Money is a certificate of good performance. It is given to you by God when You have interacted with, and served well, the needs of His other children.
Worship and Money
Rabbi Daniel Lapin
August 18, 2019
Main Idea– Money is a certificate of good performance. It is given to you by God when You have interacted with, and served well, the needs of His other children.
Sharing God’s wisdom
- Rabbi Lapin does not regard himself as brilliant, but simply as someone who studies ancient Jewish wisdom - as found in the scriptures - and shares those concepts with others.
- Through the Old Testament scriptures God has provided the guidance for everything you will need in life.
The gift of creativity
- God values human creativity and industriousness. Genesis 2:15 – Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
- God put us here to use and develop the natural resources of the planet.
- God created us in His image and put us here to work and provide value for each other.Technology is proof we are creative – just as He is.
Serving each other’s needs
- God wants us to take care of each other and have relationships with each other.
- It gives Him joy when we find ways to serve His other children.
- God directed Solomon to build a huge temple for worship in the middle of a thriving urban area (Jerusalem). He did not want it built out in the middle of “nature.”
Money as evidence of a job well done
- No other created being – no animal – was given the ability to develop technology.
- However, to be able to make technology – and other useful things – you must work alongside others.
- Money is good. God gave it to us to encourage us to interact with each other. Genesis 2:12 – And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
- Money is evidence God has unique expectations of us; expectations he does not have of the animals.
- God wants us to have individual, personal property that is our own. We should be happy for – not resentful – of what other people have.
- Deuteronomy 19:14 – You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.
- Exodus 20:17 – You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
Work and worship go together
- God gave humans clear directions about what is important to Him. It’s important that we work hard for six days and then rest on the seventh day to praise Him.
- Exodus 20:9-10 – Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you nor your son nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
- Exodus 9:1 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve (worship) Me.”
- Joshua 24:15 – And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
- In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for “work” and “worship” is the same word (abad). Therefore, we should regard the concepts of work and worship together. The two ideas should be merged.
- Worship not only means praising God, but also doing your job well. In other words, working to provide a product that benefits others is part of what is worship.
It is not good to be alone
- There are two places in the Old Testament where God said something was “not good.” (The Hebrew word “towb”)
- The first place was when God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. Genesis 2:18 – And the Lord said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.
- The second place was in Exodus where Moses’ father-in-law told him it was not good that Moses spent all his time resolving the personal problems of the Israelites. Exodus 18:17 – So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good.” He advised Moses to delegate the work to many other people alongside him.
- Isolation is not good. Isolation will make you crazy.
- God gave us money as an incentive to socialize and interact with others in a productive way.
- Money is the means by which value is exchanged between individuals. When you spend money, you are receiving a product you value more than the money. Otherwise, you would not have spent the money.
Provide value through your work
- Money will come to you if you work at providing something people value more than their money.
- People will exchange their money with you if you provide them with something they value, if they trust you, have faith in you, and like you.
- Money is a certificate of performance that you did something good for God’s children; that you have interacted well with the rest of His family.
- Money is not something God will give you because you ask for it.
- Money is a reward for thinking about, and serving, the needs of others.
Reflective Questions for Worship and Money
- What does it mean to you that the Hebrew word for “work” and “worship” is the same word?
- How, if at all, does that enable you to better evaluate your current employment or responsibilities?
- Based on Rabbi Lapin’s teaching, what is the purpose of money?
- Based on Rabbi Lapin’s teaching, how could you best respond – with love – to someone who says s/he can worship God out in the woods?
Good transitions must take place from one generation to another. Closing the gap is transitioning between what was, what is, and what will be.
Pastor Stephen Hayes
August 11, 2019
Main Idea– Good transitions must take place from one generation to another. Closing the gap is transitioning between what was, what is, and what will be.
John 2: 1-11– On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, "Draw someout now, and take itto the master of the feast." And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made of wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew) the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guestshave well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!" This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. (NKJV)
What is the Gap:
- It is connecting what was, and what is, and what will be.
- God spoke of himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; which represents the beginning, the middle, and the end.
- Moses mentored Joshua; which is symbolic of the beginning and the end. However, Joshua did not do a good job of mentoring others, and did not pour into the next generation. As a result, there were 400 years of silence.
