The Other Side of Sacrifice

Pastor Jason shares the story of a 12Stone family, who were led by God to do something significant for a complete stranger. God stirred their hearts to sacrifice to send an unnamed student, who didn’t know Jesus and couldn’t afford to go on their own, to “Never The Same” camp.

The family made budget cuts to bless this student with what could be a life-changing experience. And it was! They received word the student learned about the rescuing hand of God in a camp service and accepted Jesus.

God used their sacrifice of several hundred dollars to do something that changed all of eternity for one young person — all the while, marking the family with playing a part in an enormous blessing.

How Doug Jones Loves Others

When Doug and his wife, Laurie, learned they couldn’t have children of their own, they searched for another life’s purpose — a way to pour into young people’s lives. He encountered many young people on sets, in film school, at meet and greets, etc., so he didn’t have to look far for kids who needed love. “Puppies,” he called them.

Doug and his wife found that opening their home to young people (their “puppies!”) could be a profound way to impact others. In doing so, God fulfilled their longing to pour into young people, and then He divinely used Doug and Laurie to love and care for the young people in return.

God is a Blessing God

It is in God’s nature to be a blessing God, to pour out his favor on us.

Acts 3:25-26 gives us an example of how God blesses us:

“And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring peoples on earth will be blessed.’ He sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked way.”

One of the ways God blesses us is by turning us away from worldly things and bringing us back into relationship with Him. We can also bless others in this way by sharing our faith with them.

 

Join Jesus To Live Bigger

Rescued – Transformed – Sent (Pattern)
“Father, as you sent me into the world, I have sent them (my disciples) into the world.” John 17:18 (LiveSent)

2 Challenges:

1) Live for a Bigger Why! (Join Jesus)

  • “Because of the Rescuing hand of Jesus, we pursue personal transformation, one life at a time.”

2) Live for a Bigger What! (Join Jesus)

  • Transformed people bless, train & send.
  • We invite you into God’s blessing, to bless others!
  • God is a blessing God, so we are a blessing people.

Creating (Unexpected) Blackberry Moments

Sportscaster Ernie Johnson recounts the story of two boys on his Little League team, who took time to enjoy some blackberries during a critical point in a game. To Ernie, this became a modern day parable – a reminder not to miss the blessings around him. He calls these unexpected times of blessing “blackberry moments.” Ernie goes so far as to create “blackberry moments” for others by buying flowers for strangers. What could you do to bless someone today?

The Role of Prayer

Even when you have the blessing of God on your life, you still must cultivate the character to “churn.” It may be tempting to skip the hard work that comes with the “churn” and ask God to remove it from your life. But the purpose of prayer is not for God to bless us so that we might skip the “churn.” The purpose of prayer is that God would give us the strength to “churn” so that we would have His blessing and favor on our lives.

Parents: Pray Over Your Kids

We need the power of God to strengthen our families, our kids, their lives, and their future!

Challenge to Parents: As our kids go to school, pray over them each morning before they run out the door, or on the drive that day. All it needs to be is a short and simple 1-minute prayer of blessing over them.

Relying on God’s Power

Asa was the third king of the Kingdom of Judah and the fifth king of the House of David. If he could come back and teach us one thing, it would:

When you rely on God’s power, you add God’s blessing and can miss hardship.

When you rely on human power, you can miss God’s blessing and add hardship.

God is more powerful than you imagine or think. When you pray and seek Him, He will strengthen you!

Cease Striving

PK referred to the Sabbath as the “brake” in life, his point being that too much accelerator (working too much) with too little brake (rest) is a recipe for crashing one’s life. In other words, taking a day to cease striving—to be still and remember that God is your provider and to re-set your soul—is a critical element to a healthy, wholesome life.

Economic Gleanings

The two hardest words to say to yourself: “That’s Enough”

The Three hard truths to live:

  1. God put a “That’s Enough” fence in everyone’s economy
  2. Everyone does not have the same “That’s Enough” fence
  3. Margin for Others” is enough for “That’s Enough”

Make “Margin for Others”; Greed is for Economic Atheists

Why I Tithe

Pastor Kevin (PK) outlined four reasons why he faithfully returns the whole tithe (10%) to “the storehouse” (the Church):

  • Because I am an Economic Theist – I believe that God is the God of earth’s Economics
  • Because the Tithe belongs to God
  • Because I want His Favor on my life
  • Because I want Treasure in Heaven

It’s A Steal

This teaching focused on Leviticus 19:11. God’s message, loosely paraphrased, says, “I am HOLY. Here is my fence of favor: Do not steal and do not cheat the economic cycle by cheating others. I am the LORD your God!”

Fence of Favor

Kicking off a five-week Economic Atheist series, Pastor Kevin (PK) posed the question, “Can you be a Christian and an Atheist?”

  • atheist – someone who believes that there is no God.
  • economic atheist – someone who believes (or behaves as if) there is no God over their personal
    finances