Episode 277 Stewardship Part One

Disciple Up #277
Stewardship. Pt. 1
By Louie Marsh, 9-28-2022

Link on Russian Orthodox Church:

https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2022/09/26/desperation-russian-orthodox-patriarch-calls-russians-to-martyrdom-in-ukraine-to-have-sins-washed-away-n498987

Stewardship, Pt. 1
Malawi 2022
By Louie Marsh

What is Biblical Stewardship?

We start where we should always start – Jesus!

1When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” (John 17:1–4, ESV)

6“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.” (John 17:6–8, ESV)

12While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12, ESV)

4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:4–8, ESV)

1) What it is – define the words

OLD TESTAMENT

2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?”” (Genesis 15:2, ESV)

The original Hebrew word for “steward” is `al bayith, which literally means “man over the house.” During Bible times, most notable households would have had a steward, so the term was familiar and not originally tied to spiritual matters. The steward was in charge of whatever the Master put him over. It wasn’t unusual for one man to run the whole house, or for the very rich, they might have several stewards.

  • Leadership
  • Servanthood
  • Trust

2And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”” (Genesis 24:2–4, ESV)

16When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.”” (Genesis 43:16, ESV)

19So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house,” (Genesis 43:19, ESV)

1Then he commanded the steward of his house, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack,” (Genesis 44:1, ESV)

4They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?” (Genesis 44:4, ESV)

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Episode 275, Gideon Pt 5: Ending with a Whimper

Disciple Up # 276
Gideon Pt 5, Ending with a Whimper
By Louie Marsh

Intro.

We’re taking four weeks to read through six I wrote on the life of Gideon for my radio show, Tales From the Scrypt.  Let me know what you think of this short form podcasting ok? Would you like more? Would you like another podcast called Tales from the Scrypt? Or change Disciple Up into this short form scripted format?

Let me know, I’m waiting!

louie@discipleup.org

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Episode 274: Gideon Pt 2 Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Disciple Up # 274
Gideon Pt. 2; Getting to the Heart of the Matter
By Louie Marsh, 1-16-2020

Intro.

We’re taking four weeks to read through six episodes I wrote on the life of Gideon for my radio show, Tales From the Scrypt.  Let me know what you think of this short form podcasting ok? Would you like more? Would you like another podcast called Tales from the Scrypt? Or change Disciple Up into this short form scripted format?

Let me know, I’m waiting!

louie@discipleup.org

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Gideon Pt 1: Mighty Man of Valor!

Disciple Up # 273
Gideon, Part One: “Mighty Man of Valor:
By Louie Marsh, 8-31-2022

Intro.

We’re taking four weeks to read through six I wrote on the life of Gideon for my radio show, Tales From the Scrypt.  Let me know what you think of this short form podcasting ok? Would you like more? Would you like another podcast called Tales from the Scrypt? Or change Disciple Up into this short form scripted format?

Let me know, I’m waiting!

louie@discipleup.org

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Episode 272-War Stories – Whos In Charge Here

Disciple Up #272
War Stories Pt. 5: Who’s In Charge Here? – 2 Chron 20:1-30
By Louie Marsh, 8-24-2022

Intro – Tales From the Scrypt on tap during my trip to Malawi IF I can get it done in time!

2  Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 2 Chronicles 20:2 (ESV)

To Keep Christ 1st in My Life I need too…

 1) Go to God and..

4  And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 5  And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 2 Chronicles 20:4-5 (ESV)

  • REMEMBER who God is!

6  and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 2 Chronicles 20:6 (ESV)

24  And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, Acts 4:24 (ESV)

  •  REVIEW my spiritual history.

7  Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8  And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 2 Chronicles 20:7-8 (ESV)

25  who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? Acts 4:25 (ESV)

  • RENEW my commitment to Christ!

9  ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 2 Chronicles 20:9 (ESV)

Has the heaviness of your old-fashioned church got you weighted down? Try us! We are the New and Improved Lite Church on the River. We feature a 7.5% tithe, a 35-minute worship service with 7 minute sermons. Next Sunday’s sermon is on the Feeding of 500.

29  And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, Acts 4:29 (ESV)

2) ASK & CONFESS at the same time

12  O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 (ESV)

3) HEAR & RESPOND to God’s Word.

14  And the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15  And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16  Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17  You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:14-17 (ESV)

4) When the going gets tough, the tough WORSHIP!

