SermonWisdom XVI: Wisdom for Living Part 6 byMac Hammond - online.
Well this is the Sunday in our wisdom series and you know I've still got a few more Sundays in me the wisdom series to me is one of the most significant series of teachings I've ever done I'll say that all of the time but I really do believe that I mean wisdom according to the word is the principle thing it's the principle thing everybody's got their favorite word word about healing word about prosperity word of faith you know love is the thing and all of these things are true but the Bible says wisdom is the principal thing because if you've got wisdom wealth honor all of the other things people spend a lifetime praying for are automatically going to come to you wisdom is the ability to take truth and make it produce the desired result there are a lot of people that know truth both natural and spiritual truth but they haven't been able to make it work for them their lives have remained basically unchanged a lot of people that know what God says about who you are in Christ.
That you are the healed that delivered to set free the prosperous but it hasn't produced for you wisdom is the ability to make truth produce the desired result and therefore wisdom is the principal thing we're doing a little sub series and the larger series on wisdom that I've called wisdom for living not just in a get along from one day to the next sense but living the God kind of life that's the Word of God to us to live the God kind of life we don't have to wait till we get to heaven to experience that kind of life the Greek word and used in you know the text for that kind of life is Zoe often rendered eternal life everlasting life and we think well that's what I'm gonna get when I get to heaven but God says it's his will that needs to be done here on earth as it is in heaven it's his will that you experience that quality of life here Jesus came to give us victory over sickness and disease and poverty and lack and certainly there are circumstances that work against that every day but if you keep your focus where it belongs which is the truth of God's Word you are the healed the delivered the set free and the prosperous and if you learn to apply these principles in the way the Bible says we should it will change your experience of life cause it to line up with the truth of God's Word I'm preaching better than you're responding you can say man every now and then that does help a little bit but essentially the the wisdom for living the wisdom for experiencing that higher quality of life is rooted and a single truth that is given to us in the Word of God and that is the principle of sowing and reaping because Jesus said this is the way the whole kingdom works he tells us very clearly in Galatians : that a man's harvest in life and this is a Phillips translation will depend how much say it again entirely on what he sews so we see over and again this underlying truth that your experience of life on this earth whether it's cursing or blessing whether it's the God kind of life or life without God depends entirely on what you sow so it would behoove us to understand what sowing is all about we see in mark chapter Jesus finds the seed that is to be sown as the word of God it is the Word of God that is seed if we're going to be source than it is that paradigm of life that comes to us through the Word of God that needs to be sown in the soil of human hearts so in the word we see that sowing is getting the word in human hearts that is what changes their life and to the extent that we enable that to occur we are sowing we're using our life as a resource to get truth into someone else's heart that will change their life and he says your harvest depends entirely on what you sow in other words God is interested in us getting our eyes off of our poor little situation and getting them on somebody else's need which can only be met by the truth of God's Word you can give someone a free mate free meal and put a bandaid on a cut and that's nice to do those things but the only thing that meets human need is the Word of God that's how men are saved that's how they are healed delivered how they are set free from the captivity that most of the world lives in and so sewing should be the essential thrust of our lives if we want to experience a higher quality of life our selves now we see in Galatians : that the way we are most usually going to get the word into large numbers of other people's lives is by using our money to enable the preaching of the gospel we just read in verse of Galatians a man's harvest and life depends entirely on what he sews the context that establishes our understanding of that verse comes to us in the verse prior which says to communicate or give in to him to teach it to him that teaches and all good things means in every way you can enable that preaching to continue enable that word to go forth not everybody's called a preach a very small percentage of the body of Christ is actually called to the fivefold ministry yet everyone is to participate in getting the gospel into all of the world and as you do so vicariously through the use of your money to enable the preaching of the gospel God says you are responsible for sowing and will reap the harvest accordingly the harvest of life the god kind of life that you are entitled to this is an exciting thought but it begins with money we're told in Luke that's the least that we have to be faithful using our money to enable the word going forth it's how we build buildings and sanctuaries and bring people together for the preaching of the word how ministry can be organized and extended to a community it's how through the purchase of airtime such as our international broadcasts literally hundreds of millions of people can be reached it's how we send missionaries on the foreign field it is the enablement of the gospel the Word of God going forth by the use of your money and he said this is the least that you're required to be faithful in you are to engage in this process according to Galatians : where you're taught meaning that's where you're to get engaged in