Changing values from the world’s to Gods

Seeking the Kingdom of God

God’s priority in this age is building his kingdom. Matthew’s gospel provides much of the detail. For disciples this may at times be painful and always requires the meaningful sacrifice of self-interest.

The World understandably seeks the welfare and happiness of self, family, nation, etc. in numerous ways. In the West it is often “all about me”. New Christians often convert for selfish reasons and may see God as a slot machine in the sky, with prayers as currency.

When God fails to live up to their expectations s/he can feel badly let down or that they must have done something wrong. However, if the disciple goes along with God’s agenda s/he will find that God meets their needs in this life as well as giving hope for the next.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [food, clothing etc] will be added to you.” Matthew 6 v 33

Generosity

  • Giving with joy
  • Give without expecting any return
  • Your resources are from God, and not to be held on to

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ – Acts 20 v 35

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11 v 24-25

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Gal 6 v 2

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Tim 6 v 18-19

Death to self

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Gal 2 v 20

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. – Luke 9 v 23

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. – Romans 6 v 11

He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3 v 30

Christ first

  • Putting Jesus first in our lives

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. – Col 3 v 1-3

Separate from the world

  • We are in the world but not of it
  • We are to be different

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. – 1 John 2 v 15

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Roman 12 v 2

Serving others, loving people

  • We are to build each other up
  • We are to copy Jesus, by serving others

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13 v 34-35

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3 v 16-18

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace – 1 Peter 4 v 10

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matt 20 v 28

Being a steward

  • Your stuff is not your own, it is God’s
  • Be responsible with what you have been given

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Tim 5 v 8

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Heb 13 v 5

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men – Col 3 v 23

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