By Pastor Greg Byman
February 11, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
St Joe Community Church
A search for the word “content” reveals that Scripture has much to say about the matter. In Philippians 4:11, the apostle Paul famously exhorts millennia of fellow Christ-followers, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
But how do we become and remain content? Today’s message is called “Practice Generosity” and is the third in a series called “Keys to Contentment.” The sermon was preached on February 11, 2018.
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Good morning everybody the frozen chosen. You have made it. I hope you're not frozen once you got in here but it was an icy day wasn't sure what was going on of course to different people so while you know this is close and that's close and that's close as well we're not there you go and so we're here today and so no judgment call on all the people that you can text right now and say we're missing you in worship you can do that right now if you want with you know. But we are going to study. The third instalment of a handful of messages on keys to contentment if you've been with us on the journey in the last two weeks you've heard me say on the first part that when we're talking about being content we need to adjust our perspective you see the whole idea of being content the struggle with contentment the issue of contentment is that we're not. We continue to want what we don't have. To not want what we already have. We keep changing out this for that we keep moving things around so that we want to have this or that we want more things going on in our lives than what we've we just want to keep changing things because we think we've got to we've got to have this Gotta have that I have one better thing than this to get a better car got to have a better that. Some people move through relationships because of discontentment not because they really need to change relationships and we're restless and our lives when we're to discontent creates troubles around us it's sometimes causes damage around us when we start moving in a direction just because we're uncomfortable or discontent suddenly everybody around us begins to feel our anxious and it strains relationships that we have it puts us into debt we start paying for things buying things that we cannot afford this not within a plan of any kind of a well thought out budget and so then we go into debt and then we become even more discontent because we don't like where we are. And so then we think well I need one more thing to to fix that. And late night television if you're listening on the radio or watching on the television any kind of thing there's always those commercials that are appealing to your desire for more. And then just when you think you have all that you need then as I mentioned a couple Sundays ago the lawyers show up and tell you how you've got a problem that we need to help you sue your way out of and you'll get buku bucks from us you need to come to the right people will help you to get all kinds of money to solve your problems. While I think we ought to hold corporations responsible and I think certain people need to be responsible for doing things that they knew they should never have done and inflicted things upon us that we should never have been looked upon us the reality is you can't go back and unscramble an egg you can go back and change the past that is what it is and if you think a lawsuit and a lots of money is going to solve your discontentment over how you were wronged in some way you will be very surprised to find out that even the settlement of a lawsuit will never solve your discontent and watched it happen people get this windfall of money and then they're bitter because they don't have enough of what they thought they were to get. And then when they have all that money they get a responsible on how they spend the money that they get all it wants because oftentimes the reason God doesn't give us a windfall of money is because we don't know how to handle a windfall of money most people that win the lottery are broke months later I don't know how to handle it that's why you never get it God gives you what you can handle you say man I must be really infant tile in my ability to handle anything because I'm broke well. Start learning how we'll talk about that next week by the way as you handle what you have it will lead you to responsibility to be able to handle more. Right. Same thing with a child you don't give a child this huge responsibility you give them a small task as they do that well they do a little bit better you give a little bit more responsibility but more responsibility hopefully by eighteen they have enough of sponsibility not live in your house anymore. No that's not true sometimes they need to live in your house and that's all a good thing when I kick in ours out any time soon the reality is that's how you handle getting older as a kid as a person and that's the same way it is with your resources that you have where that your time where that your talents are that your treasures you don't need any more time you don't need any more talents and you don't any more treasures to be content. You learn to be content with where you are and what the first session was on adjusting your perspective you go back on our website and you can see the podcast you can see the notes you can see a very well in the role transcript it's actually automatic transcript so it won't be writ written out exactly right because it's all automated but you can get the gist of it if you want to read the sermon. And then last week I talked about that we practice. Being content contentment isn't something that just arrives I become a Christian boom I'm content Yeah no no no. The apostle Paul