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FAITH FOR FINANCES  #3PMgiving

Jesus spoke more about money than subjects like faith, heaven and salvation. The reason why He did that is because money can be a god in our lives and stop us from being a success in our relationship with Him.

Luke 16:13 (NLT)

13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

What you believe about money will either enable you to handle money well or you will be live a frustrated life being controlled by money or the lack of it.

Tonight I am going to teach you how to handle money wisely. If you are smart you will listen to his advice and you will prosper. If you are already doing these things, you will affirm them, if you are not doing these things you can change or face hardship and poverty.

The Money Parable. Matthew 25: 14-30 NLT

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![c]’

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What does this parable teach us?

  1. Everyone has different capabilities
  2. The money belonged to the master not the servant
  3. The servant was expected to work hard and smart.
  4. Any level of increase was rewarded.
  5. Failure to create increase was punished.
  6. No one stole anything.

Here are some important keys to becoming a success in your money management.

  1. Money is not bad. The love of money is bad. – 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT) For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. If you are in a hurry to get rich then you will be ruled by the wrong god. Proverbs 23:4 (NLT) Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
  2. God’s plan is to prosper you, but His way, not your way. Proverbs 22:4 (NLT) True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honour, and long life.
  3. Put God first in your money – Matthew 6:33(AMP) 33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
  4. Be generous – Deuteronomy 15:10 (NLT) Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
  5. Save something every week. (Spend less than you earn.)
  6. Don’t go into debt for non-appreciating assets. If you have any doubt that you can pay off a credit card debt in less than 12 months – do not put anything on credit.
  7. Golden rule for great wealth –
    1. Give God first tenth – Take it from one of the wealthiest men in our country’s history, John D Rockefeller, who said, “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.”
    2. Save the second tenth for long term savings.
    3. Save third tenth for asset purchase. (House, Car, furniture, clothes, etc.)
    4. Live on 70% of what you earn.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Does anyone know anybody who got burned in a “Get rich Quick” scheme?
  2. Why doe some people fall for crazy emails that promise millions?
  3. Have you heard stories about people who have won the lottery and then lost all the money quickly? Why do you think that happens?
  4. How good are you are handling money?
  5. Could you apply some or all of the keys above?

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FAITH FOR FINANCES – #3AM Faith For Finances

We serve a great and a terrible God. What does that mean? He is very great, powerful and strong, and also He is not to be trifled with. We are utterly dependent on Him in every way. Men are proud when they think they can build a life without Him but suddenly when their health takes a setback they realise how powerless they truly are. Not even your next breath is guaranteed!

To become a Christian, we come at the very first place in our walk with God to His requirements of this amazing relationship with Him…

Exodus 20:3 (AMP) 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. Or Deut 6:5 AMP, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and souls and all that is within you.”

God wants to be the first place in your life, after all He gave us Jesus, His only Son to die for us – it’s mutual, right? His first commandment to man is Love the Lord your God with all your heart, not just part of it. The commandments go on…

Exodus 20:4-6 (AMP)

4 “You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship]. 5 You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine], visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers on the children [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing graciousness and steadfast lovingkindness to thousands [of generations] of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

In the New Testament Jesus affirms this first place of all our affections and purpose when He states:

Matthew 22:34-37 (AMP)

34 Now when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced (muzzled) the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

And again Jesus says, Matthew 6:33(AMP)

33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

IS GOD FIRST IN YOUR LIFE?

Is He first in your time?

Is He first in your emotions?

Is He first in your money?

Imagine a wedding scene where the groom says in his vows, “I will love you almost as much as I love this other girl.” –  This is what we are saying when we love someone or something more than we love God.

The principle of “first” in the bible is a theme that illustrates God’s singlemindedness, His single focus of love toward us and His expectation of the same from us. Let’s look at some ways God uses the first to teach us something.

The firstborn

Exodus 13 (AMP)

13 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Sanctify to Me [that is, set apart for My purpose] every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal; it is Mine.”

The first fruits.

Leviticus 23:10(AMP)

10 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am giving you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the [a]sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.

This verse shows us the promise and outcome attached to the first fruits giving.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (AMP)

9 Honour the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your crops (income); 10 Then your barns will be abundantly filled And your vats will overflow with new wine.

The first City – Jericho is God’s not Israel’s.

Joshua 6:17-19 (AMP)

17 The city and everything that is in it shall be under the ban [that is, designated to be destroyed as a form of tribute] to the Lord; only Rahab the prostitute and all [the people] who are with her in her house shall [be allowed to] live, because she hid and protected the messengers (scouts) whom we sent. 18 But as for you, keep yourselves [away] from the things under the ban [which are to be destroyed], so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban [for personal gain], and put the camp of Israel under the ban (doomed to destruction), and bring disaster upon it. 19 All the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy (consecrated) to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.”

The first tenth

How do we put God first in our money? By giving Him the first tenth of our gross income. If God is truly first in our lives, then we make the decision to honour God before we pay for our own needs, or anything else. Giving God what’s left over when have paid all our bills means we are putting Him last. Paying God when we feel “led to do it” isn’t putting God first, it’s making our commitment and dedication to Him a thing based on feelings. Does your partner want your first affections or your second or sixth affections? Can you imagine God being satisfied with your second best? How do you show God your best, your first love? Do you finances not have everything to do with your heart? The bible says so… Matthew 6:21(AMP)

21 for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centres] will be also.

