Simply the Best Materialistically

It is better to have less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does matter.

 

Three thoughts on how to live simply…

 

Thought #1: Don’t be afraid to throw things out

 

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Luke 18:22-23

 

Why do we hold onto things?

  1. Fear
  2. Sentiment

 

Thought #2: Be mindful to buy less.

 

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Psalm 119:36-37

 

 

Thought #3: Be willing to give more.

 

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

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Simply the Best Environmentally

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

 

We are stewards of creation

 

We need to understand a couple of things…

 

  1. The Earth belongs to God

 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Psalm 24:1-2 (NLT)

 

  1. God gave us dominion over the Earth

 

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28

 

There are two ways we are faithful stewards…

 

  1. Passive care

 

  1. Intentional care

 

HOW?

 

  • Recycle
  • Garden
  • Reduce plastic use
  • Get involved with Others

Miracle of Provision

Some Good News….

 

All through the Bible, in every story of need, there is a miracle of provision.

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

 

BUT REMEMBER…God promises to meet your needs. He’s never promised to provide your wants.

 

Principle #1: When God guides, he always provides.

 

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11

 

Principle #2: God miraculously blesses what is given.

 

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 2 Corinthians 9:10

 

Principle #3: You might be a part of God’s provision.

 

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

Use Me

“What a huge harvest!” [Jesus] said to his disciples, “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:37-38 (The Message)

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

 

Three types of people God uses most often…

 

  1. God loves to use the insecure.

 

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10

 

 

  1. God loves to use the unlikely.

 

Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:6-7 (NLT)

 

 

  1. God loves to use failures.

 

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. Luke 22:60-62

 

Key Thought…

 

You will have to step out to find out what God wants to do.

Too Small to Fail

But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. Exodus 23:29-30

 

Why doesn’t God give us everything at once?

 

Reason #1: Power  is perishable.

Reason #2: Maintenance is necessary.

 

If you want to be a different person five years from now…

Make your goals too small to fail.

 

Pointers on how to put this into practice

 

Pointer #1: Choose your goals carefully.

 

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

 

Pointer #2: Make your goals very specific.

 

Give us each day our daily bread. Luke 11:3

 

Pointer #3: Track your progress diligently.

 

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

 

 

Pointer #4: Guard your progress aggressively.

 

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

The Modern Samaritan: Gives Time

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. Luke 10:33

 Why Do I Need to Give My Time?

Reason#1: God commands it

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 (New Living Translation)

Reason #2: The Church needs it

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 1 Corinthians 12: 25-26 (The Message)

Three Ingredients in meaningful involvement…

  1.  Spontaneity
  2. Vulnerability
  3.  Accountability

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10