one of the heroes of the faith I mean he's a giant hero wrote most of the New Testament God used him to write most of the Testament and he even said I have learned to be content what that Paul had this down. I have learned to be content in fact later on in different in different letters that he's written he said there are things about him that it that he was restless about still. Oh rats of man that I am he said and he was like at the end of his life and he was still a wretched man in his own mind because he was still selling this discontentment in his life so learn to process that we grow into contentment over time. And again that message you can see online here online today we're talking about practicing generosity because generosity actually puts us in a position of being able to be more content generosity when we practice being generous with your time talents and treasures that practice. Hands down solves many of the problems we face when it comes to tackling the issue of contentment I talk about generosity with great. Admire admiration for our church family. When we hear of a need it is often resoundingly met with great generosity. When there is a need for a service someone to do something for somebody all hands on deck now every church deals with the regular schedule and there are times when but data says well we have another need in the children's department and kids connection and we will continually have a need in the can in the children's in the Kids' Connection and will continue to be a need for people to help and my is am I getting this down fast OK Yet we continually need people to sign up and to get screened and be part of our. Kids' Connection that ministry that serves all of our families and prepares for all the families that God wants to bring to us here at St Joe in this neighborhood in the surrounding communities. So that's good we do that enough we need more OK. And we need people to help with our young people our youth and we're always needing the constant care and Rob would want me to say we're constantly in need of people to help us make sure that remain taining our resources the facilities and the and the grounds that we have we're constantly meeting people to do that the regular rhythm of life in every church is the same you constantly need to not only remind people have already said they would help but you have to keep recruiting and saying hey we've got opportunities for you to really use your time talent treasures to honor God and to help us serve our community serve one another and keep things moving forward not because that's what we always do that's how we've always done it but because we've been called to do something important for God and part of that is the working as a body at St Joe Community Church. But other than that issue which is a constant issue when there are major needs that are expressed major outpouring of support comes. Major outpouring I've watched it I've watched resources come through I've watched furniture of watched food I've watched money come through our river basically and go flowing out into. People's homes and to meet their great needs that they have and it's been exciting to watch it really has been you know we needed a van one time and Jack who's passed away last year we did actually a series on stewardship and I had hadn't said anything about the van to anybody or anything I just we knew that it was a need and he came out to me and said Pastor I got too many bands in my driveway I have the Lord has prompted me to give one to you and I said and I am prompted to receive it. And we use that band for a long time what we call that youth the Waka Waka or you or of adults we call it the water WADA and it was it was a walk on walk of a. And I mean I don't know if it's it's just a weird name but it was the white van it was some as we call it the old Amish taxi cab because that's what he had used for the whole everywhere around the world and. Well to Canada and then and I all over the place and we use that thing to camp it went to Florida two or three times it went went all over the place and and then we were driving it so much we realized we should not be driving it so much and it was all falling apart underneath and God bless we were all safe anyway we gave it some actually paid us for that thing more than it was worth invested in the red one that we're now using God's generous and when God prompts the hearts of the people. You all have been generous as well so I know I'm preaching to the choir today I'm preaching to the ones that I don't understand generosity but I want to remind us that generosity takes us out of the zone of discontentment it helps us to be more content so how do we practice generosity I want to turn to second Corinthians Chapter eight let's stand and let's read one more time some passages of Scripture and Chapter eight verses one and following this is a letter to the Corinthian church and Paul is telling them you had a gift that you were going to give an offering you were going to actually. Build up some resources to give away and I'm encouraging you to get it done go ahead and do it finish up what you said you would do and I want to remind you that there was this other Christian group that they were giving and this is kind of how they give and why they gave and it should be an encouragement to you to do as well that's the gist of it but let me read to you the exact story we want you to know brothers about the grace of God granted to the churches of Macedonia during a severe testing by affliction their abundance of joy their deep poverty overflowed into the wealth of their generosity these people were being persecuted they were poor and yet that affliction. Overflowed into the wealth of their generosity verse three I testify that on their own they according