this process the church that God has called you to be a part of use your money enable these things to occur and he says it's important you not be deceived or under any illusion this is what determines your harvest and and we pointed out last Sunday as well there are other ways that you enable the preaching of the gospel and a principal way is by serving in the body serving in the body of Christ in Abel's that preaching of the word to happen in act through the startup of the New Testament church we see early on that the Apostle said hey it's not meat or reason that we should serve tables we're getting to a point now where we can't minister to the needs of those that are coming so we'll raise up men and women of good report that means integrity fill with the Holy Ghost that's the power source and wisdom and he said we'll have them do the work of the ministry so that those who are called to preach the word can give themselves to study and prayer and so we have the requirement as a member of the body of Christ to make a supply of time talent and effort working or serving in ministry so those who are called to preach can indeed do the studying and pray unnecessary to preach an anointed word and believe me it'll be obvious to you when any preacher gets in the pulpit and he had to studied and prayed you doesn't have much to do except tell a joke or two and sit down you know but essentially for that word to go forth there needs to be serviced by the body in doing the work of the ministry and so I exhorted you last Sunday to if you haven't served you know we we require a lot of people just to put on Sunday services whatever the the number actually is but whatever it is a lot of people and of course we don't want to work worker everybody every weekend you know we want them to be able to spend time in the in the main section where so once or twice a month it's all we'd like to have these people serving so you know there's a lot of folks that are needed to keep the ministry going from Parker's and valet people and Usher's and greeters ambassadors and children's ministry workers all the way from nursery or not up through you know high school age the list goes on television people audio people so there needs to be service in ministry to enable the preaching of the gospel and for you the exhortation is based on your harvest and life depends entirely on what you sow beginning with your money but then sowing your time your finance your prayer your talent your ability to enable that preaching of the gospel today we're going to look at the third element of sowing that God put on my heart for the purpose of this this series and that is a little bit different now we've been talking about what we do to enable the preaching of the gospel but sometimes we forget you know it's not just about enabling the word to go forth it's bringing the fields that that word is going to be sewn into into a place where they can receive that word and so then we have the other mandate of scripture for us as the body of Christ to go into the highways and the hedgerows and compel people to come in to the house of God so that his house can be filled it's important to understand he wants his house filled he doesn't want it empty seats open you know more people not there than there he wants his house filled let's look at Luke chapter for a moment Luke chapter verse then said he unto him a certain man made a great supper and bade many Jesus is talking now he's giving us a parable and he sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden come for all things are now ready and they all with one consent began to make excuse that's important you understand the parable is just that it is a it is a symbol of truth spiritual truth that he's imparting he's not talking about a literal supper needing to be thrown and following this pattern it is about filling the house of the Lord with people who need the Lord and so with that in mind you know everybody's been invited and another and they begin to make excuse why they couldn't come the first set unto Him I've bought a piece of ground I must needs go and see it I pray thee have me excused and another set I bought five yoke of oxen and I go to prove them I pray thee have me excused so we see oftentimes a lot of people have business excuses about why they shouldn't go to church but the next one's the one that really gets me and another said I've married a wife and therefore I cannot come Wow that's that's pretty pretty poor but then he goes on to say so that servant came showed his Lord these things and then the master of the house being angry said to his servant go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in hither the poor the maimed the halt and the blind you know indicating that they probably had begun with an invitation list that didn't include these folks and they said well you know we need to fill the house of God so go find those that poor and maimed and halt and blind and bring them and the servant said Lord it is done as I asked commanded and yet there is room it still did not fill the house of God because the natural knee-jerk response of an unsaved person and that's what these are is not to go to church even if they're the ones that need it the most the natural knee-jerk response default setting whatever you want to call it for somebody that is unsaved it is not a believer is not to go to church to come up with the excuses necessary to avoid that that requirement and so essentially the Lord said it is done as I was commanded yet there is room or the servant said to the Lord and the Lord said unto the servant and verse go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be filled for I say unto you that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper okay some points again you know as you see the house of the Lord is the local church that's being talked about which he wants for the feast that he's prepared is not a literal feast it's not talking about a potluck supper on a Wednesday night or you know hors d'oeuvres at a reception after the service it's not a literal presentation of food but again it