Book of the Bible
Proverbs 6 tells us that we must be prepared for whatever lies ahead. Today on MoneyWise, we'll talk about what that means for your investments should we enter a recession. First off, we must always put our trust in the Lord to provide for our needs. Joshua 1:9 is a powerful reminder of that. It reads,Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. That said, we must also do our part, preparing as the ant does for possible hard times ahead. And there are increasing indicators that the economy may be heading into a recession. ECONOMISTS SAY RECESSION COULD BE LOOMING But plenty of economists are now predicting that the U.S. will enter a recession this year for several reasons: the war in Ukraine, interest rate hikes, decreasing economic growth and skyrocketing inflation. So what does that mean for your retirement portfolio? Investment advisors are weighing in with their advice and it's interesting to note that much of it is what we say here everyday. For starters, think beyond the next recession, whenever it may come. Have a long term investment plan and stick with it. Recessions are always temporary. Market downturns are always temporary. Trying to predict or time the market is difficult for the smartest brains on Wall Street. Consider all the managed funds that do no better than index funds and sometimes much worse. YOU LONG RANGE PLAN Now, what should your long range investment plan look like? First, it should be based on your time horizon. When is your best estimate for retiring? Ideally, you want that date to be at least 10 years out. Here, a target date fund can be a big help. These are mutual funds or exchange-trade funds (ETFs) that rebalance your portfolio periodically, shifting to more conservative investments as you near your retirement date. Robo-advisors do much the same thing. They're digital platforms that use algorithms to manage your investments without human supervision. Another key part of your long term investment plan should be dollar-cost averaging. That simply means you contribute a set amount to your retirement account every pay period, no matter what. That means when the market's up and shares are expensive, you buy fewer of them. When the market's down and shares are cheape, you buy more of them. Then, when the market recovers, those additional shares you bought will increase in value right along with it. But if you sell during a recession, you lose out and lock in your losses. SAFE-HAVEN INVESTMENTS If you feel you must tweak your portfolio, the time to do it is before a recession hits, not after. In that case you might look at what are called safe-haven investments. These would include some cash and short-maturity bonds, and right now, we'd recommend I-bonds. They're adjusted every six months for inflation, and currently are yielding near 10-percent. You can't redeem them for one year, and if you cash them in before five years, you'll lose a few months' interest. But in this current inflationary period, they're tough to beat. Gold would be another safe-haven investment and a hedge against inflation. In theory, it moves opposite of the market, but not always. For that reason, gold should be a very small part of your portfolio, no more than five or 10%. DIVERSIFY! If you're not using a robo-advisor or a target date fund, you have to decide what the other 90-percent of your portfolio will be. Here we look to Ecclesiastes 11:2,Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. Your portfolio should be well-diversified to weather a recession without serious losses. Assets would include some index funds, safe fixed income securities like the I bonds I mentioned, and even real estate or real estate investment trusts. taking these steps should get you through the next recession, whenever it comes, with peace of mind. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is it wise and appropriate for a church to take liquid funds out of savings and invest the money in the market to seek a better return? ●Should you take out small life insurance policies on adult children? ●What is the best way to get started with investing? ●Would it be wise to pull money out of retirement savings to pay for private rehab treatment for an adult child? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29
Ecclesiastes 12:6-7There's nothing like talking to someone who has been there to learn what it's all about. Where are you looking for answers to learn the meaning of life? Take it from King Solomon, you won't find it in anywhere but in Christ.
Ecclesiastes teaches us that life is vapor and offers wisdom for how to live well in life while recognizing it is brief and mostly out of our control. The wisdom it offers is that life is a gift, therefore the wise approach to life is to learn to receive life as a gift. We grow in receiving life as a gift by being present, seeing beauty, doing good, and receiving joy.
Ecclesiastes 8:1-17Keep the King's Command1 Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed. 2 I say: Keep the King's command, because of God's oath to him. 3Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases. 4 For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?” 5 Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way. 6 For there is a time and a way for everything, although man's trouble lies heavy on him. 7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? 8 No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. 9 All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.Those Who Fear God Will Do Well10 Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity.11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. 12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.Man Cannot Know God's Ways14 There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity. 15 And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on earth, how neither day nor night do one's eyes see sleep, 17 then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out.