to their ability and beyond their ability they begged us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints and not just as we had hoped Instead they gave themselves especially to the Lord then to us by God's will so we urged Titus that just as he had begun so he should also complete this grace to you now if as you excel in everything in faith in speech and knowledge in all diligence and in your love for us excel also in this grace I'm not saying this is a command for sate rather by means of the diligence of others I am testing the genuineness of your love for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ although he was rich for your sake he began poor so that by his poverty you might become rich now I'm giving an opinion on this because it is profitable for you who a year ago began not only to do something but also to desire it but now finish the task as well that just as there was eagerness to desire it so there be also be a completion from what you have for if the eagerness is there it is acceptable according to what one has not according to what one hate what he has does not have it is not that there may be relief for others and hardship for you but it is a question of equality at the present time your surplus is available for the need so that there are abundance may also become available for your need that there may be equality as it has been written the person who gathered much did not have too much and the person who gathered Little did not have too little Father God Again we just come to you praying that you honor us on our time. Together fill us with your spirit me your word go out and may it not return void weak plain that promise and we pray this in Jesus' name amen may be seated so. The story is an example of great generosity and Paul was saying you guys wanted to do it God told you to do it and you're now desiring to do it well let's just get it done and you practice generosity just as even our Lord Jesus Christ was generous and gave Himself to us I'm getting ahead of myself but that's the just in case you zone out on me you've already got all the points first of all if you're going to practice generosity you've got to give yourself first to God. You've got to give yourself first to the Lord He says there they backed us and sent me instead. I testified on their own accord of their own ability beyond their ability they begged us insistently to give They gave first of all. To the Lord. They gave themselves especially to the Lord and then to us by God's will the first thing you do when you're talking about being generous because some peeps I don't know be generous. It's just not human nature be generous it's human nature to be stingy it's human nature to just want to hold and hoard and not give from what you have. You say well I may I may need that later so I keep it. Now some people have the gift of giving and you're often married to someone who is does not have the gift of giving. And that's a war sometimes that goes ahead in the home. And that's a good balance between the two because the gift of the giver someone who has a gift in a natural a spiritual inclination by the power of the Holy Spirit to give will give away everything and it's good for someone to have to say well no let's just see if maybe with meet this need more carefully than just giving everything away some people have a the gift of giving in their feelings. And you let your feelings get the best of you every eight hundred number where there's somebody crying you're going to give away something do. Every time you see something you just absolutely I got to give you this need. And I'm not saying that's necessarily wrong to do that or to meet needs or to have your emotions stir in you but a responsible attitude of giving is important we'll talk about that too by the way in a couple in that as we go along in this series. But generosity generally other than the emotional prompting or feels good to give to something so I'm going to keep doing this because it feels so good to do it. Or the gift of giving where you have this gift generally speaking we kind of are stenchy we don't really give as generously as we probably could. If we didn't first give ourselves to God Now the words are I don't want you to do anything with your resources your time or your talents until you first say God it's all yours on yours now let's go how you give yourself to God We already said this God see Eleanor I'm the manager we don't tell God what to do with the resources he gave us. They're all his Anyway it's all he is he's just dumped a few of them in your lap to take care of. And then he's saying now that I've put this in your lap as generous as I've been to you I want you to practice generosity but we don't think about that until first we understand a right relationship with God we've got to put ourselves in his hands first. You see the enemy of contentment is fear and selfishness fear we don't trust and so then we take matters into our own hands which results in even more insecurity and a loss of peace in our life in the first issue of trust we have to deal with is the issue of trust with God want trust that that person is going to handle my money the right way. That's a good thing to think about but when the Lord tells you to do something you're not trusting that person you're trusting God to handle what you told you to do when I give my money away when I give my time away and I've prayed about it and I've asked God to show me what to do with my time and my talents and I say well I'm going to give a couple hours over here and God is that OK Is that right. And I get a sense that and we'll talk about how to maybe some ways to do that the minute and God says yes that's the right thing then I have to I release that because I'm not trusting the people I'm giving