represents the spiritual truth that on a spiritual plane the Bible the Word of God is called milk and meat that not only sustains spiritual life but causes us to grow up in the Lord it is what makes us mature grow up in the Lord and in the blessing of God and so that's the feast that's prepared and where is that feast going to be found in the church that God has invited you to be a part of may be that invitation has been extended on the heart level you just feel pulled to a particular church maybe it's literally been extended by somebody that goes to that church but it's there that there is a feast of God's Word revelation of truth that will change your life but the Lord says to us in verse that there are people that have been extended an invitation the Holy Ghost is pulled on their heart or perhaps since somebody by to extend an invitation and they have rejected it they've made excuses and he has said surely these people shall not taste of my supper on a spiritual plane what is his supper the bread of life it is what Jesus brains - the human experience in other words these people are going to go to hell this is the way I read this this is like the last gasp for certain people he's told each one of us as individuals you know to preach the gospel into all of the world hasn't he I mean he said you know you ought to share your faith not just ignorantly you know where you turn people off but God will open doors for you anytime you're out and about and around at work plays in the workplace or in the neighborhood or wherever you go there'll be a door he opens to speak into somebody's life and you need to be faithful to step through it as an individual and we're to all live our life this way but there are a lot of those people that are going to blow you off that are not going to receive you know the Lord the the salvation that you're talking to them about you know a lot of them will get saved and it's important that we live our life looking for these doors of opportunity God's going to open with people and we step through it by sharing our faith in a in a way that isn't going to be seen you know seem ridiculous or too pushy or too confrontational do it in a way that somebody could receive it some of them will get saved but a lot of them won't and that's the ones Jesus is talking about here that need to be compelled to come in to the house of God they've been issued an invitation they have made an excuse and said no even those that are most in need the poor the halt the lie of the blame the blind the lame you know have not responded and made excuses and his house is still full and he said they have rejected the invitation if you don't get them to come into my house they're going to go to hell they'll never partake of the bread of life this is the last gasp for them so the word compelled becomes important and listen you may have another way you read this you know there's one commentator that says this is about the marriage supper of the lamb could be I suppose I'm not going to blow away that viewpoint but it is obvious and most commentaries agree with my perception God is talking about filling his house and he wants us to do that by compelling people to come in then he says my house will be filled if a congregation does not have this message there will always be lots of empty seats because it is each of us that have the responsibility in our harvest and life depends upon it to provide the fertile soil of the human heart for the seed of God's Word to be sown in and especially those people that this is really their last shot at it everybody in here knows someone couldn't be a family friend could be a family member it could be a childhood friend could Sabae somebody you served in the military with that was true for me I had a lot of buddies that I'd flown with that had said no to the gospel that I had made available to them or made known to them in some way you know no I mean it didn't destroy our friendship it didn't just they were polite about it but they didn't want anything to do with my view or the Bible's view of the Lord everyone has people like this some might be in your family and he said these people you can't let them be you need to compel them to come in so understanding what the word compel means is important I've teased about it before and I've said the compel means you know to use any method short of brute force but I'm really not teasing because if you look in the Strong's that's kind of what it means the word translated compel according to Strong's literally means to constrain or to force and if you look the word compel up in the Webster's dictionary it means using pressure to make someone do something they didn't want to do pressuring someone to do something they didn't want to do and you use meat you probably sitting there thinking what doesn't sound that doesn't sound much like the Lord to me well he's not suggesting you get into someone's face and threaten them or anything like that so what kind of pressure would be appropriate you know I think personally since he's talking to us about people that have rejected the invitation to become a member of the family to come into the house of God to partake of the feast that is available to them they've said no to it you pressure them if you have a relationship with them and this is this is true for all of us everybody here knows somebody like this you pressure them by using your friendship or relationship with them as leverage in other words you say to someone look I know I know how you feel about the Lord or about you know my my views of the Lord but you know you're a friend of mine I care about you I care about you I want to ask you if you would do something for me if not for yourself do it for me would you consider going to church with me just one time because I'm convinced that if you do you're having experience that changes things for you in a positive way I could be wrong if I am I'll never say anything to you again but would you go for me because what are you trying to do you're trying to get him or her in a spiritual environment where the Lord has the best opportunity to reach