Summary: A Three Part Series with three important trees to teach your church the supporting roles they need to fill.
Ta Prohm is the modern name of a temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. The trees growing out of the ruins are perhaps the most distinctive feature of Ta Prohm (Wikipedia). This temple was used as a location in the film,Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The silk-cotton tree grows tall above the ruins, the base of its trunk looks as though at one time it was in liquid form and just poured or flowed over the walls, to form molten "hands" with woody fingers poking and stretching at the rocks and foundations. It's truly a sight to see. This sermon, then, is about taking care of business, before it's too late to take care of business. These trees were allowed to grow and overrun something that was beautiful. Now they're in control, they loosen walls and foundations, even as bad habits, bad practices, bad choices can do to our own lives.
Taking Care of Your Church
We all live in a time when life keeps us very busy. But we all still have a lot we have to do to accomplish the will of God. Taking care of your church is important so that not only will the gospel go forward but you will be blessed as well. Two scriptures I want to point out this morning on this topic involve working in your church and giving to your church. You see if we don't accomplish what needs done in our church it will soon be overrun just like the temple at Angkor. Overrun with silk cotton trees and weeds. While there may lie beauty to some in these ancient ruins, that's just it; there ruins.
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for [a] you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
This scripture does not give a specific direction to doing a work for the Lord. However, there is plenty to be done for the Lord both in this house and in God's kingdom. But, this helps to define that whatever you do, do it for the Lord.
10 That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, 11 So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, 12 For you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.
Taking Care of Your Family
Who will care for your family when you are gone? Who will take your place as the breadwinner in your home? Men who will stand and protect your wives and daughters?
In the sense that there are plenty of options today for us to ensure are families are cared for, however, we are still thinking of the physical side of this life. Sure
Ephesians 5:22-26 provide the guidelines for husbands and wives in a good Christian family. The husband is required to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and a wife should respect her husband and willingly submit to his leadership in the family. The husband's leadership role should start with spiritual matters and then flow to instructing and teaching both his wife and their offspring scriptural values, leading the family into biblical truth. Of course, the first requirement for the members of a good Christian family is that they all be Christians, having a true relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Fathers are instructed to bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). A father is also to provide for his family. If he does not, he “denies the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). So a man who makes no effort to provide for his family cannot rightly call himself a Christian. This does not mean that the wife cannot assist in supporting the family —Proverbs 31 demonstrates that a godly wife may surely do so—but providing for the family is not primarily her responsibility; it is her husband’s.