Guard that Garden (3 of 5)

Guard that Garden (3 of 5)

Sat 17 Jul 2010

Donate/Tithe with Bank Deposit (direct to Mike Connell)
In Genesis 3, God gave man a clear mandate (area of responsibility), with instructions to "dress it" and "keep it". How does this apply today? What does it mean? This session practically unpacks this - how to work it out in marriage? What happens if we don't? What am I responsible for and what am I not responsible for? How does it affect the spirit world? What are the broad principals? Is there room for personal initiative?
Audio Transcript
Romans 13. I've just been thinking of 1 Corinthians 11:3; the man is the head of the woman, and Christ is the head of the man; so we're going to get into that area today. Don't get all reactionary on me. I want you just to listen, open up your heart. It'll help you. It'll give you some understanding and insight of some dynamics in relationships.

[Aside:] One of the things we need to understand, is that God calls us to bless and to give to one another, and to help one another; and sometimes people can feel a tremendous burden inside. I know that for single parents that are living on about $40 a week, and they feel a tremendous burden with these things. I encourage you though, to let your faith be in God. I've discovered, it didn't matter really how much I had, it was never enough; but when I just honoured God, it was amazing how He made what I had increase. But a vital part of that happening is that the body of Christ, we give to the Lord - the Bible says: as you give, then it's given back to you, shaken together shall men give unto you. So basically, when things come back to you, they come through people; but if the people, who God has called to be responsible for helping you, won't do it, then there is a lack. Do we understand that?

In other words, in the body of Christ, in this local church, God calls us to be responsible to help one another. That's why we put you in cell groups, and encourage you to connect together; so that where there are needs, you become aware of them, and you can bless and minister to that person. So an important part of God's provision for us, is our giving and supporting and helping one another. So I encourage you in thinking: if you have, then learn to look out for those who have not, and bless them. What it does is, it produces a tremendous reassurance, that God has heard their prayers. They begin to thank God, and they begin to open their hearts to God, in a new and fresh way. So we've made it a practice, wherever we can, whenever we can, to just bless and give to people that we encounter, that are less positioned than we are. Now if you have a look at yourself, if we drew a line, and over there is the person who has the least resources, over there is the person who has the most resources, then you are somewhere in that line. Would that be true? Okay, now here's where the difficulty is.

Most of the time, we look up the line, at everyone who has more than us, and envy them; quiet grief, and reluctant acknowledgement they have more than us. What God wants you to learn to do is this: to thank God for where you're positioned, and look down the line and say: I could really bless someone. Isn't that great? That's how I've learnt to do that; so what it does, it stops you being full of envy, and you begin to - because you're in position - you begin to bless all of those who have less than you. What you do, you actually come into a place where God can expand you. Before you know it: hey, my position in the line has altered. [Laughter] It's true. See most people focus on altering their position in the line. God says: fill the position you've got; and He'll alter your position in the line. That's not hard is it? So there are times when we lived on very little, had six kids and $120 a week to pay everything, including school fees, and every other kind of thing, so we had to learn just how to take what we had, which was very little. So we learnt all about you know, cooking our own fish and chips, because we couldn't afford to buy any - but you know what? I just got the newspaper, and wrapped it all up, and it was just like we bought it. [Laughter]

We got others to come around to our home-made chips, and our home-made fish and chips. You see it's not [I like it!] how much you've got, it's what you do with what you've got; and you could be up here in the line, and be a miserable, poor person. You can be down here, have very little, and be very rich! It's not anything to do with how much you've go - it's got to do with what's in you, attitudes. It's a great thing to be set free of having to have lots of things. One of the things the Bible says is: as goods increase, they increase that consume them. [Laughs] So if you've got lots of things, there's a lot of problems come with it. So one of the things we need to understand in this area of giving, wherever you stand in the prosperity line, thank God for what you have, and use it to bless someone who has less. Isn't that a good principle? And the Bible says: no one will be in lack, if we all do that. There'll be not a single person here in need, if we all purposed we would do that; and the Bible tells us: we need to do more than just love God, who we can't see; we need to love the person, who's a member of the body of Christ, His representative on the earth, who we can see. That brings a lot of releases of things to us. Amen. [Amen] Well that's not the message today, but that was a good one anyway, so [Laughter] I had it on my heart, and I've got to say that.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: authority, judgement, initiative, empowering, privileges, cultivate, guard, teamwork, servant-leadership, burdened, area of responsibility, measure of responsibility, passive, misuse,