Step Up: Living the Blessed Life
Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV) But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
3 John 2 (KJV) Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
We are Stepping Up and Living the Blessed life! We are committed to taking four steps this month that will forever shift our hearts and attitudes towards generosity.
LIFE CHANGE OFFERING- Next week we are all going to Step Up and prove it with a life change commitment offering to expand ministry for the purpose of reaching the lost at all cost.
Review of Commitment Card and set expectation for next Sunday.- Review video of commitment card.
The church is not after your money- God is after your money. Because when He has your treasure, He gets your heart. Luke 12:15–19 (NLT) Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” 16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!” ’
Luke 12:20–21 (NLT) “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
Step One- We love this journey towards Living the Blessed Life- Our first step was tithing. We said tithing has two objectives:
Tithing is a Test- Malachi 3:10 (KJV) Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Tithing is a Testimony– Exodus 13:14–15 (KJV) And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.
Step Two- Last week to took the second step called Offerings- We understood that offerings take us to another level that creates room for the “more blessed” life.
The Blessing Makes Room- Luke 6:38 (NLT) Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Promise- It will be given back
Principle- The same measure you give will be measured back to you.
When we give offerings it creates space from where we took it from that God promises to fill.
The Blessing Multiplies- Matthew 14:17–19 (KJV) And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
The Third Step is called Sacrifice- Central to the gospel message is Sacrifice. Sacrifice has the highest redemptive qualities.
We are introduced to sacrifice from the very beginning of creation- Genesis 3:21 (NLT) And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.
Through Gods example in the garden it taught the Adam family giving- Following the Leader- Genesis 4:3–5 (NLT) When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
Sacrifice is Equitable Response
Equal Sacrifice- 2 Corinthians 8:12–13 (NLT) Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.
Equal sacrifices not equal amount- Luke 2:22–24 (KJV) And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
God made the equal sacrifice but didn’t give equal amount- Matthew 25:15 (NLT) He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
Responsibility- God gives us Response-Ability. The ability to respond.
The Rich Ruler- Luke 18:22–23 (NLT) When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.
The Tax Collector- Luke 19:8–10 (NLT) Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” 9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
The Widow- Luke 21:1–4 (NLT) While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
Kingdom Shift- Acts 4:33–35 (NLT) The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
Sacrifice Fly/Bunt- This is where I’ve lost more concern for what I want to what I perceive is a greater need. So I will sacrifice my material desire for the greater good of reaching people.
Immeasurable Response- Ephesians 3:20 (KJV) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Jesus is type and shadow of Living the Blessed Life
The Tithe- Romans 8:29 (KJV) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1 Corinthians 15:20 (KJV) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
The Offering- Ephesians 5:2 (KJV) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Isaiah 50:6 (KJV) I gave my back to the smiters, And my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
Acts 6:7 (KJV) And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
The Sacrifice– Ephesians 5:2 (KJV) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Romans 12:1 (KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.