THE BLESSED LIFE — 4 Heart to Serve Believers Statesboro 02-28-10

Adapted from “The Heart of Serving” Dino Rizzo

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJ)

That’s what Jesus wants for you – “Abundant Life”, The Blessed Life.

He wants you to not only have eternal life with Him in heaven, but He also wants your life right now, right here on this earth, to be full, meaningful, rewarding, blessed and abundant!

The GREEK word for abundant: superior or beyond measure.

THE KEY TO THE BLESSED LIFE IS A HEART TO SERVE. John 13:3-17

In John 13, Jesus and His twelve disciples are invited to a dinner party.

When they arrived, there was a servant’s towel (much like this one), a basin, and pitcher of water.

The thing that was missing was the servant who was, according to custom, to wash the feet of the dinner guests.

None of the disciples volunteered to wash the others’ feet or the feet of their Savior.

Jesus set the ultimate example and washed the disciples’ feet.

John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)

  • Unapologetically, Jesus called every one of His followers to acts of kindness and servant hood like foot washing.
  • Jesus asked them to see a need and then step up and meet that need to serve.

A Practical Example

Jesus had just given them a real and practical example of an act of service and kindness that He wanted them to start doing.

John 13:13-14"You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

Jesus was saying that:

  • Acts of service were not below Him, so they ought not be below us either.
  • If He, our Teacher and our Lord, the second person in the Trinity, God in the flesh, if washing feet was something He would do…He expected us to do it too.

Why?

Why is Jesus asking us to live this way? “You will be blessed …. if you do them.”

THE KEY TO THE BLESSED LIFE IS A HEART TO SERVE.

Knowing Vs Doing

In Verse 17, Jesus separated the difference between knowing and doing.

John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)

Awareness and Timing

1. AWARENESS

· Jesus saw what happened that day in the context of what was happening in His team. He was aware that there was some in-fighting going on among the disciples – jealousy and positioning.

· Having the heart of a servant would put an end to in-fighting and bickering.

2. TIMING

· This story occurred in the last hours before Jesus went to the cross.

John 13:1a It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father.

· People tend to only talk about the most important things in their last hours.

John 13:1b Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (NIV)

THE PATH TO BLESSING

1. If you don’t learn to serve in secret, you won’t serve in public.

2. If you don’t learn how to love and serve the house of God, then you won’t be able to be

used by God.

3. If you don’t learn how to serve in the insignificant, in the small, in the areas no one else wants to,

then how can you serve anywhere else?

Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

4. The cause of Christ goes through the heart of serving.

HOW IS YOUR HEART TO SERVE?

Is your heart beating for the cause of Christ? Is it beating to serve others?

TRAITS FOR A HEART TO SERVE

1. HAS A WILLINGNESS TO GET INVOLVED. John 13:4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

2. GOES LOW TO BRING UP Jesus stooped down, He got low, a sign of humility. He humbled Himself and washed the feet that would run away from Him at His crucifixion, but would later carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. (Isa 52:7)

3. SEES PEOPLE BEYOND WHERE THEY ARE THROUGH THE GRACE AND MERCY OF CHRIST. As Jesus washed the feet, He saw beyond where they were. Sometimes, we have to stoop down and let them know that there is hope. Jesus went low to bring us up.

4. HAS A WILLINGNESS TO GET MESSY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I don’t think the disciples ever forgot this lesson, the day Jesus got messy to make a difference. Peter was the first to say, “not me, Lord, don’t do this for me. It is not right for someone of your position.”

Matt 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his

life as a ransom for many."

Phil 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is

above every name…

Do all you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can,

to all the people you can, as long as you can. John Wesley

THE KEY TO THE BLESSED LIFE IS A HEART TO SERVE.

TALK IT OVER

· Share a time in your life when you served in secret. How did God use that time to bless you?

· Discuss the blessing you’ve received from serving in our church now.

