Tag Archives: glorify God

Handle With Care: Empty Pockets

Week 5 – Empty Pockets

[Matthew 6:19-21]

CARING FOR TREASURES

  • Treasures in heaven can’t be destroyed
  • Treasures in heaven can’t be stolen
  • Treasures will point to your heart

 

Time

  • God is in control of time (Psalm 74:16-17)
  • Make the best use of time (Ephesians 5:16)
  • Teach us to number our days that we may gain heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)

 

Talent

  • Each of us have been entrusted/given gifts/possessions dependent upon our ability (Matthew 25:14-30)
  • Use your gifts to serve others & glorify God (1 Peter 4:10-11)

 

Treasure

  • Your soul is more important than the treasure of this world (Matthew 16:26)
  • Your life does not consist of an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:13-21)
  • Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)

 

Breakout Sessions

Read Matthew 25:14-30, The Parable of the Bags of Gold (The Parable of the Talents)

1) Why do the men each get different amounts of gold/talents? What does this mean for us?

2) When we look at this parable, what do we see that is required of us as stewards?

3) What is the immediate response of the three men when they received their talents from their Master? What does this mean?

4) Why is the third servant described as a “wicked, lazy servant”?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

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Handle With Care: No More Bleach

Week 2 – No More Bleach

[Matthew 23:1-36]

CARING FOR TRUTH

Living a Façade

Live the Truth to Glorify God

If you are living a fake life, you aren’t living as He created you, but as you have concocted. Isaiah 43:7 – you were created to glorify God. Ephesians 2:10 – You are God’s masterpiece – He created you to do good works that He planned long ago.

Accept the Truth to Receive Grace

If you don’t accept the truth, you don’t accept the grace God is ready to pour out. Ephesians 2:8 – It is by grace you have been saved.

Embrace the Truth to Grow in Christ

You can’t allow God to work through your life to prune, discipline, etc. if you aren’t acknowledging the truth. Colossians 2:6-7

Seek the Truth to Enjoy Peace in Christ

Trying to keep up the fake life causes you to carry a heavy burden, one day you will not be able to keep it up. Philippians 4:7 – He offers a peace beyond understanding.

Share the Truth to Guide Others to New Life in Him

Living transparent life allows people to see what God is doing in YOUR life – and this will point people to Jesus! 2 Corinthians 5:20

 Luke 16:15 – And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. [ESV]

 

Breakout Session Questions:

1) Read Matthew 23:4.

  • What does this mean?
  • How do we do this?
  • How can we live without placing heavy loads on people?

 

2) Read Matthew 23:13-14.

  • What does this mean?
  • How do we do this?
  • How can we live as door openers?

 

3) Read Matthew 23:23-26.

  • What does this mean?
  • How do we do this?
  • How can we live focused on the more important?

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

 

Demanding an Audience

As a baby, we do many things for the attention of our parents. We continue to do what we can for attention as we grow. At some point, we learn that we aren’t supposed to be seeking all this attention, that this attention should be for God alone. We are to live in a way that we point to Christ Jesus and glorify Him by our words and actions.

Even so, we often get caught in situations where we try to get attention. We get excited when someone with a reputation has recognized us. Some of us want so badly to be seated near these distinguished people. Backstage passes are coveted. Seats near those in charge are desired. We want to “push for a place among the great.”

This is something we all do in life, but it was never something Jesus did. He didn’t demand an audience. He didn’t push for a place to sit beside those who were considered high up on the food chain. Instead, He ate with sinners. He lived His life to glorify the Father. Today, ask if your words and actions glorify God—or if you are demanding an audience? Are you pointing to Jesus or are you pointing to yourself?

“Don’t demand an audience with the king or push for a place among the great.” – Proverbs 25:6 [NLT]

Your Responsibility

The world tries to tell you that you are only responsible for yourself, and sometimes that even isn’t something that is taught. But the Bible speaks about an integrity the world does not understand. We have a great responsibility, as well as many responsibilities along the way. If we want to live for Jesus, we must be intentional. If we desire to walk in faithful obedience, we cannot ignore our responsibilities.

