Presentation on theme: "Looking ahead to ‘40 days of blessing’"— Presentation transcript:
1Looking ahead to ‘40 days of blessing’ Preparing to walk a 40 day journey as a community
2A natural step towards renewal IntentionalFocusedRenewalA natural step towards renewal
3the blessing equation part one: His blessing is written into every human heartWe live in a culture that tells us: we decide who we are, any success we may have is a result of our own efforts, our accomplishments belong to us. You need confidence in yourself, you need to know what you want, and my life starts with ‘me’ and ends with ‘me’.Everything starts from God. It is because of Him we have life.It is a completely different perspective on life. If we discover this reality it can mean we have the biggest backing out there. The biggest sponsor and back office team there is. But it means not putting ‘me’ first. So there is an equation here.For an equation to make sense it has to balance.For many of you this will be a review.You understand the value of God’s blessing. But you cannot build a structure without the foundation. And this isfoundational. I think it's good periodically that we sit back and remind ourselves what a gooddeal we got when we received the God’s grace, and blessing.With out that awareness, I easily slip back into complaining, seeing the glass as half empty and limiting my life.Last night talking with Geros on skype I had to change my perspective. I need to say thank you to God more often.
4Finding a new and true perspective... We live in a city that tells us:“my life starts and ends with me.”But what if...1.Everything started from God.2.We had life because of Him.3. Everything functioned according to His law.We would have to put ‘me’ second. Could that make you happier?The essence of blessing is finding the right perspective: tuning into God’s perspective of love.Finding a new and true perspective...
5God is a parentAn expression of God’s love for you3 blessings that God gave mankind:Be fruitful,multiply, andhave dominionAbraham’s blessing from God was based on his faithful attitude. (Genesis 14:22, Romans 4:18-24)parents give life to their children, they are separate beings and yet they are an expression of the parents love and so they are willing to give everything to them. They want them to be happy.In the divine principle we call these the three blessings. To become like God, to create his family and to take ownership over the natural world. (and God gave them a direction, guidance, a commandment to follow.)It was unconditional, and potentially limitless, but it was not automatic. God requires our response. We have to come forward to receive it. And we have to do that constantly. That is where we are challenged. Cosmic blessing was just opening the door.Everybody knows the story about how God made a big promise to Abraham, but how many know the back ground to it?21Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.”22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord, God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, 23that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.Romans 4:18-2418Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."[a] 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—It is about our relationship with God.He's saying that you don't get God's grace, that's His power and ability to do the right thing tomake it in life, to be sustained, to become what God meant for you to be in the first place -- youdon't get grace through religion. You don't get grace through ritual, not even baptism orcommunion. You don't get grace through rules. You don't get grace through religion, rules,regulations.But you do get grace through a relationship.And you think God is some unpleasable parent up there in the sky with a clipboardand pen watching your every move -- "That was good... that was bad" -- and you think you haveto earn God's approval. You think if you do a certain number of good works God's going to say,"Good girl... good guy! You got it." And if you don't do those things, God says, "Forget it!You're worthless." You're saved by grace but you're actually living by works.Q. What is God’s blessing? A. It is unconditional, potentially limitless, but not automatic.
