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Sermons

Overcoming the spirit of Poverty

I am greatly humbled being given this special opportunity to speak to this audience in Uganda. I am aware that true riches is the riches one finds within. Confidence, faith, hard work, passion, and determination cannot be acquired outwardly. A speaker can only point the way, give instructions, and spark enthusiasm but the work is done by the hearer and Ultimately it is God who enables us. (Phil 2:13)
Since our first visit, we have found Ugandans eager to learn, and very responsive to implement what was learned. Mar 4:20 May every listener be like those from Thessalonica who received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (Acts 17:11)
The best speakers to address these topics are the Ugandans who understood, and applied the truth in their own given capacity having broken through to achieve financial, emotional and spiritual success. But in time I believe that this will become the legacy of this conference and its future occurrences.

I have seen abject poverty in every African nation I have ever been to. The main reason is because they are mainly a consumer society. They are not industrious nor productive. They can buy and sell. They use what the land has to offer without replenish it. It is a Nomad mentality: let the animals eat the grass, let us cut down the trees and burn the wood, until there is nothing left and then we move on to the next place, for Africa has much space, there is plenty elsewhere. The rich mineral deposits in the continent are controlled by foreign powers who keep a few of their connections in power politically in each region assuring the foreign power’s wealth. If a leader crosses them (Gaddafi) they create a war against them to ‘protect the foreign power from dictators and invasions’. This is course is all a cover for procuring wealth from the impoverished nations. Their cohorts, presidents and prime ministers of African countries, are duly enriched and the wealth of the nation never gets to the poor people. So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Until the people cannot take it anymore and then someone leads a revolution to overthrow the government. Then the revolutionary hero takes control and repeats the same pattern of dictatorship in his life time. Thus the agony of Africa continues, ad infinitum.

The only hope is this: reform the church to reform the land. Apostle Andre Pelser

Being poor is not altogether bad or wrong.

Mat 5:3 Blessed are the poor in the spirit – they that know how much they depend on Him For theirs is the Kingdom. It is difficult for the rich to receive the Kingdom because of they are self-efficient

Jam 2:5 Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom

Breaking the Poverty Mindset:

“Looking without” – Parable of the Talents. Mat 25:14-30

Do not chase after profit, profit follows you.

Everything belongs to God first we are merely Stewards of what He entrust to us. (Deut 10:14; Ps 24:1; Ps 95:5)

Will give account (Mat 25:31-46; Rom 14:10-12; 2Cor 5:10)

Someone with a deep intimate prayer life cannot remain poor. (Daniel 6:4, 5, 10)

I read a statement from Bill Gothard this past week that defines contentment: “If I am not satisfied with what I have, I will never be satisfied with what I want.” Being Christians in a materialistic world, we sometimes get caught in the crossfire of conflicting lifestyles. Most of us can repeat the sermons on a simple life but struggle with daily pressures to have what humankind has lived without for centuries. Possessing has never been a problem biblically. It’s being possessed by things that creates the conflict. Bill Johnson “The center of the universe” The simply Life pg 55

“The way we acquired wealth is as important as the outcome”

“What do you have in your house” The story of the prophet and the widow

“Blame shifting, resentment, entitlement, justifying self, destroys faith and hope.

“Change your self-image” Your life is hidden in Christ Col 3:3

Giving to & serving humanity – Apostolic mind set 2Cor 6:10 “as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things”

Change your confession

Pray for Wisdom | Character | Faith

Obedience | Truth | Humility

YOU WILL BECOME POOR IF:

Neglect discipline and correction – Poverty and shame come to him who neglects discipline (Prov. 13:18; 21:5)

Not living a life of purpose – he who follows worthless pursuits will have poverty in plenty (Prov. 28:19);

Talking and not doing – mere talk tends only to poverty (Prov. 14:23);

Wickedness – their abundance, wealth and pre-eminence will not remain (Ezek. 7:11);

Pride – the Lord will cast Tyre’s wealth into the sea (Zech. 9:4);

Spending unwisely – she had spent all that she had and was no better but rather worse (Mark 5:26); when he had spent everything (Luke 15:14)