We often don't know what our expectations are until they go unmet. And then suddenly, we discover that the things we put our hope in can't help us, satisfy us, or make us happy. George Bernanos once said, "In order to be prepared to hope in what does not deceive, we must first lose hope in everything that deceives." This is what the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is all about. The wise teacher brings attention to many of our expectations and false hopes, and systematically crushes any confidence we have in what we think could make life worth living. But, actually, this is good news! By discovering our false hopes, we can discover true life and purpose in Jesus. LOOKING FOR MORE EPISODES of the Discover the Word Podcast? Listen and subscribe wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts! Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discover-the-word/id383323412 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5s0X6g7BBUURLngjlkYaMD?si=mOJja34bRY2x5GZ31cOOOw Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9kaXNjb3ZlcnRoZXdvcmQub3JnL3BvZGNhc3Qv?sa=X&ved=0CAMQ27cFahcKEwjwjta78NLsAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQEA Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/fd13a308-a1fc-4379-9429-e65ebad7fc5b/discover-the-word-podcast Website: https://discovertheword.org/
John Stange offers courses and coaching, and leads a membership community to help others build online ministry platforms. If you're interested, please visit: https://www.platformlaunchers.com/ . If you enjoy the show and want to buy John a coffee, please click here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/johnstange . To read the first three chapters of "Dwell on These Things" by John Stange, click here: https://desirejesus.com/dwellonthesethings . To get a free copy of John Stange's book, "The Mind of Christ - How to make the most of the new perspective, new eyes, and new outlook you've been given through Jesus," please CLICK HERE. . To email John Stange directly, please send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we continue through Ecclesiastes we find Qoheleth continuing to discern the meaning of life from a materialistic viewpoint. What lasting meaning is there to be found in life when the human appetite is never truly satisfied.
In this episode, you'll also hear:Brenda's journey from being told she was “nobody” to finding purpose and a unique message to share with the worldThe difference between procrastination and creative avoidance – and what you need to do insteadHow to take responsibility for the message God has given youTips to avoid common book cover mistakesAn upcoming workshop for setting and achieving your writing goalsBrenda's advice for writers at any stage of the processBe sure to read all the way to the end for important links and information!When it comes to becoming a successful author, talent is certainly important. But so is perseverance, hard work, and – above all else – trusting in the sovereignty of God. That might seem like a strange thing to say, but it's absolutely essential if you want to be an effective writer. Why? Because God has a plan for each of us and knows what is best for us. As writers, it's crucial that we submit our work to Him and trust that He will guide us as we write, publish, and market. We can't try to control everything ourselves; instead, we need to let go and let God take control. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't use our own talents and skills. It simply means we need to trust first and foremost that, ultimately, God's plan is what is best for us. Brenda Haire has had her own journey of learning how to trust and finding purpose for her life along the way. Now, she wants to remind you how important it is, as you put your pen to paper, that you're making a deliberate decision to trust in the sovereignty of God. That you're entrusting Him with your story – whether it's characters and plots in a fiction book or helping someone make a transformation in a nonfiction book.So let God guide your steps, and watch your story and your impact unfold in ways that you never could have imagined. Finding Purpose for an Empty VesselWhile all of us as believers want to be a part of spreading the Good News, God has called each of us to approach that in different ways. And, as Brenda learned, finding purpose for our lives can look very different from what we might imagine for ourselves.For Brenda, the call to write came even before she was ready to consider herself a writer. Still, she listened, and started researching what it would take to write and publish a book. But when she met with a Christian publisher and submitted two manuscripts, the feedback was disheartening. “We love your work,” the publisher told her. “But you're nobody. Come back to us when you're somebody.”Hurt and unsure of how to move forward from there, Brenda set her books aside for several years, until her grandmother asked her to write about her life. “That's when Save the Butter Tubs! was born,” Brenda says. “I knew that would be the title, because it's something she always did. What I didn't know is that it was the metaphor for her saving me, that I was ultimately the butter tub that she saved. I was the empty vessel that felt like I couldn't be used for this writing journey. I was the nobody. And she said, ‘No, there's a purpose for this empty vessel.” Creative Avoidance vs. ObedienceIn the first part of the book, Brenda shares her struggle with what she calls “creative avoidance.” While many confuse this concept with procrastination, Brenda explains that they're not quite the same thing. Procrastination, she says, is for something that you know has to get done. Even if you put it off until the last possible day (or even the last possible minute!), you still do it. Creative avoidance, on the other hand, is what happens when you know you're called to do