VIDEO What a Friend We Have in Jesus, God So Loved the World, Fountainview Academy

Fountainview Academy
Mar 10, 2017

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by Fountainview Academy as part of our God so Loved the World DVD in BC, Canada.

Rich Man and Money

How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:23)

Can a rich person go to heaven? Of course. But as the Book of Proverbs says, “Those who trust in their riches will fall” (Proverbs 11:28). Not because money is inherently evil, but because of how easily we can become attached to it and let it rule us. The rich man in today’s Gospel reading followed God’s commandments. Yet, according to Jesus, he was too attached to his wealth, and it was holding him back.

The founder of the Methodist faith, John Wesley, presented a simple yet profound sermon that was titled “The Use of Money.” What he wrote might help us as we try to deal with the issue of money.

In his sermon called “The Use of Money,” Wesley made three simple points: “Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”

Make all you can. Wesley believed that Christians should be industrious, clever, and hardworking. As he saw it, nothing is wrong with making money, as long as it is legal, ethical, and doesn’t hurt anyone.

Save all you can. Wesley urged his people to be frugal. They should live simply and avoid extravagance. But why should we live simply and save? So that we can fulfill the third point.

Give all you can. If we work hard and save frugally, we will have more to share with the people around us. Of course, generosity begins in our homes, but it should also extend to the Church and to the hungry and needy among us.

According to some calculations, in one year John Wesley earned the equivalent of $1.4 million in today’s money. But he lived on only 2 percent of his income and gave away the rest. Over his entire lifetime, he earned the equivalent of $30 million. But when he died, he had given away all of it. That’s the way to live!

May we all try to live simply so that we can live generously.

“Lord, teach me to be as generous as you are.”

“But Lot’s Wife Looked Back”

Lot's+Wife
Sodom, the original Sin City, was about to be destroyed once and for all.

But God took favor on Lot and his wife, and sent warning for them to flee the city, “Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed” said one of the angels. But Lot’s wife looked back. She looked back on that city that she loved, so full of her past, her memories, and full of sin. Even though she knew the consequences, Lot’s wife thought one little last peek couldn’t hurt. But alas, she died instantly, turned to a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19)

I think this story really has two messages:

The longing for our sinful past can destroy us. Lot’s wife was given the chance to escape and start again, to please God and not be destroyed by the sinfulness that once surrounded them. Oh, but the devil has a way of seducing us, of reminding us of the “good” in the sin. I’m sure memories were flooding back to her, memories of parties and her material items, she was scared to lose them. I know that feeling, I know how hard it can be to leave what was once such a big part of my life behind. It can be tempting to look back one last time, to take a small step back to what we knew for so long. That leads me to my next point.

All sin is displeasing to God. Even the small things. If he commands you not to look back, you don’t look back. Taking pleasure even in the smallest sin is still sinning. When we look for technicalities in God’s commandments, or think we can get away with just bending the rules a bit, we are urged to remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:28-32)

Of course there is redemption in Jesus Christ, who died for all of our sins. But sin is destructive, and as long as we directly disobey God’s orders, and put sin before Him~ we will surely see the consequences.

We must be willing and determined to look forward. To commit to the destruction of our sin. If we are truly followers of God, and desire his will, following his commands are essential. Even when you think no one will see, even if it’s just “small”~ sin is sin and although the results may not be as instantaneous as it was for Lot’s wife, we will see destruction.

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself~ let us not desire the sinful ways of our past. Let us put our hope in God’s glorious plan for our future. Though it may seem tempting, comforting, or desirable to turn to our old ways, Lot’s wife shows us the end fate. It can be hard, and it may test our faith, but look at the alternative.

https://thechristiangirlrant.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/but-lots-wife-looked-back/

The Discipline of Hearing

Into Darkness
Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. —Matthew 10:27

Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and God puts us into “the shadow of His hand” until we learn to hear Him (Isaiah 49:2). “Whatever I tell you in the dark…” — pay attention when God puts you into darkness, and keep your mouth closed while you are there. Are you in the dark right now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? If so, then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will speak while in the wrong mood— darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason for the darkness; just listen and obey. If you talk to other people, you cannot hear what God is saying. When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else once you are back in the light.