In Deuteronomy 22, we read about someone coming upon their neighbor’s wandering sheep or goat. The verse tells us that the person should take it and return it to its owner. This speaks of an expectation that consists of going above and beyond. It might require you to go out of your way. It might require you to spend some extra time to get it done. Part of you may justify just keeping the sheep, clinging to the phrase, “Finders keepers.”

Going the extra mile glorifies God. Not ignoring the opportunity to help bless someone glorifies God. Don’t ignore these opportunities that come your way. Consider this opportunity to be a gift. Go the extra mile and watch what happens.

“If you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep or goat wandering away, don’t ignore your responsibility. Take it back to its owner.” – Deuteronomy 22:1 [NLT]

All Alone

Jethro gave his son-in-law some great advice. When he saw Moses before the people all day, he asked what really was being accomplished. Moses was getting worn out by handling everything all day. This would eventually wear the people out as well. We aren’t meant to handle everything alone, nor to do everything. Jethro shared with Moses the importance of delegation.

I have always been a person who likes to take things on; I love a good challenge. But God has shown me that I was meant for specific things, and this is the same for you. Each person is capable of greater things through Christ; however, we are not promised that we can withstand an impossible work schedule. Philippians 4:13 doesn’t say that He’s going to provide strength for us to do things we aren’t meant to be doing. From the very beginning, God displayed the importance of rhythmic balance in life- time for movement and time for rest. If you take on everything, if you live your life as a “yes person,” you will wear out and you will wear out the people around you. If you don’t allow others around you to help, you are not following God’s design for the body of Christ to be fulfilled in your life. Each of us fit perfectly together when we each are doing what we’re made to do in harmony with our brothers and sisters.

Today, take time to consider your home life, work life, and church life. Look at your schedule. Are you doing too much? Do you have time for rest? Are you taking on things that others could be doing? Whenever you say “yes” to something, it takes away from another person’s opportunity to do that activity and grow. You can take away the possibility of someone serving in an area because you take their spot. Also consider who you are mentoring. Who are you investing in, to share your wisdom, to encourage the next generation? If you are keeping it all for yourself, what legacy are you leaving? We are to be planting seeds, not harboring them. Remember friends, loving people includes seeking out the best for them. A huge part of this is encouraging and empowering them to do what God created for them. This glorifies God.

“When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, ‘What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?… You’re going to wear yourself out–and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself… They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.’” – Exodus 18:14, 18, 22-23 [NLT]

Power of Words

Our words are very powerful. The Bible tells us that our words can kill. We have a choice with regard to the words we speak. We can speak good words, uplifting words. We can speak bad words, words that tear down.

In my lifetime, I have been hurt many times by words. I am sure you can say the same thing. Words kept me from doing things I considered stepping out and doing. Words kept me from writing for many, many years. Words made me think less of myself. Recently, I have witnessed words tear down my child. As a parent, it’s painful to stand on the sidelines and watch it happen. My child, who I see as a great Barnabas to others, was on the receiving end of harsh words rather than encouraging ones. I saw my passionate, free-spirited, sensitive child wanting to quit, wanting to be far away. Despite working so hard, doing so great, beating personal records, sacrificing so much—it didn’t matter. Despite encouraging others to do their best—it didn’t matter. All of the positive accomplishments were blinded by the cruelness of a few.

We all have to face the wrath of some harsh words from time to time. They break us. The devil loves to use them to keep us from doing what will glorify our Father more. Remember today the importance of the words you speak. Do you want to build up or tear down? Do you want to encourage or discourage? Do you want to grow or destroy? Speak words of love. Speak words of truth. Speak words of grace. There is power in your words.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21 [NIV]

Sanctity of Life

The Sanctity of Life

“I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life, and to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of each human life.” – excerpt from the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 1984 Ronald Reagan

Life is HOLY

“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4 ESV)

Why is human life holy?

