From Pastor Johnny

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Who Knows Our Hearts?

          In 1Samuel 13:14, in response to King Saul’s disobedience to God, the prophet Samuel  declared “…but now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” The man “after his own heart” would be King David. God is assessing David’s heart and declaring that it was a heart after him.

          In Acts 13, as the message is recounted of the Apostle Paul speaking in the synagogue, he declared about King David, “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”

          The prophet Samuel declared David’s heart was for God, and later the Apostle Paul reaffirmed the same. Yet, in 1Samuel 17:28, as David brought his brothers bread and cheese to the battlefield and asked about how things were going, his oldest brother stated, Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’”

          If David were like many little brothers, he probably sought the affirmation of his older brother. He probably craved acceptance and encouragement by his older brother. Instead, Eliab made harsh statements about the motives and intentions of David’s heart. In fact, Eliab did not even criticize David’s actions. He stabbed at David’s heart.

          How could Eliab possibly know the heart of his little brother David?  How can that person who questioned you possibly know your heart? The answer is that they cannot. No one knows your heart truly but you and God.

          God’s Word declares David’s heart was completely for God, even while his oldest brother called him wicked and conceited. As we see in God’s Word, David would ultimately listen to God rather than to the judgments of his older brother. So must you.

Your heart may honestly seek the Lord on something, though someone may judge your motives for your hard actions as wrong. When your heart is to honor God, but someone near you declares your heart wrong, prideful, selfish, or worse, who will you believe? Seek and know what God says about you and about your heart, and even if it contradicts with what someone else has judged about you, trust God.

Look up child of God! The Savior Himself knows your heart!

Jesus on Giving - The Credit For My Giving - Sermon Blog Day 3

Doing It for God Involves Anonymity:            Matt. 6:3

But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

          Though the first two ideas in giving were motives, this idea in Matthew 6:3 is more of a strategy. The strategy reflects just how much anonymity we should seek in giving. Our effort should be such that no one knows. If I trust God to know, then it will not matter if anyone else ever knows.

          I believe we tend to want other people to know of our giving because we do not really trust God to know and reward us. While outwardly we claim trust in God to reward, inwardly we do not see rewards and want to be sure we are getting credit.

          Take heart child of God! Trust God alone to know of your service, and He will be sure your reward is well worth it.

 Doing It for Real Produces Rewards:                           Matthew 6:4

that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

             The strategy of advertising and promotion is to do it in public for everyone to see. The more public we are with what we do, then the more reward we get by people knowing of our product, business, or service. Yet, where personal worship, giving, and serving is concerned, our God travels a different route. He calls us to go private, and He will manifest as He desires in public.

              In 1993 I planted a brand-new church in a rural area. I recall starting a kids ministry at that church. We scheduled it on Sunday evenings. For the first month or so, not a single kid showed up. If no one was going to show us, why should I go? Because I knew that it was God’s will. I knew that it was God’s desire. If no one else knew during that time, God did. As it turned out, He provided some dear people with a decade of experience in kids ministry to come and help grow it.

            If we will give, serve, and minister so that only God knows, He will take care of offering the public reward that He thinks we need. Giving for real produces real reward.

 CONCLUSION

          Every believer is called to give and serve in such a way that God is glorified and self is anonymous. This is the will of God for every born-again believer in Christ.

Jesus on Giving - The Credit for My Giving - Sermon Blog Day 2

Doing It for Men Causes a Forfeiture:             Matthew 6:1

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

             If our generosity is done in order that other people might see it, then we forfeit the reward God has for that giving.  If, after performing our acts of generosity, we work it out so that people know we did it, then the rewards will be forfeited.

            What if you showed up to a theatre with the idea that you were going to try out for a part in a big play. You practiced and practiced, then the day came for your tryout. You entered the room where other people were waiting for their time, you got up and went in to the tryout room. There was a group of people in that room that you assessed were the judges. You did your part flawlessly – better than you could have imagined. Then, you were encouraged by the stunned look of the judges – knowing you blew them away. You leave that room and go home waiting for your call back. You are crushed when you get no call back. After investigating the situation, you realize that you had gone to the wrong building and did your part in front of a group of people who were interviewing for a potential new accountant for their firm. Your theatrical offering was given in front of the wrong judges.

            Trying out for the wrong judges will forfeit your opportunity for a reward. Giving, serving, and ministering for the wrong people, rather than to God, will forfeit your opportunity for reward.

Doing It for Attention Creates a Shortfall:                Matthew  6:2

Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

           When these hypocrites do their generous works and offerings for the praise of people, they will receive it. The people will be impressed and offer adulation, but the problem is that it will be the only praise they will receive. If your giving is done to impress people, enjoy your rewards of their praise. It will be the extent.

          In 2Kings 13 there is a King named Joash, who is King of Israel. The prophet Elisha is rather sick and near death. Elisha was the successor of a prophet named Elijah, and he was a great servant of God.

          By 2Kings 13:14 Elisha had a terminal illness and was in bed. King Joash, the King of the northern Kingdom Israel, was deeply concerned about the armies of Syria attacking his armies. He came to Elisha and asked for counsel and Elisha did two things. First, he had Joash shoot an arrow out of the East to represent the arrow of deliverance from Syria.

          Second, Elisha had Joash to take some arrows in his hand and strike the floor with them for the number of times that would represent his conquering of his enemies. Joash struck the floor 3 times. Elisha was upset. While the 3 times of conquering his enemies was good, if he would have struck 5-6 times then the conquering of his enemies would have been that much. Joash settled for good when he could have received great.

          This is giving to please people. You receive this attention which is nice rather than pleasing and honoring God, which is fantastic and epic.

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