Welcome to the Bethel Church sermon of the week we hope you enjoy this message by Pastor bill Johnson for more information about this podcast and other resources visit I Bethel I want to continue in the series I think this is the sixth one on the subject not sure what to call it yep it has to do with solemn.
Solomon and wisdom and the passion of the Lord for cultural transformation I believe that God is doing something significant in many places around the world one of them is reading why would God do something significant in reading a place of only 90,000.
People in the city limits whenever architect is going to build a significant building he builds a model and I believe that the Lord is doing something in a small that he wants to prophesy into the large he wants to create systems and cultural phenomenon if you will that can be translated transported to other places so I believe that’s what the Lord is doing one of my great ambitions in life is to be in a city that loves God well and and we’re working at them the heart of the Lord.
Is for a transformation of culture and society it’s a phrase that we use a lot so I hope it doesn’t get old because it’s not.
Going to stop our desire is you know what do we do after we get everybody saved we we already know there’s still problems all you have to do is visit.
The many churches good churches here in reading is as long as we have people involved in the church there will be issues and the the issue the mandate on us right now is to discover the way heaven.
Functions bring that reality here and learn what that culture is like emulated in this environment and I believe that’s what the Lord is helping us with God is after changing how people think how people view reality the ambition of this particular series is to stir up a passion and a value for divine wisdom wisdom is divine reasoning it is actually thinking from God’s perspective it’s not just the ability to solve riddles it’s not just that we can explain complicated things it’s literally how God thinks about a.
Situation to see it from divine perspective and I believe that the Lord is releasing.
A grace it almost feels like wave after wave after wave in recent months wave after wave of a wisdom and a grace to to enable us to learn.
How to do life in a very practical transferable way and I believe that the Lord is raising up people to serve much more effectively I love it when I see people promoted I don’t want to say it wouldn’t be fun.
To have many of you promoted to a place of maybe the CEO of your corporation or the manager of the restaurant or the principal of the school all of that’s fine I celebrate every bit of that but that’s never my ambition the ambition is to enable every person to serve well and if you come into promotion through service then don’t forget how you got there because that way of serving is actually what enables you to.
Continue to be effective your position of authority is never about building a legacy around you it is always the favor and the.
Authority that God gives to affect people around you in other words you’re there for their benefit we’ll look at that a little bit more in a moment but you are in those positions of authority and influence so that you can serve well and serve effectively I.
Just have this dream of seeing people promoted honestly brought up the ladder politically in educational systems business whatever but maintaining the humility of heart that makes it possible that regardless of the position to still serve effectively I think that the higher you go the more important see literally is the lower you have to intentionally become in who you look to help who you look to serve.
Who you look to to take a piece of your own life and feed somebody else with it like it becomes more and more important to become intentional in serving because you become further and further removed from the kinds of needs that you’re equipped to serve does that make sense and so I.
I really feel like there’s a mandate on on the house and really on the body of Christ for this because the Lord is doing such a incredible formation will work we.
Theology that is good but it’s it’s fall short.
A theology of generosity I want to talk to you today about theology of blessing I made reference to it in our leaders advance here a few.
Weeks ago I want to talk to you about that today a theology of blessing if we don’t have a.
Theology of blessing we are cursing the poor by wanting them to.
Prosper I’ve been exposed through the years especially in early years through some discipleship training and stuff on the importance of generosity absolute number one economic lesson there as far.
As I’m concerned is generosity I was exposed to the kind of lifestyle where you forsake everything to follow Jesus and I’m a hundred percent in that but as you read the scripture you find that Jesus tells his own disciples.
Who left everything he said you will receive a hundred times as much in this life and so other words it’s only half the equation we have to know how to give everything so that we know.
How to steward well once he pours back into our life there’s a responsibility of learning stewardship and management sometimes it is easier to give than it is.
My bent in life is given I I love to give I always have I just remember as a young child I just I just I love to just give stuff away it was just always fun for me and it’s never stopped being fun it’s always been recreational I.
I feel like today’s message is actually about six parts and I am threatening you right now we’re going to do a six part.
Series or something in the future because I can’t get it all done today even sort of I feel like I have time for today is just butchered.
Enough to confuse you and send you home so that’s my goal I I feel so strong in this particular area that I’ve been talking in our school I’ve been talking to leaders I travel I’ve been talking a lot about this subject because I feel like we have no right to expect to disciple nations if we don’t understand the law of blessing if we don’t understand what it.
Is to live in the realm of blessing.
Without building a materialistic Empire I don’t like what has been taught and that is the money in your bank account the possessions you own are evidence of your spirituality that’s that’s a lie I hate that I despise that I don’t like it but I.
