Summary: This is a sermon about the response should have to the generosity of God.
"The Dead Sea Syndrome"
Located in the Middle East in Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea is essentially a salt lake whose surface is more than 1,300 feet below sea level and whose deepest point is more than 2,300 feet below sea level, according to Extreme Science's website. Also known by other names--including the Sea of Sodom, Sea of Lot, Sea of Asphalt and Sea of Zoar--the Dead Sea is saltier than the oceans.
o The Dead Sea's name originated because early visitors believed that life did not exist in or around the area because of how salty the water was, according to the Magic Dead Sea website. Due to the high level of salinity, plant life and fish are not able to live in the waters. However, some microbes are able to exist in the extremely salty sea.
o The Dead Sea was formed when the nearby Mediterranean Sea overflowed and created a landlocked body of water, with only the Jordan River as a main source of water. Underneath the Dead Sea, two plates in the Earth's crust are continuously moving away from each other. The drifting causes the crust to stretch and become thin in this place. According to the Extreme Science website, the Dead Sea sinks as much as 13 inches annually.
o The Dead Sea is constantly being supplied with water from smaller nearby drainages, but the Dead Sea itself has nowhere to drain. The only way water can escape the sea is through evaporation. As water evaporates, dissolved mineral salts are left behind and confined within the Dead Sea. Water temperatures in the Dead Sea can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and 68 degrees in winter.
Matthew 10:8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."
I. The Reception of Blessings
James tells us many things about the reception of blessings.
James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
God is no respecter of persons."
a. He tells us that God is the source of blessings. They are graciously given. "freely ye have received"
1 Corinthians 2:12 "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
b. He tells us the scope of these blessings. They are greatly given. Jesus blesses the disciples power, provision, and peace.
c. He tells us that they are good (sanctifying) and perfect (satisfying) They are generously given.
II. The Restriction of Blessings
You know what some Christian's problems are? They always want to be on the receiving end and not the giving end. They are like the Dead Sea. They have an inlet but no outlet. Why does this happen when we've been given so much?
a. A failure to consecrate ourselves
2 Corinthians 8:3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
2 Corinthians 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
2 Corinthians 8:5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
b. A fear of the future
(Matthew 6:25) Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
(Matthew 6:26) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
(Matthew 6:27) Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
(Matthew 6:28) And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
(Matthew 6:29) And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matthew 6:30) Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
(Matthew 6:31) Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(Matthew 6:32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.