It’s hard to give for some people. Why? Because of a lack of faith. They wrongly assume, more for God (the church) means less for me. This completely ignores all of God’s promises to generously and abundantly meet your needs. (2 Cor 9:8; Phil 4:19, Rom 8:32)

God is looking at our hearts, and how can He tell if we have given our whole hearts to serve Him? He watches what we do. What has most value to us? What do we put most value on? Our life is displayed by how we spend our time, our emotions and our money.

Leviticus 27:30-33 (AMP)

30 ‘And all the tithe (tenth part) of the land, whether the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wishes to redeem any part of his tithe, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 For every tithe of the herd or flock, whatever passes under the [shepherd’s] staff, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. 33 The man is not to be concerned whether the animal is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it. But if he does exchange it, then both it and its substitute shall become holy; it shall not be redeemed.’”

The principle of the tithe is that the first releases the rest.

Putting God first releases the provision of God – Matthew 6:33(AMP)

33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Let’s talk motives.

Firstly thank you for being a giving and generous church. There are people who have been sacrificial givers and I know that they are like that because they are choosing to honour God. It is a matter of faith for them. If people are reluctant to give, I find that the main reason is worry that they will not have enough. So again faith is the issue. Trusting in God to provide for you is as much a part of salvation as trusting Him for your forgiveness of sins. (2 Cor 8:9 AMP)

My desire for you is that you are blessed, so I have no fears in asking you to be a tither and a giver of offerings. I have seen over the years people have experienced increase, promotions and favour from God when they put God first in their finances. You may think that you are struggling financially and cannot afford to give. In the USA today the average per head giving of Christians is currently 2.5%, yet during the great depression when food was hard to get and many had no work, the giving was 3.3% per head. It’s not our circumstances that regulate our giving, it is our faith. Don’t let fear, or wrong thinking rob you of a prosperous life. When we have faith and confidence in God we prosper. 3 John 2(AMP) 2 Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].

You can be comfortable in giving to your local church because…

  1. We have a strong and Godly vision. When you give it makes a difference.
  2. We are accountable to you through our finance committee.
  3. The church finances are audited yearly by an external auditor and the report presented to the church AGM.
  4. My motive in promoting generous giving is for your blessing and also to enable the vision God has given us to reach people with the gospel.
  5. You have pastors who are long term mature ministries with a good record of leadership, financial integrity and personal sacrifice.

Faith for finances. Put your trust in the Lord that he will provide for you and look after you. Test Him in this giving, He asks you to – Malachi 3:8-10 (AMP)

8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! 10 Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it.  

The storehouse (church) is the place for tithes, so that there’s meat in the storehouse, what meat is God referring to? The provision for the ministry so that the people will have access to God through the priesthood.

Have faith for finances, put God first in your finances. Trust that God will provide for you. Imagine the fruit of your giving in the future. Lives changed, people in heaven, communities impacted.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What would be your motivation to give to the Lord?
  2. What would be the kind of things that stop you giving?
  3. Review all these ideas and decide which of them are impacted by faith.
  4. In a million years from now what will matter the most to you?
  5. Does your giving today make a difference in eternity?

 

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Faith For Finances

As Christian believers we live by faith every day. The life of faith is a life in relationship with God through Jesus and trusting Him for all things in your life.

We cannot be saved without faith. Faith is a trust in God that He will do what He has promised, to forgive your sins as you turn to Him in repentance. We need faith to receive anything from God, healing, peace, provision or anything.

This preaching series is aimed at inspiring you to have faith for financial blessing and increase so that you can have your own needs met and give generously to others for kingdom purpose.

Today I want to speak about this important question: Does God want you to be rich?

First of all how do we define rich?

Being rich is relevant to where you live, The poverty line in Australia is just under $1000 per week for a couple with two kids. Yet in much of the underdeveloped world 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day.

Compared to the rest of the world anyone in Australia is rich, however housing in Australia can be a minimum of $500 a week if you’re in Sydney or $200 if you live in a country town. So you need hundreds of dollars a week just to survive in this rich modern country.

So does God want you rich? If being rich means you have more than the say 90% of the rest, then God has some warnings for the rich, and it’s all about where you place your trust.

1 Tim 6:6-10; 17-19 (AMP)

6 But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so [it is clear that] we cannot take anything out of it, either. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who [are not financially ethical and] crave to get rich [with a compulsive, greedy longing for wealth] fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction [leading to personal misery]. 10 For the love of money [that is, the greedy desire for it and the willingness to gain it unethically] is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves [through and through] with many sorrows.

17 As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share [with others]. 19 In this way storing up for themselves the enduring riches of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Verse 17 instructs the rich to have hope in God and not in their riches. This is vital for the Christian. If your confidence is in what you own, then it’s not in God. Faith for finances begins with a trust that God is your source; that He will provide for you. Your trust and your confidence is in God. This is what God wants for you. He wants to be the source of all your life, joy, peace, salvation and provision. When we lean on something else, when we trust in something else then this is really idolatry

Being rich is really all about comparison. We compare with others and we compare with ourselves in the past. Probably no one here today would consider themselves rich, but compared with people in other nations we are rich and compared with our parent’s generation we are rich. Probably a better way of looking at this issue is to say, have I got enough to do God’s will and prosper?

Will God bless you with all you need to serve Him? And the answer is a resounding YES!

Let’s look at the Character of God the father first.

God is merciful, Luke 6:36 (AMP) Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.

God is generous, Romans 8:32 (AMP)

32 He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

God is abundant. 2 Cor 9:8 (AMP)

And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.

