Multiply: The Principle of Repentance
One of the things I say so often is that our way doesn’t work, God’s way does. Psalms 128:1 says, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.” I know this may sound very basic, but the reality is, it is a very profound truth that is relevant to each of us no matter what stage of our walk with God we are in. The key is to stop “doing it my way” and start doing it God’s way.
Something To Talk About:
In Sunday’s message we looked at, contrasted, and compared five natural ways with God’s ways:
- Calling vs. Compensation: One of the biggest struggles in life is balancing everything that we have going on. There are obligations in ministry and work, with our spouse, family, and church. With so many things in our lives competing for attention, it can be difficult to keep priorities in balance. Our relationship with Jesus is our most important priority for it’s out of our relationship with God that everything else flows. If we seek God first and His calling, we will be able to give the best of ourselves to everything else in our lives. My hope is that as we learn how to put “God first,” our attitudes toward money and possessions will take a back seat to God’s calling in our lives. Whatever God has called you to do, be the best you can be in that calling. “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,.” (Ephesians 4:3)
- Contentment vs. Consumerism: The material things of this world are just empty, and the wants and desires that so many of us have may help us to feel good – but it’s only a sugar rush that quickly fades. Money does not buy contentment. True contentment can only come through a personal relationship with Christ. Contentment comes from knowing how blessed you are. That relationship gives a very strong sense of contentment and happiness inside that I believe can’t be easily shaken by external circumstances or situations. How about this week we all turn off the outside influences and instead seek out opportunities to love and serve others. “Beware! Don’t always be wishing for what you don’t have. For real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.” (Luke 12:15 TLB)
- God Dependent vs. Independent: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2nd Corinthians 3:5) This is an amazing statement coming from Paul, a man who had reason to brag, or think he was self-sufficient, or able to be as independent as any man. But he says he is not even competent to make any claim for himself. Whatever good he has done, it all comes from God. Paul is totally dependent on God. We need to realize that all of God’s blessings are given because of grace, and received by faith. We can depend on anything but God, because He is in control. God is more than willing to help us if we are dependent on Him rather than ourselves.
- Stewardship vs. Ownership: For Christ-followers, good stewardship means taking proper care of the resources God has entrusted to us, understanding that everything comes from God and ultimately belongs to Him. We are simply managers (i.e. stewards) of it all. God has entrusted us with money, belongings, time, and abilities, and He is counting on us to use all our resources in ways that honor Him. The commitment God requires is to follow His will at all times and to manage resources as any good steward would. “…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
- Generosity vs. Misery: The most generous act in all the world – Christ taking on our sins and dying in our place, to be raised again on the third day – is the essence of generosity. God looked with compassion on us and provided a way that we might spend eternity with Him. And it cost Him everything – the very life of His beloved Son. We are all called to be generous, to give first fruits and multiply, our money, time and talents for His benefit. God’s generosity must spill over into our lives and flow through every act, thought, and desire.
- Do you believe that your current way of viewing and managing money is getting you where you want to be spiritually? Do we need to look at our view of money and our financial life through a different lens?
- How do you determine what God is calling you to do?
- How does stewardship affect our daily lives?
- There is a great difference between being satisfied and being content. Contentment is a learned behavior independent from our circumstances based on the riches of God through Christ Jesus. Agree or disagree and why?
- In Luke 14:33, Jesus lays out for his followers what percentage of our money and possessions is His and what is ours. What is your reaction to this verse?
- Following Jesus is about becoming like Him. It’s about learning how to live the way He lived. Letting His priorities become our priorities. What can we do to make the transition from our way to God’s way?
Take One Thing Home with You
Our ultimate destination is to live such an extraordinary life that our Heavenly Father is honored and pleased. We all want to hear on that final day, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
For our time on earth, however, we are to grow in our journey as stewards each and every day. We will never arrive at generosity, just like we will never arrive at holiness. That shouldn’t keep us, however, from learning and growing every day to become more generous – and more holy.
The journey may be a slow one. It may take a first small step that leads to more steps as we try to give generously back to a God who gives so generously to us. And sometimes, we wake up and realize exactly what it is we’re supposed to do, and then we simply go out and do it.
I will be praying that everyone who attends Northstar will take a moment to do an inventory of their life. Are you living your life your way or God’s way? That is why the Bible is such an important part of our daily lives. God’s Word is our final authority in all matters. We cause most of the drama we face in our life due to being ignorant of God’s Word or by simply choosing to ignore it.