the heart and that's in the local church where not only the anointed word is but where there's a corporate anointing that produces an atmosphere that is totally different even though you may not smell it feel it is being different it is a different atmosphere than you're gonna find anywhere else because it is a collection of all of the anointings that are a part of everybody's life it's in here you have different giftings and abilities and anointings than anybody else you bring everybody together and it produces a corporate anointing that is conducive to a person wanting a part of the the kingdom of God it is conducive not just in the sense of peer pressure but conducive to warning whatever this is you know over the years of ministry Lynne and I have had people say to us there's just something about being in church the heaviness leaves the peace of God comes even if it's just for that limited hour we can experience joy that bubbles up from the well of our salvation there's something about being in church and there is something about being in church that positions a person to receive the Lord in a way that would not otherwise be true and so the Lord says that if you will compel someone to come and if everybody does that my house will be full my house will be full of people who are positioned to receive the Word of God the sowing of that word this is part of how you sow by providing fields to sow in and he says do this he doesn't ask you to do it he says do this because it will have a beneficial effect on your life I want to tell you you know of course I'm seeing this from a pastor's perspective but there's nothing cooler to me then you know watching a person change under the preaching of the word and I get that joy all of the time every Sunday I run into another example of somebody's life that is absolutely transformed because they got brought to church somebody brought them to church the Bible is full of examples of they brought people being brought into a confrontation with the Word of God in Jesus Christ who is the Living Word and so essentially this is the last prong of sowing that I want to encourage you to make a commitment to do to bring a person to church you know somebody that needs to be compelled to come and because of your relationship with them you have automatic leverage that nobody else has if you simply say to them I love you and I want what's best for you would you do something for me I care about you would you do something for me I want you to do something fairly simple and let's just go to church with me and he says if everybody will do that then his house will be full now I used to enjoy doing a numbers a little numbers exercise about taking the city for the Lord and we'll do it again so if you've heard me do it and a dozen times in the past there's there's a few people that haven't so but this is a truth of how simple it is it really is for the body of Christ to take a city for God if one church in that city got this message and the message is everybody in the church bring someone into committed membership in that ministry during the course of a year and each year do the same thing she R bring one person to charge and get them committed doesn't seem too hard does it one person and of course this is consistent with what we've just read been told in the word this morning so that means each year the church would double and this is theoretical because doesn't account for people to get transferred or that that leave for one reason to another but it does make the point in one year the church would double we have , members let's just use to make it a little simpler and the math a little simpler but in the first year we instead of , we beat , at the end of the first year for everybody brought somebody into committed membership same in second year we'd be at , third year at fourth year at fifth year at year six th year two million three eighty eighth year at million million how many people live in Minneapolis Metroplex five million people so in nine years for everybody brought one person to church we've got the whole city coming to church that's how you take a city that's how you take a city for the Lord it's really not very hard so you makes you wonder why in the world isn't this going down you know I guess it's not preached enough I'm not really sure but you know somebody else would say well you started with , people though most people don't I mean that's you know well it doesn't matter the church could be a hundred people it would take instead of nine years it would take years but they'd have the whole church the whole city coming to church at their place in years so what if every church folks in this way that all the people that Church hopper Church change or that leave you know would be accommodated this I mean if all of the churches could generate this kind of approach to evangelism this is called Invitational evangelism a supplement to your individual evangelistic efforts sharing your faith when God opens the doors of opportunity if in addition to that you brought one person into committed membership during the course of the year the church would be full and God's heart would be fulfilled because then every person including the ones that had rejected him would be given the maximum opportunity to experience the the feast that he's prepared for any who would come now I'm going to shift gears a little bit at this point during the message because I want to take this into your commitment commitment Sundy is next Sunday does that excite anybody I mean because it can be a point you mark on your calendar where you know if you if you seriously participate God is able to begin doing things that you'd like to have done in your personal life he empowers you to pursue his purpose on a larger scale and then you know you will experience the the blessing and the provision on an individual scale that enables you to participate in that larger scenario but it begins by willingness to be committed to his larger purpose next Sunday's commitment Sunday it's a Sunday where I preach a dynamite message on commitment I got one that's going to