Monday, June 27, 2011

SKITTLES, Part 4- Who's On First?

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Key Thought- The rest of your life can be the best of your life if you put God first in your life!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (live righteously), and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

I WILL GIVE GOD MY 1ST AND MY BEST SO HE CAN BLESS THE REST.
Read 1 Kings 17:1-16- Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
Thought- God always gives a plan & if you work the plan you get the miracle (vs. 8-12)
Thought- God's plan won't always be logical, but it will be possible. If you do what is possible, God will do what is impossible. (vs. 13-16)

TIME- Exodus 20:8, Psalm 92:13, Luke 5:16
Example- Giant Sequoia trees toppled over a few years ago, partially because of people walking over their roots. The thought is that people walk through our lives and it has an effect on us. We need to honor the sabbath weekly & spend time with God daily to keep strong roots in our faith.
TONGUE (Words)- “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15 *see Proverbs 18:21 (NCV)
TALENT- Ephesians 6:7, Philippians 2:1-5, Ephesians 4:7
TREASURE-
Key Principle: Money is not a financial issue, it’s a SPIRITUAL issue.
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24

GOD'S 'ILLOGICAL, BUT POSSIBLE' FINANCIAL PLAN FOR YOUR PROVISION (see Luke 16:10-11)

What most people do:
1. Earn it 2. Enjoy it 3. Repay it (past) 4. Save it (future) 5. Give it (eternal)
The order God blesses:
1. EARN it- “... Anyone who refuses to work should not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NCV)
2. GIVE it- “Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns... to overflow!” Pr. 3:9-10 (LB)

-Tithing provides for God’s work through His church. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” Malachi 3:10a
-Tithing teaches me to put God first in my life. “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.” Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB
-Tithing increases my faith in God. ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’ Malachi 3:10b

3. SAVE it-
“The wise man saves for the future . . . “ Pr. 21:20a (LB)
4. REPAY it- “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;” Psalm 37:21
5. ENJOY it- “Be content with what you have . . . “ Heb. 13:5 (NIV)

Reasons that you may not be blessed right now:
Wrong Motives- James 4:3, Hidden Sin- Proverbs 28:13, Growing Season-Galatians 6:8-9

My Prayer For You Today- Whatever you do, “ ...please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.” 2 Cor 6:1 (MSG)

Monday, June 20, 2011

SKITTLES, Part 3- LEGACY LESSONS

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Skittles Represent What You Have To OFFER.

"The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:24 (Msg)

Here are the 4 things that make up your life: 1. TIME 2. TALENT 3. TREASURE 4. TONGUE (Words)
Key Question- The average life span is 25,550 days. How will your legacy impact those that come after you?

LEGACY LESSONS FROM ABRAHAM & LOT (GENESIS 13)
Legacy (Webster’s dictionary): something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

LESSON #1- VALUE TODAY BUT VISUALIZE TOMORROW
“And without vision the people perish. . .” Proverbs 29:18
"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” - Helen Keller 1880-1968
 I want to encourage you get a vision for your future.  Depression, discouragement & fear are present when hope is absent.  Allow God's divine vision for your life to give you faith for your future & hope in your circumstance.  Be specific.  Believe big. Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."  God responds to faith & He's so good that He even gives us even more than we expect.  

What Legacy Are You Passing Down To Future Generations?
EQUITY - our integrity, our determination, our godliness, every right decision we make, every time we resist temptation, every time we honor God & do the right thing.
INIQUITY - addictions, bad attitudes, bad habits, wrong mind-sets, poor choices, selfishness, lack of discipline.
Case Study of Max Jukes & Jonathan Edwards- click here

LESSON #2- GIVE A BLESSING TO OTHERS
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 (NIV)
“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves.” Phil. 2:3 (NCV)
“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.” Proverbs 3:27

4 Ways To Pass A Legacy Of Blessing To Others (see Genesis 27:26-29)
John Trent and Gary Smalley, in their book The Blessing, point out four practical ways that we can bless our children just as Isaac did.
1. TOUCH (Mark 10:16)
2. SPEAK (Proverbs 15:23)
3. ENCOURAGE (Proverbs 10:21, 1 Thess. 5:11)
4. REMIND (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Key Thought- How you spend your days (time) will determine what you become (talent), what you will make (treasure) & the impact that you’ll have on future generations (legacy).

My Prayer For You Today
Whatever you do, “ ...please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.” 2 Cor 6:1 (MSG)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

SKITTLES, Part 2- Investors

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Skittles Represent The Essence Of Your Life & How You Use Them Will CREATE Your Life.
"The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:24 (Msg)

Key Thought- Generosity is an ATTITUDE
“Whoever has a bountiful (generous) eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9 (ESV)

Stingy people say, “When I FEEL good I’ll do it. When I have MORE I’ll give it.”
Generous people say, “I’ll do it, then I’ll FEEL good. I’ll give, then I’ll have MORE.”


“Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (MSG)

You will experience the generous life when you:

1. Understand that God’s the owner, You are the manager.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Proverbs 24:1
“... you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
2. Recognize that God is your SOURCE.
“My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need.” Philippians 4:19 (NCV)
“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes...”. James 1:17 (NLT)
3. Understand the divine law of SOWING & REAPING.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, And day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22 (NKJV)
“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 (NLT)

You Create Your Future By Investing These 4 Things:
Time- “There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth: ...A right time to plant and another to reap...”. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
Talent- “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men...”. Colossians 3:23
Treasure- “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
Tongue (Words)- “What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded.” Proverbs 18:21 (NCV)
“A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23 (NKJV)
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15

4. Expect your world to grow LARGER.
“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[a] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NLT)
“So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.” Mark 11:24 (NCV)
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)

My Prayer For You Today
Giving up something now for something better later is not a sacrifice. It is an investment. -Andy Stanley
Whatever you do, “ ...please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.” 2 Cor 6:1 (MSG)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Skittles Thoughts- Are You Giving God Your Leftovers?

