December 20, 2020
God has infused all of our lives with dreams. He has created us to have ambition, goals, dreams and to achieve something great in His Name. The good news is that He has given you the dream and fully equipped you to see it come to fruition, but in reality it won’t be easy. Life has its ups and downs, victories and failures, and to fully see God-dreams come to pass, we must be aware of what it will take. In this message Pastor Steve takes us through the story of Joseph, and what it took for him to see his dream come to life. He had his challenges he had to overcome, but we know that God had the final say.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
// Genesis 37
3 Things That Will Try to Steal Your Dream:
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.
// Genesis 37:5
Joseph’s brothers didn’t understand his dream. They didn’t understand where it came from or why he was the chosen one. So they put him down, insulted him, and essentially planned to kill him, until they eventually ended up selling him into slavery.
Not everyone will understand and support the dream God has given you. A real God-dream will come with some push back from those around you.
When people come against you, your dream, and your calling, it is important to remember WHO called you. We must remember that if God is for us, who can be against us. Your dream won’t always make sense to everyone, which is okay! The dream isn’t theirs, it was given to you by God.
Have you ever experienced someone questioning what God has told you? How have you overcome people who come against your dream? In order to flourish, we must not only know our dream, but we must know how to protect it.
So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
//Genesis 39:6 (NIV)
The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
//Genesis 39:23 (NIV)
Joseph found himself in several different situations he never thought he would be in. He was sold into slavery, accused of something he didn’t do and thrown in prison. When he received his dream, he never thought this was the route he would take.
He did the right things, and got the wrong results. He was faithful with what God told him, but found himself in prison. He chose to hold onto what God told him. He chose to be positive in seasons where negativity would have been easier. We can learn a lot from Joseph’s life and his dream.
-He didn’t demand to be a leader; he created a demand for his leadership.
-He was faithful with what was given to him, in every season. He was a prisoner in charger of the prison!
-He never focused on the negative; he focused on what God was doing.
Have you ever felt like life was trying to steal your dream? Through circumstances, bad reports, missed opportunities etc. How can we focus on what God is doing in these seasons, over focusing on what Isn’t happening?
Waiting is hard! It is believed that Joseph was 17 years old when he was given his dream from God. It wasn’t until he was 39 years old that his dream fully came to pass – that is approximately 22 years!
Time tried to shake his faith. “Is it really going to happen?” If it was really a God-dream, wouldn’t it have happened by now?
But Jospeh learned a very important lesson. Your dream isn’t on your time table; it is on God’s time. Delay is not denial, time is not against you. Stay positive, stay faithful, stay full of hope because God is moving.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
How has time affected your faith? Do you feel like the longer it takes, the less faith you have? How can we keep our faith high while waiting?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Legacy Weekend – December 6th, 2020What does giving look like? Jesus gave us a perfect picture of generosity. Giving is a matter of the heart, and it is so much bigger than money. We give time, we give grace, we forgive, we give love and much more. This week Pastor Steve Kelly talks about the principles of Giving, and how it can grow our lives.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.//John 3:16 (NIV)
Freely you have received, freely give.//Matthew 10:8b (NIV)
—The entirety of the foundation of following Jesus is based on giving. For God so loved, that He gave His best for you and for me. So that we would have the opportunity to be included in this life, this love and this opportunity.—We can often think we have to do something to earn God’s forgiveness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Freely He gave, and freely we have received! Don’t you love free gifts with no strings attached! There is nothing we have done or will do to EARN the forgiveness of Jesus.—With the foundation of that free gift, we are now called to also be generous. Generous with our grace, our prayer, in our relationships, with our time and yes, with our finances. With these principles of giving shared by Pastor Steve Kelly, we believe your life will flourish.
PRINCIPLES OF GIVING:
1 – KEEP YOUR HEART SOFT TO THE POOR
7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.If you heart gets hard your hand shuts, a soft heart has an open hand. What is the status of your heart, how does it effect your hand?//Duet 15:7-8 (NKJV)
—Plainly put in this passage out of Deuteronomy, we are called to help others. However, if we allow our heart to get hard, our hand shuts. If we allow offense, hurt, busyness, hard times or the laundry list of other potential obstacles get in the way of our generosity towards others, our heart can grow hard.—A life with a hard heart has a closed hand, but a life with a soft heart lives with an open hand.
2 – GOD CALLS SELFISHNESS WICKED
9 Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you.//Duet 15:9 (NKJV)
Be careful! Don’t say to yourself, “Soon it will be the seventh year, and then I won’t be able to get my money back.” It would be horrible for you to think that way and to be so selfish that you refuse to help the poor. They are your relatives, and if you don’t help them, they may ask the LORD to decide whether you have done wrong. And he will say that you are guilty.//Deut 15:9 (CEV)
—In this particular time, every seven years debts would be forgiven (SOUNDS GREAT) and the writer of Deuteronomy is addressing people with the mindset of not helping others because the seven years in coming to a close.—Generosity can be easy when everything is in order and going correctly, but when you near the end of the seven years it can be tough. We are called to live above that. We are not bound to the circumstances of this world, rather we are bound to our commitment to Christ.—To be generous always, to be a standard and example to all of the love and generosity that Jesus so freely gave.
