Today begins a four-part series on financial stewardship titled Treasure Island. This week we look closely at Luke 12, and see how Jesus talks about kingdom living in the Sermon of the Mount.
In England you drive on the left side of the road. In the Philippines you can not get a divorce. In Canada they put mayonnaise on their French fries.
The point is that every country has its own set of rules and laws. God's kingdom is no exception. If we want to truly be blessed, we must live by the rules of His kingdom. First though, we need to make sure we know what the rules are.
Home is where you make it and home is where you want to be. In this lesson we are going to talk about two islands; Island #1 is the island of man. Island #2 is the island paradise of God. Don't believe me? Read on.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34
Who Do You Trust To Provide?
On Island #1 you worry as you strive to provide.
Pastor Miles pointed out that the most talked about subject in the Bible is money and the reason for is because it means so much to us. Survival, prestige, security.
On Island #2 you are blessed by a God who provides.
In Luke 12:22-23, Jesus says Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; no about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
As we read on in Luke 12:24-27 Jesus talks about the ravens and the lilies and how God provides for these things everyday. Then He goes on to say that God knows and loves us way more these things, so we should not fear. Instead we should pray and trust that God will provid, even in times of trouble and economic depressions.
Of course, this doesn't mean we don't have to work. Remember that God put Adam in charge of the Garden of Eden, even before any sin occurred.
Who Owns Your Stuff?
On Island #1 you think you own it all... your money, your looks, your house, your body, everything you have.
But really, what gets buried with you when die? Nothing. There is a reason for that.
On Island #2 you acknowledge and honor God as owner.
Job 1:21 says, Naked I came from my mothers womb. And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Where Are You Storing Your Treasure?
On Island #1 temporal riches fade away.
Pastor Miles made a good point about how anything we can touch will fade with time. Any home owner or car owner will tell you that. But this also applies to other things... Parties, drugs, drinking. It all loses its appeal after a while and becomes more of a habit than anything else.
On Island #2 eternally secure riches to build God's kingdom.
See what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. Luke 12:33
All our treasures fade but not God's treasures as he provides and provides eternally for us because he loves us.
Improving Your Prayer Life
Pastor Miles talked about the fast and how to prepare for it (depending on what you are going to give up to get closer to God. Go to the website for more info on that).
And then Pastor Miles showed us all a new way to pray so that we can get closer to God. It allows you to be more conscious of what you're actually praying and helps you keep focused on one thing at a time.
It is easy to remember; Together, the first letters of each part of the prayer spell "AWCIPA".
A Admire and thank God.
Thank God for everything you have first and there is so much to be thankful for.
W Wait Quietly Before God.
Sit quietly and listen to God speak to you. And write it down too.
C Confess your sins
Confess your sins to God as we all have something to confess.
I Intercede for Others
Pray for others first and bless those that need it as well.
P Petition for yourself.
Ask for a pure heart. Ask for wisdom. Ask for forgiveness.
A Admire and Thank God
Simply thank God again.