Laziness – do not love sleep lest you come to poverty (Prov. 20:13; 10:4)

Letting things go – a negligent hand causes poverty (Prov. 10:4)

Wrong priorities – he who loves pleasure will become poor (Prov. 21:17)

Addiction – the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty (Prov. 23:21)

Procrastination (Prov 6:10-11)

Wanting quick wealth (Prov 21:5)

Dreams & fantasies (Prov 28:19)

Pleasure Pr 21:17

Rash promises bring poverty Pr 22:26-27

Rich without being spiritually poor.
The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. (Pr 10:22; 3 John 2

Eph 4:28 puts work in the right perspective. We work not to eat but to be able to give, and being able to give is a blessing in itself. Eccl 5:19

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)

He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Ps 1:3)

“Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Ps 35:27)
God told Abraham: “I will surely make you prosper” Genesis 32:12

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered Genesis 39:2

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper. Deut. 5:33

The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground Deut. 28:11

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

Well, you get the idea. I could go on listing verses. But the message is clear. Faith and diligence bring prosperity. Period.

Categories
Sermons

Learn to love and honor God’s Judgments

Love and honor God’s Judgments

We live in an age where the following statement has never been more accurate and relevant; “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” Judges 21:25 We have more information availible than ever yet people appear to be entirely ignorant of their lifestyle decisions, and it’s consequences. Our alienation from God and Truth has set us onto a course of deep darkness.

The sad truth though is that many Christians and believers are also just as ignorant of their behavior, habits, and incompetence in certain areas. This ignorance became very apparent to us in our recent encounters to Uganda. These are beautiful people, but they are totally ignorant of their incompetence in the workplace. Maybe in some way this is a good thing, for ignorance is bliss. Samuel Lwandasa, who have lived in the USA for more than 15 years relayed a little story to explain the problem with Africans. One man has five cows, he is very proud and feels like a wealthy man, because his neigbor only has two. Not realizing there are people who have more than thousand cows.

Against this backdrop of Earthly reality, I see in the scriptures an incredible hidden truth.

David loved God’s Judgments!

Psalms 18:22 For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me.

Psalms 19:9-10 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalms 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.

David sings a song on God’s Judgments, about how he loves it! Psalms 119:7, 13, 20, 30, 39, 52, 62, 66, 75, 102, 106, 108, 137, 156, 160, 164, 175

Loving Judgements is a difficult concept to comprehend at first; most children writing exams surely cannot agree that they love it! We as adults are not far behind; we’re just happy that we do not have to write them anymore. An interesting read on the subject is the study done by Justin Kruger and David Dunning.

People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities. 1

I also remember a most interesting TED talk, we reviewed in BibleSchool class on Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz. https://youtu.be/QleRgTBMX88 She explained how like the Wolf in the Road Runner animation, we run over the edge believing we can walk on air, to then suddenly realize we’re dead wrong. We all have moments like this, and it is what makes us human. The problem is when decision makers are wrong and want others to believe their error. Not knowing I am wrong, is possible one of our biggest handicaps.

Seek criticism from friends and peers

Elon Musk explains in an interview about Starting up a new business on how important it is to seek Criticism. 2 He calls it “rigorous self-analysis.” Obviously, you should ignore the ignorance of people that do not understand your cause and is just sowing doubt and unbelief. Learn and attract criticism from your friends, invite them to speak into your life. Make yourself vulnerable. Prayerfully extract the gold from every criticism, reproof, rebuke, admonishment, exhortation that comes your way. Say thank you, the person correcting you is taking a significant risk, and a show of courage to point out a possible error.

Peer review analyses: Because it ‘s hard for most professionals to recognize and improve on their weaknesses on their own, aviation has developed structured mechanisms of check questions to a relative peer. Like flight attendants checking each other on door closing procedures, Pilots going through checklists with Co-pilot etc, and flight crew awareness of problems reported to the captain. This system was only introduced after the fatal crash of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 514, a Boeing 727 inbound from Columbus, Ohio, that was scheduled to land at Washington National Airport. The crew had flown a normally functioning Boeing 727 aircraft into a hill at an altitude of 1669 feet, just short of the hill’s peak of 1764 feet. The 85 passengers and seven crew members died in a horrific fiery crash 29 miles northwest of Dulles International Airport. Human error and Pilot’s misunderstanding each other was the cause of this accident.