something, or you know it would be a good thing for you to do, but there's no deadline – and so you keep creatively avoiding it by doing other things instead. “God doesn't put deadlines on us. God is not forceful in that way,” Brenda explains. “And then we creatively avoid it for as long as we can. And then what happens? We miss the blessings. But if we would just act so much faster, we would get to the blessing so much faster.”Brenda is right: God has things for us, but if we're not obedient, then we miss out on the potential and may even delay the process of finding purpose in our lives. Rather than force us to do things, He gives us gentle nudges and reminders – and it's up to us to obey or not. As Brenda has learned, obeying God's call instead of creatively avoiding what we know He wants us to do keeps us in a good place spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. But when we're disobedient, it creates the exact opposite result. As Brenda says, “the best self-care someone can give themselves is to be obedient. Just be obedient to His word.”Know Your WorthNow, Brenda's work extends beyond just the one book, and she says the essence of her mission has to do with worth: “I want people to know and understand their worth and act accordingly.” Her business, The Joy of Pursuit, helps people do just that by identifying and finding purpose in what they naturally do best. “We believe that there should be joy in the pursuit of the things we do,” Brenda explains. “And I believe that by knowing your grace-given gifts and understanding your worth, you can find the joy.” That's not to say obeying God is always easy, but Brenda believes that by understanding the gifts He has given us, we can grow closer to Him and His will – and He will be with us through whatever difficulties we face as a result. Brenda also believes it's important to understand your unique gifts and calling, because not everyone is called to the same pursuit. While many people are called to combine writing, publishing, speaking, and coaching, that's not necessarily for everyone – and that's okay.For some people, your current job might very well be where God has called you to serve. “I want to help you understand your purpose in that job, in that role, and use your grace-given gifts there,” Brenda says, “and not make you think that you have to become something different in order to fulfill your calling.”Often, we hold ourselves back, thinking we need to arrive at a certain place before we can use the gifts God gave us. But, as Brenda has learned, we have opportunities right here and now to use those gifts. Referring to the story of David and Goliath, Brenda reminds us that David couldn't wear the armor that was presented to him. Rather, he used what he already had: a sling and stones. “It's using what's in your hand,” Brenda explains, “beginning with where you are.” Once again, it comes down to obedience, because we might not always see the gifts God has given us or understand how He wants us to use them. But as we learn to listen for God's direction and step out in faith, He will guide us into what He has planned. Truly finding purpose in our lives, then, is all about trusting and obeying God, whether or not we understand where He is leading us.Your Are Responsible for Your MessageBrenda's journey to becoming an author and finding purpose beyond authorship has been full of ups and downs. From being told she was “nobody” to being hired as a coach for the owner of a vanity press company and then becoming president of that same company, she can now see that God's hand was at work through it all. Now, Brenda helps authors learn how to professionally self-publish their books. “I believe most people that have a book in them – have multiple books in them,” she says. “And if they learn the process, they can continue it themselves.” To that end, Brenda walks authors through the entire process of publishing and distribution, helping ensure they put out the professional-quality book their message deserves. It's a very important service, because too often truly great messages are hidden in not-so-great packaging. And, much as we'd like to believe that a reader will look past imperfections in the cover or grammar missteps in the book, in reality, the smallest mistakes can end up being deal breakers that cause an author's message to go unread.We as authors have a responsibility to address anything that prevents our message from getting out to more people. Sometimes that means getting help from someone like Brenda to polish the finished product. Other times it means getting out of our comfort zones and learning to market our books ourselves. Regardless, we are each responsible for the message we have been given. Book Covers: What Not To DoOften, even after an author has pushed through and finished the book, they get in their own way all over again by making poor choices in designing the book's cover. Speaking from experience, Brenda shares a few quick tips for a better book cover.View It Printed FirstBrenda shares that when her book was finished and she'd decided on a cover design, she ordered 750 copies, only to realize the colors she had chosen made the title difficult to read. It looked fine on her computer screen, but the final printed product was a very different story. To avoid wasting money, Brenda advises printing out your own proof copies first at your local Walgreens, Wal-Mart, or wherever you usually print photos. Then you can see what the printed cover will look like, and just how different it is from the digital version. Make Your Images UniqueA common misunderstanding Brenda has seen among authors is choosing a photograph for their book cover, purchasing the rights to use it, and thinking they will have exclusive rights to that photo. But that's not always the case – often, those rights are limited, or may have been used previously by other authors or marketers.If you use the same photo as another author – especially if that other book happens to be in the same genre or niche as yours – your book will not stand out. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to avoid this problem when you find an image you love. Do an image search: This is quick and easy, and will show you where the image has already been used. Manipulate the image into something new: Don't just use the image as it is – combine it with other images, or find some other way to make it unique to your book cover. Branding is important. If you're using the same image that other people are using, in the same way they're using it, people won't be able to easily distinguish you and your message from all the other authors and messages out there. The Success Process WorkshopBrenda has seen firsthand the importance of effective branding, so in addition to coaching for authors that covers the writing process all the way through publishing and distribution, she and her team also offer branding consulting to walk people through creating brand guides, business plans, and more. Because finding purpose and your God-given message is only one part of the equation: you have to take that message and communicate it in a way that makes people want to listen.Brenda is also gearing up for a Success Process workshop on June 11, 2022, which she hopes to offer again in the future. The workshop will walk people through evaluating and setting goals, and then creating deadlines and expectations to keep them on track every single day. “What I love about this process is that you wake up every single day, and know exactly what you need to do for the day,” Brenda explains. “There's no guesswork, there are no more decisions to be made. There's no more, ‘Should I write today? Should I not write today?' It's on your calendar: you have to write X amount of words today if you're going to make that goal that you set for yourself. And because that goal is set on the foundation that you have laid out, you know you're more likely to actually follow through with it. Because it means that much more to you, because it's aligned with your core components.” Brenda is excited to offer this workshop, because she's truly passionate about the subject. “I'm a natural integrator,” she says. “That's one of my grace-given gifts. And so seeing a big picture and then breaking it down into tangible, bite-sized little steps and processes is what I do. I love helping people create a process to their goal.”Nothing New Under the SunLet's be real: the author journey is challenging, and there are much easier ways to make a living. But if God has called you to write, He has called you to it for a reason. But as you work through finding purpose and putting your message out into the world, there are going to be days when you are tempted to get in your own way, either through creative avoidance or through falling into common publishing and marketing mistakes. No matter where you are in your writing and publishing journey, Brenda's advice to you is to remember that, as Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” With that in mind, Brenda passes on two pieces of advice given to by a friend in publishing. The first is that “It's not your book – it's God's book. He called you to write this book, so get on with it already.” The second piece of advice is to give your book a 10-year lifespan. “There's a journey,” she explains. “There's a reason why you're writing it. And so look at that long-term plan, instead of just looking at the short-term plan. Because when you look at the short-term, you may be disappointed.” Once the excitement and busyness of the book launch wears off, it's easy to fall into thinking that it's all over, and to lose direction. But having a long-term plan for 10 years down the road will keep you moving forward. BIO:Brenda is a truth-teller and an open book. She's had over 40 jobs and has been working since she was twelve. She's never been fired, and is not ashamed of her work history. Brenda always worked her way up, out, and onto the next adventure. Many see this as risky and call her fearless. She would tell you that fear was always a factor, she just chose faith instead.After being told she was a nobody by a publisher, Brenda struggled with her identity as a writer. Not one to give up, she pursued her dream and released her first book Save the Butter Tubs!: Discover Your Worth in a Disposable World. She believes knowing your worth changes everything. Brenda was hired by her publishing agency immediately after her book was released, and she went on to become the president of the company. An entrepreneur at heart, once again she left on top, and now uses her experience to serve individuals and small businesses around the world.As a purpose, process, and publishing consultant, she helps individuals and small businesses identify their purpose, simplify their process, and publish their messages. Her passion is awakening the grace-given gifts in others and simplifying systems to amplify JOY in your business and life pursuits.Her core philosophy on work and life is: “Knowing your worth changes everything.”Brenda and her hubs (as she lovingly refers to him on social media), Darren, are both military veterans. They enjoy hiking and chasing waterfalls across the United States and live in Texas with their beautifully blended family and their loyal Jack Russell, Maggie. GET CONNECTED: Website: BrendaHaire.comInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/BrendaAHaire/Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrendaHaireFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaAHaire
Ecclesiastes teaches us that life is vapor and offers wisdom on how to live life well while recognizing life is brief and mostly out of our control. The wisdom this book offers is that life is a gift, from God, and our best approach is to receive life as a gift.