18  Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19  And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice… 21  And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22  And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 2 Chronicles 20:18-22 (ESV)

We were gathered at a little Pentecostal-style church where the preacher had had a difficult time getting the congregation involved…. i.e…amens, etc.  This particular Sunday he was preaching on praise and worship.  He never noticed his mistake.   It was hilarious (but embarrassing we thought) as he yelled out “let everything that hath breasts praise the Lord!”

5) UNDERSTAND that God blesses UNITY.

3  Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4  And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 5  And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 2 Chronicles 20:3-5 (ESV)

This lyrics to this hymn were written by Isaac Watts in 1777. Robert Lowery wrote the music that we now use in 1867. Watts wrote this hymn as an answer to his critics who had actually split from churches who sang his “human composed” hymns. Prior to this time, churches only sang hymns from the Psalms.

Because of the controversy between singing of Psalms and the singing of hymns, the church decided to sing Psalms at the beginning of their service and then after the preaching, they would sing hymns. Many people who were still against the hymns would get up and leave the service at this time

Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God

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Episode 271-War Stories – Follow Faith Not Fear

Disciple Up # 271
War Stories # 4, Follow Faith Not Fear – Judges 6-7
By Louie Marsh, 8-17-2022

11  Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites…27  So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. Judges 6:11,27 (ESV)

 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

 18  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18 (ESV)

How God Wants Me to Deal with Fear

 1) RECOGNIZE who God wants me to be.

12  And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12 (ESV)

19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 (ESV)

2) REFUSE to get sidetracked.

13  And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13 (ESV)

 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (ESV)

3) REMEMBER three powerful truths.

  • ALREADY have all the strength I need!

14  The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14 (NIV)

14  And the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian…” Judges 6:14 (ESV)

37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (ESV)

  •  I really am on a MISSION FROM GOD.

do not I send you?” Judges 6:14 (ESV)

  • God is with me ALL THE WAY!

 16  And the LORD said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” Judges 6:16 (ESV)

…“And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” Matthew 28:20 (GW)

4) RID myself of the causes of fear.

  Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained. Judges 7:3 (ESV)

 5) REALIZE when & where God is moving.

  That same night the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. 10  But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. 11  And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp…. 14  And his comrade answered, “This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.” 15  As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the host of Midian into your hand.” Judges 7:9-11; 14-15 (ESV)

 6) RUN with the ridiculous!

 16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’” Judges 7:16-18 (ESV)

 7) GIVE God ALL the credit.

  The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Judges 7:2 (ESV)

 

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Episode 270: War Stories -Failure Isn’t Fatal

Disciple Up #270
War Stories
Part 3: Failure Isn’t Fatal – Joshua 7-8
By Louie Marsh, 8-3-2022

Intro.

So about 3,000 men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. Joshua 7:4-5 (ESV)

Four Common Causes of Failure

  1. I have HIDDEN SIN in my life.

 1  But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel. Joshua 7:1 (ESV)

 I quit TRUSTING GOD because things are going well.

 2  Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3  And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” Joshua 7:2-3 (ESV)

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: Try to please everybody. – Herbert B. Swope

  1. I divide my FOCUS AND ENERGY

 4  So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, Joshua 7:4 (ESV)

 Then I BLAME GOD for my failures & problems.

7  And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8  O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9  For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?” Joshua 7:7-9 (ESV)

God’s Reaction to My Failure:

  1. He JERKS THE SLACK out of me!

The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face. Joshua 7:10 (NIV)

10  But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up off your face! Joshua 7:10 (TLB)

  1. He commands me to ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for my actions.

11  Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Joshua 7:11 (ESV)

  1. He commands me to FORSAKE MY SIN

13  Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the LORD, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” Joshua 7:13 (ESV)

My Necessary Response to God:

  1. I must TURN BACK to God.

 6  Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. Joshua 7:6 (ESV)

  1. I must TURN AWAY from my sins and distractions

“Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow…Joshua 7:13a (NLT)

  1. I must be willing to do some PAINFUL CLEANSING of my heart.

“First thing in the morning you will be called up by tribes. The tribe God names will come up clan by clan; the clan God names will come up family by family; and the family God names will come up man by man. The person found with the cursed things will be burned, he and everything he has, because he broke God’s covenant and did this despicable thing in Israel.” Joshua 7:14-15 (MSG)

19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”” (Joshua 7:19–21, ESV)