be a barn burner you don't want to miss it you know and I'm saying this because a lot of people don't like to hear about commitment a lot of people in America they like to have a backdoor to anything you know whether it's marriage or a job or something if they just don't like it a whole lot then man they gone you know so the mindset that is so prevalent in America today you know needs to be purged from the body of Christ because commitment is the final step to the success you desire in your life it is only the things that you're committed to that you will succeed in achieving or doing commitment Sunday you know next week will be a message Oh commitment and then a receiving of the commitment cards there is a card in a seat in front of you right now a commitment card if you're in the front row you might have to get someone to hand you one but I want you to take one of these cards home with you today once you grab one out of the slot in front of you now if you would pray about it with your husband your wife I'll go through it briefly but of course the first box on the left side that we would want you to check in identifying what you're committing to is I commit to tithe in the coming year about half of our congregation tithes and I say about half by using Minnesota average household incomes you know you can make a guesstimate and how many people are tithing I'd say about half our congregation currently ties which is really great compared to the national average which is less than five percent but think what we could do if everybody tithe our operating budget you know of three hundred and fifteen thousand a week not only would be met we'd have an extra three or four hundred thousand beyond that per week that could be applied to ministry instead of just consumed and operational costs that's what the tithes are supposed to be the source of general fund income that a church operates on and so you know I commit to tithe then I think everybody would I know everybody would if they had a heart revelation of what the times was or I should say a heart revelation of what the tithe is then they'd want to time this is the way you involve God in your financial life period but if you're not at either you might want to check the second box which says I am NOT a current tither however I commit to the six-month tithe challenge which basically is if you will commit to give it a six month shot because God says in Malachi : prove me now herewith one time he tells you you can test him you can prove him in this meaning it's that important a thing that he will show you the rightness of your decision to tithe so you never question it again but a lot of people never take that first step the the thought of doing without % of their income in light of you know how tight their budget already seems to be makes them feel as if they just can't do it well you're the very person that can't afford not to do it because you need God's involvement in your financial life so if you take the tithe challenge I can ease the pain a little bit by escrowing your tithe for six months and at the end of six months if you tell me that God hasn't proven himself to you you have to have that money you've got it back I certainly don't have any intention of arguing the point I will encourage you to stick it out if you come to me in three months or come to the church in three months and say hey I was wrong I can't even go six months but we got an emergency going on I'll give you you your money's available to you right at that moment but I'm gonna argue with you a little bit meaning that you are in a position now to prove God you don't think you can do without it I don't think you can do without tithing so you stick with it another month or two or three and he will demonstrate to you the rightness of that decision and so if you're not at either I want you to take the tithe challenge you're not risking anything and I believe we will increase the number of people in here who tithe dramatically because God will prove himself without question before the end of the six months is over and then once the tithe has been done the third box I commit to so blank number of dollars above the tithe in and our outreach goals your to number one two three and four which your preferences would be where the money would be applied and we will do that to the best maximum extent possible I've said you know if everybody wanted to give everything you know their first choice was all the winners minute say and there wasn't any money for anything else but we had five times as much as we needed in the winner's minute then we begin parceling it out we'd go to your second choice but a little bit in the first choice go to the second choice third choice until the money has been applied in that manner but committing to give a certain amount beyond the tithe it's what sewing is you can't sow seed until ten percent of your income has gone to the Lord because he says the table belongs to him and so then as you begin sewing beyond the time it's a matter of you know is not a dollar amount it's a matter of doing what you can with what you've got you know there are some people that have a lot more money than other people they can do a lot more does that mean they're more generous no does that mean that their gift is more important because it's bigger no we see the example of the widow that gave two mites gave more than any of the wealthy people in the church because she gave all she had so generosity in the kingdom of God is determined by what you do with what you have if you can only give $ during the whole year above your tithe that's okay the point is get some seed in the ground because your harvest and life depends entirely on it so get some seed in the ground of enabling the gospel to go forth if it's $ $, a hundred thousand dollars everybody's ability is different but it's important that you stretch a little bit because our our goals let me give you two things first I want you to see the advance commitments which I had told you that we would share with you today we've had a hundred and seventy seven people make advance commitments