Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Concert of Prayer

This week's service was a little different... Okay, it was a lot different.  After wrapping up the series on stewardship last week, I was impressed that our series was incomplete if we did not acknowledge and praise God for how He has and will continue to provide for our needs.

David, King of Israel, provided the inspiration for this concert of prayer in 1 Chronicles 29.  He had desire to build a permament house for the Lord God.  God however refused David's request due to his life of war and bloodshed.  So David did the next best thing; he provided the means for his son Solomon to build the temple.

After gathering the necessary supplies and receiving the offerings of the people David then offers this prayer:

“Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever.  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.  

Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.  Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.  

But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.  For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope.  O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours.

Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. 

I would encourage you to enter into your own concert of prayer; thanking God for all His many blessings.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lifestyle Characteristics God Rewards

Remember those days when mom would bake cookies and bring them out only to tell you to share them with your brother and sister?  I do.

Of course, the way my economy worked was not the same idea that mom had.  She wanted us to each get an equal amount whereas I wanted to have more cookies than my siblings.

Although my actions were obedient to her command, was I truly obedient?  No, because my heart was selfish and unwilling to act in the way I knew she desired.

Isn't that often how we are toward God?  We know the lifestyle characteristics that please Him,but we only do enough to get by, or we only obey the letter of the law and not the substance of it.

So, do you desire to live a life God will reward?

For the full message shared on 09-16-12 at First Church of God, Racine, WI go to:
Lifestyle Characteristics God Rewards

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Five Ways to Give that Please God

If you heard that a wealthy benefactor, upon realizing his health was declining rapidly with no apparent heir, had decided to travel the country and divide his wealth among deserving individuals and was headed to your home to determine your share; what would you do?

Wouldn't you research and figure out what pleases giver?  If your research mentions his love for beef, would you serve him chicken?  Or if he liked classical music would you have country playing in the background?

Now I'm not saying you would present a false impression of yourself, but wouldn't you go out of your way to please him?  I would.  If I thought I had a chance of earning part of his fortune so that I could bless others with it, I would find out everything I could to make his visit pleasant and comfortable.

Consider this...

The King of Kings desires to come into your home.  If you are a child of the God, you have the King of Kings and Lord of Lords residing within you.

So, do we seek to know what pleases God?  Not to earn our salvation (that is solely based in the blood of Christ), but do we do that which pleases Him or do we live to please ourselves?

God's Word reveals what it means to please Him and how we may give to please Him.

For the full message shared on 09-09-12 at First Church of God, Racine, WI go to: 
Five Ways to Give that Please God