6God designed you to be blessed God wants to bless every detail of your life:When you wake your children, when you help them with their clothes, when you pick up the phone, turn on the computer, get in the car, breath, sleep, run, walk, talk, and also when you get married:Blessing is an attitude: a way of understanding and feeling what God’s love is.When u pick up your children out of bed, when you help them on with their clothes. When you relate to your spouse. When you put food in your mouth, when you pick up the phone, when you turn on the computer, when u get in the car, when u breath, when u run, when u walk.The essence of blessing is finding the right perspective, to tune into God’s perspective of love.You live in a big, busy, largely secular city. We believe we have no time, we are over run, we have too many commitments. The only way to solve this problem is by stopping. Taking time out from pursuing all the tangible goals and giving time to just be with God. That is what we are aiming to do here right now as a community.You need to do that as a family also, as a couple, as an individual too. ...then u can start to run again, but it’s okay cuz you are running with God.1924 Olympics – Paris Liddell sees running as a way of glorifying God before travelling to China to work as a missionary. He represents Scotland against Ireland in a race, and preaches a sermon on "Life as a race" afterwardsEric Lidell: "I believe that God made me for a purpose ... [the mission], but He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.“Isaiah 40, verse 31: 'But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and be not weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'God designed you to be blessed
7In a big, busy, largely secular city we believe we have no time, we are over run, too many commitments.The only way to solve this problem is by stopping:Take time out from all the tangibles in order to be with God.“they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength...they shall run, and be not weary” Isaiah 40, verse 31
8Grace is God’s blessing for a broken world: Q. Why is God’s blessing so often hidden out of sight?A. Satan’s long term strategy to put ‘me’ first.God’s heart of forgiveness is for all:The Prodigal Son and the father who sees him coming home from a distance.There are countless gracious acts performed daily by people all over the world.When we look at the root of why things are so complicated, why there is so much suffering in this world when there is a God who wants to bless us, we discover Lucifer’s determination to steal God’s blessing. He did not want to take it one time just to experience it, he wanted to take it for ever. He did not want a one night stand, he wanted an ongoing relationship with us. He wanted to prevent us as God’s children ever reconnecting to God.And so he wants to commit many sins, and to keep on sinning. That way he can be sure we will not reconnect to God.That is why the things God asks of us are also not one of requests. When we talk about Cheon Song, making conditions of prayer, of tithing, these are not things to do once and then kick back. These are things we do regularly to remind oursleves so that every other hour of our day, every other day of our week, and every year of our short life here can be a process to reconnect to God, to come into His realm of blessing.God is gracious. We should be gracious with others.Tiger woods: we shd be gracious to him, he is reminding us of how frail we are.He had values, he wouldnt have got to where he did if he was spineless. He has everything that could qualify for the three blessings that God promised us. Satan is an expert at hiding from us what is really valuable.Now despite all the blessings he has he desperately needs grace.Thank God for the little you have, and He will give you more.Grace is God’s blessing for a broken world:
9greater maturity = greater blessing Greater spiritual maturity results in greater trust from God.Greater trust from God results in deeper love in your life.Blessing is about a personal relationship.His blessing is limitless, but how to access it, how to make it flowLiving a life of blessing, it is not in the name, but in the life style.It is about a relationship. (it is not your religion, the fact that you believe you do a lot of good things,Any relationship needs a certain level of investment to work. It needs to go from your belief into action. That is why we have tradition to help us. To remind us, to give us a framework. When u go into any institution there is path there laid out for you to follow. U cannot just ignore it. The church is God’s institution, the family is god’s institution, the community is god’s institution. U cannot ignore it.greater maturity = greater blessingThe blessing equation
10Let’s pray:Thank you, Heavenly Father for your grace and blessing.We want to express our thanks through our faith and our actions.Saying ‘thank you’ to God: the first small step towards a personal relationship...
11The blessing equation. Part 2 Behaviours that bring blessingGod’s blessing is written into every human heart. In order to access it we need to fulfil our part in the blessing equation. It is not automatic, but requires our response. It is through a personal relationship that God can bless us. Everything else: all the ceremonies, the donations, the traditions, are there to give that relationship a form, to also remind us of how to relate to God and think of God first before our self. But it is the relationship that is the well spring of God’s blessing.We need to stop and wait on God, not always make God wait for us.Isaiah 40, verse 31: practice 'But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and be not weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'Satan hides God’s blessing away from us by persuading us to put ‘me’ first, to break God’s laws, and by preventing us from reconnecting to God through a personal relationship.In part 2 this Sunday, we will look at how we can recognise and practice the behaviours that bring blessing to our family and community, how God has been trying to teach us these things for a loooong time. How we can go beyond being ‘blessed’ in name and move towards feeling blessed in our every day life.…go beyond being ‘blessed’ in name and move towards feeling blessed in your every day experience…
