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Don't Be Drawn Into the Cultural Tidal Wave

Last week, Deen Salami brought the message.  He spoke about not being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2), using the example of David and Mephibosheth (II Samuel 9).

David's Desire was to keep his promise to his best friend Jonathan.  This went against the culture -- to kill any possible rivals to the throne.

David used his position and power to radically alter Mephibosheth's life.  He also made it personal.

Mephibosheth's plight was that he was disabled and in exile.  David gave him prosperity, property, and personnel.

David went looking for Mephibosheth.

David's Devotion was modeling God's kindness.

We have a lavish God.

We, too, have been given lavish blessings through Christ.

Our culture needs to see God's kindness through us.  Model an extravagant level of kindness.

[Gateway has a Benevolence Team.  Talk with Deen about joining it!]

We want a thousand more stories of how God shows his kindness through us to change someone's life.

Pray about giving to the Benevolence Team.

Pray about joining the Benevolence Team.

We can use our position in the community to help people.

Back to Romans 12:2 -- How do we keep from being molded by the world?

Power in our country is in media.  Unplug!

Resistance is not futile, but resistance is not enough.

Spend time with God and his people to gain better perspective on how to live.

This is how we transform.

The culture needs us now more than ever.

 

God's Financial Plan

Last week, Pastor Ed Allen preached a second sermon about God's plan for our finances.

He began by reading Acts 20:32-35 and reviewed the previous sermon:

Our work is critically important and facilitates our ministry.

Three enemies of hard work and diligence are:

1)  Sloth (Proverbs 20:13; 10:4)

2)  Mere talk (Proverbs 14:13)

3)  Fantasy-chasing (Proverbs 28:19)

Our Formula (adapted from Wesley):

Make as much as you can so that you can save as much as you can so that you can give as much as you can so that you can be happy so that you can glorify God.

God is glorified when you're happy!

Rejoice in the Lord!

One of the keys to happiness is giving all we can.  As Paul quoted Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than receive."

American suburban formula:  Make as much as I can so I can spend as much as I can so I can be happy.

It doesn't work.  We know from research and from Scripture.  (Acts 20:35; James 4:3)

The problem is not that we want to make more money, or that we want to be happy.

The problem is the assumption of where our happiness comes from.

C.S. Lewis -- Love is higher than unselfishness.  God finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  "We are far too easily pleased."

God wants to bless us.

The blessing of saving (Proverbs 13:22) includes passing things to our children.

The real battleground is trusting God vs. trusting self.

Know where your treasure is!

Whatever your level, get a little more intentional.

Give all you can.

Our God is a generous God.  If we're being made like Him, we will be generous.

If you're connected to God, you'll be growing in generosity.

If you're not giving to God's causes, He calls that robbery.  (Malachi 3:8-10)

God gives us the ability to accumulate wealth and to enjoy it.  (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20)

Let's build our lives on God's financial plan.

God asks us to participate.  Then He multiplies.

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