9:30 am ----------------------------------------------A Greater Than Solomon – 1 Kings 10
10:00 am --------------------------------------------Behold the Lamb of God – John 1:19-36
Seeking God's Will
Every believer desires to do the Lord's will. He wants to do what the Lord's Word says. And I believe that for every situation we face and every decision we are to make there is a scriptural example or principle given. If we seek diligently we will find the answer to every question regarding what the Lord would have us to do. Like the faithful Father that He is, He never leaves His children without clear instruction. His Word is a "lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path.""In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:6). If we really want direction from the Lord, He will give it.
Most of the time we have not because we ask not, and sometimes we ask not because we may already know the answer and do not really want to do what we know should be done. It is sad but that is the flesh. May God deliver us from it and make us willing and obedient to do His will. I submit three things that I believe can be applied to every decision we need to make; every situation which arises that we need an answer as to what to do. Examine everything using these criteria. . .
1. IS IT FOR GOD'S GLORY? -- Is what I am about to do or where I am about to go in the best interest of God's glory? Will God receive more glory in this way or another? "Whether we eat or drink, do all for the glory of God."
2. IS THIS FOR THE GOOD OF THE CHURCH? -- How is this decision going to affect the church of which I am a member and vitally joined to? No believer is independent, but is a member of the body. Everything we do affects the church. We need to guard against anything which may bring reproach upon our God and His church, and we need to seek ways to serve the body and not ourselves. "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."“And all that believed were together, and had all things common.”
3. HOW IS THIS GOING TO AFFECT MY FAMILY'S SPIRITUAL GOOD? – If I have a husband, wife, son or daughter; everything I do, every decision I make affects them in some way. I must lay aside my personal desires in favor of them. I must do what is best for their spiritual good. ".... as Christ loved the church."
The very last consideration (and perhaps no consideration at all), is my own personal desires or happiness.
“Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ.”
Honouring The Lord With Our Substance
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase:
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9-10
Modern false preachers promise great returns on your money if you will but send it to them; much like one would invest in the stock market for quick and easy gain. But the believer’s motivation for giving is God’s grace and charity toward him or her. Since everything we have has been freely given (loaned) to us, therefore we give back a portion of what belongs to the Lord anyway. The believer gives out of heartfelt gratitude and a desire to see the work of the gospel prosper. The believer gives because he wants to, needs to, and because he knows it is his reasonable service. The Lord will bless those who give in this way. Although we are not to give in order to be blessed, yet the Lord will bless those who give willingly, lovingly and cheerfully. Didn’t He say, “It is more blessed to give than receive”? David, the king, observed the people giving willingly and generously (as did he) and thanked the Lord that they did so (1 Chron.29:10-17). When God saves someone, He makes them willing in the day of His power (Psa.110:3); He makes them willing worshippers, subjects, servants, followers and supporters. Someone said, when God saves a man he saves his wallet too; meaning, when a soul is liberated that person becomes liberal with their money. Know something? . . . It is not our money, but a loan from our Lord.
The above scripture is a promise from God Who cannot lie. He tells us to give thefirst fruits . . . not what is left over. Why is it we do not have anything left over to give? Along with our own covetousness and greed, perhaps it is because we do not first honour the Lord with our substance. If this be true with us, we should not wonder at our financial difficulties. God is not going to bless someone who first thinks of himself and lavishes himself with things, while reluctantly or grudgingly giving a little (if anything) back to the One Who gave it all. How can this be? Consider what He gave . . .Himself.
“God loves a cheerful giver.” God honours His word and honours those who honour Him by doing what He says.
Listen to the following scripture, better yet, turn to it and read it for yourself. Listen carefully . . .
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” – Malachi 3:8-10