- Generationally speaking, there is always a beginning, middle, and next.
- For us to survive we need to understand the three part mandate. For example, Grandparents focus on their children, their grandchildren, and their children.
- As the middle generation, we are responsible to pass on the wisdom from the previous generation (our parents) to the next generation (our children), who then pass it on the next generation.
- 1 Peter 5:5- Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (NKJV)
Lessons from the wedding at Cana to help us close the gap:
- John 2:11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.(NKJV)
- It is important to serve and teach together.We see that, traditionally, Jewish weddings always include the entire family (parents and children).
- Worshipping together is how we show the next generation what it means to believe God.
Lessons from the story on wine skins:
Luke 5: 37-39 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine,immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.' "(NKJV)
- New expressions of the anointing need new wineskins so they can be stretched.
- We are called to value both the old and the new. It is important to look back, but new is the only real option.
- As adults, it is important that we see the gifts in others and to provide a container for them to grow.
- In that passage, Jesus taught that new is an acquired taste."And no one, having drunk old wine,immediately desires new…”(Luke 5:39)
- We must see current situations as Father founded, Son centered, and Spirit driven.
What parents want to do for their children
- Invest in their inheritance
(Jewish families have their children invest in their inheritance as a way of contributing, but also learning to value it.)
- Increase their own personal value
As an example: practice chivalry from a young age.
- Say yes to everything
- When the opportunity is from God or parent directed.
- Respond like Mary, who said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.(Luke 1:38NKJV)
What every student needs from parents
- To know they are perceived according to their potential, not for what they are currently.
- SAY what you SEE.
- Share/give them a mental picture of what they are called to be
- Start a process to develop what you SEE and have SAID.
- Parents: see your child’s potential, and speak it before it is a reality.
- Be courageous. It takes courage to recognize the talent in someone else and to share it with them even when it has not yet happened.
- See, speak, and help to develop the next generation.It is important to see the gift and to give it a container to grow.
- Think in threes – Beginning, Middle and Next.
Reflective Questions for The Gap
- Closing the gap is about thinking generationally. Give an example of how one can focus on what was, what is, and what will be.
- If you are a parent, review the section “What Parents want to do for their children”. Which of those ideas is something you can implement right away?
- In the same way, review the section “What every student needs from parents.” Why, do you suppose, parents seem to have a natural ability to recognize undeveloped potential in their children?
- Looking at yourself, and where you are, what are some ways that you can see generational impact? Is it Father founded, Son centered and Spirit driven?
We desperately need an encounter with God.
Pastor Mike Hayes
August 4, 2019
Main Idea– We desperately need an encounter with God.
Key Verse: Genesis 28: 13 – 19
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.
Thoughts from a Beatles’ concert: looking at a split screen: (troubling lessons from the concert and the comparison with church audiences)
· Standing for the full concert
· Lack of energy, excitement, the emotion for Jesus does not come to the level of a Beatles concert.
· Entered in, excited, screaming, clapping and engaged
· Some stand, some sit, some clap (most do not); few sing (many say nothing)
· Familiarity of the encounter with the Beatles drew the crowd in; experience drew them in.
· Many don’t enter in during worship, though we accepted Jesus, we don’t remember the encounter with God.
· We acknowledge in an obligatory way
What we can learn from Jacob’s life and encounter with God
A. Jacob’s background, from where he came:
- Grandson of Abraham, but made many mistakes.
- Jacob had a basic dishonest DNA. He had many flaws and twists in his character.
- His name means supplanter. He cheated his brother Esau out of his birthright. He was an over-exaggerated salesman.
- He found himself in a most difficult place; a place where things did not work as he wanted.
- Jacob found himself with a rock for a pillow.
B. Jacob’s encounter with God:
- Jacob found himself in a troubled sleep, then the heavens opened and Jacob encountered God.
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder wasset up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (Gen 28:12)
- We need to shift our paradigm about the ministry of angels. Angels are ministering spirits assigned to our lives. They ascend to heaven with our asks and needs and descend from heaven with our answers.
Hebrews 1: 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who will inherit salvation?
- During this encounter, God showed Jacob how the spirit world works. Even when we think we are alone; when we have a rock for a pillow, we are never alone.