my time to I'm trusting God for the results I'm trusting God for the results not the people that I'm giving it to. Have I been let down by people that I've either financially helped and I felt like I did yeah I've have have I felt let down when I gave my time for something or somebody that I felt like they didn't really use my time wisely I have. Which makes me wiser more careful. More discerning in the future. And until that particular person or that particular situation straightens up they're not going to get any more of my time my energy because I'm thinking about it but the reality is even if God says I want you to keep doing that it is not dependent on how they treat what I do or what my money is it's God's deal not mine it's his issue because he told me to do it I do it. It's a trust issue with God. The other enemy of contentment is selfishness a lack of respect we want to be in control I mean that's man's problem I want to be the boss that's what got us into this trouble in the first place Eve said I want to be in control of what I eat in the garden. I want to eat that fruit. That I should meet how I think it looks pretty good it's desirable out probably tasty God to know what he's talking about. I deserve that even though God says no. Really that's called lacking respect for the one who created you that slapping the hand of the owner and saying I'll do it I want thank you very much and God says no give yourself to me you're restless and discontent because you have not trusted in me to be your ultimate provider and your selfishness and your fear is leading you to more addiction to more bondage to loss of joy loss of peace we give ourselves to God and then as we give ourselves the god really the second step is we seek his direction we seek God's direction number two. We say God what you want me to do how do I do that how do I find out what I'm supposed to do. How do we how do I navigate whether I do this or do that what organization should I responsibly give myself to. I've shared this little formula many times before and I want to share it again for basic ways that we discover God's will it's kind of a skeleton there's lots of flesh that you put on this as you move in your Christian life and you grow but there's a skeleton kind of a a basics of four things that we do to discover the will of God First of all prayer Have you prayed about your contentment Have you prayed about how to be generous Have you prayed about how to give your time your talents and your treasures Have you prayed about it yet pray second have you read God's work consistently enough to know what he says about how to give and who to give and what to be a part of. There are a lot of great organizations that are putting their hand out which ones is God asking you to put your resources into their hands. Which ones are worthy of putting your resources in their hands which ones are actually going to be godly about what they do with the resources you give them there are some medical organizations that look very good they want to cure all kinds of problems. But some of them are actually fully invested in the abortion industry because it's fuelling their medical efforts. Be very discerning about that nothing wrong with helping people cure disease and problems but are you dealing with people that are believing in the sanctity of life as they are using your resources. And that's a very very gray area and so many ways but it's something you have to think about God How do I do this what is God's word have to say how is God's word informing me on how I'm being generous with my time my talents and my treasures and the third godly counsel godly advisers people that you can ask questions that believe and trust people who trust God That's what I say listen to people who listen to God. Don't listen to people who aren't listening to God Don't put a don't put something on Facebook what your recommendations write. One tired of Bobo blah and I'm going to do it up you will get all kinds of people. Who are going to be completely in agreement with you. And all the people around oh I hope they don't they're not going to respond on your Facebook. Because they don't want to get beat up on Facebook and they use a discerning enough to know that Facebook is not a venue in which you counsel people. This is not. Have you ever seen somebody trying to counsel somebody on Facebook have you ever been counsel of his. And pretty. Who pray about those relationships godly advisers people who you trust are listening to God listening to his word and have a vibrant pro-life and then finally the circumstances is the door open for you to serve in this way is is there an opportunity for you to give in this way is this is is is it do do it does my time line up with the schedule in which they need me to serve and help in some way is my is my do I have a surplus you know labor cat is a pioneer not a pioneer in any sense of the word because stewardship is like been like forever but but he really in my era of life really pioneered the stewardship movement in the Christian church in the seventy's eighty's he passed away I think in the ninety's early early to thousands to thousands and he talked about you know whenever you get a windfall of a blessing. Is it really for you or maybe is it for somebody else. Whenever you receive let's just say you received a thousand dollars why I can think of immediately ways in which our family could use a thousand dollars and not just for one but for need things those are things we've been praying about. But do you first give yourself to the Lord and say God is that money or at least a portion of it did you give it to me in order to give it to someone else I never had it until just now it's a windfall and is this a blessing that you want me to give to somebody else