He wants to do good to His children.

Matthew 7:11(AMP)

11 If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.

The church in the west has struggled with this idea for the last century.

The church has held doctrines of poverty and prosperity

Through the centuries sections of the Catholic Church have taken vows of poverty believing that being poor made you closer to God. The limitations of this doctrine are that the church has no resources to bring relief and healing to those who are poor.

The prosperity doctrine of the church primarily in the west and mostly in USA says that God wants to bring the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the just and having faith means you will be very prosperous. The limitations of this doctrine is that greed has a part to play and some people will desire riches for their own pleasures apart from God’s purpose.

Both of these extremes are unhealthy. Instead God promises that He will abundantly supply all your needs and that you will have an excess for all charitable purposes.

Philippians 4:19 (AMP)

19 And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

2 Cor 9:8 (AMP)

8 And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.

You and I need faith to believe for and receive blessing from God. What are you called to do for God? Then God will supply. I am called to build a significant church in Melbourne and plant churches throughout Melbourne and Victoria. Many will choose to join me in that great vision and together we will pray for provision and receive all that is necessary. There will always be great needs and we are called to give and make a difference. A walk of faith is not saying I can’t afford to give, a walk of faith is asking God, “What do you want me to give?” and the believing that God will supply you bread for eating and seed for sowing.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Can you share a story of God’s miraculous provision in your life?
  2. We are called to live by faith, what does that look like in terms of provision and money?
  3. Is giving necessary for a Christian who lives by faith?
  4. Should we give according to feelings or according to principle?
  5. Should we believe for more so we can do more for God?

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LOVE INVESTS #4PMJim_Elliot

This month we have been preaching on Love Invests. It’s about making provision for the future so that others may live. Your money is your life. When you give financially you are giving part of your life. When someone loses faith and starts to move away from church, the very first thing that stops is their giving.

In our church 53 % of our congregation are tithers. That is, they give 10% or more of their finance to God through the church. In the Late Service only 23% of the congregation are tithers. Some more revelation needed there.

The greatest investment of all – you own life.

Matt 16:24-26  Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [[p]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].

25 For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].

26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed [q]life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] [r]life [in the kingdom of God]? (AMP)

Matt 16:24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?(MESS)

The Jim Elliott Story

Jim” Elliot (October 8, 1927 – January 8, 1956) was an evangelical Christian who was one of five missionaries killed while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador.  The Elliot’s parents encouraged their children to be adventurous, and encouraged them to “live for Christ”.[4] While at Camp Wycliffe, The missionaries told him of the Huaorani – also called the “Auca”, the Quichua word for “savage” – a group of Ecuadorian indigenous people considered violent and dangerous to outsiders. Elliot remained unsure about whether to go to Ecuador or India until July. His parents and friends wondered if he might instead be more effective in youth ministry in the United States, but considering the home church “well-fed”, he felt that international missions should take precedence.[12]

Elliot and Fleming arrived in Ecuador on February 21, 1952, with the purpose of evangelizing Ecuador’s Quechua Indians. They first stayed in Quito, and then moved to the jungle. They took up residence at the Shandia mission station. On October 8, 1953, he married fellow Wheaton alumna and missionary Elisabeth Howard. Their only child, Valerie, was born February 27, 1955. While working with Quechua Indians, Elliot began preparing to reach the Huaorani.

Elliot and four other missionaries – Ed McCullyRoger YouderianPete Fleming, and their pilot, Nate Saint – made contact from their airplane with the Huaorani using a loudspeaker and a basket to pass down gifts. After several months, the men decided to build a base a short distance from the Indian village, along the Curaray River. There they were approached one time by a small group of Huaorani and even gave an airplane ride to one curious Huaorani whom they called “George” (his real name was Naenkiwi). Encouraged by these friendly encounters, they began plans to visit the Huaorani, without knowing that Naenkiwi had lied to the others about the missionaries’ intentions.[1] Their plans were preempted by the arrival of a larger group of about 10 Huaorani warriors, who killed Elliot and his four companions on January 8, 1956. Elliot’s body was found downstream, along with those of the other men, except that of Ed McCully which was found even farther downstream.

His journal entry for October 28, 1949, expresses his belief that work dedicated to Jesus was more important than his life (see Luke 9:24 in the Bible). “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This is the quote that is most often attributed to Elliot.

You can Go to church, you can pray to Jesus and ask forgiveness of your sins, but Jesus is looking for true disciples who will lay down their life for Him. Some in death, others in life long service. What will it be for you?

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LOVE INVESTS  #1 AMLove Invests Combined

THE MISSION FIELD CALLS

This month our theme is LOVE INVESTS. The scriptures teach us the value of considering the future generations: Prov 13:22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. (NIV) Love thinks not only about the present needs but lays up in store for the future so that those following may have their needs met. Love makes provision for the future so that those you love, who come after you, will be blessed with all that God can provide for them. Love shows wisdom in not only leaving a financial blessing but providing it in a way that is most beneficial to the receivers; such as an inheritance kept until you are 18.

As Christians we are concerned not only about the material provision for future generations but about the spiritual provision also. Love sees far into the future and looks longingly for the next generation to know Jesus Christ and sees the families, cities and nations turning to God. Love invests financially for kingdom purpose into the future. That is why in this church we gather together, then we dream a dream of what the future may hold and sow a seed of finance to make the future better for others. We call this Kingdom Advance.

