Choose to depend on God, Trust the Heart of Love - His Grace & Love in the Vine life
It's a battle but He's got me Grace for my weakness (Sermon excerpt and unofficial sermon notes for reference Joseph Prince sermon excerpt – Got a weakness? God can use you! Milton Goh Blog – Boasting in our weakness attracts God ) “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:29-30 NKJV) Anyone who gives things for God and for the gospel, he will receive a hundredfold, but it comes with persecutions. It has to be for His sake and not for something or someone else. So if you are suffering for Jesus sake and for the sake of the gospel of grace, you will receive a hundredfold. Pastor explains that it is not just for any teaching but for the gospel of grace. Pastor explains by saying that in the word Paul said that he testifies to the gospel of grace in Acts 20 vs 24. “So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30 NKJV) On my end, I think it’s so much easier for me to give up things for better-looking situations that we can reason out with our minds, more than in faith. Or for some dream or vision that I have that does not necessarily make sense but I believe in it and am excited about it. Take writing, for example, I am willing to take on a career that most people around me are do not find acceptable. I am also willing to give up jobs and job offers for my peace of mind, in a world where jobs are hard to come by. I am not willing to take a job that’s going to just cause me more stress and anxiety until after I am healed of this anxiety and the headaches that I exprience. And considering the best way I know of to give up something for Christ is serving in the church and through the church, then I haven’t been so willing to give up time for Christ Jesus. When I look at myself, I don’t see any area of my life where I qualify for this, but I had to mention it for those who do. There might be someone reading this now who has left someone or something for the sake of Christ or the gospel. This is for you, have hope, your hundredfold is coming, your service for Him will not go unrewarded. Pastor Prince then asks what the last line in Matthew 20 means; both the account in Matthew and the one in Mark end this particular account with Jesus saying that the last will be first and the first last. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matthew 19:29-30 NKJV) He explains that Jesus went on the explain this in the next parable in Matthew 20; also pointing out that the parable ends with the same word in Matt 20:16. The Lord Jesus sandwiched the parable of the landowner by saying the last will be first and the first last. Pastor Prince then reads the parable and explains it as he goes. He explains that the landowner represents the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1 NKJV) In Matthew 20: 1 -16, as Jesus goes on with the parable, He talks about the landowners paying the same wages to the people who he bargained with in the morning and those who he hired at the end of the day with no bargaining. The first who had bargined with him tried to protest but he told them that they had agreed to that wage and he was chosing to be kind to the others. So those who are last will be first and the first last. Pastor Prince explains that this is a story of grace. Jesus is talking about grace. God loves grace so much because it is not like the law where there is the batter system. The older son tried to bargain and yet it was actually all his in the story of the prodigal son. Grace allows God to show His goodness towards those who are open to it. The people who did not bargain with Landowner released him to give from his heart and he was able to give to his’ heart content, those who bargain are given as they bargained. “God chooses to bless those who trust in Him to receive His goodness. “ This story was given because Peter was bargaining with God.(Matthew 20:27) We are creatures of the law and always want to exchange something for something else, but the Lord does not like the law, He chose Mt Zion and not Mt Sinai. “For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.” (Psalms 132:13-15 NKJV) “But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved.” (Psalms 78:68 NKJV) The Israelites bargained with God when they were given the law, but Jesus was given from love. We know God loves us because He gave His son for us, the first mention of love is of the father’s love for his son in the story of Abraham. God spared Abraham his son, but He did not do the same or Himself, instead, He gave His Son, His only Son whom He loved, as a sacrifice or us. And when you, in all your mess trust Jesus, God loves that, He calls it faith. Many are called but few are chosen, those who trust His heart are chosen. Many are called to the vineyard but the Lord chooses those who trust His heart and do not bargain with Him. When you depend on your works, you always receive lesser than what is in God’s heart to give to you. Depend on grace instead of on your own works. “God loves to use the lost, the last and least.” Guys, how often do we use our lost, last and least status to disqualify ourselves? Well maybe you are not lost, last or least and you cannot relate to this, I do. I am so lost on how to build this blog, lost on how to make money for me to live on as I build this blog. My writing is not perfect, my drawing is even worse and I don’t have the patience and focus to work on either consistently using the online lessons I bought. I don’t have the social media presence or the skills I need to build the vision I have. I don’t have the money too, for any of it. I feel so inadequate and alone all the time. The last will be first? My heart cries out, ‘I don’t need to be first…I just need Your provision, Lord. I am going got keep doing this for Your glory even if I don’t get many readers, but I am going to need Your provision for all I need.’ Am I choking my own supply of provision with all this worrying??? (A reference to the first blog for this sermon) Anyway, yeah, I don’t yet see how is using me but in His word, He said He does so I am just going to have to trust that He is going to, I know He does not lie, He is faithful. I just have to be willing to be open to whatever He wants for me. Who knows…maybe writing & drawing and all this has nothing to do with what He wants me to do. And you know what, that’s welcome too, the most important thing is Him being there and in charge of it all. Pastor Prince then talk about the Mustard seed, is the tiniest of all the seeds, but it grows up to be greater than the herbs. Matthew 13:31-32 “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”” (Matthew 13:31-32 NKJV) Pastor Prince then talks about faith that is as small as a mustard seed. “And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:5-6 NKJV) Pastor explains the importance of the change in names in the passage where there is the Lord, instead of Jesus; and the apostles – not the disciples. He said that this means that the verse is talking about apostolic faith. He goes on to explain that he studied the word ‘have’ and discovered that it is active, not passive in the original language, so you have to hold to it actively. Hold on to faith, the word is active but the tense is imperfect. Imperfect means keep on seeing your faith. This means that is you keep holding on and keep on seeing your faith, you will speak and it should obey you. So you only need to keep on seeing your faith, even as small as a mustard seed, & you will speak, and it should obey you The ‘say’ is also in the active voice and imperfect tense, which means you need to keep on saying. Keep confessing, keep on seeing your faith as small as mustard seed and speak. Stop saying you have no faith, see your faith as small as the mustard seed and keep on speaking. You don’t need to wait for your faith to strong before you speak. This to me is very life changing because we often stop talking because we don’t have enough faith for whatever we want. Imagine though if we could just simply believe in His goodness and faithfulness. We all know He is good and faithful but when something big stares us in the face, we don’t have the faith that we think we need to fight it. In a way, we have made faith into something that can hinder our moving forward, where we have to have such amazing faith to see things happen. Maybe we could just stop and remember that we all have a measure of faith, otherwise, we wouldn’t be believers. And even if it’s just enough to believe that God is good, then let’s see that small faith and use it to confess and fight our battles. The more you use your faith, the more it will grow. The more you speak out what you want, the more you will believe and the more your faith will grow. The bible said that faith comes by the hearing of the word of Christ, confess the word to yourself and your ears will hear it. The more often you hear it, the more your faith with...
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