THE PRIORITIES OF GOD
When the most developed love in our lives is tethered to temporal things, we believe eternal truth but our reality is altered and immature.
1 Tim 6:17-19 “…be rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share. 19 In this way (you) will lay up treasure for the coming age so (you) may take hold of the life that is truly life. NIV
There is more to this life than this life. Jesus taught that this life is merely a test. Decisions we make in this life determine not only where we go when we die but what it will be like when we get there!
We believe what we believe but we love what we love even more than we believe what we believe. This is why the Bible refers to our thinking hearts.
What you love alters your reality. This is why people start dating and lose their mind. God is very specific about this issue of ensuring our treasure is moving in the right direction as we honor him and dignify others.
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. NIV
This comes after a very telling story about the importance of handling riches correctly.
Luke 12:16-19 “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ NIV
Jesus could have stopped here and given an amazing lesson on the blessing of God. It was a strong belief in this day that you were blessed by God if you were rich. This could have been a masterpiece text on the importance of saving for your future. Jesus is always thinking way beyond what we are thinking.
Luke 12:20-21 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” NIV
Wait! I can’t run out of years to live if I still have money to spend? His assumption was that if it came to me then it must be for me. He lost everything because he died and he lost the opportunity to do something important with what he had because time ran out. His temporal appetites robbed him of his eternal treasure.
God knows how costly it is for us to be self-absorbed. This is why God has always made sacrificial giving as a part of his plan for worship. WE DO NOT GET CREDIT FOR WHAT WE LEAVE WE ONLY GET CREDIT FOR WHAT WE GIVE. The reason for this is because everybody leaves the same amount = everything!
The problem is that most people in our wealthy culture give
spontaneously, sporadically and sparingly. God’s plan for us to grow in wealth involves giving as a priority, percentage and persistently.
Decisions we make in this life determine not only where we go when we die but what it will be like when we get there!
GP4RL: Purpose a meal of beans and rice. Pray before the meal giving thanks and again after the meal for people in need.
We love what we love even more than we believe what we believe. God knows this about our design and is why Jesus said love God and love others as our highest priority = all commands! If we love God and love others as our highest priority then what believe is born from what we love. What we believe determines how we behave.
What you believe determines how you behave but who you are is more about your identity that produces everything about why you do what you do. You're thinking head determines what you do your thinking heart determines why you do it. Your “why” is more important than you “want.” This takes us into the deeper recesses of our lives to understand the why. You come home and find a boat in the driveway and your question to your spouse is, “What did you do?” The deeper question is, “Why did you do that?” The head clearly understands what we are to do but Jesus is always working to reach our hearts because the heart has such tremendous influence on the head.
We must live our lives in such a way that the kindness of Christ is communicated to our world. If you are more concerned with being right than you are with loving and helping people you’ve lost your focus as a believer. The Bible clearly teaches that we should let love be our argument
James 2:18 …I will show you my faith by what I do. NIV
The Bible speaks of two judgments: (John 5:24) = Salvation & (2 Cor 5:10) = Works. Cannot claim Jesus for works.
Every Christian should have two testimonies: 1. Salvation and 2. How the world is a better place because of how we used our God-given gifts to help others.
Works have been undersold in the church for too long. Faith without works is dead.
Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Sharing the Gospel in our world has become like arguing a case before skeptical jury with no evidence.
1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (NIV)
Proverbs 11:17 Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. (NLT)
It’s our responsibility as Christians to demonstrate the sacrificial love of God reaching out to have community in an authentic way. This is the true plan for expanding God’s kingdom.