This year our Kingdom Advance dinner will take place on October 24th  at 7pm. You have received an invitation to that dinner today. Our focus of giving this year will be more in terms of missions giving; that means giving to evangelistic work in places outside our own local area. Our goal this coming year will be to support Destiny Rescue, Pastor Fakhry Hanna in Egypt, The INC South Pacific islands and our Church planting in Victoria.

Today I want to share with you the amazing stories of how people invested their lives in the mission field so that others future could be different.

Our first missionary is William Carey a missionary to India. Born in 1761, William Carey became a missionary to India arriving in 1793. It was extremely hard to get to India in that time because the church in England could not believe that Indian people could be saved. Carey had to work hard to convince the leadership of the church in England that Christians were called to preach the gospel in every nation and that meant going there. [a]

During the first year in Calcutta, the missionaries sought means to support themselves and a place to establish their mission. They also began to learn the Bengali language to communicate with others. At Midnapore during the first six years Carey managed an indigo plant, he completed the first revision of his Bengali New Testament and began formulating the principles upon which his missionary community would be formed, including communal living, financial self-reliance, and the training of indigenous ministers. His son Peter died of dysentery, which, along with other causes of stress, resulted in Dorothy suffering a nervous breakdown from which she never recovered. Due to her debilitating mental breakdown, she had long since ceased to be an able member of the mission, and her condition was an additional burden to it. John Marshman wrote how Carey worked away on his studies and translations, “…while an insane wife, frequently wrought up to a state of most distressing excitement, was in the next room…”. She died in 1807.

After learning the language Carey began preaching gospel messages to the Indian people five nights a week. It was years until the first convert was made. Carey faced setback after setback with his workplace being swept away in flood waters more than once. An Indian Christian who helped Carey translate the bible into Sanskrit after 7 years serving with Carey backslid. On 11 March 1812, a fire in the print shop caused £10,000 in damages and lost work. Amongst the losses were many irreplaceable manuscripts, including much of Carey’s translation of Sanskrit literature and a polyglot dictionary of Sanskrit and related languages, which would have been a seminal philological work had it been completed. However, the press itself and the punches were saved, and the mission was able to continue printing in six months. In Carey’s lifetime, the mission printed and distributed the Bible in whole or part in 44 languages and dialects.

After the loss of his wife and young son and backsliding of his only Indian Christian helper, one might expect that Carey could have packed up and gone home to recuperate. However a letter he penned to supporters at home during those darkest hours stated: “Though my disappointments may yet be 1000 times greater; yet I have this hope – the goodness and the faithfulness of God.” What drives a man to so surrender his life for others in the face of monumental difficulties – LOVE INVESTS. The outcome of Carey’s life was nothing short of amazing. He is known as the father of modern missions. Carey’s chief work of life was to make translation of the Scriptures and it was his joy before the close of life to see “more than 213,000 volumes of the Divine Word, in forty different languages, issue from the Serampore press.” But this was but a part of his life work.

Our next missionary was an Australian named Stanley Dale

Stanley Dale was a Australian that first visited New Guinea [b] while in the army during WWII. It was then that he first saw the high mountain ranges of the interior and set his mind that someday he would return to bring the message of God’s love to the people who lived in those remote areas. After the war he completed his Bible education, got married and began his training for his goal of reaching the unknown tribes in the highlands. He was refused by a number of missionary societies but finally was accepted to go to New Guinea. From 1947 to 1960 he worked with tribes in the lowlands. Finally in 1961 he & Bruno Leeuw made their trek into the Heluk Valley and made contact with the Yali tribe.

Stan Dale believed that even the most violent Yali cannibal had a soul worth saving because it was made in the image of God.

As the gospel was blossoming in the upper end of the valley, those in the lower end of the valley were still in darkness. Two of the young Yali Christians, Kekwara & Bengwok, went down the valley and were attacked while preaching. Neither returned. At the news of their deaths, Stan Dale went to the villages himself, and there suffered 5 arrow wounds. He was helped back to camp, then flown a mission hospital. It would be a week before they knew that Stan would survive the injuries. Two months later,

Stan Dale returned to his work among the Yali.

He was determined that the work of God must continue.

He strengthened the church in the upper Heluk valley and the new believers spread the gospel east into the next valley where it was warmly received. This angered the shamans in the lower valley and to the west and they made threats against Stan Dale should he enter their area again. After two years the burden for the salvation people in the lower valley prompted Stan Dale to try once again to reach them. On Wednesday, September 18, 1968, Stan Dale, Phil Masters and four tribal helpers began their trek into the Seng Valley. They were greeted by armed warriors when they reached the first village. The immediate crises was avoided and the next day they decided to return, but already the neighboring villages had been told and their warriors had agreed that these bearers of a strange religion would have to be killed.

The warriors were following them. Stan was at the rear. He stopped and faced them. Stan called to his Yali friend, Yemu, “Leave me,” and he raised his staff, not in anger, but as a barrier to the advancing tide of warriors. A priest of Kembu (the demonic religion) named Bereway slipped around behind Stan and at point blank range shot an arrow in under his upraised right arm. Another priest, Bunu, shot a bamboo bladed shaft into Stan’s back, just below his right shoulder.

Yemu was crying now and shouting at them to stop. As the arrows entered Stan’s flesh, he pulled them out, one by one, broke them and cast them away. Dozens of arrows were coming at him from all directions. He kept pulling them out, breaking them and dropping them at his feet until he could not keep ahead of them. Nalimo, the village chief, reached the scene after some 30 arrows had found their mark in Stan’s body.