C. What God revealed to Jacob:
- He reminded Jacob of who he was, his lineage. In Genesis 28:13 God basically said, “You, Jacob, are the grandson of the father of faith: Abraham. I am not finished with you yet.”
- “All that I have promised you, to the west and the east, to the north and the south will be yours.” (Gen 28:14)
- “I will bless the nations through you; in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 28:14)
Three things an encounter with God will do:
- It will reveal the depth of your past; from where you came, how you arrived at this moment (who was praying, fasting and prophesying over you, etc.) We must remember that the steps of a righteous man/woman are ordered by God.
- It will solidify your present.
- It will assure you about your future.
The differences between Jacob’s first and second visit to Bethel:
- The miracle of the 2ndvisit is God changed not only Jacob’s name from Jacob (cheater) to Israel (princely power).
- God reminded Jacob that He planned from the beginning to complete the work He started in him. We see this in God’s reference of “I am the God of Abraham and Isaac” (v.13).
- As with Jacob, God is calling you back to the place you first met Him, to do a deep change.
- Clearly, Jacob was ready to change, to go from Jacob to Israel, and from Luz to Bethel.
Bethel – 1st visit
Bethel – 2nd visit
· Jacob left Bethel, but was not changed
· Jacob returned to Bethel, wanting to change
· Jacob laid out to God, if you will do… then, I will…; he was trying to cut a deal
· Jacob says to God, “you have to change me”
· Jacob built a life that was mess; (Genesis 33, 34)
· Before his return, Jacob tells his family to get rid of the idols. His desire was for God to truly change him and his family.
Reflective Questions for Encountering God
- Have you ever been in a difficult place? Have you been in a place like Jacob? Are you in that place now, in need of revival?
- In your Jacob moment, did you ask God “how did I get here?” How did you respond to God’s answer?
- Does the comparison between a Beatles’ concert and a typical church service resonate in any way with you?
- Are you, like Jacob on his second visit to Bethel, desperate for an encounter with God? What are you willing to do to have this encounter?
Loving God with all of your strength is the sum total of the vibrancy of the health of your heart, soul, and mind. The health of your heart, soul, and mind contribute to your strength.
Reply All – Part 4 (The Strength)
Pastor Guillermo Castellanos
July 28 2019
Main Idea– Loving God with all of your strength is the sum total of the vibrancy of the health of your heart, soul, and mind. The health of your heart, soul, and mind contribute to your strength.
Key Verse: Luke 10: 25-28 – And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
Loving God with all your strength:
- God desires that we love Him with all our strength.
- Loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind contributes to your strength.
- Strength is like a capacitor. When you require of it, it can only put out what you have put in.
- You are responsible for what you take in; this has a direct impact on your strength.What you listen to, watch, and visualize affects your strength.
- Will what you are taking in meet the demands for what you are trying to put out? Our input equals our output.
- We should not defer responsibility for our actions to others. We are responsible for our own actions.
- We must - with intentionality and purpose - take time to deposit things in our lives that we will need for tomorrow.
Sources of building strength:
- We learn things about ourselves through experiences; who we really are.
- Experiences introduce you to you.
- Through our experiences we discover our strengths and weaknesses.
- Worship as part of our experience helps us realize God is with us. Through worship, the Holy Spirit inspires us and introduces us to the aspects and characteristics of who God says we are.
- Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (NKJV)
- God designed the culture of the church to strengthen and to hold up each other.
- Together we are stronger than alone. Solitude is not God’s plan for any of us.
- Jesus added this context when speaking to the lawyer. Loving with all your heart, soul, mind and strength should also include loving your neighbor. It is important to do both. Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (NKJV)
- God - the greatest source of strength
- God strengths us through the Holy Spirit. His strength is considerate and compassionate.
- He does not give us strength just to make us strong, but for us to show compassion.
- Luke 9: 54-56; (v56) “For the Son of Man did not cometodestroymen’s lives but tosave ” And they went toanother village. (NKJV)
- Godly strength is meek, not weak. We are strong when we are weak.
- Ephesians 3:16 – that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, (NKJV)
- Jesus was not ruled by His strength. Jesus ruled His strength.
- Experiences and relationships will fail. But, God is asking you to yield to Him, not to your own strength.
What it means to live with all your strength
- God will be with you to encourage you.
- You will find opportunities to build strength; they are everywhere.
