LFM – 29 May 2016
Why do we bother / strive to be servant & true disciples of God?
Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~ It is an upward call because effort is needed
~The way I would picture it : The Blood gives us access to the gate of salvation into the kingdom – by grace through faith, but effort is needed (works of faith) to go up into the presence of God.
~ Am I still lingering at the gates / fence not committing fully to the kingdom (lukewarm)…still being held back by the lures of the world (Lots wife)…not wanting to make the effort to go into the presence of God???
- There is a Goal & Prize that we focus on in the upward call / next level
- Rewards of a good & faithful servant
- Kenya 7’s, IEBC protests
What is required to reach the goal & obtain the prize?
- Deep strong foundations that God can build on
- – The strength of our foundation determines the level we are able to reach
- – Our lives being living testimonies
- – Collapsing under blessings when God tries to build us up — wealth
- Word of God
- Purifies & sanctifies us –> John 15:3
- Seed thrown into our lives – does it grow — can’t follow instructions / hard heart?
- Holy Spirit guidance
- Ability to discern, listen & obey –> Tuned to the Frequency of Heaven?
- Focus on Jesus –> Empowers us to be fruitful & multiplying — True Vine
- John 12:32 –> If He be lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself
2 peter 2
- We usually look for God when we are in problems – my life testimony
- We soon forget about God after the problem
- The question is which path do we take after our problem is solved?
Mathew 7:13-14 (NKJV)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a]narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
- With God –> Strive to know God for who He is & not what he can do –> leads to LIFE
- Without God –> ignoring God’s mercy & grace
- Situation worse of –> like a dog returning to his own vomit – wages of sin is DEATH
- Isaiah 55 –> Seek God while we can still find him, call on Him while he is near
Why strive — , even if we dont understand and the world still seems to prosper in their wickedness:
- God is Faithful & Just and His ways are Perfect — Deuteronomy 32:4
- It Pleases & Glorifies God –> Righteous & Holy living
- The wages of sin is death, the narrow gate leads to life
Choose you this day who you will serve….( )
Life’s Junction of choice – Narrow or broad road / Life or death / Blessing or Curse
Psalm 73 summarises the thoughts that trouble us
- All this struggle to follow God, is it worth it?
- Those that don’t struggle in God’s ways seem to prosper
- – Hata mimi sasa nataka kuwa MCA term moja , hata mimi nikule
|Psalm 73 – A psalm of Asaph. – (NLT)
1 Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
3 For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything
their hearts could ever wish for!
8 They scoff and speak only evil;
in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut throughout the earth.
10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,
drinking in all their words.
11 “What does God know?” they ask.
“Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”
12 Look at these wicked people—
enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain.
15 If I had really spoken this way to others,
I would have been a traitor to your people.
16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path
and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.
20 When you arise, O Lord,
you will laugh at their silly ideas
as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
Haki itatawala – (BHN)
(Zaburi ya Asafu)
1Hakika, Mungu ni mwema kwa watu wanyofu;
ni mwema kwa walio safi moyoni.
2Karibu sana ningejikwaa,
kidogo tu ningeteleza;
3maana niliwaonea wivu wenye kiburi,
nilipoona wakosefu wakifanikiwa.
4Maana hao hawapatwi na mateso;
miili yao ina afya na wana nguvu.
5Taabu za binadamu haziwapati hao;
hawapati mateso kama watu wengine.
6Kiburi kimekuwa mkufu wao shingoni,
uhasama ni kama nguo yao.
7Macho yao hufura kwa uovu;
mioyo yao hububujika mipango mibaya.
8Huwadhihaki wengine na kusema mabaya;
hujivuna na kupanga kufanya uhasama.
9Kwa vinywa vyao hutukana mbingu;
kwa ndimi zao hujitapa duniani.
10Hata watu wa Mungu wanawafuata,
hawaoni kwao chochote kibaya
na kusadiki kila wanachosema.
11Wanasema: “Mungu hawezi kujua!
Mungu Mkuu hataweza kugundua!”
12Hivi ndivyo watu waovu walivyo;
wana kila kitu na wanapata mali zaidi.