In this sermon, Prophet Christopher Yaw Annor continues his series on Obedience - this time focusing on the blessings we can receive when we walk in obedience to God. Scriptures used: Deuteronomy 28:2, Deuteronomy 32:46-47, Job 36:11, Ecclesiastes 5:19, Ecclesiastes 6:2, Jeremiah 38:20, and John 2:8. May you be empowered by the Spirit of God through this word. Share this podcast with your family and friends. Have questions? Send us an email via email@example.com and we will be glad to assist you. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/prophetannor/message
It's not just the contradictions in the Hebrew Bible that puzzle and provoke readers—there are, throughout, passages of intense emotional or moral provocation. See, for instance, Ecclesiastes, which in the King James translation begins: Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. Ecclesiastes challenges familiar notions of what life is about, notions of meaning or usefulness. You have to respond to something like that. You have to think of your own answer to the book that declares: "There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after." Poetry often poses such challenges that can't be easily explained or resolved, but in return, these challenges might activate the mind. The poet and critic Elisa Gabbert says, "When I'm reading or when I'm writing, I'm just thinking better than I am at any other time." The Hebrew Bible prompts you to figure things out on your own, with particular attention to language. As Peter Cole says: "At the very heart of this text, what do you have? You've got this ultimate transparency and ultimate opacity, which is the name of God, the four-letter name of God, which is unpronounceable, and no one really knows what it means." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Whole Duty of a Man is to Keep Gods Laws: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13KJV We will be “Blessed” when we keep Gods Laws: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:” Deuteronomy28:1KJV Support by donating at: https://leodunson.com/donate/You can also donate by using Cash App $LeoDunson For Exclusive Content, Early Access and Unreleased videos subscribe at: https://ministries.leodunson.com/ Contact Leo Dunson at: https://www.facebook.com/LeoDunsonjr https://www.tiktok.com/@leodunsonPhone Number: 702-460-9958 (Please text first) #GodsLaw #BibleStudy #LeoDunson
Do you feel like you are working Hard and putting in time and seeing no results? Here is the Remedy Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 New King James Version 18 Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. 19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:18 — The New King James Version (NKJV) 18 Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/therealephriampodcastshow/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/therealephriampodcastshow/support
Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1232/29
In the midst of life that will have many sorrows and many things that are unfair, God commends to His people to enjoy life, as they remember Him in all they do.
This Mother's Day, TGC started a new series on the book of Ecclesiastes. At first glance, it's a challenging book. Much of the Bible puts God in the foreground and problems are pushed back. But Ecclesiastes pushes God to the background and our problems are brought front and center. Yet, there are very important lessons to be learned from this book of wisdom. Life is brief. Life is broke. However, life is beautiful. And Ecclesiastes teaches us how to live life under the sun. Life is worth living.
The longer you live and the longer you work at something, the more often you find yourself asking, “Is this worth it? What's the point?” If you've ever asked that question, join us as we continue walking through the unconventional wisdom of Ecclesiastes. It'll be worth it. Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4888545822.05.08
One of the main ways we seek meaning is our work. We were created with work in mind. But when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, not only was human work toilsome, human work became idolatrous. Instead of work being a vital aspect of God-honoring worship, humans began to worship their work. And that continues today! The reason we feel so deeply the meaninglessness of our work at times is precisely because we were made for meaningful work. The reason we often feel the fruitlessness of our striving is because we were made to be fruitful. The reason we feel daily the pain of our toil acutely is because we have a deep God-given impulse to purposefully create, cultivate and contribute to human flourishing. Like so many mirages of meaning we may chase, our work, paid or not paid will eventually let us down.Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4888546222.05.08
We know that our labor is not in vain because there is life beyond the sun. Because God has called a people unto himself from all peoples of the earth to establish the work of their hands no matter where they are or what they do. When our perspective and time horizon changes regarding our work, we are able to see that God is at work in and through our work. We are able to see that our work is not incidental, but rather it is integral to God's work of restoring all things. How do we know that our labor is not in vain? Because of the promise of God in Isaiah 65 that is echoed throughout the entire biblical storyline and reverberates in and through our lives today.Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4888546422.05.08
