The Grace of Giving

SCRIPTURE: Philippians 4:18-23

18At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

20 Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. 21 Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings. 22 And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household. 23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Introduction

This is are 28th and final message from Philippians. I love the book of Philippians. When I get a new bible, Philippians is invariably the first book I finish and I love the way Philippians ends: Tonight, we are going to talk about one of my favorite subjects, giving. There are two kinds of preachers who dwell on the subject of stewardship: [1] Those who believe what God’s word teaches and are convinced that God will bless those who practice faithful stewardship and [2] Those who are fund raisers. Unfortunately, the fund raisers are more gifted than those of us who preach it for the benefit of the listener. Paul was not a fund raiser.

There are five things I want to say about giving tonight and I do want to give credit to Ralph Martin and Tyndale Commentary.

[1] GIVING IS A WAY TO SUPPORT GOD’S WORK

Paul said…At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. As we have mentioned often, Philippi was the only church who helped Paul financially and wow, what a reward these folks are going to receive. Do you think that I would not jump at the opportunity to invest in Paul’s ministry. Any believer would be a fool to not invest in what Paul was doing.

You have no doubt heard me tell the story of James Franklin Jarman better known as Maxey. I guess it earned the nick name from maximizing every opportunity.  He started as a shoe salesmen in Nashville, Tennessee and from there build one of the largest businesses in America. In the 70’s his company experienced a down turn and Maxey fortune evaporated. Rich or poor, Maxey was the same. He never got high in the good days and he did not despair in the bad ones.

He went to church twice on Sundays and to Wednesday night prayer meetings. He read four chapters every day and five on Sunday to get him through the Bible once a year (over sixty times). He more than tithed, and he prayed daily. He taught two Bible classes, held most of the lay positions in his church, and served many other Christian organizations including Christianity Today. As part of his discipline, he slept five and half hours a night.

After the down turn when Maxey was struggling to keep the business going; his best friend ask him if he ever thought about the millions he had given away, Maxey said, “Of course I have, but remember, I didn’t lose a penny I gave away. I only lost what I kept.”

One of the last things Maxey said on this earth was…”The ultimate, and I guess very few, if any, ever get to the full level of this position, is to know God-not necessarily to do something for God, but to know God.”

I have one thought to challenge you with: Maxey lost his earthy fortune but what kind of heavenly treasure will he have?

[2] GIVING IS A WAY FOR BELIEVERS TO PRARTICIPATE IN WORSHIP

In Exodus 23:15 and 34:20 the bible says…“No one may appear before me without an offering.” Years ago, more than 24, I was preaching through the bible and I came across these verses. I simply stated that it was impossible for the Israelites to worship without and offering. Understand that most of their offerings were not money and they had offerings that the poor could bring [might take some work and effort]. O.T. worship was based on the sacrificial system, thus you had to bring an offering to take part in the worship.

I was so moved by this fact that we changed how we do our offerings: at one time, most of the offering came through SS but now 100% comes through worship.  I am afraid that our thinking has not changed but giving is a huge part of worship. You cannot worship without giving. It is impossible for a totally selfish person to worship. They may worship but it will be narcissistic. I don’t know how many times I have stated this truth in worship but it does not sink in. Why? I don’t understand why people do not see the connection.

[3] GIVING PROMOTES THE CAUSE OF CHRIST.

What if the Philippians had not supported Paul? Did their support enhance the kingdom work and the missionary effort? The Benedictine Monks take a vow of poverty. Back in the 80, I had one call and ask for a ride to Washington. He meet me at a gas station by the interstate. We were gone for three days and he never spent a dime. I don’t think he had a dime. He never missed a meal and he slept in my motel bed while I slept on the floor. How did he do it? Either I or someone in the group paid for everything: gas, motel, food, etc. He was very humble and never ask for anything but we were not going to allow him to go without.

Where ever their is ministry and missions, there is a life-line to some support group. Someone somewhere is giving their money. Ministry and missions is expensive. I want you to notice a passage of scripture in Luke 8….

Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; 3 Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

An army always has a supply line: if you cut that line, you will defeat the army.