12Being aware of giving blessing to others: When we:encourage, pray, give constructive constructive feedback, forgive, bring new ideas, when we are patient, serve, smile, trust, understand, know :...we bring God’sblessing to each other.When we encourage each other we are blessing others, when we pray for each other, when we provide each other with constructive feedback, when we bring new ideas, when we are patient, when we serve, when we smile, when we trust each other, understand each other, know each other: these are the ways God is using to give his blessing to us.How can we be a blessed community not just in name but blessed in our daily life, constantly, consistently, limitlessly: by making a commitment to do some of the things in the list above.DID you experience any of these behaviours in your community this week? Are you not worthy enough to give these things?"Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the winewill run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins,and both are preserved." Matthew 9:17 (NIV)Being aware of giving blessing to others:
13The Beatitudes: How to live in the kingdom of heaven. 1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”3 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”57. Sermon on the Mount – The BeatitudesObjectivesTo become familiar with the sermon on the mountTo understand some of itTo want to live up to itTeaching pointsSermon on the Mount was Jesus’ teaching about how to live in the kingdom of heaven.“Blessed are” can also be translated as “happy are”. I guess the overall idea is that a perfect person should be filled with joy whatever the situation.1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”The poor in spirit are those who realise that they don’t know much – they are not puffed up with pride and arrogance thinking that they know it all or don’t need anything least of all God. On the contrary they are deeply aware of their need of God. They are like children: eager to learn and filled with joy. “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 18:3-4 Children are happy and blessed.2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”These are people who are really sorry for the sins of the world. They feel sad when another person is hurt: they care about others and the suffering of the world. They feel God’s heart and so they will be comforted by God which will make them happy.3 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”A meek person is someone who conscientiously fulfils his responsibility: he does his job/fulfils his duty and doesn’t go around criticising others and telling them how to do their job. Because he is responsible and doesn’t try to put others down or grab their jobs/responsibilities he is well liked and promoted because no one feels threatened by him. He isn’t ambitious in the sense of wanting power for himself. This is why he can be trusted not to misuse his position and this is why he will inherit the earth. He is happy because he enjoys what he is doing and doesn’t wish he was doing something more. Father was like this in his attitude in Hung Nam: he once said that when he was working there he worked as if that was what he was born to do: that is why he won awards. He didn’t try to escape or shirk his duty.4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”These are people who long to know God and do his will. They always play fair and stand up for fairness. Because they are so determined and never give up they will move the conscience of people and thus their desire for justice will be realised so they will be happy. Instead of complaining and criticising from the sidelines they actively get involved to change things, to make a difference. They enjoy this activity and are happy.5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”Just like those who forgive others will be forgiven. Merciful people don’t get angry and accuse others when they make a mistake. Instead they always make allowances for others and are eager to give them another chance. They expect the best of others and won’t be the first to ‘cast a stone.’ They help others in their need. Because this is the way they think they are of a happy disposition and others will be merciful to them.6. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”A person with a pure heart is not cynical or always looking for ulterior motives in everything. They are sincere – “without wax.” Where others might just see coincidence or they can see the hand of God. So when they see the Christ they are able to recognise him as the Christ whereas others will see him as a businessman, charlatan, or whatever. Being pure hearted they don’t do things with an ulterior motivation or try to manipulate others. So they are filled with a spontaneous joy seeing God in everyone and the good in everything.7. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”Children fighting and arguing make parents unhappy. A child that understands parent’s heart and tries to bring peace and reconciliation makes parents happy. They help enemies to be friends. The Messiah is called the “Prince of Peace.” (Is. 9:8)8. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”These are people who stand up for what is true and right. As a result they might be mocked, made fun of and persecuted. But they have clear conscience.9. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”The first person to enter paradise was a thief – the thief who stood up for Jesus when he was being crucified. So despite being a criminal he received a great reward because he defended Jesus. From God’s point of view defending Jesus more than wiped out any other crime. In the UC there are a lot of dodgy characters among the early members but Father loves them and overlooks these things because they defended and followed him when the persecution was most intense. Joy of being persecuted – feel God’s spirit very powerfully because much beloved by God.Activities1. Pick one of the beatitudes and try to live it for a week.2. Write a daily journal about how one has tried to keep it.3. Word fill using a sheet with the beatitudes.The Beatitudes: How to live in the kingdom of heaven.
14What is the greatest tool God gave you to grow? Your conscience:The finest instrument designed for the most subtle job – helping you figure out right from wrong, from moment to moment."Everything - and I do mean everything - connected with that old way of life has to go ... Getrid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life - a God-fashioned life, a life renewedfrom the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces Hischaracter in you." Ephesians 4:22-24 (Message)What motivates you towards the heavenly way? Your conscience.What is conscience? 2nd God, knows what you are doing before God does.Most of us our conscience is not in control. Our emotions rule us. Or other spirits rule us.God gave His children 3 blessings in a clear order. So they will always work and develop according to the order in which God gave them.I am going to become v rich and successful and gain power and dominion over a certain field of business, then I am going to find my eternal spouse and build a family, then I am going to really work on becoming a mature and loving person.???There is a natural order and when we follow it God carries us along, like the tide of a river.What is the greatest tool God gave you to grow?