How many people have suffered terrible harm because of the absence of correction in the offender’s life?

Elite athletes, musicians, and other top performers understand that excellence occurs through extensive study and practice, with constant feedback, and by adopting techniques and tools that have led to others’ success. For elite performers, this extends well beyond the formal training period. (An entire scientific discipline is devoted to this topic, as detailed by Ericsson 34.)

 Maybe this is why Weigh-less is so successful in helping people loose weight, the weekly weigh-ins.  The AA has sponsors.  Covenant eyes provide a accountability software program for Internet Porn Addicts, where you share your online traffic with a partner.

Take regular tests, to evaluate your ability, performance, and development.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified 2 Corinthians 13:5. Doing inward self-analysis is fruitless and futile. Paul says that he does not even judge himself. 1 Corinthians 4:3. Judgment has to be external. Our own hearts are too deceptive. Jeremiah 17:9.

The Word and the Spirit is the perfect Judge

Jesus learned His judgment from the Father. Do not trust your own judgment, seek His judgment. John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 8:15-16 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

The more we Study the Word, the better we can judge. The Word is a discerner. Hebrews 4:12. Like not judging a matter by the first testimony, cross-examine and then make a conclusion. Proverbs 18:17.

David made several prayer requests to God to search Him, test Him and examine him. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, Ps 139:23

The judgment of the Father

In recent times so many worship songs focus on loving God, and His amazing enduring love for us. Although this is important, yet the context of our relationship is always explained in terms of that of a disciple, a bond-slave, a child, a friend. Even our love is contextualized: if you love me you will obey my commandments. John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

We do not fear His judgment because of His perfect love. 1 John 4:17-19 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. Love is made perfect through obedience. Hebrews 5:8.

Having God as our Father, does not only mean we are now protected, He will take care of everything. It means He will correct us, chastise, and rebuke us if nessasary.

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Hebrews 12:5-7

See Prov 15:31-32 Today’s scripture reading…

  1. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments” Justin Kruger and David Dunning Cornell University  ↩︎
  2. Elon Musk https://youtu.be/NU7W7qe2R0A “Constantly seek criticism” 11minutes into video 
  3. Ericsson KA. The influence of experience and deliberate practice on the development of superior expert performance. In: , Ericsson KA. ed. The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance. New YorkNew York: Cambridge University Press, 2006; 683–704. CrossRef
Categories
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Learn to love and honor God's Judgments

Love and honor God’s Judgments

We live in an age where the following statement has never been more accurate and relevant; “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” Judges 21:25 We have more information available than ever yet people appear to be entirely ignorant of their lifestyle decisions, and it’s consequences. Our alienation from God and Truth has set us onto a course of deep darkness.
The sad truth though is that many Christians and believers are also just as ignorant of their behavior, habits, and incompetence in certain areas. This ignorance became very apparent to us in our recent encounters to Uganda. These are beautiful people, but they are totally ignorant of their incompetence in the workplace. Maybe in some way this is a good thing, for ignorance is bliss. Samuel Lwandasa, who have lived in the USA for more than 15 years relayed a little story to explain the problem with Africans. One man has five cows, he is very proud and feels like a wealthy man, because his neigbor only has two. Not realizing there are people who have more than thousand cows.
Against this backdrop of Earthly reality, I see in the scriptures an incredible hidden truth.
David loved God’s Judgments!
Psalms 18:22 For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me.
Psalms 19:9-10 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalms 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
David sings a song on God’s Judgments, about how he loves it! Psalms 119:7, 13, 20, 30, 39, 52, 62, 66, 75, 102, 106, 108, 137, 156, 160, 164, 175
Loving Judgements is a difficult concept to comprehend at first; most children writing exams surely cannot agree that they love it! We as adults are not far behind; we’re just happy that we do not have to write them anymore. An interesting read on the subject is the study done by Justin Kruger and David Dunning.