of . million dollars that is really really good really good almost a million and a half a hundred and seventy seven people that's a little less than three percent of our member families we've got sixty three hundred member families one hundred and seventy seven of them have given almost forty percent of our total goal which is four million dollars and so this is something that seemed appropriate because this is what leadership did with King David raising the resource to build the temple leadership made their commitments first and then the people rejoiced with a happy heart it motivated them and they did the rest let's look at our our goals again our stretch goal is four million dollars it's comprised of three different categories the first category is outreach to new church campuses that I've talked about at Rogers and in Saint Paul actually just across the bridge we will probably sign the contracts on one of these next week the other still in negotiation witness minute at that's for a year Paul's Twin Cities this is renting the US Bank Stadium two hundred thousand dollars we've committed a quarter of a million to it we've already got fifty thousand budgeted so we need another two hundred and I want you know I want you to feel the urgency that I do for us as the body of Christ in Minneapolis to fill the u.s. Bank Stadium was thousand praying Christians for this nation in this city and then of course our international broadcast that I've shared with you translation services a hundred thousand dollars so that and all of the nations that go into you know they'll be able to understand what we're saying and all of those outreach goals total of million eight seventy five second categories infrastructure maintenance building repairs television two hundred audio equipment one hundred I've shared the the detail with with you already about these things six weeks ago but this is stuff that is urgent that we need to address and deal with now subtotal there if we just add the outreach goals and infrastructure maintenance together we've got two and a half million dollars we've already got one-and-a-half million almost one-and-a-half million committed but our stretch goal is four million and the third category is infrastructure investment one and a half million in solar panels and finishing the putting new high-efficiency rooftop units up there we've got of those it'll save us thousand a year in utility cost just slightly less but around almost three hundred thousand a year and utility costs will be saved meaning that the cost of this infrastructure investment . million would be advertised in five years I'd say that's a pretty good deal and it's something that we want to do so if everybody I think does their part we won't have any trouble reaching four million dollars and being able to accomplish all of these things now I'm believing that it'll go beyond that I am because we've got how much did we say I'm a week if we had two hundred million dollars given to us today every penny of it I know where it would go basically I mean if you want to give an extra four million will build the ballpark's in the West End that's still alive and well if you want to give another five million beyond that we'll do the fitness center on the north northeast corner of the building the fitness center and you know all that went with that if you want to go beyond that another million or thereabouts will develop the property up north our camp and refuge center we want to throw a couple hundred million in beyond that we'll do our non profit airline guns gonna raise people up to do this stuff amen or it wouldn't be something that still burns within me you know I've asked him many many times that if this is just I wash then he needs to take this out of my heart and he never has so that means the capacity financially is out here and now you know it's a matter of his working on your heart and I do believe that that will occur this year then on the right-hand side of the page I commit to serve at Living Word I commit to pray for our living word family I commit to invite or bring someone to Living Word Christian Center then you fill it out and sign it a commitment such as this obviously I've been asked several times as I don't want to legally buy bound bind myself this is no legal come on this is not a legal document this is about accountability and I'll share a little bit more about this next next week it's quite one thing to say yeah god I'm gonna give you twenty million dollars this year you know I feel if you'll bring it to me I'll give you if you'll bring me thirty million I'll give you twenty million or whatever dear Lord some of the things I've heard over the years but essentially no this is about commitment Lord this is my stretch goal this is what I want to see done you don't have to check all these boxes by the way you check the boxes you can check you feel good about you want to check this has nothing to do with the place of importance you hold in this ministry in my heart you know because I'm not gonna check and see who did what or who filled out what or who didn't either who I don't want to know that stuff I'm required to treat you in the same way the Lord does which is to be no respect to a persons so I have no desire to know these things that's between you and the Lord but this is where your breakthroughs are gonna come from this is where your blessing is gonna come from over the years I've had people say to me you know it should be a lot easier if we just didn't why do we why don't we what do you always want us to press let us relax just enjoy you know coming to church and listening to the music and you can preach a sermon on love and you know and then and it would just be good I'm required to encourage you to press because that's what the Bible says is required if we're ever gonna reach the high calling of God we have to press amen amen so I encourage you to be a presser again I thank you in advance for your part in this church your role in it no matter what it may be I don't take for granted the fact that you're here and I do very much appreciate that what