Summary: Part 3 in a series about honoring God with our finances in a way that insulates us from recession.

Introduction: We’ve had an amazing couple of weeks here at Believers! Two weeks ago, when we introduced this series we learned the importance of needing Jesus, of pressing in to him. We learned that there is a division in our lives between what we can do in our strength and what God can do in his strength. We looked at the story of the father who was desperately trying to get his son, who was demon-possessed, healed and he did everything he could – he went to the doctors, he went to the priests, he went to the synagogue…he even went to the disciples of Jesus but absolutely nothing happened.

I told you that week that this dad was living over here – he was doing life to the best of his ability – he was doing life in his strength and his power and with his wisdom…but it wasn’t enough! The dad finally went to Jesus Himself and Jesus did what only Jesus can do! He reached out to this boy and he completely restored him to good health!

The father had a battle on his hands. So do many of you! Some of you are battling over a marriage. Some of you are in the battle for your life over your soul – you are far from where God wants you to be! Some of you are in a battle for your health or for your job – many in this room are in a battle for your finances! You are in a battle.

I used this rope to demonstrate the battle line – remember that? I said on this side of the rope was you doing life to your best but ultimately a life lived in your strength and your power, while good, is ultimately what? A cursed life! Then I said over here is life with God’s best and God’s strength and I said that this side was called what? The blessed life. I also told you the first week – the big principle we learned that week – was that the blessing always comes after the battle.

So, if you are in a battle this morning – you are in a good place! You are right where you need to be! The only way to get from this side of the line to this side of the line is to press into Jesus. Jesus told the disciples that you press into Jesus through prayer and fasting. That first week of this series I issued a challenge for you to pray and fast with me, to press into Jesus and ask him to pull us across the line to blessing. I asked you to fast for one meal, one day a week, for one month. Are you still doing that? We just wrapped up week number two. I’ve been doing it right along with you and let me tell you it has been hard! It has been. On the days when I fast I am ravaged with hunger! I know, that sounds crazy because I’m only missing one meal – but let me tell you it’s true. I try to remind myself that I don’t need food – I need God! I’m pressing in to Him.

I also asked you to fast and pray about 5 areas of battle in our church and then to add your own stuff to it too. Remember the 5 things? I asked you to pray for 150 people to come to faith in Christ through Believers this ministry year (from September 1-August 31, 2009). To date we have seen 22 people come to faith! That includes children/youth and adults. How is that going to happen? It’s going to happen as you and I invite other people to come here on October 5th. (Say a word about SE/Invitations and ecclesiology). We are praying for 150 to be baptized this year. Next Sunday we are celebrating baptism here @ 4:30 – if you haven’t been baptized since inviting Jesus to come into your life then I strongly encourage you to sign up on the communication card today. That’s next Sunday.

We’re praying for weekly giving of 16k per week and also praying that we can pay down 300k on our building loan and while those sound like financial goals, they are also spiritual goals. The reality is we won’t realize those goals if there are people in this room who don’t make a decision to make God first place in their lives. When you make a decision to break the Spirit of mammon in your life and commit your finances to God – those financial goals will be realized.

We’re also praying for 300 people to be in small groups. Are you in one yet? Sign up today – small groups start a week from Monday – on October 6th. So, please get in one before sign-ups are closed. If you aren’t in a group yet then you should know that 157 people are praying and fasting that you will get into one because we believe that fully participating in a small group has the potential to bring spiritual growth into your life it has the potential to connect you relationally and make a big difference in your life! Do that today.

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