People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities. 1

I also remember a most interesting TED talk, we reviewed in BibleSchool class on Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz. https://youtu.be/QleRgTBMX88 She explained how like the Wolf in the Road Runner animation, we run over the edge believing we can walk on air, to then suddenly realize we’re dead wrong. We all have moments like this, and it is what makes us human. The problem is when decision makers are wrong and want others to believe their error. Not knowing I am wrong, is possible one of our biggest handicaps.

Seek criticism from friends and peers

Elon Musk explains in an interview about Starting up a new business on how important it is to seek Criticism. 2 He calls it “rigorous self-analysis.” Obviously, you should ignore the ignorance of people that do not understand your cause and is just sowing doubt and unbelief. Learn and attract criticism from your friends, invite them to speak into your life. Make yourself vulnerable. Prayerfully extract the gold from every criticism, reproof, rebuke, admonishment, exhortation that comes your way. Say thank you, the person correcting you is taking a significant risk, and a show of courage to point out a possible error.
Peer review analyses: Because it ‘s hard for most professionals to recognize and improve on their weaknesses on their own, aviation has developed structured mechanisms of check questions to a relative peer. Like flight attendants checking each other on door closing procedures, Pilots going through checklists with Co-pilot etc, and flight crew awareness of problems reported to the captain. This system was only introduced after the fatal crash of Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 514, a Boeing 727 inbound from Columbus, Ohio, that was scheduled to land at Washington National Airport. The crew had flown a normally functioning Boeing 727 aircraft into a hill at an altitude of 1669 feet, just short of the hill’s peak of 1764 feet. The 85 passengers and seven crew members died in a horrific fiery crash 29 miles northwest of Dulles International Airport. Human error and Pilot’s misunderstanding each other was the cause of this accident.
How many people have suffered terrible harm because of the absence of correction in the offender’s life?

Elite athletes, musicians, and other top performers understand that excellence occurs through extensive study and practice, with constant feedback, and by adopting techniques and tools that have led to others’ success. For elite performers, this extends well beyond the formal training period. (An entire scientific discipline is devoted to this topic, as detailed by Ericsson 34.)

 Maybe this is why Weigh-less is so successful in helping people loose weight, the weekly weigh-ins.  The AA has sponsors.  Covenant eyes provide a accountability software program for Internet Porn Addicts, where you share your online traffic with a partner.

Take regular tests, to evaluate your ability, performance, and development.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified 2 Corinthians 13:5. Doing inward self-analysis is fruitless and futile. Paul says that he does not even judge himself. 1 Corinthians 4:3. Judgment has to be external. Our own hearts are too deceptive. Jeremiah 17:9.

The Word and the Spirit is the perfect Judge

Jesus learned His judgment from the Father. Do not trust your own judgment, seek His judgment. John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 8:15-16 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.
The more we Study the Word, the better we can judge. The Word is a discerner. Hebrews 4:12. Like not judging a matter by the first testimony, cross-examine and then make a conclusion. Proverbs 18:17.
David made several prayer requests to God to search Him, test Him and examine him. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, Ps 139:23

The judgment of the Father

In recent times so many worship songs focus on loving God, and His amazing enduring love for us. Although this is important, yet the context of our relationship is always explained in terms of that of a disciple, a bond-slave, a child, a friend. Even our love is contextualized: if you love me you will obey my commandments. John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
We do not fear His judgment because of His perfect love. 1 John 4:17-19 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. Love is made perfect through obedience. Hebrews 5:8.
Having God as our Father, does not only mean we are now protected, He will take care of everything. It means He will correct us, chastise, and rebuke us if nessasary.
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Hebrews 12:5-7
See Prov 15:31-32 Today’s scripture reading…

  1. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments” Justin Kruger and David Dunning Cornell University  ↩︎
  2. Elon Musk https://youtu.be/NU7W7qe2R0A “Constantly seek criticism” 11minutes into video 
  3. Ericsson KA. The influence of experience and deliberate practice on the development of superior expert performance. In: , Ericsson KA. ed. The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance. New YorkNew York: Cambridge University Press, 2006; 683–704. CrossRef