or if you don't have to pay a bill of a sudden it was paid in full something happened and well I didn't have to pay that bill and you say it's two hundred dollars say it's fifty dollars Let's do fifty because most people do fifty and you got a fifty dollars bonus is that yours or have you prayed about to say maybe God open my eyes and maybe the circumstances have a lying to where that needs to be somewhere else and you've given it to me in order to be a conduit of blessing to somebody else circumstances you just don't know what you don't know until you look around and see what the availability is I have a little more time I have the day off I wasn't expecting to have the day off. I sit and watch an entire series of The Walking Dead. Yet a is that on Netflix now I know what it's on. And I'm just going to just sit here and vege your favorite whatever this is. And. Or is God saying. You know you have all this time on your hand maybe there is something that God wants you to be a blessing and give yourself to in a special way. Have you looked at your circumstances to see if maybe God wants you to be generous and he gave you the means to be generous with your time. Just thinking messin with you this morning and I let God reveal where you need to be proud to practice generosity in other words don't just I mean I was say this practice of generosity is not dangerous by the way just start practicing it but as you're practicing sit pray read a bible ask people look your circumstances giving begins more with our attitude not an amount. That's not it's about an attitude not an amount. OK. Number three Remember the example of Christ who. For you know verse nine the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he was rich he was he was God in the flesh he was holy God for your sake he became poor. He died on the cross for us so that by his poverty you might become rich. Rich spiritually one who inherits all of heaven. One whose inheritance God owns it all and he says You're my child and there is reserved up for you an inheritance that will not be everlasting your retirement plan is forever in heaven and it is absolutely guaranteed and it does not require the f.d.i.c to guarantee it the Federal Reserve has nothing to do and it has nothing on. And it is actually being upheld by Almighty God Jesus became poor so that we might become rich we practice generosity because we're following in the footsteps of our Jesus if you call yourself a Christian that means you are trying to act like be like live in conformity to the person of Jesus Christ I want to be a Christian because Christ as my Savior and of Christ gave all. That I give all of Christ became poor that others might become rich and other words if he gave sacrificial way so that others might benefit greatly. If he was generous with himself then we also must to be generous with ourselves or don't call yourself a Christian. Because Christians follow Christ Christ gave all Christians give all. Out Sometimes logic people don't like that but that's how it works. Contentment. Is living the way that God designed for us to live. This is not some like gimmick for God to gal Jew in any way Jesus is not a car salesman Oh if there's a car salesman in here I did mean to say that all of you gals people with cars. He's not some sleazy salesman selling you something you don't need to pay for in ways that you cannot afford he knows exactly what you have and he also knows exactly what your problem is and he's trying to get you generously out of your discontent by calling you to generosity and me to generosity. And then finally this morning we enjoy the rewards we practice generosity and as we do that we enjoy what God gave us first of all he gives us joy he said this he says I want you to to be joyful in one and doing this but this is something that you're going to do because it is is a is a joyful activity to complete what God asked you to do. This is something that's not dependent on your circumstances a satisfaction that comes from within knowing I did the right thing I want to believe in this room that everyone at some point in time has given to something that was outside of your control it was something that you were prompted to give to and after you gave it you had a sense of deep satisfaction not and in and I'm not talking about one that people saw you do it is something you did that nobody saw and when you did it it was a great blessing how many have that had that experience and you said Man there was some joy in that that's a kind of John talking about. The kind of joy that just comes from doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do it also develops the real relationships generosity is always connected with people. He said your love for one another. Let your love be complete. Generosity is rooted in a love relationship with the people around us and through that we want to serve with our generous Rossotti we want to give ourselves to the Lord we want to give ourselves to give to others we want to see their build the building up of their relationship we want to see God do a great work in their lives we want to be encouraged by that we want them to being courage and if they never know that we are a part of being generous for them to receive a great blessing then yeah that's even more fun. Because then they don't have to think that their relationship with me is dependent on how I gave to them. I love being the conduit a blessing to someone else there's been people who have been unemployed that are sitting in this room. And it someone came to me and said hey God has prompted our hearts to give generously to this individual. And I had the privilege of giving a check. And that person what you are kidding me and I said I sure am not because I killed a lot right I would get about this. Are