Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jesus is Alive

Here is the fourth and final sermon in the "Jesus Is ______." series by Judah Smith.


Ephesians 2:1-7
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 4:1-7
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
Notes:
  • Genesis 4:1-7
    • In Genesis, the word sin is used for the first time
  • Sin is an invader, intruder, stranger who comes to rob and steal
    • It was not God's original plan
  • What is sin?
    • Everyone has it.
    • Falling short of God's glory, His standard (Romans 3:23)
    • Missing the mark
      • The mark is set by God
      • The standard exists for us to have maximum fulfillment on earth
  • Is sin real?
    • Look around. It's natural for us to be bad.
  • Is sin really living?
    • We can be breathing but not alive -- just existing
    • "The wages of sin is death." - Romans 6:23
    • Sin is like eating at an awesome restaurant with really good food, but then the bill comes.
      • It may be fun, but it will make you pay.
  • What do we do now?
    • Stop sinning (verse in Genesis above)
      • "Just do well"
      •  The problem is we can only do "well" for a while
        • So what do we do about that?
          • Nothing.
  • "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us..." - Ephesians 2:4
    • God butts in because He is rich in mercy
    • "great love"
      • His love is towards us
      • He loves because He is love; it requires no reciprocation
  • "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ..." - Ephesians 2:4-5a (ESV)
    • "Together" is a key word
      • God wants to know us and for us to know Him
  • The answer to all of this is God, with nothing else.
    • The only thing we can do is accept this love
  • The way you are saved is the same way you continue to walk out your life with God
    • You have to continually receive God's love, and be reminded of this good news
http://thecity.org/message/jesus_is_alive
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Jesus is with you Always.


Here is the third sermon in the "Jesus Is _____." series by Judah Smith.

Usually I write some comment on the sermon, but nothing's hitting me with this one at the moment, so maybe take the time you may otherwise spend reading the nonsense I write, and check out these scriptures!

Matthew 28
 
1 John 4:15 - "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God."



Notes:
  • Having someone else with you somehow subsides fears
  • We tend to believe that we don't get God's presence if we aren't "good" Christians and go to church, etc.
    • But what does 1 John 4:15 say?
  • A missionary life has struggles
    • It's because we are a target
      • Hunters don't shoot at dead animals; the enemy knows that
    • John 16:33 - “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
      • This is spoken just after Jesus' disciples said they finally believe in Him (it's near the end of his ministry)
        • Jesus says even they will leave Him, but it's okay because He isn't alone, but with God. 
        • Jesus found solace in knowing He was with God.
  • If being in God's presence is more real to you than being in the world, you are unshakable.
  • Hebrews 13:5 - "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"
    • This verse says that the antidote to worrying about having enough money and stuff in life is God's presence.
    • Hebrews quotes Deuteronomy - "He'll never leave nor forsake you"
      • "Leave" means let you down. "Forsake" means walk away.
  • God's presence isn't only in spiritual environments...He's there ALWAYS.
    • Always is when we tend to need Him most.

http://thecity.org/message/jesus_is_with_you_always
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jesus is a Friend of Sinners

Here is the second sermon by Judah Smith in the "Jesus Is _____." series. It's based on Luke 19:1-10.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.  He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”  So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
There's a great sermon by Ray Vander Laan where he explains what these verses meant to a Jew at that time (I can't find the lecture, but here is a synopsis of it that I found).

There are so many layers to this story and a lot to gleam from it, but the main point that Judah points out is this: when you meet Jesus, your heart changes. It wasn't a principle or religion that restored Zacchaeus, but Jesus. Who else changes hearts like that?