- We exhibit our weakest moments when we try to live life on our own, apart from God.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Reflective Questions for Reply All – Part 4
- Reflecting on today’s message, are you allowing God to be the source of your strength in all situations? If not, what steps will you take to yield to Him as the source of your strength?
- Name some of the ways you are demonstrating God’s strength in your life? How does this show consideration and compassion?
- We learned that opportunities exist all around us to show, and to build, our strength. How will you act on the opportunities to develop the character and strength you will need in the future?
- Thinking about the experiences and relationships you have trusted in the past, do you see how trusting God as the greatest source is best?Can you identify current areas where you have trusted yourself, or other humans, but where you will now trust God?
It is not possible to love God if you do not love Him with your whole mind. The thoughts you repeatedly think will become strongholds that will influence your words and actions. A sound mind is one that is continually regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
Reply All – Part 3 (The Mind)
Pastor Ricky Texada
July 21, 2019
Main Idea– It is not possible to love God if you do not love Him with your whole mind. The thoughts you repeatedly think will become strongholds that will influence your words and actions. A sound mind is one that is continually regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
The issues of life
- All the challenges we experience in life can be boiled down to issues of the heart, soul, or mind.
- Our faith was given to us by God; it is our responsibility to nourish and sustain that faith.
- Luke 10: 25-28 – And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
Love the Lord with all your mind
- What you think and believe translates into action, and influences every aspect of your life.
- Your ability to grow closer to God is influenced by those things on which your mind is dwelling.
Strongholds are created in the mind
- Your intellect, reasoning ability, and perceptions come from your mind.
- Your thoughts are created in your mind.
- Over time, those thoughts – if repeatedly reinforced – become strongholds.
- You will have a tendency to vigorously defend those strongholds; even harmful strongholds.
- 2 Corinthians 10: 4-6 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Some harmful mindsets mentioned in the Bible are:
- Debased minds.Your mind was originally created to love God. A debased mind has rejected that idea. This ultimately will result in a hatred of God.
Romans 1: 28-32 – And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
A debased mind develops in incremental steps:
Step #1 – Missing the mark. Missing the mark is common to all of us. It involves good intentions, but with the result of falling short of a standard God has established.
Step #2 – Aiming away from the mark. After missing the mark, one can determine to not even try for the mark God established, but to aim somewhere else.
Step #3 – Creating a new standard in opposition to God’s standard. At this stage, one has determined that good is evil, and that evil is good.
Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.
Judges 21:25 – In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
A debased mind degrades us to the level of animals: operating primarily on instinct. To do this is to ignore that God is real and present with us.
- Double mindedness. Double mindedness is the condition where one’s personal will takes precedence over God’s will.
James 1: 5-8 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
The Greek word for double-minded is dipsychos, an adjective that means “wavering, uncertain, doubting, divided in interest.”
A double-minded person may ask God for guidance, but is not committed to God’s ways. S/he has a confused mind with unstable reasoning.
- Carnal mindedness. A carnal mind has chosen to be subject to things other than God. A carnal mind loves the world more than God.
Romans 8:5-7 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.
It is impossible for a carnal mind to please God.
Regenerate your mind by the Holy Spirit
- Laws create order. Laws are put in place to govern an environment or atmosphere.
- The laws of the Spirit are in a war with laws of the flesh. The two cannot coexist. Your mind must be transformed from its natural tendency to oppose God.
- Romans 12: 2- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
- Romans 7: 18-25 – For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do: but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Align your mind with God’s Word
- God’s Word – what He has said in the Bible – renews your mind, renews your thoughts, and produces peace.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- Joshua 1:8 – This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
- Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
- Philippians 4: 6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Begin the renewal process with prayer
- In prayer focus your mindset on God and the things of the Spirit. Displace from your thoughts those things that are of the flesh.
- Bring to God anything in your mind that needs to be destroyed.
- Focus your mind of those things that are good. Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
Reflective Questions for Reply All – Part 3
- Pastor Ricky said that negative mental strongholds develop in incremental steps (see above). Can you give an example of how this has happened in society today?
- How can you resist these negative strongholds? (See “Align your mind with God’s Word” above.)
- What is a first step that should be done to help yourself, and others, to replace carnal tendencies with God’s spiritual laws?