After every time of darkness, we should experience a mixture of delight and humiliation. If there is only delight, I question whether we have really heard God at all. We should experience delight for having heard God speak, but mostly humiliation for having taken so long to hear Him! Then we will exclaim, “How slow I have been to listen and understand what God has been telling me!” And yet God has been saying it for days and even weeks. But once you hear Him, He gives you the gift of humiliation, which brings a softness of heart— a gift that will always cause you to listen to God now.

By Oswald Chambers

His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord

Jeremiah 32:1-15

The judgment of God hung over Jerusalem for a long time, as though the Lord were loath to strike the final blow. During that period Jeremiah prophesied that after the city had been destroyed the people would yet return, and in token of his faith he purchased a piece of ground.

Jeremiah 32:6, 7

This was a forlorn request indeed, for a piece of land in a country devastated by war and occupied by the enemy, is hardly worth accepting as a gift.

Jeremiah 32:8

Therefore, he proceeded at once to the purchase, and thus made the people see that he believed that which he preached. We are bound, not only to have faith in God’s promises, but also to act accordingly. It is not every man who would give up good money for land which he could not reach, in the midst of a destructive war; no one indeed would do so, unless he believed that better days would come when the reversion would be valuable.

Jeremiah 32:9-12

The business was honestly and thoroughly done. It was no sham purchase, and Jeremiah’s faith was no mere pretence. It is related in Roman history, that when Hannibal’s army was near to Rome, a field upon which the enemy lay was purchased in the full belief that Roman valour would raise the siege. Surely we have far more reason to venture our all upon the word of God, and prove our faith by our actions.

Jeremiah 32:13-15

Jeremiah’s purchase would be talked of in all directions, and would be more convincing than any sermon. If we act in firm reliance upon our faithful God, our conduct will go far to arouse and to convert those among whom we dwell.

 

O for the living faith,

The real, active trust,

Which looks to what Jehovah saith,

Though trampled in the dust.

 

It plays not with the word,

Nor hesitates to act;

Pleading, it reckons to be heard,

And finds the promise fact

 

Man’s Wasted Potential, Yours?

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)

God has made it plain that hell is a real place—a final abode for people who do not want to love God and serve Him!

The sadness and the tragedy of this fact is that these are human beings, all dear to God because He created them in His own image. Of nothing else in the Creation is it said that it was created in the likeness of God!

Because fallen and perishing man is still nearer to God’s likeness than any other creature on earth, God offers him conversion, regeneration and forgiveness. It was surely because of this great potential in the human personality that the eternal Word could become flesh and dwell among us.

We are assured in many ways in the Scriptures that God the Creator does not waste human personality but it is surely one of the stark tragedies of life that human personality can waste itself!

A man by his own sin may waste himself, which is to waste and lose that which on earth is most like God. The man who dies out of Christ is said to be lost, and hardly a word in our language expresses his condition with greater accuracy!

 

God Can Make You Strong

“Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” 2Chron. 15:7

God had done great things for King Asa and Judah, but yet they were a feeble folk. Their feet were very tottering in the ways of the Lord, and their hearts very hesitating, so that they had to be warned that the Lord would be with them while they were with Him, but that if they forsook Him He would leave them. They were also reminded of the sister kingdom, how ill it fared in its rebellion, and how the Lord was gracious to it when repentance was shown. The Lord’s design was to confirm them in His way, and make them strong in righteousness. So ought it to be with us. God deserves to be served with all the energy of which we are capable.

If the service of God is worth anything, it is worth everything. We shall find our best reward in the Lord’s work if we do it with determined diligence. Our labor is not in vain in the Lord, and we know it. Half-hearted work will bring no reward; but, when we throw our whole soul into the cause, we shall see prosperity. This text was sent to the author of these notes in a day of terrible storm, and it suggested to him to put on all steam, with the assurance of reaching port in safety with a glorious freight.