Dirty Gospel – Part 4
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday June 10, 2018
Main Idea – Because God has given us so much, our natural response is a joy to give and help others. We have this joy in helping others because we are in covenant with each other & with God, we believe in the importance of the local church, and we want to hear Jesus say, “well done.”
Routines get interrupted
- We all have daily routines that occasionally get interrupted.
- Often, we respond negatively to routines being interrupted.
- Many good things will come from operating outside the comfort of a routine life. “Happiness is impossible without embracing the happy mess.”
- God will use what happens when we operate outside our comfort zones.
”Get to” instead of “have to”
- Some people are following God from a sense of obligation, rather than from a passion. These people might regard involvement with a local church as something to be endured rather than something to be enjoyed.
- When we have fully received & comprehended our salvation, then we joyfully engage opportunities to share that salvation with others.
- Similarly, when we have fully received & comprehended all the blessings God has given us, then we joyfully give to others.
The joy of giving and serving
- The Bible tells of times when people gave from a spiritual joy God put inside their hearts.
- Exodus 35:21 – Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.
- The Hebrew word for stirred is nasa, which means “to lift, carry, support, take away.”
- The Hebrew word for willing is nadab which means “incite, impel, make willing.”
- When our hearts are stirred, and our spirits are willing, then we respond by joyfully giving to others.
- Acts 20:35 – I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
- The Greek word for blessed is makarios which means “happy”.
- When you give you will experience more happiness than when you receive. Therefore, we can’t wait to give and to experience that happiness.
Use your talents
- It is not just about the gift itself, but what is in one’s heart when one gives.
2 Corinthians 8:12 – For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. NIV
- Matthew 25: 14-30 tells the parable of the talents. The lesson of this parable includes the idea that God will evaluate how well we are using the skills and talents He has given us.
- God is expecting us to do something with what we have been given. We will be held accountable for what we do with what we have been given, and will be rewarded for how we have used our gifts.
- The wonderful beauty of giving is that when we give we do not lose what we have given away, but will actually be given more back from God in return.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
- “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
Christians are committed to giving and serving because:
- We are in covenant with each other and with God. Psalm 92:13 – Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
“None of us is as good as all of us.”
- We believe in the local church. Ephesians 3:10-11 – His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God is the best steward of His resources. He knows what He is doing; and He does it through the local church.
- We want to hear Jesus say “well done.” Matthew 25:23 – His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
A great irony
- God’s love is so strong that He greatly rewards us for having served Him out of thankfulness for what He first gave us.
- In eternity, God will have even greater opportunities for us to be productive by giving and serving.
Reflective Questions for Dirty Gospel – Part 4
- Why is it dangerous to get into a mindset of complacency; to resent changes to our daily routines?
- Do you remember a time you tended to serve God from a sense of obligation? What happened that enabled you to experience the joy that comes from serving? Can you describe that joy in your own words?
- Do you feel you have allowed enough time in your schedule for serving others? If not, should you consider what might need to be removed from your schedule to make necessary room?
- Pastor Stephen gave a humorous description of what the “waiting room” to see Jesus might be like at the end of time. Do you have another idea about what meeting Jesus will be like at that time? What do you think your conversation with Him will be like?