STEWARDSHIP
Stewards of Our Life 
Ephesians 2:8-9 

May 18, 2014

 

As human beings we look forward to the next great thing/event/celebration.
We often don't think about, plan, or even look forward to eternity. 
With retirement you have to save money to retire
With eternal life there is no such thing as enough "credits saved" We can not earn eternal life by doing more good then bad
We are saved by grace not through works
The only inherently "good" person is God the Son Jesus Christ
Jesus is our advocate and saves us through His sacrifice on the Cross
We can be more bad then good and still make it to heaven
Entering into Heaven is about Christ's work for us not our own work
Once we recognize that we are saved by Grace we need to live our lives for Christ
Many people do not want to live Christian lives because they feel it is too "legalistic"
Jesus came that we might be saved and be free from legalism
A Christian life is a life lived in abundance, to the "fullest"
As Christians we can live our lives knowing that even when we fail/do bad we have forgiveness
God makes life simple We complicate life
Jesus says simply to Love God and Love One another
For too long Christians have hurt their own witness by acting and saying they are Holier than thou
The only difference between a Christian and a non Christian is that we are saved by grace
We are sinners, but we have been redeemed
Those who don't believe in Jesus should not rest their eternity on the argument that all go to heaven
Only those who are saved by God's grace through Jesus can inherit eternal life
What is left is that we trust in Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength
Many believe the story of Jesus is true but don't allow Jesus to reign in their lives
Today is the day to strengthen our faith and those who don't trust Jesus to make a decision
God has given us a life and being a Good Steward means to that we take care of our life by giving it up to Jesus
 

STEWARDSHIP
Stewards of HIS Wealth
Matthew  25:14-30

May 4, 2014 

All that we have belongs to God
We are God's stewards; entrusted with His wealth
We often act like toddlers believing that everything we have is ours (Mine, Mine, Mine!)Non Christians act like this yet believers also act in the same manner
We often state that our hard work is what has produced our wealth
God is the one that gives us the ability and skills to be fruitful and produce
Some use the skills and resources God has given for evil
Giving sacrificially to God is like giving a dividend
A dividend is when a company gives a portion of its profits back to the owners/share holders
We are called by God to be fruitful/productive
He simply asks that we give back a "dividend" from the increase he has blessed us with
Jesus teaches that our lives are like that of a servants entrusted with talents
The Master gives and leaves expecting to return and take into account what we have done with our gifts
Like John 15 states, we are expected to be fruitful
If we are not fruitful we will be cut off
If we are fruitful we will be pruned in order to produce even more fruit
God wants us to be prosperous and wealthy
We know what God expects therefore we need to act accordingly
In the parable in Matthew 25:14-30 we find a servant who wasted his talent/resource
The servant who did nothing with the talent was considered a lazy and wicked servant
Jesus promises that if we give sacrificially we will be blessed 
Our blessing will be on Earth but even more so in Eternity 
Being a cheerful giver is not easy; the struggle is worth the reward
The IRS demands much more than God!
What we give back is minuscule compared to how much God has given and will give to us
While 10% is the standard of giving, we know that in God's eyes it is not about the amount
We should give what we have resolved in our heart to give
Our giving though should be in an attitude of Love towards God; giving out of gratitude 
Giving is not about how we feel about the church or people in the church
The Church is simply a Steward of the resources
When we give our tithe, offering, time, we are giving back to God


 

 

 

 

STEWARDSHIP
Stewards of the Earth
Genesis 1:26-31

April 27, 2014 

God created the world and everything in it
He made us stewards of creation
The word steward means to "watch over"The Greek further elaborates on the word by saying a steward is a "free person"
We are freed in Christ and responsible to watch over what belongs to God
God makes things simple
We complicate them
God said to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it.
Fruitful means to be productive; to fulfill our purpose on Earth
Jesus reminds us that God is like the gardener
We are like branches and Jesus is like the vine 
If we are not fruitful we are cut off
If we are fruitful then we are pruned so that we can bear more fruit
Jesus also reminds us that we can do nothing outside of Him
In Mark 11:12-14 Jesus curses the Fig tree
The Fig tree produces fruit before it has leaves
This Fig tree had all the nutrients, soil, sun etc to bear fruit but it had not
We should not be like this Fig tree. We must bear fruit
We must remember that we are to be fruitful in season and out of season
God gave us all things to be stewards of them
Every year the U.S. celebrates "Earth Day"
Many fail to recognize and remember that God is Lord over the Earth
God has entrusted the Earth into our hands that we may subdue it
Subdue means to bring under control; to work at it so that it may produce for us
Subdue does not mean to abuse, destroy or cause extinction by our actions
We must be good stewards of this Earth for it is the only one we have
Be good stewards because it is a privilege to care for what our God has made
-Remember while the worlds now says "I have the whole world in my hands" we know that
 God is the one who "Has the World in HIS hands" 