you sure there's enough I think the check was written wrong no it was. It's got as many zeroes as they told me to put on it I check because I make sure that we you know we don't add extra money to just get. It matches what was given to you is what exactly what we're giving you. And the person who never knew who it was and the person. Who will never be known are blessed and relationships prosper because someone was generous. They were prompted and they gave. And that generosity. Is leading to greater contentment. And then finally the reward of this is that we're trusting God for our future needs. Our future needs are met was that last verse the person who gathered much did not have too much and the person who gathered Little did not have too little. This is saying that sometimes like I say sometimes a surplus is to put in a four one K. OK So for me it's for all three be. A retirement account we do save for the future for the for the for the times of our lives weeks we have savings account our church is working we're not there yet but we're working to build a three month savings account back up again we've had some expenses come through and we're behind that little bit but we we want to have not because we have hoards of money that we believe in and know it's trust in the money but because we want to be good stewards of the future and lean times and so we're working to build that resource up in our savings account I'm not talking about that I'm just talking about when there is a surplus beyond and you say you know what we are going to give to that need because they need it now and we're trusting that as we get to this need God is prompting us to be a conduit a blessing to them and that when when we have a similar need and something bad is happening in our lives that God will prompt somebody else to take care of their needs. Met and not met a ship is a medicine share and there's and that's a set the whole process is this verse right here. I keep paying my premiums in this medical insurance it's not an insurance program this medical protection program as a Christian knowing that other Christians are giving into it and when my need is great surgery emergency room problems then other Christians that resources them funneled to me beyond what I could ever pay because they're taking care of me just as my resources are funneled to other needs even when I don't have great needs it's the whole concept of that and thankfully the government has given us an opportunity to participate in that if we have the if we choose to do so it's actually a protected way of medical insurance. That. People put in place legally. We enjoy the rewards in other words watch God take care of you when you can't take care of yourself and her with the resources you currently have watch God do it. You make you think it's a blessing to give you wait till God wants to let you receive so why I can't do that well get over your pride because everything you had God gave you in the first place is sometimes he gives it to you all at once when you have a great need and sometimes it just comes and trickles you don't realize how much is given to you. It's all from God in the first place. Trust him to take care of you and when you are living in that kind of a life it is a great way to live because then you are practicing giving yourself to God in all your circumstances so as we close this morning where do we start where am I supposed to start practicing a time talents and treasures I've been saying this several times we're going to say this again over the next two Sundays time talents and treasures I want to start with time so I had someone say to me one time civil I don't give to the church financially ten percent but I give my time I ties my time. OK And when I talk about is that something we're supposed to practice Now later in that we'll talk about that next week about what does the Bible say about tithing ten percent tithe means ten percent a tenth of your of your income a tenth of that Malakai talks about that we're going to talk about that next week but let's just say some I says well I'm convicted that God wants me to give time more than he wants me give me money to give money OK I'll go with you on that if you're saying I'm going to practice a biblical tithing of my time that means that you're going to give thirty six point five days per year which is seven hundred seventy six hours a year to something beyond yourself beyond something you're in control of beyond you're just giving it away under the Lord's direction but you're giving it away it's not something you're like I'm going to give the ties to my lawn no that's not what I'm talking about. And they get a tie to waxing my car so they can see how nice my car is that's not what I'm talking about it's about giving yourself away in a ministry somewhere which means what two point four hours a day is that right that's twenty four hours to ten percent is you move the decimal one point and it's two point four hours a day. I'm not telling you to do this I'm just saying some as a wide tide my time great you give two point four hours a day to something beyond yourself that nobody has that you're not in control of once you give it away and it's all somebody else's and you and your like it has nothing to do with your family it has nothing to do with your work it has nothing it's all somebody is that what you're saying yeah OK great. Sixteen point eight hours per week thirty six point five days per year. What I want to saying is I'm not asking you to be a legal mystic about this. But if you want to go legal stick I just gave it to you which way you want it what I'm saying is let God being control your time let God be in control of the resources let God be in control of your talents and your abilities let him determine