“How can he stand there so long?” Nalimo gasped. “Why doesn’t he fall? Any one of us would have fallen long ago!” A different kind of shaft
pierced Nalimo’s own flesh – fear! “Perhaps he is immortal!” Nalimo’s normally impassive face melted with sudden emotion. Because of that emotion, Nalimo said latter, he did not shoot an arrow into Stan’s body. Stan faced his enemies, steady and unwavering except for the jolt of each new strike. Yemu ran to where Phil stood alone. Together they watched in anguish at Stan’s agony. As some 50 or more warriors detached from the main force and came toward them, Phil pushed Yemu behind him and gestured speechlessly, run! Phil seemed hardly to notice the warriors encircling him. His eyes were fixed upon Stan.

Fifty arrows – sixty! Red ribbons of blood trailed from the many wounds, but still Stan stood his ground. Nalimo saw that he was not alone in his fear. The attack had begun with hilarity, but now the warriors shot their arrows with desperation bordering on panic because Stan refused to fall. “Perhaps Kusaho was right!” Perhaps they were committing a monstrous crime against the supernatural world instead of defending it, as they intended. “Fall!: they screamed at Stan. “Die!” It was almost a plea – please die!

Yemu did not hear Phil say anything to the warriors as they aimed their arrows at him. Phil made no attempt to flee or struggle. He had faced danger many times but never certain death. But Stan had shown him how to face it, if he needed an example. That example could hardly have been followed with greater courage. One again, it was Bereway who shot the first arrow. And it took almost as many arrows to down Phil as it had Stan. Yemu and the 3 other helpers stayed only until they knew that Phil could not survive, then they turned and ran for their lives. One thought burned in Yemu’s mind, “if they kill us too, there’ll be no one left to tell their widows what happened, or where they fell.” Yemu did make it back safely to tell what happened.

Only a year later these same people were reached with the gospel of Christ  by missionaries that replaced Stan Dale and Phil Masters.

What enabled men like Stan Dale, Phil Masters and the two Yali Christians,

Kekwara & Bengwok, to risk and lose their lives in trying to take the gospel to a violent and hostile people? How were and are so many others able to spend their lives in similar tasks, forsaking the comforts of their homes to go live in foreign places with foreign people in a foreign culture?

LOVE INVESTS – Making a difference to the future of people who one day will come to know Christ.

One of the last communications received by the home office from Stanley Dale carried this significant comment—“I have a burden for these places where the way is hard. Please continue to pray for the people of the Holuk that they may break free from their fetishes and declare themselves wholly on the Lord’s side. Please continue to remember us in prayer, for we still carry some heavy burdens that are not burdens of work.”[c]

Stanley Dale had long ago determined to spread the gospel to unreached peoples, even at the expense of his own life. Because of their deep love for Jesus, Stan and Phil had a passionate desire to make Him known to all people—especially those Yali living in spiritual darkness in the Seng Valley.[d]

In the next few weeks I will be sharing how the Lord has used me to reach people in China, the Ukraine and the Pacific over the last 30 years. We have missionaries right here in this church. I want to introduce one of them to you today It’s Betsey Rasia who has a passion for her high school.

I hope that we as a local church continue to develop a deep passion for lost people the world over and that we are prepared to sacrifice our pleasures and comforts so that others may live. I hope you can come to the dinner on the 24th October and join Chris and me in pledging finances to INVEST in the lives of others.

Last year we saw about $70,000 pledged into Kingdom Advance. So far about $38,000 has been received. More finance may come through this month until the dinner when we begin a new year of fund raising. This shortfall has led me to make a much smaller goal for the coming year. I am setting a target of $40,000 which will represent about 10% of our total church income and distribute it equally among four missions projects. Destiny Rescue, Egypt, Solomon Islands and Church planting in Victoria.

If you have not completed your pledge by the time of the dinner please consider the pledge forgiven and begin anew with faith and with a more realistic pledge for the coming year. The finance we give to Kingdom Advance is not our tithe which God says comes into the storehouse to make sure there is provision in this house. Kingdom Advance giving is an offering over and above your tithe for the work of missions. Will you join with me giving so that others may live? Will you believe and trust God to provide abundantly for you over and above your normal income to allow you to give?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.  Perhaps not everyone is called ti new Guinea or India, but where are you called to?

2. The sacrifices made by these heroic missionaries inspire us, what does it make you feel?

3. Are there sacrifices you can make so that others may live?

4. Is the life of Stanley Dales given only to reach the tribes of New Guinea or was it given in order that other Christians may be inspired to give their all for Christ?

5. What is your part in the great commission to reach lost people?

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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH – INFINITY #4AM – WHY WE GIVE TO VISION

INFINITY – THE MESSAGE SO FAR stewardship_wheat

This quarter is Spring Breakthrough. It’s a time when we as pastors are challenging us all to press into God and seek a breakthrough in our lives and our walk with God.

This month the theme is Infinity. We can see that giving to stewardship is a way that our gifts keep on making a difference over and over again onto infinity. Giving to The youth and young adults ministry in this church will see young people saved. Some of them will go onto serve God in ministry. Their fruit will see other young people come to Christ and in turn they will lead others to Christ. It keeps on going on and on.