3 – DON’T ALLOW GRIEF IN YOUR HEART
10 You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.//Deut 15:10 (NKJV)
—Have you ever spent money, then immediately grieved spending that money?—When it comes to generosity, we need not grieve when we sacrificially give. God has promised that He will bless us, so we do not give in vain. Rather we position ourselves in a place where God’s blessing and generosity can become even more evident in our lives.
4 – DEVELOP A GENEROUS HEART
14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.//Deut 15:14 (NIV)
-Generosity starts in your heart; it starts with the revelation of what God has generously done for us. He has blessed us to be a blessing, and the outworking of that is living generously.-The size of our heart will determine how far and fast we go.
5 – DEVELOP A GRATEFUL HEART
15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.//Deut 15:15 (NIV)—We must not forget what God has done for us, that He has rescued us from our past, forgiven us completely and set us right in His eyes. Remembering what He has done will give us an adrenaline shot of faith for what He is continuing to do!
Discussion Questions :
—What is the status of your heart (faith, offense, forgiveness, generosity etc.)? Do you feel like the answer to that question has changed how you view generosity? From time to time it’s important for us to do a heart check. Is your heart soft to the voice of God? Is your heart soft to others?
—Do you remember where you have come from? What God has brought you through? Do you remember the victories God has done in your life? Take time to discuss the goodness of God. Have a conversation about the miracles you have seen and watch as it adds so much faith to your life.
—What is the legacy you are leaving? Is it a legacy of a generous and grateful heart? If the answer is no, that’s okay, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Start today. Trust God and walk in His generosity and gratefulness. This is truly where life begins.
November 29th, 2020
This week we got to hear a word from Pastor Steve Kelly surrounding our Legacy month. This message, ‘Keys to an Abundant Life,’ is meant to be a road map for how we, as followers of Jesus, can live our life full of all that God has for us. As we open up God’s word to pertinent scriptures about this abundance, we pray that it will allow us to dive deeper into His goodness and provision that is waiting for us.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
//John 10:10 NKJV
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
// 3 John 1:2 NKJV
It is the will of God for us to live an abundant life; However our prosperity is completely contingent on the health of our mind and soul. In order to truly prosper, we must focus on our own health in all areas. Not only in regards to money, but also in our jobs, marriage, parenting, relationships, physical, church and much more. Our prayer is through these keys below, we will see health and abundance fill our lives.
Keys to an Abundant Life:
1.) A Healthy Church life
What does healthy church life look like?
-Be the example
19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
//Romans 8:19 and 22 NIV
God’s plan for the earth is the church, for God’s sons and daughters to stand up and give a Godly example for how to live an abundant life. Through our dedication, our servitude, our generosity, our forgiveness, and the entirety of our lives.
-Building God’s house
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
We are called to build God’s house. What is our life building? What does your life reflect that you are building? Where is your time/resource spent? The church is essential, and we are called to build it.
-Live a generous life
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops
//Proverbs 3:9 NIV
8“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
//Malachi 3:8-10 NIV
A healthy church life tithes, for it was never ours. We do not give our tithe, rather we bring our tithe to the house. Putting God first in our finances, redeems the rest. Putting God first sets us up and positions us to experience His abundance.
God has blessed us to be a blessing, and blessing starts with generosity. The major difference between prosperity and greed is generosity.
-Walk in God’s Abundance
“20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”
We have been called and set apart to walk in all that God has for us. God is our source; He is our portion; He is our provider. We are not limited by what we see, for our God can do more than we could ask or imagine.
What are you asking God for? What is the status of your thought life? Do you have faith that God can really supply and do immeasurably more?
2.) It takes two legs to live an abundant life
An abundant life walks on two legs
They must work in harmony — One without the other limits our ability to be blessed by God. We must not only be generous with what God has given us, but we must also responsibly manage what God has given us.
“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
It is God’s idea to bless you. From this verse above, we know our promise from God is that He will bless us and make our name great, but we must walk on the two legs of abundance.
3.) Being a blessing
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Where is our heart? Because it follows our treasure. What do we spend our treasure on? Where do we spend our time? Where do we use our talents? Where do we sow our finances?
If you want a heart for people, be generous to people.
If you want a heart for the Church, be generous to the church.
We have been blessed and given an opportunity to walk in an abundant life, not only for ourselves, but for others. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Takeaways / Discussion Questions
-Healthy Church Life
The foundation of an abundant life is a healthy Church life. The church is the hope of the world, and the health of that life will flow into every area. What does a healthy church life look like for you? Do you carry the attributes of a healthy church life? (Be the example—Building God’s house—Live generous—Walk in abundance)
–It Takes Two Legs
Being generous is a great start, but there is more to an abundant life. We must not only be generous but also be good stewards of what God has already given us. Have you noticed in your life that you are stronger at one of the two legs? Are you a better steward or better at generosity? How can you strengthen both legs so you can walk in all that God has for you?
-Being a Blessing
We are blessed to be a blessing. It says in God’s word that where our treasure is, our heart will be also. Where is your heart? Take time to do a mental audit. Where are you sowing your time, talents and finances?