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The Grace of Giving

A $20 and a $1 bill were talking to each other about the nice places they have been. $20 bragged on the restaurants, plays, and beaches it had visited. When asked where have you been the $1 said, just church.

John Cuff graduated from EMU in marketing with the training to tell people what the want and need.
We have an ongoing battle with desires to get more and more for ourselves.
Today we will learn more about the grace of giving.

It is always easier to give theoretically than to give actually.
When asked in an interview, If you have two cats, would you be willing to give one away? The man said yes... Then he was asked if you have two boats, would you give one away? The man said yes. Then he was asked if he had two cars would he give one away… he said no. The interviewer asked why would he not be willing to give away a car. The man replied, because he actually as two cars.

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive.
Blessed is defined as Bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune…

Isaiah 58:1-9 about fasting and giving
“Why have we fasted
 and You do not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves
 and You take no notice?”
Certainly, on the day of your fast you find your desire
 and are exacting on all your laborers.
Certainly, you fast for strife and debate
 and to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You do not fast as you do this day,
 to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is it such a fast that I have chosen,
 a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush,
 and to spread out sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast
 and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Is not this the fast that I have chosen:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
 to undo the heavy burdens,
and to let the oppressed go free,
 and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
 and bring the poor who are outcasts into your house?
When you see the naked, to cover him
 and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth as the morning,
 and your healing shall spring forth quickly,
and your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your reward.
Then you shall call, and the Lord shall answer;
 you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am.
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
 the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
and if you give yourself to the hungry
 and satisfy the afflicted soul,
then your light shall rise in obscurity,
 and your darkness shall become as the noonday.
And the Lord shall guide you continually,
 and satisfy your soul in drought,
 and strengthen your bones;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
 and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Prov. 21:13 —Whoever shuts his ears at the cry of the poor, he also will cry himself, but will not be heard.

1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power,
 and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty,
 for everything in the heavens and the earth is Yours.
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
 and You exalt Yourself as head above all.
Riches and honor flow from You,
 and You rule over all.
In Your hand are power and might,
 and in Your hand it is to make great and to strengthen all.

When we give, we acknowledge that God is the owner of all things and that we are putting our trust in him. Also, we are reminded about how much has been given to us.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will men give unto you. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you.”

Mark 10:17-21
When He set out on His way, a man came running and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good, except God alone. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.”
He answered Him, “Teacher, all these have I observed from my youth.”
Then Jesus, looking upon him, loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me.”
Mark 12:41 The widow gave all she had.
Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. Many who were rich put in much. But a certain poor widow came and put in two mites, which make a farthing.
He called His disciples to Him and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. They all contributed out of their abundance. But she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had, her entire livelihood.”
We can be confident that the widow trusted in God and that she knew God would supply her needs.
We too can have confidence. If we trust Him for healing and salvation, we must also trust him for the financial provisions.

If you are waiting for more money before you are ready to trust God for your giving, then you may be stuck like the rich young ruler.

When you have entered God into the equation of your finances.

Picture this scenario: We pass through a gate and follow some trucks filled with cargo: computers, fishing poles, appliances, furniture, etc. The stuff gets thrown into a big pit, a land fill. Just like that, all of that stuff we fought to get just gets thrown away.

Forgive us Lord when we fall short of your honor and glory.

Announcement: Online text giving available by texting to 734-235-0092
For instruction on the steps text “help” to that number. 

Next week we will learn about a technique called: Shrink the change.

Listen Now!

   

To Be Content

Paul writing from a prison cell said: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Phil 4:11

Millions of Americans are accumulators.
A study by UCLA anthropologist found a home of 1,000 sq. ft. home has 2,260 items out in the open.
39 pairs of shoe, 90 dvds, 212 cds, etc with books and magazines.
3 of 4 homes had so much stuff in homes there was no room there for cars.

Video on First World Problems:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN2WzQzxuo
$37,000 annual income would put you in the top 97% earning category for the world.

Almost all of our problems are rich person problems, such as a community ban on lawn watering.

How can we become modern day representatives of the Apostle Paul’s attitude on contentment?
Grow our sense of God’s love toward us. If we understand His love for us, we have confidence in his provision for us.
People will not wander into our church meeting unless they are invited. God has accepted us just the way we are. Whoever believes in him will not perish.
Personal prayer and bible reading will help us understand God’s love for us.
1 Cor. 13. God loves us like the father of the prodigal son.
Luke 12:15 Watch out, be on your guard against all kind of greed.  Life does not consist of an a
Eccl 5:10
Prov. 1:19
John 14:27 My peace I give to you.
Phil 4:6-8 6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7And the peace of God, which
passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things
[are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of
good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

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God Shall Supply All Your Needs

Hebrews 12: 1-2
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race
that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy
that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand
of the throne of God.

Ed Stetson from Wheaton college tweeted: “think the world has gone mad.”
There is a staggering overreaction to the political situation, a reaction bordering on hysteria.
Remember, God is in control and he will continue in that role.

My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory

Romans 8:28 God will work all things together
(Gen. 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
(2 Timothy 2:2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy
that was set before him endured the cross.
Heb. 1 Fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge
(II Corinthians 4:18) While we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things
which are not seen [are] eternal.

Donald Trump will not be your creator, savior or your destroyer. Those positions are already filled.

Sure the issues are real and important and they matter. Remember however, that we are just passing through this world. Hebrews 11
As citizens of that country, we are called to glorify God.
If you can do something to the Glory of God, by all means do it. Be conformed to the Word of God.

The second greatest commandment:
Love your neighbor as yourself.

We are called to submit to and pray for those in authority.
Our anointing as citizens of the world to come is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  Gal 5:22-23

Always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you.

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Fighting for Family

Rely on the Word of God
We lead by our strengths and communicate by our weaknesses

We have our family members to fight for.
After the Lord saved me, I was deeply concerned about family members who were unwittingly walking the green mile to eternal death.

Ex. 12: 1-8, 11-13
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: 2 This month shall be the beginning of months to you. It shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to what each man shall eat, divide the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month, and then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses in which they shall eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh on that night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be to you for a sign on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.

Moses did not deliver the people from Egypt, God did that.

Number your days (i.e. give purpose to your days) Set times in your days to love your family members.
Ask yourself, how often do you make that family connection.

Live a set apart life, seeking to live like Jesus, knowing that we are forgiven for our failures.

In December of 1825, a man was sentenced to death for treason. The rope broke when he was to be hanged, and he replied sarcastically that Russia can not even kill a man. He would have been set free according to the Russian law, but as a response to his sarcasm, they gave the noose another chance to work.
Think about your response to the grace of God in your life.

Listen Now!

   

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