Notes:
  • Sinner is similar to calling him a "dog" - it's very derogatory
  • Society teaches us that, before we can be accepted, we have to "make things right"
  • We try to make our lives right and hide stuff for God - as if He didn't know everything
    • God doesn't need our help for Him to love us
  •  God acts on his own
    • Something we don't do - even in isolation, our acts are often considering the reactions of others (i.e. - tweets)
    • Romans 5:6-8 - "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
      • This is God's nature
  • Zacchaeus is a guy who hurts people
    • He is a Jew cheating Jews out of their money for Rome
    • He is officially rejected from the synagogue and God's blessing
    • Jesus pursues a friendship with him - these are the kinds of people Jesus hangs out with
  • When Zacchaeus repents, he's excited!
    • Jesus doesn't say he needs "Godly sorrow" or to be sad, He accepts him
  • Jesus' friendship with people like this is why Jesus frustrates people socially
  • In the midst of people's disappointments and Zacchaeus' track record, and after one dinner with Jesus, Zacchaeus' heart changes
    • Zacchaeus gives well over what Leviticus required of him in repentance
      • This happened when he met a man, not a principle
        • It's love, not law
        • Giving happens when you meet Jesus and He changes your life dramatically

http://thecity.org/message/jesus_is_the_friend_of_sinners
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jesus is Grace.

Here is the first in the "Jesus is _____" series by Judah Smith of The City Church. It is based on Luke 15, which is three parables Jesus tells in response to the Pharisee's chide that He was eating with sinners.

There is some powerful stuff here about how we should receive our worth and grace from God. Jesus says in Mark 10:15, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Judah reads this and points out that kids don't try to repay gifts...until they get older. 

I remember being in high school and making a CD for our awesome punk band, Minus the Standard. We printed off a bunch of CD booklets on my parent's printer and then sold the CD's at one of our shows. I then tried to pay my dad back from our proceeds for the ink and paper I used. I remember trying to hand him money, and him refusing, and then my friend's dad saying abruptly, "just keep the money," emphasizing that I was just a kid and this was a gift of sorts. 

I've always been kind of like that -- trying to make things even in life. Judah mentions that, for some reason we always try to pay gifts back as we get older (I guess I hit that point a little early). Of course this carries over into our relationship with God, trying to pay back God's gift of grace with good works. This is futile, but oh so natural.

Check out this sermon -- it's really good:


  •  Fasting is good, but eating is better
  • In those days, a meal was an event, and involved a lot more than it does now
    • So Jesus was spending hours with "bad" people
    • What Jesus says after the Pharisees complain explains why a just and holy God would befriend "sinners"
  • Ephesians 2:8 - "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—"
    • This grace is not of yourself and not of works.
    • The essence of our belief system is "gift"
      • A gift ceases to be a gift when you try to pay it back
      • Christianity has nothing to do with us paying God back for what He's done for us.
  • We all believe worth is earned
  • Jesus speaks their language - sheep, coins
    • Most of us would have been cool losing the 1 sheep
    • The lady trashes her house to find 1 coin
      • Both of these are illogical
      • When it comes to people, God's love is illogical
      • Jesus is showing us our worth -- an illogical worth
    • The third story about the prodigal son is different -- he's not a beast or a coin, but a person with a will
      • The older son is the logical one
      • The prodigal son believes worth is earned
        • The son's speech is never acknowledged -- his attempts to earn worth are ignored
    • All three (representing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) search, find and celebrate
      • Jesus says I hang out with bad people because it's who I Am
  • Worth is received, like everything else with God
    • Mark 10:13-16 - disciples rebuke parents because kids aren't worth it to them
      • Jesus says the Kingdom belongs to such as these, and it will be received as they do (like a hug)
        • Kids don't offer to pay back, they just receive gifts...for now.
    • No other belief system on the earth is like this -- it's totally illogical
  • Christianity starts and ends in God's arms
http://thecity.org/message/jesus_is_grace
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Jesus the Jewish Rabbi

I wanted something light today and ended up listening to this really in-depth stuff by Ray Vander Laan...a lot of notes, but it's really good stuff. I really encourage listening to the sermon because the notes below will make a lot more sense.

http://www.followtherabbi.com/uploads/assets/audio/jesusthejewishrabbi.mp3

I'm a huge fan of Ray Vander Laan because he examines the culture of Jesus' day and applies it to our Christian walk. Everything should be taken in context, and when it comes to Jesus, we miss a lot if we don't understand the culture. There is a ton of information here that has taught me so much about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus.

I'm not going to write too much here since there are a lot of notes below. The first part has a lot of numbers and Hebrew words that I almost definitely misspelled, but there is some more practical stuff below. Of course I encourage listening to the whole sermon though, otherwise I wouldn't share it!