13Je, nimetunza bure usafi moyoni,
na kujilinda nisitende dhambi?
14Mchana kutwa nimepata mapigo,
kila asubuhi nimepata mateso.
15Kama ningalisema hayo kama wao,
ningalikuwa mhaini miongoni mwa watu wako.
16Basi, nilijaribu kufikiria jambo hili,
lakini lilikuwa gumu mno kwangu,
17mpaka nilipoingia patakatifu pako.
Ndipo nikatambua yatakayowapata waovu.
18Kweli wewe wawaweka mahali penye utelezi;
wawafanya waanguke na kuangamia.
na kufutiliwa mbali kwa vitisho.
20Ee Bwana, uinukapo, wao hutoweka mara,
kama ndoto wakati mtu anapoamka asubuhi.
21Nilipoona uchungu moyoni
na kuchomwa rohoni,
22nilikuwa mpumbavu na mjinga,
nilikuwa kama mnyama mbele yako.
23Hata hivyo niko daima nawe, ee Mungu!
Wanishika mkono na kunitegemeza.
24Wewe waniongoza kwa mashauri yako;
mwishowe utanipokea kwenye utukufu.
25Mbinguni, nani awezaye kunisaidia ila wewe?
Na duniani hamna ninachotamani ila wewe!
26Hata nikikosa nguvu mwilini na rohoni,
wewe, ee Mungu, u mwamba wangu;
riziki yangu kuu ni wewe milele.
27Anayejitenga nawe, hakika ataangamia.
28Lakini, kwangu ni vema kuwa karibu na Mungu,
wewe Bwana Mwenyezi-Mungu ndiwe usalama wangu.
Nitatangaza mambo yote uliyotenda!
Do the wicked really prosper??
- An older couple retired from missionary work in Africa
- Were heading back home to America on ship
- American president, Teddy Roosevelt & wife also on the ship returning home from a vacation
- Everyone was fussing over the president & his wife
- The old missionary man watched and thought of what would happen when they reach America
- – No home
- – Not much money
- – No material possessions —
- They had left everything behind when God called them to do missionary work in Africa
- The seemingly wealthy Roosevelt seemed to have it all
- – Everyone’s attention
- – Wealth
- – Big house
- – many friends to honour him
- During the voyage, the old man became agitated, thoughts run through his head –> Vs 4-5
- He felt sorry for himself –> Vs 12-13
- He served God faithfully and where had it gotten him? He had nothing! –>Vs 13-14
They reached the port, got a modest apartment to rent.
- Wife sensed the husband was sad, bitter, depressed
- He admitted that it hurt him to see the president welcomed home, loved and adored
- He had served God faithfully, yet no one was there to welcome him or notice what he had done.
- Wife said – tell God
- He went to the bedroom, was there a long time and came out
- What did God say?
- He said, you are not yet home!
- We may feel this way –> Lack of recognition for God’s work, or not getting any rewards
- When we get home in heaven, there will be a huge band of angels to welcome us
- Your work is not in vain, you are not home yet
Mathew 25:21 (NLT)
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]’
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT)
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
Luke 6:22-23 (NLT)
22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
~ For the righteous, it would be like finishing with all your problems here on earth while for the unrighteous, they are living the best life they will ever have here on earth
~ Good to check on something if it is too good – like not getting a rebuke from God – possible that God has abandoned one.
~ Example – caught overspeeding
- God is ALWAYS good to those with a pure heart
- In times of fear, doubt or unbelief
– Seek the sanctuary of the Lord for understanding – Vs 17
– Look internally at what sin is harbored in my heart –> Vs 21
– I realized my heart was bitter – envy, jealousy
– Means I just don’t have the opportunity , otherwise hata mimi, I would probably do the same
- The wide road of wickedness eventually leads to death – wages of sin
- They may seem prosperous, but they do not have peace
– The richer we get, the more paranoid
– Minister who used to change cars and sleep in different houses
– Cant walk on the streets, has to have security
– Always worried, as you don’t know who is after you
- Keep focused on the things of the Lord & not others
- Vs 24 – 28