 

 

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
The Resurrection: Evil has a problem
Luke 23:26-46

April 20, 2014 

Jesus died on a Friday
As He hung on a cross and was buried, evil celebrated a victory!
Yet on a Sunday just three days later the story changesJesus is not in the tomb!
The women brave the still tense environment of Jerusalem
They find the tomb empty and an Angel saying "Why do you seek the living among the dead"
We know Jesus rose from the dead
Some say the tomb was the wrong one
The women had seen where the body was taken too
Some say the body was stolen by the authorities 
The authorities would have presented the body when resurrection talk spread and they didn't
The followers of Jesus would not have risked their lives if they had the still dead body of Christ
Jesus presented himself to the disciples as well as up to 500 people at one time
The leaders knew what happened but paid the guards (Matthew 28:11-15) to tell a lie
Jesus defeated Evil's power with His resurrection
Evil still exist but it has no power or dominion over those in Christ Jesus
Jesus defeated sin, evil and death and by extension the Devil himself
Because Jesus lives we will also live
Death is no longer permanent but a temporary inconvenience until Christ returns for us
He is risen! Risen indeed is our Christ. Amen. 

 

 

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
Jesus Dies Alone that we would Never Be
Luke 23:26-46

April 18, 2014 

God has always been about relationships
God created Adam and Eve that they might have a relationship with each other and with God
God cared that Adam was alone and created Eve
The Hebrew word for "alone" is pronounced like our English word "bad"
Beginning with the Triumphal Entry we see that with each passing day Jesus is ever more alone
Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray for his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow
Jesus knows He will die and that He will die alone
Jesus' disciples can not stay awake and keep watch
Judas betrays Jesus
Jesus is arrested and the disciples flee minus Peter
While Jesus is being interrogated Peter denies knowing Jesus three times
Jesus can see Peter in the courtyard
Jesus is almost completely alone at this point
Jesus is crucified among criminals yet He is not one of them
Jesus is mocked while on the cross as he dies slowly
The Devil and evil rejoiced at this sight
If the loneliness due to the the lack of friends is not enough Jesus is abandoned by the Father
Jesus becomes the substitute atonement for our sins
In taking on the sins of the world the Father who is Holy turns from Christ
Jesus cries out "why have you forsaken me"
Shortly after with a last breath Jesus dies
We deserved to be nailed to a cross but Jesus died for us
We were the ones who sinned yet He became sin for us that we might be made righteous 
Jesus dies alone so that we would never be alone
 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
The Triumphal Entry: A New Beginning

April 13, 2014

Jesus enters into Jerusalem with many praising Him
They praised him not so much for who He was but what He had done
People followed the signs and miracles performed
Today it was Jesus but the next day it could be another person
People often recognize Jesus as a wise man and teacher
Peter correctly stated that Jesus was and is the Son of the Living God
Jesus looks upon Jerusalem and weeps
He weeps because they people of the day failed to see the truth
Triumph for God was not overthrowing a government
Triumph was about overthrowing sin, evil and death once and for all
Jesus was coming not to reign as a human King
He came to reign in the hearts of those who would believe 
Jesus weeps because he was bringing peace but the people rejected it
They rejected their own prophet; their own God
Many of those who laid palm branches and praised Jesus turned from him
Later in the week the praises turn to shouts for crucifixion
We must praise God for Who He is rather than what He can do
Entering Jerusalem was a Triumphal moment for God for in that week evil would be defeated.