NOTES:

Haluk = inner garment, like an undershirt
Talit = outer garment, like a robe
Tzit-tzit = Jews wore these on the edge of the talit, tassels on the corners
Kanaf = corners of your cloak. Also same Hebrew word for "wing"
  • When Jesus said, "if someone asks for your cloak, give him your coat also." (Luke 6:29)
    • Essentially he's saying go naked if you have to
  • They do this because of  Deuteronomy 22:12
  •  Zechariah 8 - tzit-tzit have significance to Messiah
    • 10 men = as many as you need to hold a worship service
    • Also Malachi 4 - "Son of Righteousness will rise and he will have healing in his wing."
  • Each tassel has 8 strings, with 5 knots on them
    • 5 knots = 5 books of Moses - Messiah would follow these
    • 4 spaces between knots = 4 letters of God's holy name 
    • 8 strings + 5 knots = 13, which, if you add up the letters of Ehad (one), emphasizing that God is one
      • In Hebrew back then, words were numbers
      • If you add up the letters of tzit-tzit, it equals 600. 600 + 13 = 613, which is all the laws of Moses, which says the Messiah will keep all of the laws.
  • Woman in Mark 5:21-43
    • grabs his tassel (tzit tzit) because she believed he was the Messiah
    • Jesus heals her
  • Rabbis in Galilee
    • Jewish education in the 1st century
      • Home is center of learning
      • The heart of education is seeing his/ her family in action
      • Wisdom is not what you know, but what you do (to know is to experience)
      • Greek root word from which we derive school is translated "leisure time"
      • Levels of school
        • At age 4-12, first level of education was memorizing Torah & learning math and reading, etc.
        • At 13, if the child knows the books of Moses, he moves to step 2, expanding Torah study to how the prophets and rabbis interpret the Torah
        • At 15, if child was exceptional, he started studying with a rabbi, following him around -- this is when disciples were called. Studying to become what the rabbi is, not just know what he knows.
    • In Jesus' day, a rabbi was a teacher without credentials, who was recognized because of his wisdom or his training
    • There were 2 kinds of rabbis: 
      • Torah teachers/ Teachers of the Law: did not have disciples, could not invent new interpretations but could only teach what was already accepted
      •  Rabbis with smeha: was agreed upon by the community to have exceptional skills, was allowed to present new Torah interpretations, anointed by placing of hands by 3 elders (2 of which had smeha themselves). Could have disciples that followed him.
        • Teaching style = "You've heard it said ______, but I say to you ______."
    • Jesus taught as "one who had authority (which is the English translation of "smeha") and not as a Torah teacher."
      • They were amazed because he acted like a smeha rabbi, but they expected the other kind
    • A rabbi's "yolk" was their interpretation of the Torah, summarized in "the most important commandment."
      • Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
      • He may have stolen some talimidim (disciples) when he said that
    • Talmidim (disciples)
      • The mission of a rabbi was to make as many disciples as he could (men who wanted to be like him)
      • Being a talmidim was a tremendous commitment - you left everything (jobs, families, wives & kids [with written permission])
      • A talmud would say, "I sit at rabbi _____'s feet."
        • Jesus is one of two rabbis recorded to have women who "sat at his feet" - Luke 10:39.
      • The rabbi was usually supported by the talmidim's families
      • Talmidim loved their rabbis like a father - they would die for the rabbi
    • Jesus is called rabbi by 6 different types of people
    • We are called to be a disciple-maker like our rabbi was
    • You cannot be a talmidim without making everything in life 2nd place
 I just read through Zechariah 8, and I will say one thing...God loves honesty. That's obvious, but in that passage, there are more than one verse where God says He wants truth and honesty for/from His people. For instance (verses 16-17):
These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.
 How much of that is happening today? Jesus supports it in John 8:44:
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
 The enemy is the "father of lies." Conversely, how should we act (John 4:23)?
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
Be that kind of person. Be honest with God, even if you are scared to; and be honest with each other.


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Friday, October 11, 2013

In God We Trust

Here is the fourth and final sermon in the Elephant in the Room series by Chip Judd, at Seacoast Church.



