS.
Crisis is that decisive MOMENT we decide to start in a new direction; it’s the turning point.
Process is the STEPS of recovery that take time, intentionality, and work.
Ephesians 4:22-24 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
This change is both INWARD and OUTWARD.
Stop doing WRONG things.
Start doing RIGHT things.
We make AMENDS for past wrongs. This would involve apologizing, asking forgiveness, and may include restitution. (Ref. Matthew 5:23-24; Luke 19:8-9; Exodus 22:1-14; Leviticus 6:2-5)
Continued EVALUATION and CORRECTION.
2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
Romans 13:12-14 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Jesus has decisively DESTROYED satan’s kingdom rule in our life and is now walking us through the clean up and the BUILDING of His Kingdom Rule in our life.
Recovery Part 2
EVERYONE has issues and we all need RECOVERY.
Philippians 3:4-6 4 If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal,persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Outwardly, by appearance, Paul looked GOOD.
Romans 7:14-23 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
Doing what I don’t want to do is evidence of ENSLAVEMENT.
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
How we choose to handle an issue determines what POWER I give it in my life.
This scripture isn’t an EXCUSE to live in sin, because we’re powerless to do otherwise. It is an ACKNOWLEDGMENT of the condition/state we are in, having surrendered control of our life to something/someone else.
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
There comes a point in our life where unrepented of habits, mindsets, and attitudes become our MASTER.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
There can come a point where we are FLESH ruled (even as a believer in God), where our desires are in charge of our life (thoughts, feelings, attitudes, words, and actions).
The phrase, “CARNAL Christian” (from latin), means Flesh Ruled Christian.
24 What a wretched man I am!
Paul is ADMITTING and CONFESSING.
Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Paul declares JESUS to be the only way.
Romans 10:11-13 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
SAVED (GK: Sozo) - to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, to make well, heal, restore to health
SHALOM (Heb) - Wholeness, Completeness, Soundness, Stability, Wellness, Tranquility, Peace, Prosperity, Safety
Recovery Part 1
RECOVERY - restoration or return to any former, normal, and better state; the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
EVERYONE has issues and we all need RECOVERY.
1 John 5:17 All wrongdoing is sin…
SIN = Missing the bullseye; less than God’s best; less than perfect.
Romans 3:21 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
The first step is to stop DENYING and start ADMITTING.
Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
How we choose to respond determines the OUTCOME.
Proverbs 5:21-23 21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly.
Recovery is a process and takes…
But is starts with CONFESSION.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
Masterpiece Part 2
Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are one PART of a whole GREATER masterpiece.
BIG WHEEL Pride - Obsession/Fixation on all we are, all we have, all we can do, how we measure up (AKA: Arrogance).
WORM Pride - Obsession/Fixation on all we are not, all we don’t have, all we can’t do, how we don’t measure up (AKA: Self-Debasing, false humility).
1 Corinthians 3:16 Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
All of us TOGETHER make the full Masterpiece. (1Corinthians 12:12-27)
The purpose of the Masterpiece is not how great and special WE are, but how great and special GOD is.
Ephesians 4:11-16 11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
The masterpiece is not COMPLETE if it is missing your part.
Romans 12:4-5 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.