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
Evil ensnares but the Truth sets you Free
John 8:31-38

April 6, 2014 

As Americans we believe that we are completely free
Yet we demonstrate that often we are under the control and influence of many things
Often people talk about freedom from something when referencing addictions
Many people are addicted and enslaved to many things
To sin means to miss the mark; to make mistakes 
We all have sinned and missed the mark
In the beginning God created a "free" world with "free" human beings
In our free will we sinned
We then had to face the consequences 
God's plan has always been about redemption and restoring and giving us freedom
God's desire to give us freedom is completed in Jesus Christ' death and resurrection
We are free in Christ and encouraged in Galatians 5:5 not to submit again to the yoke of slavery
We often keep bringing up past mistakes even though Jesus has blotted out our transgressions
We need to stop burdening ourselves with the past!
Jesus came to give us freedom from sin and from our past; to give us a hope and a future.
Be still and know that God wants you to be free


THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
Blinders Needed: Fixing our Eyes upon Jesus
Hebrews 12:1-3

March 30, 2014

The majority of people confirm that "sight" is the most valuable of senses
Jesus emphasizes the importance of keeping our eyes on Him
When Jesus came to the disciples out at sea they could not believe it was Jesus
Peter having heard Jesus' voice demanded Jesus bring him out over the waters
Peter walked on water becoming the only man aside from the Lord himself to do so
Walking on water was considered the greatest of all water miracles
While Peter had his eyes on Jesus he walked on the water
When Peter looked around he began to sink for he feared the water over focusing on Christ
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the assurance about what we do not see
Jesus says that blessed are those who believe without seeing
People still look for miracles in order to believe
When we demand signs and miracles we become like the Devil
The Devil wanted Jesus to perform miracles in order to believe He was the Son of God
Our Fear should be of the Lord; not afraid but Respect and trust in Him 
Like a Horse who can not see behind its head but trust its rider
We must trust in Jesus to lead us
Sometimes we need blinders in order to focus on Christ
Keep our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith!

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
Why Good Things Happen to Bad People
2 Kings 22:1-20

March 16, 2014

Because of Adam and Eve's Sin, all have fallen under the curse of Sin
We live in a fallen world which affects everything from our bodies to the earth we live on
Contrary to some popular belief, God is Omnipotent-All Powerful
No one is "Good" except for God
We can "do" good but we are not inherently "good" people
Job did "good" and did not sin but he had a sinful nature as we all do
Jesus was truly "good" without sin and did not sin
Because we live in a fallen world, those that are fallen and not redeemed prosper at times
Those of us that our believers in Jesus Christ suffer in this world but God spares us from the worst
In our pain and suffering if could have been or be worse then it is
Because of our fallen state we deserve death but God in his grace gives us life
We live in a fallen world temporarily for in Christ our citizenship is in Heaven
We look forward to the eternity to come
Our suffering is temporary
We will live peacefully without any suffering for ever
The wicked/bad people prosper now but will suffer for ever
God rewards loyalty over good works
He/She who is faithful until the end will be saved
God's plan of salvation includes the restoration of all things including the fallen creation
Jesus was a perfect man who died as an innocent "good" fully man and yes fully God
He carried the burden of sin that we might have hope and salvation from this fallen evil world
One day there will be no more tears, pain, suffering or evil for we will be in the presence of God

 

 

 

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
The Word is Alive
2 Kings 22:1-20

March 9, 2014

Either you believe the Bible is the Word of God or you do not
The Devil uses scripture. He knows it but does not recognize it as the Word of God.
When Josiah reigned over Judah the Book of the Law is found
Shaphan the secretary did not think it was a big deal
Some believe the Bible is important but only as a Historical collection of books.
Josiah recognized that the book that was found was the Word of God
Josiah recognized this simply in the hearing of it because of the revelation of the Spirit of God
All scripture is Inspired by God
The original Greek of 2 Timothy 3:16 literally translates to "God's breath is in every word"
Paul is directly speaking about the Scriptures of the Old Testament in 2 Timothy 3:16
The New Testament is also inspired by God
The Old Testament prophetizes about the coming Messiah
The New Testament gives witness to the fact that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament.
God is the authority regarding Scripture because it is HIS Word
To interpret the Word of God we must go first to the source; to the author, God.
We must read the Scriptures always with the cross of Christ in mind
The life, death and Resurrection of our Lord is the context by which all scripture should be interpreted.
We must allow the Holy Spirit to be the one to open up our eyes to the revealed truth of Scripture
We must not lean on our own understanding in interpreting Scripture.
The Word of God should always be our guide in all matters of life and Faith
The Word is useful for teaching and training that we might learn and in turn teach others
The Word is useful for correcting. God uses His Word to draw us back to him when we sin.
The Word is useful for rebuking especially the Devil.
Jesus rebuked the Devil in the wilderness with the very Word of God.
The battle for our souls is real
The greatest weapon we have is our sword, the Inspired Word of God.
The Word is Alive and Active.
All things will pass but God's Word will remain forever.