My faith has felt a little dry lately, and I know it's because a lot of what I do (reading the bible, going to church, listening to sermons) is missing the heart involved in the act. As a friend told me, "God is most concerned with your heart." This sermon, though about money, speaks on that a lot. And I think getting back to heart of God starts with faith.

Hebrews 11:6 - "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

My aunt is changing careers for the 4th or 5th time, and she said she received the direction for where to go by seeking God's face. This was an encouraging word as I feel like I am constantly in transition when it comes to direction in life, but to do this really requires trust that God's plan is something I will love.

We spoke this week in our community group about fears that God may call us to do something we don't want to do, or to be a monk or nun. I can totally relate to this, and have only lately realized that I don't think I totally trust God with my career and my life. I'm afraid that for me to give everything over to God, He may call me to go do something "lowly" when I have always wanted to do something "big." Take that for whatever you want, but even the idea of "big" has been a struggle lately...

So what does scripture say about this?

Matthew 6:33 - "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Psalm 37:4 - "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Do I trust that? Does God actually "reward those who earnestly seek him?" Will He actually give me the "desires of my heart?" That feels selfish though -- am I just seeking God to have a good career? Or maybe, in seeking God, I find what I really wanted all along...Him.

Notes:
  • Generosity is something God wants for you, not from you
  • Matthew 15:21-28
    • Canaanite woman = not a friend of Israel
    • "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
      • Jesus came to Israel, and they rejected him -- this outsider calls him Lord & Messiah
      • Have mercy = don't do to me, and for me, what I deserve
      • She shows great faith - "he marveled at it"
        • Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Apart from faith, we have no power to please God
    • God decided this -- choosing faith as the key to connecting with, and pleasing Him
    • Genesis 15:6 - "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness."
    • Faith is the secret ingredient that turns dry, dead religion into an epic adventure
  • Faith is believing God is Who He said He is, and that He'll do what He said He'll do
    • Actively receiving and pursuing what God has promised
      • The woman didn't wait around - she went after it
  • There is faith that acknowledges the truth, accepts the truth, and goes after the truth
  • Hebrews 11:6 - "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
    • Anyone who wants to connect with God has to believe two things:
      • That He is there
      • That He responds to what we do
  • God owns everything and He's very, very generous with it
    • Most of the time we think we don't deserve what God has to offer. 
      • We don't, but God is gracious
      • Jesus became what we are, so we can get what He deserves
  • God's desire to bless His people is all over scripture
    • God's preference is to bless
    • "I will bless you so that you can bless others" (OT quote?)
  • Is it God's will for you to have enough?
    • Enough = what comes in and goes out is the same
    • God's will is abundance
  • Rest in God's integrity and His love
    • Numbers 23:19 - "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
    • 1 John 4:16
    • We have separated our self worth from our net worth
      • Only 10% of your enduring life happiness involves your life circumstances
      • External circumstances don't affect us as much as internal circumstances
  • 3 questions to center yourself
    • How do I see God? (distant, close, etc?)
    • How do I see myself? (lazy, an accident, etc?)
    • What do I believe I have to do to please God and get my needs met?
      • Religion is spelled "do"...real Christianity is spelled "done"
        • Rest in God's love
  • Faith is believing what God says and acting on it before you see it
  • Exercise faith for finances, and faithfulness with finances
  • 3 things with money:
    • Ownership
    • Obedience
      • Honor God with first-fruits of what you get
    • Faith

http://www.seacoast.org/resources/the-elephant-in-the-room/v316
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Freedom to Give

Here is the third sermon in the Elephant in the Room series, by Josh Surratt. It's pretty practical financial advice with biblical backing.

I know a lot of people who exist in a state of debt, particularly when it comes to cars. Finance a car, pay it off, finance another one to replace the older car, pay that off...do it again. It's a cycle of constant debt; it's the American way.

There are some pretty gnarly statistics here about debt in the US. I fall into it as well -- buying what I want with money I don't have. Why do we do that? Is it a lack of patience? Is it the desire to keep up with our neighbors?

I understand things like house loans and student loans -- large amounts we could probably never get around. Or could we? I have a friend who was saving up to buy a house with cash, and at the time I chided him for it. "No one does that," I said, probably with a hint of jealousy in my voice.