WE ARE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE (Genesis 1:26-2:25)

If we are made in the image of a HOLY GOD, then we too should be holy.

We are image bearers of God – created in the image, shadow, likeness of God.

We are imprinted with godlike characteristics.

“To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities.” (Relevant Magazine)

WE ARE SET APART – that means we are holy

We are set apart above all creation (Genesis 1:26-28)

We are handmade

Only part of Creation made with God’s hands. Remember, He took the dirt and formed Adam. He took Adam’s bone and made Eve. He gave us breath (the breath of God). Other parts of Creation were spoken into existence but humans He handmade.

We are set apart as God’s chosen people

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

We are set apart for fellowship with God

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16b)

We are set apart and crowned by God with glory and majesty

What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:4-5).

GOD VALUES ALL LIFE

You are valuable. “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” (Matthew 6:26)

He values new life – He creates new life. He knit you together (Psalm 139). It’s all a part of God’s great plan.

He values young ones – He blesses them and says to let the little children come when the disciples rebuked them. (Matthew 19:13-15)

He values teens & young adults – Paul writes that youth should not be looked down on for being young. Instead, be an example to believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12)

He values the mature adults – You shall stand up before the gray head & honor the face of an old man, & you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:32)

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

He values the poor, the widows, the strangers – For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:17-18)

If Life is Holy, how is Life Not Worth Living?

The world is filled with

  • Murder
  • Abortion
  • Suicide

This is unnatural death. God’s ways are life, not death.

  • Murder
    • Cain murders Abel (Genesis 4:9-15)
    • Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:13)
    • Eye for eye (Leviticus 24:21)
    • Cities of Refuge (Numbers 35)
  • Suicide
    • Abimelech (Judges 9:52-54)
    • Samson  (Judges 16:29-30)
    • King Saul  (1 Samuel 31:4-6)
    • Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:1-29)
    • King Zimri  (1 King 16:15-20)

What does God say about death?

See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

LIFE AND DEATH IS IN HIS HANDS

The world is filled with abuse of life

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Economic
  • Mental
  • Sexual

Abuse steals peace. Abuse kills joy. Abuse destroys hope.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Equip others. Empower others. Encourage others. Embrace others.

Speak life. Stand up for and speak for those who cannot stand up or speak for themselves.

The world is filled those who misunderstand the purpose of life

            What is the purpose of life? To glorify God.

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. (Isaiah 43:7)

            Our greatest desire is to know God, to have a relationship with God.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The Most Important Life – Eternal Life

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” (John 3:36)

God values life so much that He sent His one and only Son to die on the Cross so we could live forever with Him.

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The worth of a human soul can be estimated only by the light reflected from the cross of Calvary. … It was the joy set before Christ in accomplishing so great salvation, that led him to submit to shame, agony, and death. How do all the treasures and the glories of earth sink into insignificance when compared with the value of a human soul! – Ellen White

  •  Value Life – everyone is valuable to God’s Kingdom
  • Celebrate Life – praise the Lord for your life and for the lives of others
  • Embrace Life – seek out what God has for your life
  • Speak Life – speak life to others
  • Share Life – share the Good News of Eternal Life

May your life bring glory to God

Also see Sanctity of Life message focused on Abortion

 

Slavery of Self-Reliance Outline

Here’s a sermon outline from a message I shared on the Slavery of Self-Reliance. You may download the outline below. Please note there was no illustration with this message but instead I spoke of King Asa of Judah from 2 Chronicles 16 giving the gold and silver from the Temple to Ben-Hadad King of Syria.

