This is the message I preached at the First Baptist Church in Clearlake, CA this last Sunday.
Stewardship Produces Plenty
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The Lord Is Your Companion
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. – Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)
It is interesting that when the Lord is giving us the promise that He would continue to be our constant companion, He also wants us to be content with what he brings into our lives. Is He saying that we should be content with what we have because in all of it He is walking with us and will guide us?
The instruction, “Let your conversation be without covetousness,” is talking about our attitude toward others and about things. We should be content with the things God brings into our lives and not to desire the blessings of others.
Covetousness comes to us from the original sin in the garden. When Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was desirable, she desired it. It was forbidden, but that didn’t stop her. The result is that the basic human nature which desires what it should not have and is not content with what it does have was born into the human race.
God is very capable of being all that we need, and he has promised to stay with us through all of life’s struggles. But the question becomes, do we trust him to do what he has promised? If you find yourself being a bit jealous of what others have, either in things or position, then it just may be that the root of that jealousy is a lack of trust in God to provide his best for you.
Prayer: Lord, I ask you today to grant me the grace of trusting you to be my constant companion and to accept what you bring into my life as your way of working your divine purpose in me. In Jesus name. Amen.
Message: The instruction, “Let your conversation be without covetousness,” is talking about our attitude toward others and about things. We should be content with the things God brings into our lives and not to desire the blessings of others.
Affirmation: I know that my Lord will never leave me nor forsake me, therefore, I am content with what he gives me.
Reflection: What are some conversations that you can imagine which would indicate being covetous of others? What would you consider to be the root of coveteousness?
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Purposes Of The Kingdom
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10
From the beginning man has misunderstood the purposes of the kingdom. The serpent posed the idea that God was holding man back by restricting what he should know. Man listened to that lie and a desire was begun in man to know what God knows and thus become like God. The serpent is the thief Jesus was talking about.
The feeling that following God will somehow keep me from being fulfilled has permeated the human experience since the first sin. Many today feel that God’s way is boring and leaves no place for just being themselves. How many times have we been asked, “What do you Christians do for fun any way?”
The thief, who is the same as the serpent in the garden, has sown false hope in self, which is the seed of destruction. Listening to the lies of the arch deceiver has allowed him to steal our peace, 1
destroy our hope and lead us ultimately to death.
All of man’s searching for the good life, outside of what God has to offer, has left him empty and still searching. It seems that the more he strives for fulfillment the emptier he becomes. As man focuses on self-realization he moves further and further from the God who has promised fulfillment in knowing him.
Jesus expressed a purpose in the kingdom of God in our verse for today. “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full.” A primary purpose for the kingdom is to restore man to the fullness he had with God in the garden.
The kingdom of God is positioning us so that the best heaven has to offer can be released to us. The kingdom is not about controlling our life but it is about calling us to a lifestyle which allows him to open the doors of heaven and pour out upon us a blessing we cannot contain. It is about God having an opportunity to express his love for us.
The Scripture is full of promises which are to be fulfilled in those who have been born into the kingdom of God through a faith in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the opportunity to experience your kingdom. Grant me the grace to serve you will. In Jesus name. Amen.
Message: A primary purpose for the kingdom is to restore man to the fullness he had with God in the garden. The kingdom of God is positioning us so that the best heaven has to offer can be released to us. The kingdom is not about controlling our life but it is about calling us to a lifestyle which allows him to open the doors of heaven and pour out upon us a blessing we cannot contain. It is about God having an opportunity to express his love for us.
Affirmation: God's purpose for me is that I might have an abundant life. He makes the way for me to have that life by showing me the path to follow. That path is his law.
Reflection: We must not misunderstand the grace of God. The path to abundant life in the kingdom of God is straight and narrow. Not everyone who claims to be on the path are really on the true straight and narrow path. Think about it.
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Fearing God Produces Long Life
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The King and His Kingdom
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Paul Smith: Husband, Grandfather, father, writer, preacher, pastor, servant of God... and hopefully thought of as a Christian.
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