15knows. “Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, June13, 2006, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and be not weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.‘Isaiah 40, verse 31:“God has given you a conscience as your guide. ....It has complete knowledge of every action and step you take; it even knows your thoughts. Your conscience knows all these things about you before your teacher or pastor knows. It knows them before your parents know. It knows them even better than God.knows. “Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, June13, 2006,“God has given you a conscience as your guide. ....It has complete knowledge of every action and step you take; iteven knows your thoughts. Your conscience knows all these things about you before your teacheror pastor knows. It knows them before your parents know. It knows them even better than Godknows. “Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, June13, 2006,If you practice such true love in your daily life, how can God do anything but bestow greatblessings upon you? You will live for all eternity in blessing and happiness.True LoveThen what is true love? Its essence is to give, to live for the sake of others and for the sake of the whole. True love gives, forgets that it has given, and continues to give without ceasing. True love gives joyfully. We find it in the joyful and loving heart of a mother who cradles her baby in her arms and nurses it at her breast. True love is sacrificial love, as with a filial son who gains his greatest satisfaction in helping his parents.When we are bound together in true love, we can be together forever, continually rejoicing in each other’s company. The attraction of true love brings all things in the universe to our feet; even God will come to dwell with us. Nothing can compare to the value of true love. It has the power to dissipate the barriers fallen human beings created, including national boundaries and the barriers of race and even religion.The main attributes of God’s true love are that it is absolute, unique, unchanging and eternal, so whoever practices true love will live with God, share His happiness, and enjoy the right to participate as an equal in His work. Therefore, a life lived for the sake of others, a life of true love, is the absolute prerequisite for entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
16How to share God’s blessings The blessing equation: part 3Summary of last two weeks:2 weeks ago: what is God’s blessing? Unconditional, potentially limitless, but not automaticEssence of blessing: finding right perspective: tuning into God’s out look on love, that means putting God1stBeing blessed is not about following religion, but about being IN a personal relationship with God.(saying thank you is a first small step)As any relationship requires time and effort. And as we seek greater spiritual maturity God is able to trust us more and His blessings flow in out life natually.Last week: behaviours that bring blessing (when u think of others more).Being blessed also means experiencing deep happiness because you walking the path that God has guided you to take.When we understand the standard or type of behaviour we should emulate then our conscience is a tool God gave us to teach us to constantly review our behaviour.Sharing God’s blessing: when we are unable to share God’s blessing it means we are not really aware of the fact that we are blessed, and we are not able to understand why we have the the things that God gave us.It is as if we are in fact not blessed.Sharing God’s blessings with others is a v natural process when we are clear about the purpose of all the good things in our life.Core Message: to share God’s blessing your UNIQUE heart has to be free and unblocked, because God’s blessing comes from the heart.Many of us here would like to share our faith with others more. But we are blocked by something.When I do what God shaped me to do, two things happen – I enjoy it, and I’m good at it. Never bury your dreams!
17Your heart beat is unique. Find out what God designed you for.Passionate people get things done.God has placed specific dreams and ambitions in your heart.You can only give to others when you know what you have to give. Find out what God gave you in your life, what he put in your heart.Your heart affects everything you say, it affects everything you do. It affects everything you feel. Your heart is different than everybody else’s heartbeat.This is true not just emotionally, it’s true physically. Did you know that your heartbeat is slightly different than everybody else’s heartbeat in the world? Just like you have a thumbprint and an eyeprint and a voiceprint and a footprint that’s unique, you also have a unique heartbeat. It’s slightly different than everybody else’s.When I do what God shaped me to do, two things happen – I enjoy it, and I’m good at it. These are two things that help you determine your heart, what kind of heart God gave you. The first evidence is you enjoy it. You get pleasure in the things that God wired you to enjoy to do. You get enjoyment. You get satisfaction.We were all made to shine. But as life goes on, you tend to get a little dimmer. You don’t stay as bright as God intended for you to be. What do I mean by that? Every person: God has put certain passions in your heart. Certain desires, certain dreams, certain ambitions, certain interests. We all are different in these ways. The problem is this: Most people have never ever really acted on or fulfilled or attempted or developed or utilized their God given passions, their interests, their dreams. In fact, we bury our dreams. God doesn’t want that. You can never really bring blessing to others if you are hiding from who you are meant to be.We were all made to shineYour heart beat is unique.