· If you aren’t serving, what will you do to get started, even if it wouldn’t be your top pick? (You can’t start by preaching!)

· To have a more blessed life in the next year, how will you step into serving in the insignificant, in the small, and the areas no one else wants to?

Don’t go through the week without talking with someone about how this message spoke to you. Watch the Talk It Over video and/or Print a Talk It Over study guide from Life Church at www.lifechurch.tv/talkitover. Or download our sermon notes at believersstatesboro.com.

One Hour On Wednesday Romans 12

February 24th, 2010

Tonight, 02-24-10 We will begin the second section of our Romans verse by verse study,

Romans 12:1-16:27 Paul now adds practical application and personal greetings to his theological discussion of chapters 1-11. In fact, the book may be divided into two large sections-doctrine (chapters 1-11) and application (chapters 12-6).[1]

Rom 12:1-21

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.


[1] Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D., Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJ (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), p. 1707

THE BLESSED LIFE—3 THE GENEROUS EYE Believers Statesboro 02-21-10

(Adapted form Craig Groeschel)

A Generous Eye

Proverbs 22:9 NKJV He who has a generous eye will be blessed

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. (Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35) For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Bottom Line: Our spiritual enemy, Satan, cannot stop the blessings of God. It is a spiritual principle; if you sow, you will reap. When you give, you will be blessed. But he can try to distort our relationship or our understanding with the blessing of God.

 

TWO WRONG RESPONSES TO GOD’S BLESSINGS

1) PRIDE

Those who are very proud of what they have. Jesus confronted this attitude head on with the church of Laodicea.

Revelation 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’

But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

You are proud of what you have, but you have forgotten the source of everything you have.

I earned this. I worked for it. I deserve this, other people are lazy, not me, look what I have done. I am entitled to this kind of life. There is a spirit of entitlement or pride.

Those that have a prideful attitude towards the blessings of God have forgotten that every good and perfect gift comes from God. They have forgotten the source.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)

2) SHAME

Some are proud of what they have, others are a little more embarrassed or they feel guilty.

Gen 32:9-10 “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.” (NIV)

I’m not good enough, I don’t deserve this. I’m embarrassed by all of these blessings.

It is interesting but do you know of any other blessing of God that people are ashamed of other than the material and financial blessing of God?

You are blessed with a great wife. I got her half price, really cheap. You don’t apologize for that!

You don’t apologize, you just say, “Yes, God has blessed me.”

Yet for some reason, when it comes to this area, it’s pride, “I earned it!” or it’s shame, “I feel guilty.”

Both are very unhealthy, but that’s where so many people live.

Shame is wrong, and I think it must also crush the heart of God when we are proud.

REMEMBER WHY GOD BLESSED YOU

He didn’t bless you because you deserve it or earned it or to make you feel bad. He blessed you with a purpose.

2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be made rich in every way (don’t undercut the blessing of God.)

(Why?) so that you can be generous (He who has a generous eye will be blessed.)

on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Gen 12:2-3

2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (NIV)

You must remember where the blessing came from. They came from God.

You must remember why God blessed you. You are blessed to be a blessing.

BECAUSE GOD HAS BLESSED US WITH MORE, WE WILL INTENTIONALLY GIVE MORE.

Intentionally? Most of us are not intentional givers. Most of us are intentional consumers.

GROWING GIVERS

· THE SPONTANEOUS GIVER
You give spontaneously and this is a good way to give. But if this is the only way you give, you will be very limited in what you give.

The Good Samaritan – Luke 10:35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
The Boy with the loaves and the fish. John 6

· THE STRATEGIC GIVER

It’s a person who says, "We are going to plan to be generous.

Isaiah 32:8 NLT But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity. They are strategic givers.

Be a percentage giver. The first 10% is for God and then think about adding 1% -2% – 3% more above the tithe. You set it aside and, then with the extra, you can have a generous eye and pray about where God wants you to give it. You can plan and be strategic in your giving.