[4] GIVING PLEASES GOD

Again: note verse 18…I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.

God is never more pleased than when we are giving because this makes us reflect His image. Really, the bottom line on giving should be to please God. This should be our motive. Jesus greatest passion was to please the Father.

[5] GIVING PRODUCES A HEAVENLY TREASURE

Paul said, And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

No doubt, Paul was speaking of the present but there is great reward in giving and GOD takes care of givers. He provides seed to the sower. Hudson Taylor went to China with nothing: he literally went on faith. He believed….

  1. Where God guides, He provides.
  2. He believed Philippians 4:6…That we are to worry about nothing and pray about everything.
  3. He also claimed Philippians 4:19…My God will supply all your needs.

CONCLUSION

Paul, Hudson Taylor or myself, did not, do not have the means to reward the supporters of our ministry. Paul could not pay Philippi back and he knew it but he believed that God would reward them for their generosity. Some churches may provide adequately for their employees but I have never had the luxury of serving one and I have no regrets. My experience has been humbling to say the least but I have learned that God will supply my needs. He uses the church and when I need extra, He uses others. I have a friend who had been supporting us financially for 40 years. I will not say that we have not been in some tight places and I do admit that my wife working as a nurse helped us immensely. Our salary has always been our base of support but our needs have at times exceeded our salary. Like Paul, I choose not to ask for help unless it is absolutely necessary. I have learned to pray and trust and it there is a need, God will supply the need. I have hundred’s of stories to back up my testimony but I know you don’t want to hear them. Trust me, “My God will supply all your needs” and when He does, you be sure to give Him all the glory.

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Gethsemane

Scripture Text: Matthew 26:36-46, NLT

36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.

44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

INTRODUCTION

garden-of-gethsemaneGethsemane is an olive orchard and is very much in existence today. Our guide told us during our tour of the garden that olive trees never die. Titus had all the trees in Gethsemane cut down but they did not destroy the roots and the trees came back from the roots. The word Gethsemane means “Oil press” so obviously, at one time, this was a center for pressing olives.

There are many kinds of presses but they all work on the same dynamic, you have to put your olive in a position to be crushed. I have a couple of pictures that illustrated the principle. Once the olive was under the intense pressure, the oil was extracted from the fruit. The picture below is an olive press made from granite.

old-granite-olive-oil-press

FIRST: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE AGONY OF JESUS IN GETHSEMANE

Have you ever given thought to how many things have to be crushed before they become a blessing to us? The bread we eat was once grain, the grain was crushed into flour or meal and that is how we get bread. Bread is crushed grain. Wine is crushed grapes. Perfume is crushed flower pedals. Orange juice is crushed oranges. My bible is made from trees that were crushed, pulverized and made into paper. The most important thing we have, our GREAT SALVATION came from something crushed, Jesus said, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

Today, I want to talk to you for a few minutes about our LORD’s agony in the garden. Jesus was not exaggerating, the wait of our sin and guilt were crushing Him even in the Garden. Jesus was so traumatized by the agony He suffered that He literally sweated drops of blood. T.W. Hunt explains how and why Jesus was sweating blood.

It happens when a person is deeply traumatized. Now I understand what happened to the Tax Collector in Luke 18; at least two times in my life, I have been so traumatized that I had to beat on my chest to get my breath. Both times for me were due to feeling of grief. I have never been so traumatized that I sweated drops of blood but it does happen to mere humans. The medical term is hematohidrosis. It happened when a person is under great stress. Luke, the doctor, tells us in Luke 22:44, Jesus prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. I do not believe that any other human has suffered the agony that Jesus suffered. Think of what was at stake, the salvation of mankind depended on Jesus.

