#4 – IS THERE NOT A CAUSE
I FIRST FRUITS 2018 OFFERING
Proverbs 3:9-10 (Passion) – Glorify God with all your wealth, honouring him with your very best (or first fruits), with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy.
A) One of our practices here at Toronto City Church is to bring a special offering to the Lord at the beginning of of the year – we call it our ‘First Fruits’ Offering. We will be taking this up today.
1) This offering is an expression of our love for God
2) This offering is an expression of our commitment to God
3) This offering is an expression of our dependence on God
4) This offering is an expression of our faith in God
2 Cor 9:6-8 (Passion) – Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving – all because God loves hilarious generosity! Yes God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything – every moment in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.
B) I want to encourage and call every member of the TCC Family to obey God regarding sowing into this First Fruits Offering.
Psalm 42:7 – Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
A) As we come into 2018 there is a call to go deeper – no matter where you are at in your walk right now there is more!
Luke 6:46-49 – 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.
B) God is calling you to build a life that glorifies Him but you want to dig down deep!
C) God is calling us to build a church that glorifies Him and impacts our city and our nation but we have to dig down deep!
III WORD OF THE LORD FOR OUR CITY AND NATION (Follow Up)
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (Passion) – Most of all, I’m writing to encourage you to pray with gratitude to God. Pray for all men with all forms of prayers and requests as you intercede with intense passion. 2 And pray for every political leader a and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. 3 It is pleasing to our Savior-God to pray for them. 4 He longs for everyone to embrace his life and return to the full knowledge of the truth.
A) We need to come to a greater place of awareness and prayer
B) We need to pray for our Prime Minister and our leadership – there is much that can be shifted through prayer
C) We need to pray for religious freedom – the enemy is sowing seeds of strategy to restrict religious freedom
D) We need to pray into the provincial elections this coming year… they enemy’s strategy has been to push things on a provincial level
E) We need to pray for righteous people to be established in government – there are a number of up and coming believers in our nation
F) We need to continue to and increase our prayer for our city and nation – particularly for protection
G) We need to pray for the move of God in our city and nation… there are small fires that are starting… this is a year for the fires to increase and grow
IV GOD IS CALLING US DEEPER IN 2018 – WHO WILL ANSWER THE CALL?
Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV) – In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LordAlmighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
A) God is calling each of us deeper into a place of encounter with Him
B) There are things in us that need to die – there is a pruning of the Lord that we need yield to us
C) God is on the move and he is looking for those who will say “yes, I will go deeper…”
Matthew 21:28-31 (TPT) – 28 Jesus said to his critics, “Tell me what you think of this parable: “There once was a man with two sons. The father came to the first and said, ‘Son, I want you to go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son replied, ‘I’d rather not.’ But afterward, he deeply regretted what he said to his father, changed his mind, and decided to go to the vineyard. 30 The father approached the second son and said the same thing to him. The son replied, ‘Father, I will go and do as you said.’ But he never did—he didn’t go to the vineyard. 31 Tell me now, which of these two sons did the will of his father?” They answered him, “The first one.”
D) We need to guard against the trap of ‘saying the right things’ but not actually following through
E) Matt 15:8-9 (TPT) – These people honor me only with their words, for their hearts are so very distant from me. They pretend to worship me, but their worship is nothing more than the empty traditions of men.
F) God is looking for those who will ‘just do it!’
Luke 14:16-24 (TPT) – 16 Jesus replied with this parable: “There was a man who invited many to join him in a great feast. 17 When the day for the feast arrived, the host instructed his servant to notify all the invited guests and tell them, ‘Come, for everything is now ready for you!’18 But one by one they all made excuses. One said, ‘I can’t come. I just bought some property and I’m obligated to go and look it over.’ 19 Another said, ‘Please accept my regrets, for I just purchased five teams of oxen[b] and I need to make sure they can pull the plow.’ 20 Another one said, ‘I can’t come because I just got married.’ 21 “The servant reported back to the host and told him of all their excuses. So the master became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go at once throughout the city and invite anyone you find—the poor, the blind, the disabled, the hurting, and the lonely—and invite them to my banquet.’ 22 “When the servant returned to his master, he said, ‘Sir, I have done what you’ve asked, but there’s still room for more.’ 23 “So the master told him, ‘All right. Go out again, and this time bring them all back with you. Persuade the beggars on the streets, the outcasts, even the homeless. Urgently insist that they come in and enjoy the feast so that my house will be full.’ 24 “I say to you all, the one who receives an invitation to feast with me and makes excuses will never enjoy my banquet.”
G) This banquet can represent the invitation from the Father to His table… the call to relationship and to going deeper
H) Notice that the excuses were not ‘sinful’ but every-day life things – this is the danger that would stop many of us from going deeper
1) Do not allow possessions/money to cause you stop you from answering the call!
2) Do not allow career/education/advancement to stop you from answering the call!
3) Do not allow relationships to stop you from advancing the call!
I) Let’s answer the call to go deeper:
1) In our WALK with God
2) In our SERVICE to His Kingdom
3) In the THINGS of the SPIRIT
4) In our PASSION to REACH people
5) In our GENEROSITY
I Samuel 17:1-11, 28-29 (NKJV) – Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. 3 The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. … 28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?”
J) We can choose to ‘play church’ or we can choose to answer the call
K) IS THERE NOT A CAUSE?