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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.
- 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
- 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:
- Honor God with first-fruits of what you get
- The value of what you give is based on faith (widow who "gave more than all the others")