SECOND: I  WANT TO MENTION THE OUR COLLOSAL FAILURE AT GETHSEMANE

We may not like it: we may even protest the thought but we were there. The disciples our representative of the human family: they represent the best of us. Judas and the mod represent the worse of us but good or bad, we were there. Rarely did Jesus ask His disciples for a personal favor. He often commanded them to serve and help others but He seldom ask them to do something just for Him. It is amazing. I sit in my recliner and ask my wife for this or that–but Jesus never did those kinds of selfish things. No where in scripture does Jesus say, “Peter, would you bring me a glass of tea.”…John, since you are up, would you get me a cup of coffee.” BUT here in the GARDEN He has for a favor…”Would you sit here while I go over there and pray”…He takes Peter, James and John a little deeper into the garden and says…”My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

In His greatest hour of need, we failed Him. He ask for our sympathy and we gave Him our sleepy indifference. Everyone is like Peter, we all think we are the exception to the rule. “If I had been there,” you would have slept through the crisis just like you sleep through my sermons. Gethsemane is a testimony to human failure. How could they sleep on the eve of His crucifixion? How could they sleep with Him pleading for their prayers. How could they be so cruelly indifferent? We could not pray for one hour? Why couldn’t we enter into His agony? Why couldn’t we share some of the load?

We slept through the most critical hour of His life. Apathy, insensitivity, indifference, carelessness, laziness, selfishness: where do we put the blame? I don’t know but what I do know is not much has changed. Years ago I heard Dr. Steven Gaines tell this story that came from a gospel tract. It is a story of appalling indifference. The pamphlet is called “Sing A Little Louder.”

“I lived in Germany during the Nazi holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. I attended church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews, but like most people today in this country, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we noticed cries coming from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews. They were like cattle in those cars!

Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns. By the time that train came rumbling past the church yard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some of the screams reached our ears, we’d just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.

“Their screams tormented us . . . If some of their screams reached our ears we’d just sing a little louder.”

Now, so many years later, I see it happening all over again in America. God forgive you as Americans for you have blocked out the screams of millions of your own children. The holocaust is here. The response is the same as it was in my country – SILENCE!”

Have you ever wondered HOW people could have stood by and let the holocaust just happen? Do you wonder why the Christians in this story chose to just sing their praise to God a little louder to drown out the victim’s cries?

People around you need you. They are crying out for help and you are not helping. What do you do to drown out their haunting cry for help? Singing louder may help or better still, just stop up your ears and take a nap. You have a friend or a child that is crying out for your help: what are you going to do about it? Are you going to pretend its not happening or make your normal excuses, “Like, I don’t know what to do. Nothing I could do would help. How do you know? So you try and fail, it that not better than not trying at all.

 

The Horror of Horror Stories

Scripture: Matthew 26:17-30, NLT

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” 18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. 20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” 23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

INTRODUCTION

A lengthy text today and one that lends itself to many subjects. We could talk about Passover or the Lord’s Supper and the New Covenant. We could talk about Jesus courage to sing the Hillel [Psalm 116] in the face of death but today I want us to focus on Judas and the tragic horror story that surround his brief life.

I. FIRST OF ALL: LOOK AT HIS SIN COVERED

Dr. Warren Wiersbe says that Judas sat to the left of Jesus and John on the right. Judas had to have been close because a part of the conversation he has with Jesus was unheard by the other disciples. First Jesus announces that one of the twelve will betray him [v.21] Greatly distressed each one asked, “Am I the one Lord?” They spoke out loud from all points of the table but Judas was sitting right beside Jesus.

Jesus then says in verse 24… For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

Then Judas must have whispered, “Rabbi, am I the one?” You will not that the eleven addressed Jesus as Lord and Judas called him Rabbi [Teacher/Master].

So we have this private conversation going on at the table. The other eleven had no clue that Judas was the traitor. If they had known, they would have done everything in their power to have stopped him. They did not know.

In Judas we see man’s ability to hid his sin, to cover his true self. Judas was so good at acting that no one knew. The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 3… Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.

Sin is deceptive in two ways: [1] First Judas deceived others by covering his motives [2] Judas was himself deceived in that he did not see the horror of his sin. You see it, the other 11 saw it but Judas did not see the horror of his sin. He does later, after the fact, but here at the table, he sees nothing wrong with his sin.