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
Even Jesus was Tempted: Why Knowing the Enemy is Half the Battle
Ephesians 6:10-20

March 2, 2014

Jesus began his ministry by being baptized then tempted by the Devil
The way that the Devil tempted and attacked Jesus shine a light on his attacks towards us
The Devil is limited in his power and attributes
The Devil is not all powerful and his knowledge is limited
The Devil did not fully understand the incarnation miracle
The Devil wanted to tempt and test to see if Jesus was the Incarnate; Son of God
The Devil tempted Jesus at his weakest human point, at the end of his fasting
The Devil knows our weakness and tempts us where we are weak
Jesus responds with scripture stating that Men will not live on bread alone but on the word of God
Jesus was hungry but was not going to obtain what his body needed by going against God's will
Jesus taught us that while our bodies need physical sustenance we also need spiritual sustenance 
The Devil does not quit and tempts Jesus a second time
The Devil wanted Jesus to jump off the Temple top so that God would show his power and save Jesus
The Devil used Scripture to tempt Jesus
The Devil misquoted and gave his own sinister spin to Psalm 91 
Scripture interprets scripture
Jesus uses scripture to respond to the Devil
The Devil’s main goal is to disrupt relationships
With the second Temptation the Devil tries to test Jesus’ trust in the Father
Jesus again responds with Scripture
The Devil still does not quit and tempts a third time
The Devil offers Jesus power
Power over all the Kingdoms of the World if Jesus would worship the Devil
Jesus again responds with Scripture
Jesus wanted and desires to reign in the lives of all but not through coercive power
The Devil tempts us in our weakness
The Devil tries to disrupt our relationship and trust in each other
The Devil uses power to tempt us to serve him rather than God
In the end Jesus will have the victory
In the end people from every kingdom, nation, and tribe will worship Jesus

 

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
GOOD VS EVIL: THE BATTLE FOR OUR SOULS
Ephesians 6:10-20

Feb 23, 2014

All human wars and conflict are a result of evil
Evil is one of the opposing forces in Spiritual Battle
The spiritual battle is waged for our souls
Spiritual Battle began in the very beginning of creation
Because of Adam and Eve's Sin we are Spiritually dead
Spiritually dead means we do not have the ability or desire to seek after God
God is the one who draws us to him through his Love for us
God will never quit in his quest to save us
Our enemy the Devil never quits either
Satan is the embodiment of evil
Evil is the absence of all good; a polar opposite of God's nature
Evil does exist but only has power in how many people actually do evil
Because of our free will and Adam and Eve's spiritual death we have inherited a sinful nature\
As Christians we are no longer slaves to sin
Sometimes we act as though we were slaves
Sin is the violation of God's laws/commands
Some people sin or struggle with sin while others do not
Those who make a conscious choice to live a life of sin, live out a sinful lifestyle
A sinful lifestyle is one that rejects God. That lifestyle is evil.
Struggle is natural for a Christian going through sanctification
The enemy, the devil is conniving, shrewd, crafty and has power
God is transparent, honest, wise and not only has power; he is ALL powerful
We must battle but God has already won the ultimate victory.

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND GOD’S SOLUTION
God's Creative Love
Genesis 1:23-2:3

Feb 16, 2014

 

Before all thing there was a Triune God of Love
God's Love required an object to love and object of His affection
Everything God does including Love is done purposefully
God's greatest desire is that we have a relationship with Him
God's desires that we reciprocate His Love; that we Love Him in return
We have been created in the image of a Triune God of Community and Love
Being created in the image of a God of Love we have the ability to Love
True Love requires that the reciprocation be out of free will
Out of their free will Adam and Eve chose to disobey God
The first sin caused spiritual death to all
God did not give up on us. He still desires to have a relationship with us.
Through Christ we can have Salvation and Victory.