Summary: Prayer is harder during good times than bad, because the good times distract us from God
Nov. 23 Praying when things are going great
Boy fell out of bed because he was sleeping too close to where he got in (my spiritual walk)
History of the world - briefly
Adam and Eve - dominion over the earth - have it all less one thing
Abraham - through you all nations will be blessed
Blessing - turning away - oppression - repentance - deliverance - blessing
Neh. 9:28 after reading history of Genesis and Exodus, they dawn upon a great insight, when all is going well we turn to sin
When times are good - we ignore God - tempted away from things that matter, prayer worship, generosity, study fellowship, service
During times of blessing the most common thought is "How can I protect my stuff"
Democrats become Republicans - poor as a church mouse live in a fine house.
Today I will share something that will transform your life by doing - not thinking or feeling
Christians are primarily Disciples - not consumers - even of religion
So how do we pray in times of blessing? Same as in times of trials
Seek wisdom not only in crisis - James 1:5 - maybe more true now more than ever
Prayer #1. Instruct me - Why are you blessing me?
One scripture that can change your life!
2 Cor. 9:10-15 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Generous = noble birth because wealth was considered to be a gift from God - you are entrusted by God to bless
Generous people see themselves as stewards of God’s treasures - they are not cautious about giving them away because God reprovides
Can’t love God & money (possession) not because it’s the law but because you won’t want to
What stops me from being generous - from being like God?
Prayer # 2. God Deliver me (from and to) - from greed to generosity
Greed vs. Generosity Generosity fueled by love - greed fueled by lust
Hard enough to live without - harder to live with but not clutching
You overcame selfishness with servanthood - You overcome greed with generosity
Don’t just stop stealing but work with your hands - more than that give generously
How many ways can we steal?
Generosity flows in many directions
When we live for future gain - we are acting on deferred gratification - not generosity
The opposite of greed is not poverty, but generosity
Generous people are free - not possessed - Why do you think they call stuff possessions?
Generous people do more than give $ away - They see the world differently
Greed’s ugly stepsister is ungratefulness
Greed always wants more - is never satisfied
Ungratefulness is never thankful - grumble - weather, sports, work
No one ever does enough for me, no one comes through for me,
keeps their promises for me
Brokenness is defined by lack of gratefulness. Contriteness is overwhelmed by gratitude
Gratitude is the healing ointment for brokenness. Forgiveness and gratitude are inseparable
Emotionally greedy or generous?
Some people leave church because their needs aren’t being met - imagine Jesus saying that!
That’s what we get when we focus on felt needs rather than complete worship of God.
Prayer # 3. God Protect me - from false motives
God will call you to drop everything and anything that comes between you and Himself
God’s not a divine stockbroker or lottery number consultant
If you put 100 in the offering and found $1000 on the sidewalk - you may be tempted to be generous for selfish reasons
If you did that means someone lost $1000 or God is into the counterfeit business.
Note that both the acts of sowing and reaping require work
Prayer # 4. God Lead me - God make me into your likeness
We are never more like God than when we become generous
God’s generosity goes beyond our capacity - remember the loaves and fishes