How Will You Run the Bases of Life?

As Pastor Kevin explains, we live in a world in which most people run the bases of life backwards. Sadly, many people wait until the end of their lives to acknowledge their Creator and connect with God.

It’s a great discovery to eventually come to God; it’s a better life to start with God.

Growth Starts with Connecting with God

Using Pastor Kevin’s baseball analogy, God’s pattern for our lives starts at home plate. This means our spiritual growth starts with us connecting with God, our Creator.

We discover that God created for us for a reason, and He will give us the power to accomplish our life’s purpose.

Life begins to make sense when we understand why God created us and what we’re here to do.

Learning to Value Others

When things are going very well, it’s easy to slip into self-importance. We start to believe we’re the very reason the business or marriage is so extraordinary. But things don’t typically grow and prosper forever. Difficulty usually sets in.

When God has us in a season of humility and things aren’t going so well, perhaps He’s teaching us to value others.

Win Dependence

Sometimes as we honor God and go through trials in life, we wonder what God could possibly be doing. Life gets difficult and our situation gets worse – and we wonder, “Where is God?”

Perhaps in these times, God is teaching us to “win dependence.” Children move from dependent to independent as they grow, but as Christians, the opposite should happen in our relationship with God. As we grow spiritually, we move from self-reliant to God-reliant.

What Is A Tithe?

“Tithe” literally means one-tenth. It’s a mathematical term.

When Scripture talks about tithes and offerings, it means 10% (tithe) plus whatever you give beyond that (offering).

Pastor Kevin explains why he and his wife, Marcia, have agreed to tithe regardless of their circumstances – through times of hardship and times of abundance. PK explains that he can always afford to give, if he gives first. In other words, we may not be able to afford everything we want, but we can always afford to give.

What Does “Give Generously” Mean?

Old Testament tithing was just the beginning of giving. In the New Testament, giving is best explained in 1 Corinthians 16:2:

“Give as God has prospered you.”

We often make the mistake of believing that only the first 10% belongs to God, and the rest is ours. Nope, it’s all God’s money. He created it all.

We tithe in recognition of God’s ownership, but if we’re prospering, we should be giving more! After all, giving produces joy.

The Longer Term Your Perspective, The Better Your Decision Is Likely to Be

The further down the road we see, the better decisions we will make today.

Considering the long-term first (eternity, then retirement, 20 years down the road, 10 years, 5 years, etc.) will set the framework for making the best decisions about to spend and save money. Manage money today considering long-term implications first.

God Owns It All

The Bible states, “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”

When you acknowledge God’s ownership of everything, only then you can recognize that 100% of what you “have”, actually belongs to God. It’s one of the most fundamental understandings a Christian can have.

Once you understand that God owns it all, you can be open-handed to Him and others instead of closed fisted and selfish.

 

 

Our Forgiveness is Bought by Jesus’ Endurance

Our forgiveness was bought by Jesus’ endurance and sacrifice. Jesus had to endure the cross (the B-Zone) for our forgiveness. Now he sits at the right hand of the throne of God (the C-Zone).

Following God comes by our endurance and surrender. We will hit the B-Zone when we choose to follow God. We will get weary and lose heart. Jesus would encourage us to not quit on God because He has not quit on us!

Separated from God

God told Adam and Eve, “If you sin, you will die.” They did sin, and they did die. They were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, lost their relationship with God, and all of humanity lost its’ spiritual awareness. Since that moment we have been displaced from God. We have tried to create our own paradise, make up our own rules, decide for ourselves what is truth, all a part from God. It has never worked.

The only answer to returning to what we are created for is surrendering to Jesus.

Mad at God

PK shares a story of when he raced his wife in the car and only “won” by breaking the law.

Setbacks in life are often because of our own sin. We often become mad at God, but the truth is we bring it on ourselves.

When we experience loss in life, it is always due to Sin (personal or universal). We try to blame God for hardships.

In reality, just as the officer was justified in pulling Kevin over for breaking the law, God has a case against us because we messed up His perfect paradise (Garden of Eden).

The Big Picture of the Bible

There are 5 major events in the Old Testament that look towards the coming of Jesus:

  1. God and righteous man in paradise (Genesis 1-2)
  2. Satan and sin enter (Genesis 3-5)
  3. The world is judged and destroyed (Genesis 6-9)
  4. One world government system (Genesis 10-11)
  5. The 12 tribes, the nation of Israel, God’s holy people (Genesis 12 – Malachi)

The first 4 books of the New Testament, Matthew – John, is the story of Jesus on earth, who came to establish a new contract. (re-word this 2-3 minutes)

The 5 major events of the New Testament are a mirror image of the events of the Old Testament:

  1. The 12 disciples, the church, God’s holy people (Acts – Jude)
  2. The coming of a one world government system (Revelations 6-19)
  3. The world is judged and destroyed (Revelations 6-19)
  4. Satan and sin exit (Revelations 20)
  5. God and redeemed man in paradise (Revelations 21-22)

 

 

Sin Leads to Death

Genesis 3 is the story of how Adam and Eve sinned against God, when God had already warned them that the price of sin is death.

Kevin uses a rubber snake as an illustration of how we often view sin. We tend to forget that sin is dangerous and treat it like it’s fake (rubber). But sin is real, and if we sin we die.

Choose to Go into Your World and Serve

God’s answer for the people near you, but far from Him, is you.

God just doesn’t use us, He partners with us. The pressure of God isn’t all on us, His spirit is with us. We join Him! It’s our privilege of who we are in Christ.

We join God in reaching those around us. God clarifies this mission to us in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20:

“And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.”

 

 

Whatever God Breathes Into, Counts the Most

We need to train ourselves to recognize the things God breathes into. These are the things that count most in life!

When God breathes into things that matter, what is right, what His values are, He makes them larger in our lives.

But the world can take away from the things that God breathed into, like motherhood. Being a mother, is a sacred role, but our world has a way of lessening that.