II. BUT DO NOTICE: JESUS CONFRONTS JUDAS WITH HIS SIN

The ERV translates verse 25…“Teacher, surely I am not the one you are talking about, am I?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.” Notice how loving and gentle Jesus is in confronting Judas with his sin. Jesus doesn’t jump up on the table and point a finger at Judas and say, “Judas is a traitor…Judas is a traitor”…Jesus does not attempt to coerce Judas; Jesus used no pressure at all. Jesus confronts him with his sin and he made it clear that it was a horrible choice. Jesus said, “It would have been better for you that you had never been born.”

Remember this: when no one else sees our sin, Jesus sees not only the sin but the outcome. Why do we hid sin in the first place? It’s human nature. We want to put our best foot forward. We all work at making people think that we are better than we actually are but this acting does not work with Jesus. He had a term for actors, Jesus called them hypocrites.

III. THE THIRD THING I WANT YOU TO SEE IN THIS HORROR STORY IS: THE SIN CHERISHED.

All Judas had to do was “Let it go” but he couldn’t do it. My brother died at the age of 69 and his son at age 52. Both were chain smokers: all they had to do was “Let it go.” Elvis died of a drug overdose…He might be living today had he been able to “let go” of drugs. I think Judas had a plan, other than God’s plan. I think he was trying to force Jesus to take a stand and fight. Judas knew that Jesus had supernatural power and he wanted Him to use that power to gain political advantage. I think Judas was more into power than money. He refused to let go of his plan of his ambition for power.

Why don’t we let go of our sin? Deep down, we know what we are doing is wrong but we refuse to let go because of the pleasure our sin brings. There is pleasure in sin, otherwise temptation would lose its power but the pleasure is for a season; eventually, all the pleasure will turn to pain.

Judas refused to repent. He refused to let go of his sin.

IV. THE FOURTH AND FINAL THING I WANT YOU TO NOTICE IS THE: CONSEQUENCES OF SIN

Sin is deceitfully attractive. Paul said, “Even the devil can disguise himself as an angel of light.” The problem of sin is simple: we do not see it as it is. Jesus could see the hideous face of sin but we are blinded. Once we see sin the way he sees it, we can’t abandon it fast enough. Judas made a bad decision and then he reaped a horrible consequence. As Jesus said, “It would have been better had he never been born.”

Don’t picture Judas as the out and out rebel. He was not an overt trouble maker. No one in the group knew what he was capable of other than Jesus. Judas represents your smug church member, possibly a leader serving on some important committee. Judas is there every time the doors are open. Judas may be the treasurer. Judas goes out on church visitation. Judas teaches and preaches. Judas even cast out demons. So don’t get the idea that Judas is out there, Judas is in the building, he doesn’t miss. Judas is the church member who has never repented. The one who sees Jesus as a Teacher but not as LORD. Our churches are filled with the unsurrendered. These folks have their own personal agenda and it is hidden from all except Christ who sees the heart. Jesus said Himself, “Unless you repent, you will all like wise perish.”

A Very Bad Decison

Scripture: Matthew 26:14-16, NLT

14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

I am not a five point Calvinist, thus I do believe that Judas had a choice, he simply made the wrong choice. If he was predestined to betray Jesus, if God put it in his DNA, then obviously, he had no choice. He was programed by God to betray Jesus. To be honest, I think the crucifixion would have happened with or without Judas. The truth is, there is a cloud of mystery surrounding Judas. Why did Jesus choose him as a disciple? Was Judas just a pawn on God’s chess board? Was Judas trying to force Jesus to defend Himself and establish an earthly kingdom? If Judas was only motivated by greed, why did he return the money?

Let’s view the scripture in chapter 27…

Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

The KJV states that Judas repented but the word is me-tä-me’-lo-mī and it means to have remorse. The word for repentance is me-tä-no-e’-ō [to have a change of mind]. The words look alike and even sound similar but mean different things. We feel remorse when we get caught doing something embarrassing. We are sorry for getting caught but not sorry for our sins. Remorse is toward ourselves and repentance is toward God. Judas had remorse and he confessed his sin but to the wrong people. The priest did not care anything about Judas; they simply used him as a pawn.