It's true, no one does that anymore. But as Christians, aren't we called to live life differently? Maybe this is part of it.

At the end of the sermon, Josh says that this obsession with debt is a heart issue. I agree, and would encourage those of us in debt to examine how we got there and figure out ways to change it. Are we serving money, or is money serving us as we serve God?


Notes:
  • Proverbs 22:7 - "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender."
    • We are slaves to our financial situations: cars, houses, student loans, etc.
      • Statistically, the average American owes 4 times more than he/she makes in a year
    • Debt is the normal way of life
      • But we are called to live differently
  • Temptations of Christ-followers when it comes to money
    • We are tempted to serve money
      • Matthew 6:24 - "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."
      • Buying things we don't need with money we don't have is serving money
      • If you've held onto money out of security, you're probably serving money
    • We are tempted to love money
      • 1 Timothy 6:10 - "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
        • Money is not evil, it's neutral -- the love of money is when it gets bad
      • It's not about how much you have, but how you hold what you do have, and think about what you don't have.
      •  Your attitude without money won't change when you have more money
        • Statistically, the more you have, the less you give percentage-wise
        • Luke 16:10 - "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
      • Ecclesiastes 5:10 - "Whoever loves money never has enough;
            whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
            This too is meaningless."
        • In the US, it's usually not an income issue, but a lifestyle issue
  • We don't serve money, we serve God
    • Money serves us, as we serve God
      • Money buys us time
      • Money buys us options
        • With options, we can give more spontaneously
  • 3 Steps to financial freedom
    • Stop the bleeding
      • Self-control
    • Act your wage
      • If you don't have the money to buy something you want, you're not allowed to buy it
      • You can't keep up with your parents, who worked 20 years to get where they are at (for a youngster)
      • Sacrifice is the keyword
    • Get a plan and work it
      • You can wander into debt, but not out of it
      • Proverbs 27:23-24, 21:5
      • Discipline is the keyword
      • Budget = telling money what to do, making money serve us
  • It starts with repentence
    • It's a heart issue
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Benfits of Generosity

Here's a sermon by Greg Surratt, second in the Elephant in the Room series. This guy is a great speaker and pretty much always has applicable and engaging things to say.

Giving has always been a discipline for me - 10% of what I make, before taxes (first fruits). Someone told me to do it this way in high school, and so I did. I think this is great, but then I got married, and giving became a conversation rather than my own decision. I married an incredibly generous woman, and so when I came into giving with my disciplined approach, she asked where my heart was. It was something I haven't thought much about, but since then, it has become a major theme in my life.

2 Corinthians 9:7 - "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Jesus was always concerned about the heart of His listeners, and so that should always be our focus for everything, but especially when it comes to money, which really exposes the state of men's hearts.

Luke 6:43-45 - “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 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."



Some notes:
  • Trusting God with money can create peace in a place where it shouldn't be peaceful (financial hardships, etc.)
  • Generosity/ giving is the most talked about value in the bible (more than faith, hope & love)
    • Giving is the expression of these three values
  • Seven benefits of generosity:
    • Generosity makes me more like God
      • "God so loved that he gave..."
      • You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving.
      • "Who are we that we could give you anything. It's all yours" - King David to God (that's a paraphrase, but I can't find the exact verse)
        • Anything I have has been given by God
    • Generosity draws me closer to God
      • Matthew 6:21 - "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
      • Hearts follow treasure. 
        • How do you get a heart for God? Where is your treasure?
    • Generosity breaks selfishness in my life
      • The more you have to live for, the less you need to live on.
      • Giving is counter-cultural
      • 1 Timothy 6:17-19 - "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."
    • Generosity strengthens my faith
      • 2 Corinthians 9:12 - Giving proves the reality of your faith.
      • Giving out of guilt or pressure won't sustain
      • Some people trust God with their eternal destiny, but not their money
    • Generosity is an investment for eternity
      • How? - 1 Timothy 6:19 - "...it's the only safe investment for eternity..."
    • Generosity blesses me in return
    • Generosity makes me happy
http://www.seacoast.org/resources/the-elephant-in-the-room/v314
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