· THE SACRIFICIAL GIVER

These are the fanatics. These are the ones that recognize that all we have here on earth is not for us but it is all for God.

Solomon You can be wealthy and give sacrificially. Instead of sacrificing one bull to God when he was being anointed as King, Solomon said, “You know what, I want to go big.” He gave 1000 bulls.

David He refused to offer free oxen offered to him, as a sacrifice to God. David said, “I want to pay for it. I will give nothing to God that doesn’t cost me something. I want to feel it when I give.”

The Widow

Mark 12:41-44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything– all she had to live on." (NIV)

I really believe that God would not have sent so many people to Believers Church, done the awesome work that He has done over the years and blessed us in the way that He has just for us to enjoy and keep this all to ourselves.

God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. And when you realize that, it takes the pride and shame away..

 

TALK IT OVER

· Tell about someone you know that fills needs you don’t even notice. What will you do to

develop a “generous eye” like that?

· Which kind of giver felt most like you? How will you grow your generosity?

· What is God asking you to sacrifice to be more generous?

Don’t go through the week without talking with someone about how this message spoke to you. Watch the Talk It Over video and/or Print a Talk It Over study guide from Life Church at www.lifechurch.tv/talkitover. Or download our sermon notes at believersstatesboro.com.

A Heart of Generosity

February 5th, 2010

THE BLESSED LIFE — 1  A HEART OF GENEROSITY   (Adapted form Craig Groeschel)

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

 

THE KEY TO THE BLESSED LIFE IS A HEART OF GENEROSITY.

Proverbs 11:24-25
24 One man gives freely, (You would think he would have less.) yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, (But instead of having more, which is the logical assumption.) but comes to poverty.

25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8, 11

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work

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.

 

THREE MINDSETS

1)  THE BAG: NOT ENOUGH

Hag 1:6 …You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes. NKJV

· Judas had a bag mindset.  Mark 14:3-4, 10

· People do the same thing today.  The Bible says the tithe belongs go God.  It is returning to God the 10%. People don’t do that today because they are more concerned with what’s in the bag than they are with obeying and honoring God. I would love to give, but the bag has holes in it. I would love to give, but things are tight, the economy is bad. I’m still paying for Christmas. We would love to give, but we can’t because we got college coming up for the kids.

2)  THE BASKET: MORE THAN ENOUGH

Deut 28:4-6

4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock…5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

· Jesus gave an interesting teaching on the basket one time in Luke 6:38  Give, and it will be given to you. (Proverbs 11:24-25 One man gives freely, yet gains even more) A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV)

· A little boy with a Basket Mindset.  He had a lunch basket.

John 6:9  "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (NIV)

3)  THE BARN: INFINITELY MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Deut 28:8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to

· Joseph was faithful with the bag, and God gave him the barn.

 

HOW MUCH CAN GOD BLESS YOU?

· Are you going to be a bag person who never has enough?

· Are you going to be a basket person, a funnel who is blessing others out of your overflow?

· Are you going to be a person of such great faith that you say, “You know what, this stuff isn’t for me. I will give generously and will have a barn mindset.”

Luke 16:10-11  Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing

Luke 12:16-19  And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 "Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ‘

Luke 12:20-21  "But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

This was a guy who had barn blessings with a bag mindset.

And may I say very respectfully, that is most of us. We have barn blessings with bag mindsets.

 

We have barn blessings with bag mindsets.

TALK IT OVER

  • Share some of the blessings in your life.  How aware of God’s blessing are you on a day-to-day basis?
  • Describe your generosity mindset.  How is this the key to how blessed your life feels?
  • Share the part of the message that spoke the most to you personally.  What steps will you take this week to act on how God is leading you?
  • Find more Talk It Over resources online.  Watch the Talk It Over video or comment on our Facebook page.  Print a Talk It Over study guide from Life Church at www.lifechurch.tv/talkitover..  Or download our sermon notes at believersstatesboro.com