that. Let him keep the score when it's all said and done don't let your right hand know what your left hands doing. You know is and I like you giving record in a year is not see how well I've done is to make sure that I'm giving enough. Because I'm not eight we schedule and we have sporadic income because of I do funerals and weddings and my wife's work is up and down with her hours and I try to round into what we give and at the end of the air when I get my giving record it's not about say You look how good we are is to say did we do what we're supposed to do and honor God with our resources and I compare it with what our end of the year statement is and we just try to balance that out over the over over time. And annually it's a good calibration for us but it's not about check mark say look how good I am that I gave this much money to God Our church does give Sherry responsibility she's our clerk that if I'm not giving to the Lord Biblically that she has the right say some call me out on the leadership has the right to do that the elders can do that to me but it's not about check marking and say look all spiritual I am. Is just a spiritual guideline. For me to practice generosity so that I can lower my discontent as well. And that's what I'm praying it will be for you this morning. Your talents have you surrendered your vocation to the Lord are you are you on God's mission when you go to work each day Lord help me to be a blessing to people around me sometimes just doing your job moving a forklift. Applying medicine to a situation. In taking somebody handling the public when they come in the door. Handling people's resources serving in some way in a particular way maybe you're volunteering readily and it's almost like a job where you're helping somebody do something. And it's a great blessing when you do that but are you on mission for God Are you as dedicated. To being on a mission in your current circumstances as you would be if you signed up for a mission trip and went overseas or went across the country or went down to the rescue mission and were completely under the control of the leadership at the rescue mission to serve that day God convicted me this week about a situation but I wasn't applying to all my situations I've had a lot of very little sleep. Early Tuesday morning was out late on a run with police officers and I was really really tired. And I got home about two thirty in the morning and I had to finish my notes for my funeral that I did that I had been given graciously by the funeral home I didn't know the family very well. And so I had to finish that and then go to bed and I woke up the next morning and I'm getting ready to go into the funeral and I had looked through my notes and I looked through everything. But that tiredness in security came in and I said lord. I don't want to say anything stupid. Oh and and the other thing the other knee jerk reaction of in this situation is I want to satisfy the families I'm serving Well that's that's actually secondary God I want to satisfy you first and whatever I say I don't want to be something that because this may or may not be a Christian family I did not know where the man was spiritually and so I said I would do something that makes him feel good I want to do something to make that honors you first I do want to bring comfort but I also want to bring the truth so people can find Christ in that moment. If they don't know him. So I said Lord I just put myself in your hands and I can't do this funeral without you I got to do it I just got it completely lay in your hands and say just pick me up and make me your servant today by His grace I think you did that when along the next day. And I began to realize. Why don't I say that when I get up in the morning. When I was awake and not tired why don't I say that when I come into church for the regular day work instead of just on Sunday morning why don't I say that when I'm just hanging out with my kids God I'm going to really mess it up if you don't get in control of my tongue my kids you come out of that room they're going to say things to me and they're going to ask me things and they're going to ask me advice they're going to ask me for money they're going to ask me for all this stuff and do I have a godly answer or do I have a fleshly answer I am is in desperate need of God's guidance even in my day to day operations as I do when I'm practicing the most formal things that I do in my ministry and that's. Standing right here even right I was convicted that I'm not giving myself to God the way out to every single minute of my life and at the get the concert I was at Thursday night and I heard arise my love my new song i heard that thirty one years ago and a concert in the middle of Columbus Ohio as a teen as a teenager still I was an eighteen year old chaperon really. Controlled chaos in the hotel that night who was chaperoning me and and I remember being inspired by that song of how powerful it was when Jesus was resurrected from the dead and it blew me away to hear that song for the first time contemporary Christian music blew me away I was like I never heard the message of God come so clearly in of the john or of music that I was used to hearing on the radio this god you are awesome. And I and I was in college God I'm I'm I'm totally yours everything I have is yours which was very little and and I just give it all to God I give it all you do I give it all to you and now I have kids I have a house I have cars I have responsibilities we have bills I say I give it most to you why am I not as desperate in that concert Thursday night as I was thirty one years ago as a kid and I got convicted again I don't have and Greg that out in the hallways I'm not as surrendered as I want to be. And I'm shamefully. Lacking.
B: Bible book