{January 29, 2017}

 

January 29-February 4, 2017

 

{Our Giving Is Too Important To Stay The Same}

By Michael Maybee

Some of the oldest jokes about pastors share a punch line that goes something like, “Whoa, fella! You just went from preaching to meddling.” The joke takes various forms. What they all have in common is the idea that preaching is okay as long as it teaches me stories and facts found in the Bible. It is even better when it serves to reinforce my conviction that I am on good terms with God and am destined for heaven.

But when the lesson touches on the way I actually live my life; when it starts to require something of me; well, that is where I and many others start to think of it as meddling. And nowhere is this more strongly felt than when the message starts delving into how I steward God’s money and other material blessings.

That is a major paradigm shift, from thinking of what I have as mine, to thinking that nothing is really mine. Realizing that I am just a steward of God’s blessings was an important first step for me. I wasn’t ready to hear it the first few times I heard it taught or read it in the Bible. Perhaps you weren’t ready to hear it this morning?

I may not have been ready to hear it at first, but I needed to hear it. I also needed to be reminded of a saying that has become pretty familiar but bears repeating. I needed to hear that God loves me just as I am, but loves me too much to let me stay the same. So I felt conviction around the matter of my giving, but no condemnation. I pray that you experienced today’s message the same way. Wherever you are in your giving, God loves you.

Jesus wants so much more for me than I want for myself. One of the things he wants for me, is to join him in his work. And one way I do that is by giving. My giving can help grow his influence in our world today. And Jesus wants me—all of us—to participate in that growth. He wants to say to each of us, “Come and share your master’s happiness!” (For the context of that comment, see Matthew 25:14-30) Do you want as much for yourself as Jesus wants for you? Do believe that you can share in his happiness?

Dan crossed that “meddling” line this morning. I applaud his courage for doing so. You go, dude! Thanks for telling us what we needed to hear, but perhaps didn’t want to hear. Thanks for caring enough to challenge us. Thanks for relaying Jesus’ invitation and providing the opportunity to join him in his work.

“Tithing isn’t a financial issue. It’s a Lordship issue. Do we really know God , and is he really Lord of our lives?” 
― Barry Cameron

Missed Sunday? CLICK HERE to watch the message.

{sunday 1.29.17}

Read 1 Chronicles 29:14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: When you are asked to give, what is your first emotional response? Be honest. This is just between you and God, and he already knows. Why do you think those feelings arise in you? What would need to change in you to prompt different feelings?

 

{personal reflection and reading plan: from the book of Acts}

As you read Acts, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the study questions below. Grab a friend or two and meet up to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

 

{monday 1.30.17}

Read Acts 17:4-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What was the reaction of the Thessalonian leaders to Paul and Silas coming to their town and sharing the message about Jesus? Has anyone ever come into your life telling stories and sharing news that you don’t agree with? How did you react?

{tuesday 1.31.17}

Read Acts 17:16-28

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What did the inscription on the altar in Athens say that Paul quoted back to them? What did Paul say (in your own words) to the people of Athens after he read this scripture? How can you apply this to your life in today’s world?

{wednesday 2.1.17}

Read Acts 17:29-18:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How was Paul treated in Corinth by the Jews when he began speaking only to them? How did Paul react? Did he continue to fight and argue or did he move on? Have you experienced a time when you felt that no matter what you said, it wasn’t going to make a difference? How did you react?

{thursday 2.2.17}

Read Acts 18:8-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “persuade”. The only guidelines are…. 1) Do NOT stop writing for the entire 5 minutes. 2) Do NOT self-edit as you write. If you feel comfortable doing so, share what you wrote with someone else.

{friday 2.3.17}

Read Acts 18:22-19:5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How was Apollos treated by Priscilla and Aquila after they heard him speaking about Jesus? How can you help someone that has passion but not all the information?

{saturday 2.4.17}

Read Acts 19:6-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this scripture we read about the sons of Sveca (who were not followers of Jesus) trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name. Have you ever wanted good things from God without wanting to listen to and follow God?

{group discussion ideas}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as an Heartland group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters for The Journey.

  • Can you name an ‘takeaway’ or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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