My conviction is that Jesus loved Judas and that God did not program him to betray Jesus. I think Judas made a very bad decision and he suffered horrible consequences. I think the message for us today is to be careful about the decisions we make because our decisions will eventually make us.

I can tell you with assurance, if you make bad choices, you will suffer bad consequences. The law of retribution is woven into the fabric of the universe. Its takes no faith for me to believe this law: I see it in operation everyday. Some of you made some bad decision that are public in nature, everyone knows you made a mistake and that you are paying dearly but I have news for you: there are some that were smooth operators and they never got caught, they covered all their tracks but not a one of them can get up here today and look you in the eye and say, “There were no consequences for my sin.”

I repeat, today’s message is to be careful about the decisions you make.

What are the three most important decisions you will make in your life time? Where you go to college is not one of them. According Adrian Rogers and hundreds of others, the three biggest decisions of life are choosing you MASTER, your MATE and your MISSION.

Let’s start with the most important one first: LIFE’S MASTER.

The proud would respond with, “I don’t need a master, I am my own master.” Everyone has a master. Something controls you. To say they you control yourself is to admit that you are under the bondage of sin. Nothing describes sin more than selfishness. The essence of sin is that we do things our way. Isaiah 53:6 sums it up, All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Jesus said in John 8:34, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” Something or someone is going to control your life. Plus there is going to be a dominant master in your life. Jesus told the Pharisees, No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Today I want to encourage you to make Jesus your MASTER. Give Him the reins, surrender control to Him. You cannot make Him LORD, He is LORD but you can make Him the LORD of your life. The bible says, If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. [Romans 10:9-10, Holman]

The second major decision is LIFE’S MATE

Choosing Life’s Master is a big decision and second to it is choosing life’s MATE. You want to be careful on this one. If you make a mistake, you are going to have to live with it, live with her/him as the case may be. You say, “I want have to live with it, I will get a divorce.” Then you have to live with two mistakes. Trust me on this one, take your time and pray, pray, pray. My wife hates this story but I tell folks that I called her and ask her to marry me over the phone…I said, “June do you want to get married and she said, “Yes, who is this.”

My mother was ultra Victorian and she operated on rules and principles. She taught me three things about girls and boys you may not like them. [1] Every girl is someone sister or daughter [I had four sisters] [2] Never date someone you would not marry. [3] Never date some one you are ashamed to bring home and introduce to your parents. [4] Never date and unbeliever. There is a rule to marriage–happy wife, happy life. You get a miserable wife and you’ll have a miserable life.

The third major decision is LIFE’S MISSION

Not everyone can be a pastor. Hey, I would have to step down to be the president of the U.S. There is no higher calling and God may be calling some of you to be pastors, teachers, missionaries, and evangelist. Your only concern right now is to SURRENDER YOUR LIFE. God will direct you into what He has for you.

Being a parent is a high calling. I love Psalm 127…Children are a gift from the Lordthey are a reward from him.Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! Did you catch that, children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. The warrior directs the arrow and project it to heights he cannot reach. The arrow can go places the warrior cannot go.

Charles and John Wesley had 17 other siblings beside themselves. Their mom, Suzanne, spent one hour a week with each child. Doesn’t sound like much but when you have 19 children you cannot possible spend one hour alone with each per day. She pointed those boys in the right direction and they accomplished things Suzanne never dreamed.

You don’t have  to be a Doctor, Lawyer, Rocket Scientist or congressman to count; all you have to do is be committed to Christ, He will see that you count. Don’t be afraid to trust Him. You would jump at His will if you had His foreknowledge. What if He calls me to Africa? Let me ask you a question: how many miserable Missionaries do you know. They are the happiest people on planet earth. Where ever He calls you to go, He will grace you to go and make you excited to be there.

CONCLUSION

Judas made a real bad decision and it ruined his life. His decision was so horrible that he did not recover. It cost him his life and his legacy. How many boys do you know named Judas. It was a popular name until Judas tarnished it with the deceitful betrayal of Christ.