Climb The Ladder
Grace Gone Wild • Sermon • Submitted
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WILD GRACE MOVES ME TO RESPOND GENEROUSLY
Philippians 4:17–20 (The Message) — 17 Not that I’m looking for handouts, but I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity. 18 And now I have it all—and keep getting more! The gifts you sent with Epaphroditus were more than enough, like a sweet-smelling sacrifice roasting on the altar, filling the air with fragrance, pleasing God no end. 19 You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. 20 Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
The Bible tells us a story of a character you have probably heard of before. and it matters because these principles matterBecause you and I have to make a decision. If it mattered to Jesus... is it going to matter to us?
We are in a series called Grace Gone Wild. And God's grace is wild isn't it. i mean if you really think about the fact that a holy perfect God would grace on a messed up people like us when we don't deserve it when we couldn't earn it and He was the one that made the sacrifice for us to have that grace it's wild.
And that wild grace calls us and demands a response. What will your response to God's grace be? If you know Jesus if you have been saved have you responded to God's wild grace that he's given you? Cause it demands a response.
James says that faith without works is dead. Sure you have faith in God but has it moved you to act.
1 He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 There was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
Jericho was a major trade route bringing goods in and out of the roman empire
Pilgrims traveled it to Jerusalem
It's where the story of the good samaritan happened
this is the same road that Zaccheus sat at and collected taxes everyday
He was rich because he ripped people off for a living
Tax collectors were as hated then as they are now
Romans were abusing their power to oppress people to fund the empire
Zac was despised and hated for his cooperation with Rome
He was shunned
A jew ripping off his bros to support he government that oppressed them
He was so good that the romans made him the chief tax collector
anytime I think my job is hard i thank God i’m not a tax collector (although apparently they are hiring and giving out guns as a job perk)
Jesus is walking and is interrupted by a man that would do anything to see the Jesus he has heard of
Jesus inserts himself in this story and changes this mans life for eternity and all he did was pass through this city.
(list of things Jesus did when he entered a place.)
"no one can serve two masters..."
"for the love of money is the root of all evil..."
When money is your master greed is your spiritual gift. When money is your master selfishness is your spiritual attitude. When it's your master it doesn't matter how much you have cause it will never be enough. But when Jesus is your master money is a tool to build with not a God to be worshipped. Stewardship and obedience is your spiritual attitude. Regardless of how much you have you have learned the joy of being a cheerful giver.
500 verses on prayer and faith and 2000 on money, finances, giving, tithing. 15% of everything Jesus taught was on the topic of money. why is this the case? because the bible says where your treasure is your heart will be also.
2 unhealthy positions. The more holy I am and faith I have the less money i have. this is the poverty gospel. The more holy I am faith i have the more money i'll have. This is the prosperity gospel. What if the amount of money you have has nothing to do with how much faith you have and more to do with the amount of responsibility you have to steward those resources.
PARABLE OF TALENTS.
It's not how much do I have it's what am i doing with whatever God has given me.
Whether you make 50,000 or 500,000 the mandate is the same, you are to steward your resources to build God's kingdom.
God isn't after your money he's after your heart. and when he has your heart he'll have your treasure as well. The lord loves a cheerful giver. If you give but you don't give him your heart it doesn't make you holy it makes you hopeless.
The treasure i have is on loan for God so since it belongs to him i give it back to him. in a season of plenty i worship. In a season of struggle I worship.
3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because of the crowd, since he was a short man. 4 So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way.
It wasn't his stature that prevented him from seeing Jesus it was his perspective. he was blinded by his wealth. Instead of money being your servant it's your master. instead of it being your passenger it's your driver. You love money and use people.
You cannot afford to have Jesus in your heart and Babylon in your bank account. If you become successful in things that don't matter then what was the purpose anyways. We are here to play for keeps and see middle Tennessee reached and what we do here counts for the next generation.
Coming to church is like climbing that tree. To gain a new perspective. It's my job to show you Jesus but its your job to look at Jesus as he comes by. What do you see when you climb the tree of faith? ... HERE IS WHAT I SEE!
Zac couldnt do anything about how he was born, his height, or his family but he could shift his vision. You can spend all your life complaining about what you are not and why it means you cannot do things. Whatever excuse the devil will lead you to have. But you can decide to come higher and see Jesus. \
The higher you go, the more responsibility you have. You know who's not responsible to pay my mortgage? Because they are not responsible for what they cannot see. But perspective creates responsibility. I know where this is headed so now I become responsible to fund it's future. And when I climb this ladder i see what God wants to do here and i am responsible to become a contributor not a consumer. WHEN I SEE IT I BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR IT.
GOD PLACES TREES ON YOUR FAITH JOURNEY AND THEY SERVE AS PERSPECTIVE CHANGING MOMENTS
If you get married but your vision stays single you are in trouble. If you become a believer but your vision stays secular you are in trouble. If you attend a growing church but your vision stays small you are in trouble.
If we grow a big church but also don't grow big people you will feel left behind. but i cannot force you to grow and develop but I can point you to the tree that was planted before you were born and if you can come up higher you will get God's perspective in your life and be a part of what God desires to do here in middle Tennessee.
THINK ABOUT THIS: God planted that tree centuries before Zacchaeus climbed it. He knew it needed to be there at the right time so that this man could get a new perspective and have his life changed. New Purpose is a tree that’s been planted.
As long as there is a family without a church home we have a reason to exist. As long as there is a prodigal then we have a reason to grow. AS LONG AS THERE IS A LOST PERSON THAT DOESN'T KNOW JESUS WE HAVE A REASON TO EXIST. This is not a church to insulate your comfort its here to give the devil and anxiety attack. We can have comfort or we can have growth but we cannot have both.
I WANNA SEE WHAT GOD SEE'S.
5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he quickly came down and welcomed Him joyfully. 7 All who saw it began to complain, “He’s gone to lodge with a sinful man!”
JESUS HAS BOLDNESS TO MAKE TIME FOR THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CROWD. You can see shame coming off of Zac as he climbs off the tree. Like his whole life lead to this moment.
When i close my eyes I see what Jesus could do here. And I want to be a part of making it happen.
Following Jesus should be joyful
You dont have to come to church you get to come to church. You dont have to serve you get to serve. You dont have to sow you get to sow. Give you get to give.