Notes from Sunday 19 May 2013..
Speaker: Pastor Jooji Tor
You are the soil and you decide how the seed sown into your life germinates. Take responsibility!
If the things God promised to you don’t work in your life, take the fault as yours. Matthew 13:1-9 shows how a farmer went out to sow: as he scattered the seeds, the seeds fell on four different soils which had different effects on the germination and growth process. In effect, there was nothing wrong with the seed, but the various soils had differing levels of suitability for germination. You are the soil and you decide how the seed sown into your life germinates. Take responsibility!
The greatest commandment is Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul with all your strength. We honour God by loving God which takes a TOTALITY of who we are and what we have. It takes your intellect, your material things, and EVERYTHING you have to show God that you love and honor him. The amazing twist however is that it is the giver of honour that receives the blessings of bestowing honour, not the recipient! Thus by honoring or loving God, the benefits are ours.
Numbers 25 details the zeal of Phinehas for God, such that he took a bold step by killing the Midianite woman and the Israelite who brought her to the camp of the Lord, thereby defiling it (Something that had angered the Lord). God in turn made a covenant with him in Vs. 12 and 13 ‘Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honour of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.’
In Genesis 18 Abraham hosted, and honoured God when he was on his way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He was able to negotiate with God on his plans to destroy Sodom. More than that, it was during this encounter that God told Abraham that his barren wife would have a Son. Also, King Solomon in 1 Kings 3 showed how to honour the Lord. Solomon loved the Lord so much that he lavished a thousand burnt offerings on the altar. God in return gave him the opportunity to ask for ANYTHING he wanted. In verse 13 we see that God gave him what he asked for and more: ‘I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honour, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days’
Mark 14:3-9 details how a woman broke her flask of costly oil and poured the oil on Jesus’s head. In verse 9 we see how God blessed her in return for her show of Love to him. ‘Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her’
All these examples and more show people who Love the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength. Isaiah 54:5 says the Lord is your husband and your redeemer. Unconditional Love is the definition of honouring the Lord. In Malachi 1:6-9 the Lord said ‘A son honours his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ The Lord went on to say that the people had shown contempt for his name by offering defiled food on his altar. As the Lord, as a husband as the King, we have to give him priority, preference and shower him with love. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 goes on to say that since we abound in the grace and excel in everything, we ought to make sure that we excel in the grace of giving. Giving in this sense is not about the quantity we give or in the large numbers of what is given but in the art of worshiping God through our giving. More priority is given on the state of the heart and our reason for giving than what we give.
More than honouring God, God expects us to give honour to his servants. In Luke 8:1-3 women who had been healed of their infirmities by Jesus after a long day of going through every city and village preaching provided for him with their substance. Again, when Jesus appointed seventy people as labourers in Luke 10:5-7 he told them wherever they go, they should declare peace unto a house and if a son of peace is in the house, they should stay there eating and drinking what is offered them. This passage solidifies the importance of honouring servants of God.
Genesis 47:7, Galatians 6:6-7 are illustrations of the mindset and commandment of God to honouring his servants by blessing them. This is not the same as the regular offerings we give but instructs us to make sacrifices for Servants of God beyond the offerings we give. Philippians 4:10-19 shows an example of a Church which prospered because of the good deeds done unto the servants of God. Giving to God and doing good deeds to the servants of Christ are not to the benefit of the person receiving but more to the benefit of the giver.
God expects us to honour him and his servants