Sunday, August 11, 2013

Treasure In Heaven

I was asked on Wednesday this week if I could bring something for the 8.00am service for the preaching slot. As I struggled for what to say and to focus on the readings for that morning on Sunday I called out to God asking for His help and that I would hear clearly what He wanted me to say. I even contemplated finding something off the net to use, but then I thought "that wouldn't be mine". But then God said "No, but it might be Mine!" and I realised it wasn't about me but about Him. I had read the passages for the Sunday the week earlier and after my prayer time this morning I read the readings for the day from the Word for Today and it truly fitted. God had given it to me then and not a day before or a day after!

We had used the readings from Hebrews and Luke and somehow they fitted all together and I also shared some awesome things God had blessed me with during this week.

Hebrews 11:1-3 
Faith in Action
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

In the dictionary "faith" means  “trust” or “confidence” in God; belief in divine truth. 
Hebrews 11:1 also  gives meaning to this but if we carry it through the rest of the chapter it could read like this:
Hebrews 11:8-16

By “confidence” (faith) Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By “trust” or “confidence” (faith) he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, (belief in divine truth) whose architect and builder is God. (Heaven that God has prepared) 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, (belief in divine truth) was enabled to bear children because she considered him (God) faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by  “confidence” in God (faith) when they died. They did not receive the things promised; (As in Jesus had not come, conquered death and opened the gates of heaven that all could enter) they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. (But they had heard and trusted)   14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, (God believed in their faith) for he has prepared a city for them.

Reading in John 14:1-3 - Jesus tells His Disciples of the heaven and place He is going to prepare for us all, by saying  
Jesus Comforts His Disciples  
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 12:26  
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 

Matthew 16:27 
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. 

Our New Testament reading starts with Luke chapter 12 verses 32 to 34 and then on until verse 40 I then shared of the things that God had blessed me with this week.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This is where the reading from the Word for Today for Thursday 8th August seemed to fit in.

Where's Your Financial Security?

Written by Bob Debby Gass

Thursday, 8 August 2013
'...riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.' Proverbs 27:24 NIV

One large insurance company advertises itself as 'the Rock', claiming to be the foundation of our financial security. Remember when we trusted these taglines? Not anymore; it's not the same world. Financial uncertainty characterises today's world of failing banks, crumbling investment giants, shrinking multinational corporations, swelling queues of the under-employed and unemployed, plus an epidemic of fear plaguing the hearts of the currently-employed. For the young, the joy of graduation has become the stress of university debts and a shrinking job market. Many older people are trading in their retirement dreams for a new twenty-first century reality: 'work till you drop'. In such times, where can we turn? To politicians? To government? To the next get-rich-quick guru? The Bible says, '...riches do not endure forever, and a crown [human government] is not secure for all generations.' (Proverbs 27:24 NIV) What's the answer? Turn to the only reliable source of security: God! There's no financial crisis in His Kingdom! Israel hungered and thirsted and He sent them fresh manna, and water from the rock. He assigned ravens to feed Elijah, multiplied oil and flour to sustain a destitute widow's family, fed thousands from a boy's lunch of five loaves and two fish. And He asks us: ' anything too difficult for Me?' (Jeremiah 32:27 NAS) No! So:
(1) Trust God to provide for you.
(2) Do what He tells you to do.
(3) Believe that God 'will'.
'The lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. You will have feed you and your family...' (Proverbs 27:26-27 NIV)

I then shared of the things that God had blessed me with this week

(1) We have struggled financially for sometime and this last week we were down to our last cents. Harry has been struggling with work situations. On Tuesday I prayed and fasted for these things. God’s answered prayers were: the person who Harry struggles with was away from work for three days this week; The provision of funds in my tax return arriving in my account on Thursday, I have now been told I will have my excess I had to pay for a truck driving into the back of me ($300)is being refunded; Harry received a bonus for work they had done while the bosses were away; a lady blessed us with, meat, apples, and I had dinner out with family….
(2) I had wondered if anyone was going to be doing the sermon this week and two weeks ago I had a feeling there would be no-one sorted so I had read the readings pondering what they would mean to me and what God was saying with the thought that I may have to preach. I believe God told me to do that even though at the time I didn't really gather much to share.
(3) God proved the funds, the reading, the blessings of not worrying about it, words of encouragement from our Parish Chairman and his wife the days before Sunday and sharing with Harry and having him nod in belief …were all things I believe God "did"

So my treasure in heaven is how I can constantly please God by walking in His ways, trusting Him, coming to Him as my Father, ready to provide as any good earthly father would, but even more and knowing that when I pass on to be with Him in heaven that I will take nothing of worldly worth or value but what He has seen in me - my trust and faith in Him to provide protect and so bring glory to Him so all can see His goodness and want to know Him as their Savior and Lord.

Matthew 7:9-12
 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Sermon Fiona Van Lent 11/8/13

All scripture is from the New International version

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