What is stewardship? The bible teaches stewardship. Through the New Testament, Jesus teaches that we are stewards or managers of wealth that truly belongs to God. Even when we give an offering to God, we are actually distributing what really belongs to Him and keeping what He directs we need for yourselves. A disciple is one who knows by revelation that his life and his possessions are not his own but God owns all things.

This months messages are about how to make giving a tool to give you a breakthrough.

The power to see miracles and enable the hand of God to move in your life is greatly increased as a person makes a faith step to give to God as they pray and seek Him. This financial gift is called a memorial offering. I encourage you to listen to the last two Sunday morning messages where we shared about Cornelius and then Hannah who mixed giving with prayer to see enormous breakthroughs in their lives. I know you want to see God do great things in your life and give you miracles. Don’t discount this powerful way of giving as a way to experience God’s answers.

Every year we invest our resources into the kingdom for ministry and for facilities. It is a privilege for God’s people to give. Unless a church has no vision it must create finance to bring forth the vision God has called it to.

We have no fear in asking God’s people to give towards Kingdom Purpose because there can be no higher cause. There is nothing greater than the kingdom of God. There is no more significant cause than the local church. It is the forefront of God’s work in the earth. While some short sighted Christians walk away from local church – Jesus says, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18)

In teaching about giving, we not only develop the godly quality of generosity which leads to changed lives, but we empower people to develop faith to receive supernaturally from God allowing them to give and actually increase in their net worth.

Here are eight reasons why we give to vision in this church.

1.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY TRUST THE LEADERSHIP.

John 10:1-11 says, “The sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. He goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice but they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run from him. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd.” Studies have shown that in the hierarchy of giving, people give first of all to people they believe in. Then they give to purposes. Finally they give to programs. That means that the most essential elements in considering your giving are relational, not functional.

Chris and I have been the senior pastors of this local church for 19 years, State directors of our church movement called inc (formerly COC) for 12 years. We have seen this church grow to 250 members, plant other churches and make a significant community impact. We have invited you, the congregation, to participate in financial management; and each year we have had our books audited externally, and hold an AGM where we publish our financial figures and invite questions and scrutiny. More than that, all the staff have at times willingly taken pay cuts to ensure the financial strength and viability of this local church into the future. I believe you can trust the leadership of this local church.

2.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY CATCH A VISION, NOT WHEN THEY SEE A NEED.

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Often the more successful a church is, the more people will feel comfortable about giving to it. Why? People give to success. They give to vision. They see the proven track record. They don’t give to needs.  People give when they catch a vision and they get the big picture. How can we together make a difference?

We must be very clear about what our vision is. At PlentyValleyChurch, rather than have a vision for a building, we have a vision for what the building can help us do. We emphasize the lives that will be changed as people give – the marriages that will be saved, the broken people that are going to be put back together, the people who will break addictions, the changed lives that will happen. That’s the vision! Reaching out – Changing lives.

Here is a list of the goals we are giving towards for this coming year:

This is the Vision for which we are giving to make an infinite impact.

  1. Youth and Young Adults Ministry – Part time wage – $20,000
  2. Destiny Rescue – Rescuing kids from sexual slavery – $10,000
  3. Local Outreach – Community Kitchen, Family Violence initiatives. – $10,000
  4. Facility Upgrade – New equipment for sound and video image production – $20,000

3.  PEOPLE GIVE TO EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF GENEROSITY.

It feels good to give generously – it really does. A person who doesn’t understand that has never given generously. The happiest people in the world are the most giving people. There are three main kinds of motivation to give. Love, Fear and guilt. Love is the nature of God. He so loved the world that He gave. (John 3:16) Fear causes you to give to avoid a problem or a negative outcome, there’s no joy in that. Guilt is used to motivate people by men without vision; it’s the lowest level motivation. We recognise the joy of giving. It is a joy to give and make a difference in lives for God’s purpose even if that means sacrificial giving.

In this church we do not teach that God wants everybody to be rich. However in teaching on faith and helping people believe God that they can make a difference, they are blessed.  The fact is, there are more promises in the Bible related to giving than any other subject. You cannot out-give God. If you’re going to be Christlike you will learn to give.

4.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY ARE INSPIRED BY OTHERS.

We learn best by watching role-models. That’s why a testimony about giving is a thousand times more effective than a sermon on giving. Those who lead, motivate us. Giving is contagious. So I encourage you to write down and send me your testimonies, how you decided to give, and what you are giving.

Examples:

(A) Marita – Scholarship money received this week.

(B) Lach – gave 500 in year 12, and at age 22, he was able to purchase his second house.

(C) Dan Power – great giver, just received a promotion and pay rise in this spring breakthrough period.

(D) Each year, over the last 19 years, Chris and I have been the biggest or second biggest givers in the church to Stewardship and Kingdom Advance giving every year. We don’t advertise how much we give because that’s not our reward but you can ask John as we are accountable to him in our giving. God has blessed us and looked after us.

5.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY ARE INVOLVED.

Paul told the Philippians, “I thank God because of your partnership in the gospel.”  The fact is those who are most passionate about the goals will be those who sacrifice the most. The more a person or family has roots down, and the more they are actively engaged in paddling the boat forward, the more they are likely to give. It may seem strange but the biggest givers are not the highest earners but they are the ones with the biggest passion.

6.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN YOU ASK THEM TO GIVE.

James says, “You have not because you ask not.” The Bible says ask and seek and knock. God asks people to give. The fact is we’re doing you a favour when we ask you to give because you will grow in faith, you will grow in love, you will grow in sacrifice, you will grow in commitment, and you will grow in character as you learn to give. You will be blessed in return. I have learned to ask everybody, even those who have nothing, because I have seen over and over that when anyone makes a step of faith to give, it’s the key to their financial freedom.