Equally don’t like that poverty is a sign of spirituality when you react to error you almost always create another error and this whole issue of going without as being the illustration of a pure life a sanctified life listen it’s just it’s absolutely not true it’s absolutely not true so I feel like we’ve got some things that we have to deal with to know how to properly disciple nations if we don’t get the stewardship of blessing down.
Then we’re not qualified to actually disciple cities into places where God can bring great abundance and blessing so here’s the challenge you with me five of you that’s really all I need is 500 I’m very happy to work with five we have certain parts of our.
Of our faith we understand well the generosity issue we know that that’s important I I Ben and I have we’ve been married 40 years thank you Jesus we’ve been married 40 years we’ve never we’ve never given as low as 20 percent of our income we have.
Always positioned ourself to try to be extreme to give away prized possessions to give away things that were valuable to us that we saved up for whatever it might be told on.
To everything loosely but what.
I have found is I’ve actually recent years have had to learn to discipline myself not to give it strange as that.
Sounds because sometimes I have found it was easier to give something away than to manage it well and to steward it well and what I believe is happening in this next season is the Lord is going to teach us to manage what he gives to us all right here’s a question this is not a trick question so I’m not trying to trick you can you love people more than God the answer is yes you obviously I caught you off guard.
You still thought I was tricking you can you love people more than God yes that’s.
Why the Lord says we love him first all right you can love people more than God does that give us the right to abuse or be indifferent or hateful towards people so that we can protect our love for God you’re doing well you’re doing.
Well some of you are a little nervous and answering me but but those of you that were courageous you did good all right yes it’s true you can love God more than people we have to put God first but then he goes so far as to say listen your love.
For God has to be demonstrated in your love for people or your love for God isn’t legitimate can you love possessions more than God yes is it possible that unless I know.
How to steward well material things have been put into my charge that I can never fully accurately display my passion my love for God I didn’t expect you to be as zealous in your answer it’s all right.
I believe that the Lord has has called us to learn how to do life in a practical way as under the Lord Israel had an advantage over the church.
Israel as a nation culturally knew that work was worship we tend to think we gather together Sunday morning or whenever our meetings are we have wonderful worship teams they get up and lead in music and that’s worship it is and I don’t ever want to change that I’m so thrilled with what’s happening but they had they had a concept that extended worship beyond the hour or so that we spend together with.
Hands raised singing songs declaring God’s greatness as vital as that is they understood that worship was actually the expression of life it was the Express of our.
Life that put worth in him it is the expression of worth and so work was literally as under the Lord whatever your hand is fine to do do that as unto the Lord and so what happens when work becomes worship as we we finally become successful in erasing the line that separates secular from sacred and we desperately need to.
Succeed it that we’ve done much better in recent years.
To put equal value on the nurse equal value on the.
Dentist equal value on the housewife on the mechanic equal value to those who have been called to stand behind pulpits and do more official types of ministry that every.
Believer is a minister under the Lord and to people and if we can get this thing down where we where we learn that work is an expression of worship we will successfully erase that line that separates the two that still exists in the hearts and minds of many why is this important probably for a lot of reasons one I just described the erasing the line but the second would be fire always falls on sacrifice can.
Many people infiltrating this city giving an offering hour by hour under God the work that they.
Do mechanic fixing that car though this is this is such a big.
Deal that it says they took headbands and.
Aprons off of the Apostle Paul they took them to the demonized and they were delivered and the people that were sick were healed.
What were the aprons and headbands for it’s what Paul wore when he built tents it was sanctified labor that actually brought healing and deliverance what do you think it means in the profits when it says and and he turned their plowshares into swords it’s a prophetic picture of the plow becoming a military instrument in bringing about eternal change and it.
Is the Lord that is wanting to take the gifting of every person in this and put it into a place where it becomes an expression of worship then what happens that worship draws the.
Presence into the work environment and we get rid of this line that separates the two if we succeed with separating sec sacred secular work we will also become successful in erasing the line that separates us from them it’s the us in them concept that makes people a project instead of the actual target of affection and love so the Lord.
Is calling us into this expression that I believe is the result of divine wisdom Solomon created a prototype for how communities do life I feel like we could do this series for about 100 more weeks to be honestly we won’t because I don’t want to kill people but I this thing is so huge that I know we will come back to it there are insights and wisdom on how to do life that are.
Are applied to every aspect of life relationships work the way we respect ourselves how we deal with self-concept all these things are dealt with in this concept of wisdom we talked here a lot about honor culture of Honor it’s a huge part of.