The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost

4 Ways to Move past My Failures:

  1. ACCEPT Christ’s encouragement

1  And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. Joshua 8:1 (ESV)

  1. Follow HIS LEADING

 2  And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.” Joshua 8:2 (ESV)

  1. Be willing to TRY IT AGAIN

So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai,,, Joshua 8:3a (NIV)

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.  – Sir Winston Churchill

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Sir Winston Churchill

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Sir Winston Churchill

  1. LEARN from my mistakes and do things DIFFERENTLY!

3  So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night. 4  And he commanded them, “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. Joshua 8:3-4 (ESV)

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Episode 269-War Stories: The Foolishness of God

Disciple Up # 269: War Stories #2
The Foolishness of God – Joshua 5:13-6:25
By Louie Marsh, 7-28-2022

Slide One: A college student in Mexico survived after reportedly falling 80 feet from a sixth-floor balcony. broke 110 bones and underwent 11 hours of surgery following the fall. She will face years of recovery.

  1. Following Jesus always seems FOOLISH

 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (CSBBible)

  1. Make no mistake, God DESIGNED IT THAT WAY!

 27  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28  God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29  so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV)

3) Why does God do this?

  • To show me WHO’S IN CHARGE.

13  When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14  And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” Joshua 5:13-14 (ESV)

  • So I’ll trust Him & NOTHING OR NO ONE  ELSE!

 And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. Joshua 6:2 (ESV)

  • So I’ll give HIM the credit ALONE!

Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1 (ESV)

  • To show His Power DRAMATICALLY.

20  So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. Joshua 6:20 (ESV)

4) God is calling me to LIVE OUT HIS FOOLISHNESS!

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 (ESV)

5) To do this I must change and become LIKE A CHILD.

Then he said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4 (GW)

but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (ESV)

6) What foolish thing is Jesus calling me to do next?  ___________________

“Make a boat from resinous wood and seal it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. Make it 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Construct an opening all the way around the boat, 18 inches below the roof. Then put three decks inside the boat—bottom, middle, and upper—and put a door in the side. Genesis 6:14-16 (NLT)

 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1 (ESV)

Some examples or ideas –

  • Forgive someone who’s hurt you
  • Risk telling someone about Jesus
  • Admit you are in denial – and need help!
  • Draw some boundaries or enforce the ones you have!
  • Confess your failure to someone you’ve failed or let down.
  • Love that unlovable person
  • Ignore your fear & obey God!

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Episode 268 -War Stories – Necessity of Worship

Disciple Up # 268: War Stories #1
The Necessity of Worship
By Louie Marsh, 7-20-2022

Intro – Wayback Machine (Mr. Peabody & Sherman). My early lack of understanding of worship.

6  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Nehemiah 8:6 (ESV)

 Hands Raised = WORSHIP

 Some Components of Worship:

 1) Music –  No such thing as WORSHIP MUSIC.

 2) PRAYER

8  I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 1 Timothy 2:8 (ESV)

 3) Blessing God – PRAISING GOD

 4  So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4 (ESV)

21  And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21 (ESV)

4) DEPENDENCE on God

7  Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 (ESV)

5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (ESV)

5) RECEIVING from God

6  I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah Psalm 143:6 (ESV)

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen, and I will tell you where to get food that is good for the soul! Isaiah 55:1-2 (NLT)

6) Blessing OTHERS:

50  Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Luke 24:50 (ESV)

  • Worship is a LIFESTYLE!

33  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34  “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35  “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. 1  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 11:33 -12:2 (ESV)

Three Critical Questions:

  • Is what I’m doing truly HELPFUL & SCRIPTURAL?

 10  Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Matthew 4:10 (ESV)

 Who or what am I FOCUSED ON?

17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

  • What kind of ATTITUDE DO I HAVE?

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20 (NIV)

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07 When Faith & Reality Collide: Victims By Faith

Disciple Up # 267
When Faith & Reality Collide
Part 7: Victims by Faith
By Louie Marsh, 7-13-2022

Intro. End of this series. Where to next?

32  And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— Hebrews 11:32 (ESV)

We saw last week that strength comes through weakness, this week we’re going to see that God defines victory a little bit differently than we do.

1) When you live by faith you don’t escape SUFFERING.

35 … Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. Hebrews 11:35-36 (ESV)

 ‘Parisates, King of Persia, caused Roxana to be sawn in two, alive’; ‘Sabacus, King of Egypt, who received an order in a dream, to cut in two all the priests in his country.’

Roman Emperor Caius Caligula condemned to death many of his own relatives, suffered death by being sawn in two across the middle.