7.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN WE MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO GIVE.

2 Corinthians 8 says, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” That means we will make it possible for you to give in as many different ways as possible. Such as cash donations, pledges, regular credit card giving, direct debits, paypal etc.

We will help you understand you can either give by reason or by revelation. Giving by reason means this – I look at what I have, I figure out what’s reasonable and I commit that amount. It doesn’t take any faith to give by reason. I just figure out what can I afford to give. Giving by revelation means I determine my gift by praying “Lord, what do You want to give through me?” This requires faith. When you give by revelation, you’re committing an act of worship and saying, “How much am I willing to trust God?”

8.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEIR GIFTS ARE APPRECIATED.

The whole book of Philippians is just a thank you letter from Paul for their offering, for their financial support. Each year as people give, we do our best to say thanks, here at church, with letters, with dinners and other ways. We truly appreciate your love, your giving and your sacrifice.

HOW OUR GIVING WILL TAKE PLACE

Next Saturday night we will be holding the Infinity Dinner. You are invited. It is a fund raising dinner. All this month we have been sharing the vision and inspiring our members to give towards the vision. On the dinner night we will show you the vision with video presentations. We have Simone Anderson singing, and we have Pastor Geoff Woodward speaking. On that night we will give you a giving card and ask you to donate or pledge over the next 12 months a figure that you believe God is saying to you that you can give. On Sunday those who were not able to make it to the dinner will have an opportunity to give also. This is not just a free dinner. Please don’t invite people to come just because it is an awesome night with free food, please make it clear that we are asking them to give big towards a compelling vision.

If you have committed to give last year, and for what ever reason, you were not able to complete your promise; please consider your promise forgiven. Seek God for a new goal and begin again to make a fresh impact. Only those people who have a ticket can attend this dinner. If you just roll up on the night we will not have catered for you.

To obtain a ticket please see one of these table captains:

  1. Craig Anderson
  2. John Matthews
  3. Dan & Meg Power
  4. Bob & Rita Ireland
  5. Ross and Kim Parker
  6. Puna & Natasha Ngarua
  7. Rhys & Mira Anderson
  8. Alex Fabiani & Yas Barber
  9. Santo and Remi Pandolfo
  10. Chris & Alicia Duncan

(Parts of this message were inspired by Pastor Rick Warren at pastors.com)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss what you believe this local church could conceivably achieve in the next 5 years.

2. What level of finances would it take to accomplish that vision?

3. Where will that finance actually come from?

4. What i God’s purpose in our giving?

5. Can God actually bless you in your giving so that at the end of the giving period you have more even though you have given?

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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH – INFINITY#3AM – 20 OCT 13Infinity 1

Last weekend, in the message, we discovered the amazing truth of memorial prayer where Cornelius’ prayer was mixed with giving and God heard his prayer. In fact his prayer became a fixture in the mind of God through his giving. This resulted in a breakthrough for Cornelius’ family as they all received salvation and were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues; but more than that, this was a breakthrough moment for all Gentiles because for the first time in the New Testament, the gospel was sent to the Gentiles.

Spring breakthrough is over half way now. It’s time to press in and seek God for a real change in your circumstances. It’s time to turbo-charge your prayer requests with your extravagant giving.

Have you ever felt like you have prayed for ages and not received anything from God? Does it seem like your circumstances are immoveable? Do you want to see a breakthrough but seem to have come to a dead end? Then listen to this amazing story of a woman who moved the hand of God with her giving.

READ 1 Sam 1:1-11

1Sa 1:1  There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.

1Sa 1:2  He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

1Sa 1:3  Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD.

1Sa 1:4  On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.

1Sa 1:5  But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.

1Sa 1:6  And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.

1Sa 1:7  So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.

1Sa 1:8  And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

1Sa 1:9  After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.

1Sa 1:10  She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.

1Sa 1:11  And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

Here’s the story.

Hannah was a godly woman. She longed for a baby, but she was barren. Her prayer to God had been requested for years. Look at 1Sa 1:7  So it went on year by year.

She so wanted to be a mother. She cried out to God and received no answer for years. Her rival, Peninnah, who had children, provoked her and devalued her because the purpose of her life was not fulfilled. She despaired for an answer. Why didn’t all her prayers reach God’s ears so He would do something about it? She was part of a godly family that worshipped every year. Everything seemed right and in place, yet no answer. Hannah needed a breakthrough. What was the trigger for her miracle?

When Hannah’s pain of barrenness reached its peak she changed the way she had been praying. She did something different. She turbo charged her prayer request to God. Sometimes you know that your prayers; as good as they are; and as right as they are; just do not bring the result that you long for, and you’re sick of soul searching for some illusive answer or reason why God seems to be ignoring you. It’s time to get violent with prayer and accost the throne of heaven with some serious holy attention seeking!

Hannah’s prayer broke through, Hannah got Gods attention. Hannah received her miracle and this breakthrough was not only amazing for her, it was amazing for all of Israel. So how did she turbo charge her prayer? What did she do to breach the stony silence of heaven? It isn’t that God doesn’t care, but is He looking for something more from you. Don’t get me wrong; in this story we are not saying God is hard of hearing, or that He’s hard to please or difficult to get along with. We see a developing passion in Hannah in this story. We see that God has something in mind to deliver Israel. But there came a tipping point. What was the defining moment? What was it that made the difference and released the answer for Hannah?

