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GENEROUS 2017_pt3: Living Stones

GENEROUS 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Adapted from Church of the Highlands series Legacy - Part 4: Living Stones (2012)

GENEROUS 2017_pt3: Living Stones

2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
[QUESTION] - Have you every heard: What do you want from me?
You may be asking yourself: what do I have to give?
This question uncovers a lack of VISION...
[STORY] – Bricks, wall, cathedral...
Three Builders (author unknown)
“A man came across three masons who were working at chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. The first seemed unhappy at his job, chipping away and frequently looking at his watch. When the man asked what it was that he was doing, the first mason responded, rather curtly, “I’m hammering this stupid rock, and I can’t wait ’til 5 when I can go home.”
”A second mason, seemingly more interested in his work, was hammering diligently and when asked what it was that he was doing, answered, “Well, I’m molding this block of rock so that it can be used with others to construct a wall. It’s not bad work, but I’ll sure be glad when it’s done.”
”A third mason was hammering at his block fervently, taking time to stand back and admire his work. He chipped off small pieces until he was satisfied that it was the best he could do. When he was questioned about his work he stopped, gazed skyward and proudly proclaimed, “I…am building a cathedral!”
“Three men, three different attitudes, all doing the same job.”
Matthew 5:14 NLT
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
[PAYOFF] - We’ve got LIFE to share! – That is what we have to GIVE!
But there is a price: Sacrifice!
The gift we’ve received as FREE!
But, sharing will cost us…
1 Corinthians 3:9–11 NIV
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The Apostles laid the foundation…
Now, He’s using YOU to build!...
[PAYOFF] - What is He building?...
Ephesians 2:19–22 The Message
That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
The materials we build with – US! We are the stones, we are the temple, we are the body!
That’s why – see a need, fill a need!
[PAYOFF] - You aren’t here this morning because going to “church” is the right thing to do. You are here because YOU ARE THE CHURCH.
We are united by our faith in Jesus Christ and our love for one another!
We have gathered this morning to...
worship Christ,
glorify our Heavenly Father
and serve!

Living stones

1 Peter 2:5 NIV
you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
[SO] - How do we build?

1. Do what I should do.

Luke 16:10–11 NIV
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
[STORY] - Working in LA – labeling tapes after hours, off the clock…

Faithfulness

2. Do what I could do.

2 Corinthians 8:3–4 NIV
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.
[STORY] - In Liberia, people giving offerings and dancing.

Sacrifice

3. Do what I would do.

[THIS] is purposing in your heart!
2 Corinthians 9:10–11 NIV
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Faith

[PAYOFF] - This is the builder who see’s the cathedral.
What are you building in your life?
Your work (career)?
Your relationships?
Your religion?

Take Away

[Blessed are those who fear the Lord…]
Psalm 112:9 NLT
They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.
Psalm 116:9 NIV
that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
[STORY] - Watching Taking Chance with the boys… “Dad, why does he salute the casket every time?...”
1 Timothy 6:18–19 NIV
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Do what I know is good.

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