Of the two methods, lengthways or across the body, the thought of the saw penetrating the skull would seem to be the most horrific, yet that method at least brought total oblivion rather quicker than one’s torso being subdivided.

The Chinese, their victims being secured in a standing position, pinned between two wide boards firmly fixed between stakes driven deep into the ground. The two executioners, one on each side, would then wield a long, two-handled saw, working downwards through the boards, cleaving them and the enclosed victim into two halves. No lubrication for the saw was necessary.

Where are people suffering for their faith today?

Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Myanmar, Iran, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria: These states exercise the greatest constraints on the freedom of religion, according to the report. In 64 other countries, significant restrictions by the government – anti-blasphemy legislation or privileges for certain communities – are verifiable. They include states with large populations like China, India and Russia. As a result, about 70 percent of the world population is subject to great or extreme restrictions.

https://www.dw.com/en/persecuted-christians-suffer-for-their-faith/a-17306297

 This includes being REJECTED & CASTOUT.

  They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38  of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11: 37-38 (ESV)

This is different from today’s emphasis in much of the church – for example here’s the lyrics to a new song by Kirk Franklin

Bless me!

[Verse 1: Mav City Gospel Choir, Kirk Franklin]
Bless me, bless me, bless me, God, indeed
Death has been defeated, He is our victory (Come on!)
Bless me, bless me, God, not just for me
But so everyone around me can have everything they need
(Let all thesefolks) Let all these folks that’s with me, God, have everything they need
(Sing it again) REPEAT

[Verse 2: Mav City Gospel Choir, Kirk Franklin]
Favor, favor (Woo!), let it fall on me
Till I’m the conversation of all my enemies (Woo!)
Favor, favor, God, not just for me
But so everyone around me can have everything they need
(Let all these folk) Let all these folks that’s with me, God, have everything they need
(Favor, favor, favor, favor) Favor, favor, let it fall on me
Till I’m the conversation of all my enemies (Come on)
Favor, favor, God, not just for me
But so everyone around me can have everything they need
(Let all these folk) Let all these folks that’s with me, God, have everything they need (Take it up, bless me)

[Interlude: Mav City Gospel Choir, Kirk Franklin]
Hey, hey, [?]
Persecuted, not abandoned
We got all that we need
Hey, hey, [?] (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Persecuted, not abandoned (Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go)
We got all that we need

[Chorus: Kirk Franklin, Mav City Gospel Choir]
Persecuted, not abandoned (We got everything we need)
Criticized, never forsaken (We got everything we need)
Because God’s a promise keeper (We got everything we need)
I got victory because (Our God’s got everything we need)
I shall live and not die (We got everything we need)
Because Jehovah’s by my side (We got everything we need)
Did I tell you He’s a friend of mine? (We got everything we need)
Lift Him up, lift Him up (Our God’s got everything we need)
Take it up, take it up (We got everything we need)
Take it up, take it up (We got everything we need)
Take it up, take it up (We got everything we need)
Yeah, take it up! (Our God’s got everything we need)
And I never should forget (We got everything we need)
He’s never failed me yet (We got everything we need)
Every trial, every test (We got everything we need)
We bless, we bless, we bless, we bless (Our God’s got everything we need)
We bless, we bless, we bless, we bless (We got everything we need)
We bless, we bless, we bless, we bless (We got everything we need)
We bless, we bless, we bless, we bless (We got everything we need)
Yeah, we bless, we bless! (Our God’s got everything we need)
Take it up! (We got everything we need)
We got everything we need (We got everything we need)
We got everything we need (We got everything we need)
We got everything we need (Our God’s got everything we need)
We got– (We got everything we need)
We got everything we need (We got everything we need)
We got every, every (We got everything we need)
Every, every (Our God’s got everything we need)
Ooh!

2) God ALLOWS His servants to suffer – remember Jesus?

 31  And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32  For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33  And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” Luke 18:31-33 (ESV)

40  and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41  Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42  And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus. Acts 5:40-42 (ESV)

 3) This rejection & suffering is the inevitable result of FOLLOWING JESUS.

19  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:19 (ESV)

  • This hurts but should be viewed as a BLESSING.

11  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Matthew 5:11 (ESV)

  • This cannot hurt my relationship with God unless I LET IT.

 35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36  As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35-37 (ESV)

4) Unlike the Old Testament people, we have received the promised GOSPEL.

39  And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, Hebrews 11:39 (ESV)

22  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Galatians 3:22 (NIV)

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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