18Unlock your heart from… DisappointmentFearGuiltBitternessWhat keeps you from following your heart?1. The number one heart stopper is Disappointment.When you’ve been hurt, you tend to pull back into a shell and say, “I’m never going to let anybody else hurt me.” You give up on your dreams. You give up on your ambitions. You give up on your interests, on your passions. You pull back into a protective mode that says, “Don’t get hurt is the number one goal of life.” It says in Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred [that means a dream, an ambition, a desire deferred] makes the heart sick.” If at first you don’t succeed… welcome to the human race. You’re normal. Almost nobody succeeds on the first try. But we often give up. When we allow disappointment to come into our lives, it stops our heart.Fear is the second heart stopper. It keeps you from being what God wants you to be. It’s another self-imposed prison. Jesus told a story about this. He called it the parable of the talentsThis is a big one. You cannot be guilty and go after your dream at the same time. Why? Because guilt take enormous amounts of energy. It’s like carrying a big sack of garbage on your back all the time.Friend, God never intended for you to walk around with a bunch of guilt and regrets. That’s what Jesus Christ came to do, to forgive it all.Bitterness will eat you alive. It’s worse that cancer. It is the worst heart disease you can have. Bitterness. When you become resentful, and you’re always thinking about how to retaliate and get revenge, and you’re always thinking about that person who hurt you in the past, it keeps you stuck in the past. You can’t get on with the present or the future because you’re so hung up about that person who hurt you. Let it go.Psalms On bitterness it says, “When my heart was bitter, and I was angry, I was senseless.” In other words, you don’t think logically when you’re either guilty or resentful. You think illogically. You do stupid things.On rejection it says, “They cut me down with sharpened tongues. [In other words they were attacking me verbally.] They aim their bitter words like arrows straight at my heart.”Some of you, when you were growing up, had people say things like this to you, either out on the playground or maybe even a parent or relative, “You’re not worth anything… You’re never going to amount to much… You’ll never be a success… You’re not good at [fill in the blank]… You’re uncoordinated… You’re this… You’re that… You’re worthless….” And on and on and on. And you believed them. They were the adult, and you were a kid, and you thought adults were right. They were wrong. They lied to you. They were lying to you at that moment.Unlock your heart from…
19God blessed you to bless others. Recognise that what you have is part of God’s bigger picture.Make sure your passion is not misused.Start to feel what God feels for your abilities.God gave you a heart, and He has placed in you some passions, some desires, some dreams. Those came from God. Some ambitions. God put those in your heart, hardwired it into you to make you you. But – and this is very important – unless they are under His control, they will be misused, they will be abused, they will be misapplied, they will be misdirected, and they will be wasted in your life.God did not give you your heart and interests and passions for your own benefit so you can go, “I’m going to do whatever I want to do. Forget You, God!” No. God gave them for a purpose. Unless you use them for His purpose, they will be misused, wasted, misapplied.All around the world, there are millions and millions of passionate people, talented people, people with interests and dreams and ambitions and passions that are being misused and abused. And it breaks God’s heart. He’s saying, “I didn’t mean it for that!” That’s why in spite of their talent and ability and their heart and their passion and all these things, they are unhappy. Because if it’s not used the way it was intended, it makes you miserable. When your passions are misused, it makes you miserable.When you spend time with God on a daily basis, and you get with Him regularly, and you get plugged in, you can’t help but be passionate. You start to have a heart that God has for other people, for the world. You start to feel the things that God feels. And feel the way He does.You hang out with God, you’re going to be passionate. You’re going to be passionate about life. That’s what a passion is. It’s your heart. Would you like to have more energy in life? More enthusiasm? More get up and go? Let me tell you where to get it.The closer you get to God, the more energy, the more vitality, the more passion you have in life. The further away you get, the more bored and apathetic you become with life. You’ve got to open your heart to Jesus.“I just wish I learned years ago that we serve God out of our design, not out of duty.”God blessed you to bless others.
20Go from recognising to sharing your blessings: Write down:all the things that God has blessed you with.All the ways that you can share it with othersPut that sharing into action!Seeksignificance…rather than status.Go from recognising to sharing your blessings:When you start living your heart, you start following your heart, let me tell you what’s going to happen. You’re going to stop worrying about status, and you’re going to start enjoying significance. When you start following your heart, you’re going to stop competing for position, like climbing the ladder, and you’re going to start enjoying more pleasure because you’re being what God made you to be. And when you start living and following your heart, you’re going to stop obsessing over money, which really isn’t that important. And you’re going to start obtaining meaning. Meaning trumps money every day of the week.I just felt so blessed by God, I wanted to do anything I can to help Him reach more people, for Him to be able to free more people. That is why I am standing here today. Not because I am a good speaker, or because I am a very holy person. I just want to help God do more. I want to encourage people to help God more.Write down all the things that God has blessed you with.Write down all the ways that you can share those blessings with others.Make a plan on how you will actionise that sharing.(give some one a lift in your car…)