If you find this answer, you will breakthrough in your own life. Can you say like Hannah that you have prayed for ages and received no answer? Can you commiserate with Hannah and declare that God seems to be silent when you need Him to say, “YES” What if I told you the answer and you just outright rejected it? Will you stand in the ranks of  people who say, “I did it all the right way but no answer”; or will you be open to do something different and actually getting a breakthrough with God?

Do you want to hear what made the difference for Hannah? Do you have the ears to hear what Hannah wants to preach to you this morning? Listen to this part of her prayer, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me.” Do you want God to remember you and your prayer request?

Are you sure you want to know the answer for getting God’s attention? Do you think you are ready to hear it? OK then listen to this promise…

1Sa 1:11  And she vowed a vow and said, … remember me …  give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

Hannah promises to give something to God.

Hannah moves from just asking God for a miracle, to mixing her request with giving.

Hannah promises not just a gift to God but a gift of the single most important thing in her life that she truly desires. – THAT’S BIG GIVING!

It’s not that God forgets, for He knows all things, however there’s a kind of giving that brings to His remembrance the prayer that you have made. Look how fast God moved in her life following this promise of giving.

1Sa 1:19  They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

Straight away the Lord remembered her!

So let’s look at the breakthrough.

  1. Hannah receives a child, a boy, to answer her long held prayers and release her from her agony of barrenness and failure to produce a son for her husband to say nothing of the ending of the torment from the Peninnah.
  1. The Lord multiplies the answer further in that Hannah eventually has seven children. 1Sa 2:1  And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 1Sa 2:5  Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
  1. Israel receives a leader and a deliverer in Samuel, Hannah’s first born. One of the few men in the bible against who is recoded no fault.

Can you see how great a breakthrough was achieved through Hannah’s bold move to be a giver? The big question always remains, “How much do you want it?”

I haven’t yet told you the most amazing part of this story.

I have told you that giving mixed with faith turbo charges your prayer request.

I have shared with you that giving causes a memorial or remembrance to stand before God about your needs. I have explained that after years of fruitless prayer the only thing that created a breakthrough for Hannah was extravagant giving.

But here is the most amazing part of the story.

Hannah promised a gift that she didn’t even have yet!

 However, don’t get the idea that this is easy giving, to give away something that you don’t have yet. God knew the intense desire that Hannah had to have a child of her own, so to open her arms again with no promise of any further children and lose what she had now received and longed for was no cheap promise!!!

I can’t tell you about the number of times well meaning people have made a promise like this to God; and received their miracle; and then gone back on their word and failed to deliver what they promised to God.

But if she did that, Israel would not have a deliverer and there would be no more of those six children she later had for fulfilling her promise to God.

So let’s recap. Hannah prayed for many years without a breakthrough.

She did everything right, but God was at work to produce a greater outcome than what Hannah imagined. The key to her breakthrough was an extravagant gift that caused God to remember her. Her passion for God and His blessings exceeded even her desire for a son, but God multiplied and blessed her anyway with six other children. Her giving mixed with prayer turbo charged her request to God, and straight away He answered her cry.

Every year, people from this church work together to raise a sum of money for the advancement of our vision. In two weeks time at our Infinity Dinner on November 2nd, we will all have an opportunity to bring a gift or make a promise to God about our Kingdom Advance giving for the year. If you made a pledge last year, come October 31 this year, what ever you were unable to complete, is forgiven. Begin a new faith journey to bring to God an extravagant gift for this coming year. Like Hannah you can promise to God what you don’t have yet!

To turbo charge your own spring breakthrough, you can decide to give to God at this time, pledging your gift to the Kingdom Advance Offering on November the 2nd or 3rd. When you mix your prayer request with your giving, you will be like Hannah who obtained a tremendous breakthrough. You are all invited to the Infinity Dinner. Please see one of these table captains for a ticket. You cannot come to the dinner without a ticket. There is no cost, however, please come to the dinner prepared to make a donation or a pledge.

To obtain a ticket please see one of these table captains:

  1. Craig Anderson
  2. John Matthews
  3. Dan & Meg Power
  4. Bob & Rita Ireland
  5. Ross and Kim Parker
  6. Puna & Natasha Ngarua
  7. Rhys & Mira Anderson
  8. Alex Fabiani & Yas Barber
  9. Santo and Remi Pandolfo
  10. Chris & Alicia Duncan

Here is a list of the gaols we are giving towards for this coming year:

This is the Vision for which we are giving to make an infinite impact.

  1. Youth and Young Adults Ministry – Part time wage – $20,000
  2. Destiny Rescue – Rescuing kids from sexual slavery – $10,000
  3. Local Outreach – Community Kitchen, Family Violence initiatives. – $10,000
  4. Facility Upgrade – New equipment for sound and video image production – $20,000

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss with your group about the kind of grief and pain Hannah went through as she waited to have a baby and was tormented by Peninnah.

2. She didn’t give up but prayed for years without an answer. Has anyone in the group experienced this kind of thing?

3. Finally she made a vow to God. She promised to give her son back to God if God would grant her a son. Discuss how big a gift this was for Hannah.

4. Giving doesn’t just attract God’s attention but it sets up a memorial in God’s mind as a constant fixture of your need.  Has anyone ever practised this kind of giving?

5. If you need a breakthrough discuss how likely you are to mix giving with your prayer request.

 

 

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