Happy Mother's Day 2022! I want to throw some confetti for all the women in the house today! I love confetti! When I think of confetti, I think of JOY, CELEBRATION, HAPPINESS! The definition of Confetti Small bits of paper, usually colored, thrown or dropped from a height to enhance the Joy and happiness of a festive event, as a parade, wedding, or New Year's Eve party. We immediately think of confetti in terms of celebration - we are celebrating something wonderful in our life! But do you know what confetti is? paper - shredded paper! Not even a full sheet of paper! It is torn from a full sheet of discarded paper…. Paper that has been recycled, re-purposed I heard a lady named Maghon Taylor on a podcast share about her small business… She owns a company called “All she Wrote Notes” and She is a hand letterer or does calligraphy as a profession - her company has partnered with national retailers such as Neiman Marcus, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie and Swoozies This is what she said…. I mess up writing all day - misspell something….. a letter or word and it doesn't look beautiful I started turning all of my mistakes into confetti….. I take the scrap paper and I run it through the shredder and it makes the most beautiful confetti that you have ever seen Then she said this…. You can turn your mess, your mistakes and the hard parts of your life into confetti - If you look at confetti, that is what it is - it is the scrap paper - the cast away - it is trash - It is just re-packaged - and now it has a really cool job and living a beautiful life Can you relate? Look at these beautiful bright colors - and maybe you are sitting here thinking BRIGHT COLORS, JOY, CELEBRATION, HAPPINESS - those are words that do NOT describe my life - I want to propose to you because Satan has tried to take, to steal, to rob the very color out of your life - the joy out of your life but before this message is over, my prayer is that you will leave with new perspective that your brokenness is your very joy! Ecclesiastes 3:11 Amplified Bible 11 He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. A song that I love called: YOU MAKE BEAUTIFUL THINGS The lyrics say this: All this pain I wonder if I'll ever find my way I wonder if my life could really change, at all All this earth Could all that is lost ever be found? Could a garden come out from this ground, at all? You make beautiful things You make beautiful things out of the dust Genesis 2:7 Amplified Bible 7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being I think confetti represents who God is and the Gospel message - We were made for beauty - we long for beauty - another word for profound beauty is the glory of God! Romans 3:23 says that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God we really screwed this whole thing up and He sent His one and only son to rescue us! Turn to your neighbor and say - “sinner? Me too” Sin shatters beauty - sin eradicates the glory of God! I am not sure how you view the Bible, but I see it as a biography of really screwed up, messed up people - like when I want to use an example… it is impossible for me to pick one when there are so many…. So I figured one of the reasons you come to church is to increase your Bible knowledge so get ready for a quick course in Theology 101 - are you ready? Here are a few Mess ups of the Bible: The Apostle Paul - used to be called Saul…. a ruthlessly intent on stopping the growth of Christianity at any cost by putting them in prison, destroying churches and even overseeing their murders. That is until God revealed Himself to Saul on the road to Damascus and his life would forever be changed and transformed Tamar - left her family at a young age to marry into the family of Judah. In these times, a woman's value was determined by her offspring, but she was unable to conceive with her first husband so she married his brother - he refused to conceive with Tamar so Tamar then married a third brother and was still unable to conceive. Faced with fear of being childless and destitute, she set out for justice. Dressed as a prostitute, she coerced her father-in-law, Judah, to have sex with her and she bore twin sons. One of the sons was the ancestor of King David - a direct lineage to Christ. Simon Peter - he denied even knowing Jesus not just one time but 3 times - let alone being a disciple who shared the last Supper with Jesus…. Jesus forgave Peter and reaffirmed his faith and Peter continued to share the Good News until his death Jonah - God told him to go to Nineveh and preach repentance and Jonah told God NO and ran away - while finding himself in the belly of a large fish, he repented and begged God to save him. The Lord listened and he went on to Nineveh to spread God's message to the Ninevites - they repented and God Did not destroy them Adam, the first man, was a blame shifter who couldn't resist peer pressure Eve, the first woman, couldn't control her appetite Cain, the first born human being, murdered his brother Noah, the last righteous man on earth at the time, was a drunk who slept in the nude Abraham, the forefather of faith, let other men walk off with his wife on 2 different occasions Sarah, the most gorgeous woman by popular opinion, let her husband sleep with another woman and then hated her for it. Lot, who lost his father early in life, had a serious problem with