Slavery of Self-Reliance

Everyone needs: Meaning / Purpose / Security / Safety / Significance / Worth / Value

Self-reliant / Self-determination / Self-Dependence / Independent / Self-Sufficient / Self-Contained

The world sees these as good things / the world applauds these things

The problem: These things enslave us. Burden of Self-Reliance à when all relies on you à Slavery

The solution: God wants to free us from ourselves

God is our: meaning / purpose / significance / security / safety / protection

  • God provides you meaning and purpose
    • Isaiah 43:7 – God has made you for His glory.
    • 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
    • Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before others to glorify God
  • God provides you security
    • Proverbs 3:26 – “For the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap” (NLT).
  • God provides you safety
    • Psalm 18:2 – “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
    • Psalm 91:2 – “… He alone is my refuge, my place of safety…” (NLT)
    • Proverbs 18:10 – Godly run to God and are safe
  • God provides you significance and worth and value
    • Genesis 1:27 – God made you in His image
    • Psalm 139:13 – God created each of us individually – knit you in your mother’s womb with certain abilities & gifts – allows certain experiences – all so you can be of great worth to His Kingdom – YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS! (John 14:12 – “… anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…” NLT).
    • Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).

Only those who stand in need of a savior will look for and recognize one.

Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (ESV)

Jeremiah 17:5-8 – “This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

Download Slavery of Self-Reliance Outline

Let Your Light Shine

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16 [NASB]

There are so many people who are not saved. Christians received the “Great Commission” to spread the Gospel. It’s not something to take lightly. And yet, how many actually treat the responsibility as a true responsibility? It seems some get their “I am saved card,” store it in their wallet, and keep on keeping on. I find it’s important to remember that if someone didn’t invest the time to speak to you about the Gospel, you wouldn’t be saved. Is it not proper to invest some time to do the same? Is it not requested of us?

Most certainly, there is another angle to look at when discussing the spread of the Message. Some people simply look at the actually time period when a person is providing testimony to a non-believer; however, sharing the Gospel is a lot more than using your voice alone. You need to live the Message. People see your actions. Your actions share Christ or share something so un-Christ-like, that causes people to stereotype Christians and turn far from God.

This past week, I entered a convenience store to purchase some gasoline. As I stood in the line to make my purchase, one person stood before me. The cashier asked if the gentleman wished to purchase a candy bar for the local Y.M.C.A. Without hesitation, the man responded, “What do they do for me”?!? The cashier replied, “Well the organization keeps the kids off the street.” The man then said, “So, that has nothing to do with me,” and he left the store.

That man was a high school teacher. He’s a man who was entrusted to teach children. When he was hired to teach children, he thereby became a representative of the school district. Sadly, he didn’t see the importance in keeping the children he taught off the street. Simply put, his job was a matter of putting in the time and going home. As a representative of the school district, he surely causes one to question the school itself. His uncaring actions also may result in people believing he has a lack of compassion. In the same way as this teacher misrepresented the school district, we can misrepresent Christ.

People who know we are Christians and see us judging or acting inappropriately, may possibly see a Christ they don’t want any part of simply because of our actions. We may not even realize that we are causing people to turn away from Christ. People may see us get all dressed up for Sunday and have our moment of “religion,” and then go back to a life of anything not including Christ for the rest of the week. God isn’t a jack-in-the-box that we just wind up on Sunday for Him to pop into our lives for a day. If we expect to show people Christ, I think it’s important to let our light shine– because our light comes from the Holy Spirit. As we share our light, the light gets brighter.

Don’t be discouraged to share your testimony. Do walk in caution when trying to share Christ. Remember if you wish to share the Message, you should allow the Holy Spirit to direct you. Also, don’t forget if you are a Christian, that when you share the Message, it’s important to live the Message. How sad it is when we push a lost sheep further out to pasture, because it is much harder to get that sheep back. I like to steer clear of judgment, and always let a person know that I am a work in progress. If we humble ourselves and admit our faults, we don’t show the non-believer that we perceive ourselves to be perfect. If we say anything other than God is perfect, we leave open the possibility for future problems to arise. Shine your light– share your life.

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” – 1 Peter 2:12 [NIV]