According to Wikipedia, Leftovers are: the uneaten edible remains of a meal after the dinner is over, and everyone has finished eating.

It would seem wise during these economic times to do everything you can to cut corners. One of the things that we often do at our house is save any leftovers from our meals. This helps us keep food on the table for our 5 little human vacuum cleaners that can inhale huge amounts of anything edible. While leftovers are a matter of preference when it comes to our own personal taste, it's a matter of principle when it comes to God. The first recorded worship service in the Bible ended badly because of leftovers & is found in the story of Cain & Able.

Genesis 4:2-8 says, "... When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. 3 When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought a gift—the best of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. 6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

The reason that God was not pleased with Cain was simple, He brought his leftovers. Most people live by the idea that anything that they give to God is acceptable. The truth is that God expects us to put Him first with our time, talent & treasure! The first & greatest commandment is to love God. This means that we're called to worship God with every area of our lives. Don't have a spirit like Cain who was self-centered and saved the best for himself. Save your leftovers and give your best to God in everything!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men...”. Colossians 3:23

Saturday, June 4, 2011

SKITTLES, Part 1- Hoarders

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Skittles Represent What You Have To OFFER.

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:24 (Msg)

Here are the 4 things that make up your life: 1. TIME 2. TALENT 3. TREASURE 4. TONGUE (Words)

Key Question- The average life span is 25,550 days. What will you do with your days?

Lessons from a Hoarder (Luke 12:13-21)
13Someone out of the crowd said, "Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance." 14He replied, "Mister, what makes you think it's any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?" 15Speaking to the people, he went on, "Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot."
#1- Hoarders always need MORE.
16-19Then he told them this story: "The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: 'What can I do? My barn isn't big enough for this harvest.'
Lesson #2- Hoarders are SPENDERS.
Then he said, 'Here's what I'll do: I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.
Lesson #3- Hoarders are SAVERS.
Then I'll gather in all my grain and goods, and I'll say to myself, Self, you've done well! You've got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!'
Lesson #4- Hoarders are FOOLS.
20"Just then God showed up and said, 'Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?' 21"That's what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God." Luke 12:13-21 (MSG)

The fool in this story wasn't being rebuked for his business savvy, it was the fact that he thought he was in charge. He didn't understand this important principle,
"
God’s the owner, I am the manager
." We don't really own anything in our lives, we're simply the stewards. The Bible reminds us in 

Psalm 24:1, that, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”

Key Question- What Are You Doing With Your Skittles?
The Bible teaches us that,
“A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.” Proverbs 11:28 (Msg)
We are most like God when we are generous. Proverbs 22:9 (KJV) says, "He who has a generous eye will be blessed, 
for he gives of his bread to the poor." When you are generous, you have an eye to see the needs of others. The skittles that God gives us aren't simply for us.
“For God so loved the world that He gave...” John 3:16 (NKJV) This verse reminds us that God is a giver. If you want to be like Jesus, you have to become a giver & it all begins with your life!

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matthew 16:24-25 (NLT)

My Prayer For You Today
The person who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything. -Samuel Johnson
Whatever you do, “ ...please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us.” 2 Cor 6:1 (MSG)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Skittles Thoughts- Is Your World Expanding or Growing Smaller?



This weekend I'll be sharing a new series called, "Skittles: Experience The Generous Life." Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing thoughts on how you can experience the expansive & generous life that God has for you. God wants to increase you in every area of your life. He has promises of provision for you! The reason that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years was because they chose pettiness over God's provision. Nothing was good enough. The journey to their destiny didn't go as they had preferred. Their small minded & narrow thinking caused their worlds to shrink & their problems to expand.

My question for you is, "Is Your World Expanding or Growing Smaller?"

The answer to that question can be found in this one word. Pettiness. Many times we allow the expansive lives that God has for us to grow smaller because of a stingy & self-centered mindset. We often allow our preferences to rule our hearts. According to freedictionary.com, Pettiness is defined as:

1. Of small importance; trivial: a petty grievance.
2. Marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views.
3. Marked by meanness or lack of generosity, especially in trifling matters.
4. Secondary in importance or rank; subordinate.


Pettiness is really smallness. Petty people choose to be small-minded, narrow & self-centered. Their lives are marked by negativity & lack. Pettiness produces fights, arguments. Pettiness demands it's own preferences over the needs of others. Petty people spend lots of time in other people's lives because they are trying to avoid dealing with their own issues. The root of pettiness is negativity & is rooted in our sinful nature.

So how do you overcome pettiness? Make the decision to no longer focus on your preferences, instead, focus on the good of others. Look at the big picture & don't make mountains out of mole hills. Determine to live a large, expansive & generous life today! Don't become stingy with your life by allowing pettiness to become the rule of the day. Don't allow the unimportant to rule the important. Determine to live a large & generous life by being generous with your words, your time, your talent & your treasure!

Remember, "The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”Proverbs 11:24 (Msg)