choosing the wrong company Job, supposedly a contemporary of Abraham and the epitome of faith, suffered from the nagging of a faithless wife Isaac - who was nearly killed by his father, talked to his wife into concealing their marriage Rebekah - the first “mail order bride” turned out to be a rather manipulative wife Jacob - who out wrestled God, was pretty much a pathological deceiver Rachel - who wrote the book on love at first sight, was a nomadic kleptomaniac Reuben, the pride and firstborn of Jacob, was a pervert who slept with his father's concubine Moses, the humblest man on the face of the earth had a very serious problem with his temper Aaron - who watched Jehovah triumph over Pharaoh, formed an abominable idol during an apparent episode of attention deficit disorder or perhaps colossal amnesia Miriam - the songwriter, had sibling jealousy and a greed for power Samson, who put Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura to shame, was hopelessly enmeshed with a disloyal wife—and ended up taking his own life. (Judges 16) Eli, who ruled over Israel, was a hopelessly incapable father who lost his sons to immorality—and to an untimely death. (1 Samuel 2, 4) Saul, the first and powerful king of Israel, was apparently a psychotic with manic bursts of anger, episodes of deep depression and traces of paranoia, too. He committed suicide. (1 Samuel 16, 18, 19, 31) David, the friend of God, concealed his adultery with a murder. (2 Samuel 11) Solomon, the wisest man in the world, was arguably the world's greatest sex addict with 1,000 sexual partners. (1 Kings 11) Hosea, an incredibly forgiving man, grappled with the pain of a wife who could be described as a nymphomaniac. The prophets, even as they spoke for God, struggled with impurity, depression, unfaithful spouses and broken families. So, what Is your story? I think you are sitting in good company but maybe Embarrassment, shame, insecurity, sorrow have you in a prison My life story is trauma, brokenness, abuse, hurt, deep pain... you can't see that anymore because He has redeemed it! We were made for beauty Sin eradicates beauty BUT [(Beauty + sin) + the gospel] = confetti Psalm 103:9-18 The Message (MSG) 6-18 God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet. He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. He has turned all of my brokenness into an unshakable confidence that I know to whom I belong which defines who I am! YOU ARE not a mess anymore, YOU ARE confetti! God has a plan for you that is far greater than you can imagine Oh you could just keep going on like you have been - feeling like a fraud, hiding But…. You were not made to live small or depressed or oppressed or anxious - you were made to be confetti! You are broken AND he wants to redeem your beauty How do you find the confetti popper that is living on the very inside of you? You need to know who you are! Who is creating your Identity? Other people? Yourself? Your circumstances? Your feelings? OR THE WORD OF GOD? Is the confetti popper on the inside of you OR are you chasing an external confetti popper? You are IMAGO DEI which means that YOU are made in the image of God YOU ARE Loved - DEEPLY AND UNCONDITIONAL Known - YOUR HAIRS HAVE BEEN COUNTED Chosen - YOU ARE HERE TODAY! Seen - HE SEES YOU - HAVE YOU FELT HIM TODAY - because HE has HIS EYE on you! Accepted - NOTHING CAN SEPARATE YOU FROM THE LOVE OF GOD The confetti popper is in your hand - you control it…. I can't make you pull the trigger - I can't tell you to put your pain, your mistakes, your secrets through the paper shredder and allow the love of God, the Grace of God to heal it all - I can't do it for you! Today you are going to have to muster up your own courage to trust God, to surrender to His Will and plan! You were made to Bear the Image of God - you are an Image Bearer! PLEASE STAND TO YOUR FEET As you leave here today, you are going to receive a confetti package….. This is yours to keep - I pray that today, this week, this month…. You will begin to think about your life - you will hear the words of your savior speak to you and say - Jeremiah 1:5 5 I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. Psalm 139:16 Christian Standard Bible 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began. Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Let me tell you about my confetti package and what I do with it…. I pour it over my head and let it drip all the way to my toes - because I am not supposed to standing here today - the enemy put a bullseye on my life as a child and did everything he could to take me out - I should be shredded discarded pieces of papers that amount to nothing but trash….. But there is a song that I love to sing that causes my internal confetti popper to go off that says…. I've got a river of life flowing out of me! Makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see. Opens prison doors, sets the captives free! I've got a river of life flowing out of me! Or Isaiah 61 says it like this: (This will be my ending prayer - I will pray Scripture over them) 61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. That is another way of saying confetti! 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
A life-changing Easter message filled with truth and a call to walk with Jesus. Key Bible verses: John 4; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Galatians 2:20 The post Eternity is in Our Hearts appeared first on St. Louis Family Church - Pastor Jeff Perry.