Week after week our home church Liberty Baptist in Sweetser, Indiana is used of God to help so many people and gospel preaching ministries. Just in the last two weeks weeks LOVE GIFT was taken to a family needing help for funeral expenses of a loved one. LOVE GIFTS were sent to a single father who was in desperate need to take care of a transportation need, to a senior citizen in need of gas so they could attend church. Just today checks were to be issued to a missionary who has health issues and another who is in urgent need to bring their church building up to code. These and hundreds of other needs are being met both here and around the world because of loving and caring Christians who have heard the words of their Lord that " it is more blessed to give than to receive", Acts 20:35. If we as believers are to be like Jesus it is for certain that the characteristic of giving will need to show up in our lives. Sometimes the giving will show up in the giving of our talent sometimes in our time and sometimes in our treasure. There will times when we are able to give large gifts and others seemingly small but in reality every time we give it is a HUGE ACT for the receiver and the giver!
For sure our old nature does not like to give and if we gain the discipline of giving in our life it will necessitate a few things to become a part of our lives. Let me mention just a few!
1. It will involve the dying of ourselves. Daily we need to pray that we would be less selfish and more selfless!
2. It will also involve the discipline of planning to give. We will need to sit down and decide where the needs are and what needs we are to meet .
3. It will involve the discipline of saving some time, talent, and treasure for others. To be ready and able to give when the needs arise will drive us to be good stewards of how we gain and how we spend our assets of life. In order to have resources to give we will need to earn, spend ( not all ) , and save to be ready to give away some time, talent and treasure.
4. It will involve leadership of God's Spirit. Much of our giving will be scheduled into our days and weeks. Weekly we are commanded to give to the Lord from our treasure, talents and treasures. But other times the Lord will impress us to give extra to His causes and to others who have particular needs that you can give in time, talent and treasure ways. I have found as I am sure you have that I cannot help in every need that I cross on a daily and even an hourly basis. So I must pray and be led as to who, what and where am I to give myself away!
May the Lord impress each of us how we can gain more to give away. How we can spend wiser ( our time, talent, & treasure) so we can give better. How we can EXCEL in this Christlike Characteristic.
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.—Psalm 100
When the believer is abiding in the joy of the Lord, gratitude is sure to follow. Joyfulness and thanksgiving fit like a glove. Where you find one, you will find the other, yet one must come before the other.
In Psalm 100 we find the order in which this must occur. ATTITUDE must come before GRATITUDE! To properly understand any passage of scripture one must always study it verse by verse. In order to gain the result of verse 4 one must understand the principle of verses 1-3. The goal of thankfulness is a very worthwhile goal. Each believer should strive to be more thankful but it will be impossible unless we have joy deep inside of our souls. The root of knowing God and rejoicing in who He is and what He is doing in and for us will produce many wonderful things in our lives, one such product will be gratefulness.
As we grow in our knowledge of the Lord we get to know His heart and as we do we will begin to be secure in His love allowing us to trust him in His deep work in our lives. The more we trust Him the more we rejoice in Him. The more we rejoice in Him the more we thank Him!
If you are like me you often need a Gratitude Adjustment! What we really need is an Attitude Adjustment!
And that attitude adjustment is always needing made toward the Lord God Himself.
READ ABOUT IT! THINK ABOUT IT ! PRAY ABOUT IT!
It is the day after the national elections 2016. Needless to say this election was one of the strangest of our lifetime. President Elect Donald Trump seized a surprising upset revealing this nation is very weary over the condition of politics and our national and state office holders. What is certain our nation is divided over the issues and both sides are frustrated as only a few times in our history. Make no mistake we have been divided before, such as the 1850s- 1860s. Many issues were at the forefront and the issue of slavery was one that divided our nation. If you would have been alive at that time you would have realized that many actually hated President Abraham Lincoln and viewed him as their enemy, yet history reveals that he was used to help set the nation back on track. Sovereign God was at work as his children were praying for His will. The point for us today is that our Lord is still on the His throne and is working in the affairs of this world.
One day after Election 2016 I am still praying for the cause of Pro Life, Israel, Biblical Marriages, Original Constitutional Interpretation and Conservative Supreme Justices. And I think many who are heading to the highest offices in January have more promise to lead in that way then the others. Yet I still believe that as Christians we must understand that the " world system" is not the friend of Jesus or his kingdom and as Christians our greatest concern should be sharing the gospel and in such that will help a nation more than anything.
I heard Dr. John Macarthur address this two days before the election and it applies as much after as it did before going to the polls. Please listen to this 14 minute lesson and please continue to pray for our Lord to send revival to our land.
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.