Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Beautiful Giving Part 3 | Colin DCruz

This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 10th Of November 2013. 
 Every year we have a Gift Day when we bring an Offering to help fund all we do in this nation and Regions Beyond. 
Would Jesus call you a fool? Who does he call fool?
 This is the concluding  part  of the series on Beautiful Giving.
Read and listen to this  message.
To listen to the AUDIO please CLICK HERE

As pastors we pray for a lot of people for a lot of things. We pray for the sick, those in trouble, for a job etc. But I have never had someone come with this problem “See my house, my 10 bedroom house, my business is doing so well that I want to stack all my money from the floor to the ceiling as I don’t trust the bank. I have a problem, I have so much money that I don’t know what to do. Think I’ll make a 20 room house to store this money”. Have you prayed for someone like this?

In Luke 12:16  Jesus tells us of a man who had this kind of a problem.
 13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 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 my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
   20 “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 whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

2000 years on nothing has changed. People still fight over property. Then Jesus says
“Watch out!!” –  When Jesus says this , it’s a warning. There are huge warning signs on the overhead cables of the trains. Do you every fool around with it or try to test if its true? We have all heard this warning at some point in our lives. Now when Jesus says “watch out”, we’d better watch out.
In the context of money and possessions he tells us to watch out against all kinds of greed The whole world is telling us to get as much as we can. TV, Advertisements promote it. Jesus warns us that this message is wrong – that if you improve your lifestyle you are improving your living.

v.15-  Jesus challenges the thinking of the time and goes against the grain of the culture. (He still does that) by making a startling statement: “A Man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”
v19 – this is a key verse. This is the dream of most people today. Take life easy: eat drink and be merry. Jesus says watch out! That’s the wrong thing to be living for. When we think like this Jesus says “You fool!” WE are foolish when we make our possessions our life.
v 16. – Jesus goes on to tell a parable. The man in the story is not a crook; he has not acquired his wealth through illegal means. This was honest gain from hard work– just like many of us he was a respectable member of society. His hard work was paying off.
V18.- However his abundance was causing a problem for him. The thought however did not occur to him that he could use his abundant wealth to bless others, to help the poor in own family or community, to pay his workers well, to give something to the synagogue where he worshipedHe was only thinking about himself.
V19. He gets an idea – to build bigger barns i.e hoarding for himself. He was selfish. This is the tragedy of wealth today.  We may think I am working hard, I have a good brain, I will keep it to myself. You may think because of your hard work you deserve it. I
V19b- this man worked hard for his wealth and could say “I worked hard for it therefore I deserve to enjoy it”. How much is enough?
Eccel5:10 - Whoever loves money never has enough...
Think about your life 10 years ago, what you had and what you have today. Are you not blessed? You will never be satisfied with wealth and possessions because you will always want something more. The guy with the bicycle envies the guys with the scoter, the scooter guys envies the guy in the car, the guy in the  nano car wants a the Ford, the Ford guy wants the SUV, the SUV guy wants the Mercedes !!. We always want the next thing. Things are not wrong in themselves but if your happiness is contingent on it , it’s a problem.  It’s like drinking salty water on a hot summers day.
Some hoard gold, some invest in stocks, others homes. God is not against saving. It‘s our attitude towards money he is interested in and how we use it. Our happiness is not determined by our possessions.
“I’ll be happy when......( you fill in the blanks) If you are thinking in this way ,”watch out”!
So what did this man do?
V18. - He thought to himself.. Four times he says “I” and three times he says “my” in one sentence. He had no thought for anyone else. He does not even mention his family. Watch how he speaks to himself. ( we need to watch how we speak to ourselves). In the eyes of the world he appears to be very successful and people would envy his problem. But what was Jesus evaluation of him and of us if we are like him?
V20. - “you fool”!!!  That’s a strong thing coming from Jesus!!James 4:13-14 what is your life? We need to submit our wealth to the Lord and ask him what He would have us do. It is a terrible thing to be called a fool by Jesus.

Jesus is not against saving and wealth – but what are you doing with it?  What you do with it determines whether you are a fool or not. Have you been rich toward God? What will we hold up before God when we meet home face to face?  Will it be our homes, new phone, gold, stocks, and fancy car? Or things we have invested in for the Kingdom of God?
Lev 27:30 – Giving our tithes is only the basic. It belongs to God anyway so you are not doing anything special. It’s like you are expected to pay your bill at a restaurant. You are not doing anything special and the owner will not specially thank you for doing so. When you give more than your tithe that’s when the giving starts.
Luke 11:12 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Are you rich toward God?  Are we being generous when opportunity arises like this GIFT DAY ?Are we bring generous toward one another? Are we blessing the poor? Use the blessings God has given you. Where can you store where moth don’t destroy? When we give to the kingdom we give toward eternity.
As a church disciple making, reaching the lost and advancing the kingdom is our focus. That is why we invest in IDT our training program; we are exploring planting into Bangalore, helping the poor , supporting other church plants in our nation and beyond.. All this requires money. You may say I am not rich. Give your 5 loaves and 2 fish. Maybe you are rich. Store your treasure in heaven. We have phenomenal sacrificial giving in our midst. Here is an opportunity to store up treasure in heaven. At the Hub we saw that we are reaching out to so many nations, in our own nation there are so many people groups that need to reached.
May the Holy Spirit touch your heart as you consider giving toward our Gift Day. For each one it will be different. God wants sacrificial generous cheerful giving. Sow generously with the expectation to reap a harvest of righteousness, being made rich in every way.
Luke 12: 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If you want to participate with us and give toward our Gift Day, please email us and we will give you details of how you can partner with us. wogchurch@gmail.com

(Song at the end of the sermon audio, "An Offering of Worship " written by Navaz D Cruz)

       Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log ontowww.wordofgracechurch.org.

    English Language Service Sundays at 10am. Please check google maps for directions!

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