Thursday, October 15, 2009

What are we doing?

I listened to Matt Chandler's Luke Chapter 12 Sermon (Luke Sermon 26). I want to share my notes with you all.

Chapter 12 – Verse 13: Someone said to Jesus tell my brother to divide his inheritance with me. Jesus had said there was a difference between religion and kingdom and then this random thought comes in. And Jesus said: Man who made me a judge or arbitrator over you? He says to the disciples: Take care, pay attention and be on your guard against all covetousness. For one’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of his possessions. Go back to Genesis to creation when he wired and designed the universe from the earth and animals and plants and night and day to being created in the image of the triune God then he rested. The creator in those days of creation is now in the flesh and telling this man how life works/doesn’t work. Think of how much time we spend trying to get this “thing” whatever it is in our life. We’ve bought into this lie that if we just get “this” or just do “this” life would be better than it is now. But God is saying life doesn’t work that way.

Then he gave a parable of the land of a rich man whose land produced plentifully. He built a greater storage. God told him – the things you have prepared are useless for those who have built up things for themselves. Basically he was given an abundance and didn’t do anything with it but store it. What does it mean to be rich towards God? Don’t be anxious about your life or your possessions or what to eat or drink. Anxiety does nothing and doesn’t add to life. The ravens were “worthless” and he considers them. They are scavengers, they don’t sow or reap yet he feeds them and he loves us more. Don’t be defined by your stuff or your needs. Your identity should only be in God’s kingdom – seek the Lord and all these things will be added to you. It is our father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom – do not fear.

•God is not waiting for the future version of me to get it together to love me passionately. He loves me just as I am.

So sell your possessions and give to the needy. Don’t let your money bags grow old. Where your treasure is there your heart will be also. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy or having their storage full. But your money reveals who you really are. God is trying to free us from the bondage that can come with wealth. Being rich towards God, is knowing that in the end he is ALL I need and I become an instrument in his hand to do all I can through him through what he’s given me.

The word is clear about it. There are over 2,103 in the verses in our bible that address the poor and oppressed and what it looks like to have a heart transformed by the gospel. And open handed living to give to the poor and help them. Use our wealth and our abilities to serve them. You need to live in such a way that you live open handed toward the oppressed.

•Think of the story in Luke 16:19 – the story of the rich man and the poor man Lazarus and how they died and the rich man was in Hades and Lazarus was with Abraham. He could see them and called to Abraham. He still didn’t get it and wanted to be served. Could Hades be that your heart is SO hard that laid next to God you still just don’t get it? You know you’re tormented you just don’t get why.
•Luke 18:18 – Rich Young Ruler Story. He did everything externally correct but he was lacking. He didn’t care for others and help others. He was selfish. Jesus looked at him with sadness.
•Ephesians 2:8-10 – You have been saved by grace not of works, lest any man should boast. You were broken, you couldn’t fix yourself. God fixed you. You are God’s workmanship – his poetry, his art – shaped and molded and designed by him, called to himself to do GOOD WORKS that he prepared before I existed.
•He always meant us to do more. It’s not about religious works. It’s about a heart for others. It’s about very real compassion.
•Think of the Beatitudes – Blessed are the poor…
•Hebrews 10 – Do not forsake the gathering of the believers, so we might encourage one another and stir one another up in LOVE and GOOD DEEDS. It’s more than going to church.
•It’s not the government’s job – it’s mine to take care of people. It’s my job.
•James 1 – that we would look after widows and orphans in their distress. Keep ourselves from being polluted from the world. This isn’t a religious list – this means if you’re chasing what the world is chasing and putting God’s name on it like the man in the original story.

Most of us are selfish with what we have by accident.
•We have a nice TV but it’s not HD so we go and spend money we don’t have.
•Or we have a small house we can afford then buy something we can’t afford.
•Or because we want something beyond our means.
•Or we could have cooked something at home for $6 but went to Cheesecake Factory and spent $62.
•Or we drive cars we can’t afford or have the next new fun thing.
•It makes life feel better for a moment. But it fades quickly.
•What does this say about our heart? This is not about socialism. We’re not forced to do these things. It’s about liberty and choosing to do the right thing – not mandating it at a government level. God’s heart is tied to the poor and ours isn’t. What happened to us?
•What can we do? Get out of debt. It kills our ability to be generous.
•Start helping somewhere/somehow. Think Compassion International, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Soup Kitchens, Mission work locally and internationally.
•Give things away rather than selling.
•Helping people with food and clothes and schools supplies.
•Tutoring children
•Have a heart for people.
•And the list goes on.

We have been gifted and given by God to push back what’s dark in the world. We rob ourselves of joy and depth of life by not being obedient in this area.

Remember it’s not wrong to have. It's not a sin to have or be rich. It's a sin with what we do or not do with it. What matters is how we use what you have. Don't live a frivolous life full of trinkets. When is enough enough? We’ve been blessed to give and help others. Be invited into what God is doing.

Do something. Do anything, but do something.

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