Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day


Luke 10
1 ¶  After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
2  Then He said to them, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Labor Day is the holiday set aside to remember the contributions of all those who labor to make America great. This day was originally observed by labor unions and organized by those who hoped to put a stop to poor conditions such as overwork, underpay, unsafe working conditions and the cruel child labor practices of the late 1800’s. 

Today it has become a day which marks the end of summer, the last hurried vacations, the beginning of NFL Football season and the back to school schedules for children and teachers alike, as well I’m told that Labor Day is the last day in which it is fashionable to wear white. This weekend there will be picnics, barbeques, sales, and specials giving families and shoppers their last taste of summer.

In all the business of having fun this Labor Day, let’s not forget to be thankful and remember those who labored this past year and in years gone by, who worked hard to make America great. God bless you and thank you for your labor! Enjoy the break … work for most of us will begin again bright and early Tuesday morning!!!

Speaking of work … sometimes it takes work to fix things that seem to go wrong all on their own – and even more work if it turns out that we broke it. Work, or labor if you will, is a very important part of life. In fact work is one of the first things God required of Adam.

I know some of you are already retired and others are yet to finish school and fully step into the workforce. However, most of you out there are in the season of life that demands you work … steady work … work which yields a steady reward for your labor.

2 Thessalonians 3:10  For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

1 Timothy 5:8  But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Thessalonians 4
11  Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
12  that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

How can you do this if you can’t find a job or don’t have the skills or the honed temperament to keep a job once you do find one?

You know there are three things that God requires from us which He is more than willing to help with. These three things sum up God’s will for His Children and if we accomplish these three things, it will please God. What are these three things? You have heard them from me before:

1.  Make a living
2.  Make a life
3.  Make a difference

It can be challenging for some to imagine how they can make a good living when much of America is faced with rising rates of unemployment. The unemployment figures for August will be come out this Friday. Unfortunately they are expected to be higher than originally anticipated.

The unemployment rate for July was 8.3%. More than 40% of those unemployed in July had been without a job for more than 27 weeks.

In addition to the unemployed, there is an additional 8.2 million who are not working full time but are not counted on the roles because they have taken forced part-time jobs because no full time jobs could be found.

These numbers alone are alarming but when we add another 3.5 million unemployed not counted in July because there was some condition which precluded them looking for a job during, or perhaps they fall into the category of “discouraged workers” who have simply stopped looking because they believe there are no jobs available … things begin to look pretty bleak for some in America.

I know some jobs are hard to find however, I believe that:
·        a Child of God,
·        armed with the knowledge of God,
·        empowered by the faith of God,
·        led by the Spirit of God,

Can find a job and …
·        taught by the Word of God,
·        can not only keep that job,
·        but can also turn that job into the ministry God intends

Which will not only provide: 
·        bread to eat - but also
·        seed to sow

The Bible is an instruction book for life on planet earth. However, is not a book of quick fixes – rather the Bible is a book of long term security. In fact it's a book of eternal security!

If you will begin a journey with me, together we will take the Bible and discover how you can
·        make a better living,
·        build a better life - and
·        make a greater difference.

I am committed to teach you the keys to achieving God’s goals for your life. I will take the Word of God and show you how you can achieve a long term productive relationship with your job, your profession, you client, co-worker and your employer. More than a job … God wants to give you the spiritual keys to success in the workplace and thereby guarantee you a blessed future. I will also teach you how to successfully deal with debt.

In addition to making a better living, we will also use the Word of God to find out how you can effectively handle family problems. I’ll teach how to build stronger and healthier relationships between you and your children, parents and spouses. You will be given tools that will establish and keep the peace of God in your home and learn how to deal with a growing family, in-laws and grandchildren.

On top of making a better living and building a better life, I will also spiritually equip you and open doors of opportunity for you to make eternal differences in daily life both individually and corporately with family and friends. There are some very simple and very small steps that you can take which will make a world of difference.

From your witness in the workplace to assisting disaster ridden communities and impoverished nations all over the world, you will become a vital link to helping relieve individuals and families of the terrible and unfair burdens life can offer.

Believe me when I tell you that this is not idle talk or some unrealistic fantasy that we hope to accomplish. Oh no, - rather this is our proven track record and there is no doubt in my mind that working together, we will succeed in reaching these goals.

God has promised, your greatest days are yet ahead. The greatest number of people you will ever impact for Jesus are people you have never even met. There is not one single reason why you cannot get your life in the shape God wants it to be physically, financially and spiritually.   

We believe that the only marching orders God ever gave the church was to go into all the world and make disciples. This kingdom outreach begins at home and it starts afresh with you.

Nothing says success like a person who knows where they are going and are dedicated to whatever it takes to get there. Add this vision and determination to the will of God for your life and you cannot be stopped.

·        It is God who wants to bless you and make you a blessing
·        It is God’s will that your family, your finances and your future be in order
·        God has called you to do something no one else can do as well as you.

However, if you aren’t prepared to take control of the situations of life, they will take control of you. Life’s problems are not timid. They don’t mind getting in your face and working hard to hurt you.

I know that I have been anointed and appointed by the Lord for just such a time as this. There is one thing of which I am confident – Almighty God has called and equipped me to teach you how to walk in His blessings.

During these next three months I will unveil and impart to you the mysteries of the Kingdom of God to help you:
·        Make a better living
·        Build a better life
·        Make a greater difference

Well, I know this is a holiday weekend and tomorrow is Labor Day. So go, rest, relax, have some fun and enjoy the family and friends, picnics and barbeques … hey, as soon as I finish preaching, Brenda and I are headed to Lake Rayburn for a fish fry with the families from Church On The Rock in Vidor. Take the day off tomorrow and be thankful for America’s workers who made all of these things possible.
But, come next Sunday morning at 9:30am … providing you don’t have another spiritual adventure to which you are already committed … You be here! Right here! We are going to begin this process by discovering God ordained keys to building and maintaining your immediate family. I will have books and handouts for everyone.

Don’t forget – Sunday, September 9th at 9:30am – right here, both live and online …

People all over the world are lost and dying and are in need of Jesus. How can you be salt and light to the world if you can’t even make a living, build a life or make a difference at home?

More than just doing something about your life or your problems … it only works when you do:

·        the God thing
·        the God way
·        for the God reason

Why does Jesus want to make such an investment in your life? Why is He so interested in blessing you with a better living and a better life?

In Luke the 10th chapter those 70 disciples joyfully returned to Jesus after completing their mission trip. They reported their journey was filled with evidence of God’s power and authority which they found in His name.

Luke 10
17  Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
18  And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20  "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Like we have said for decades now … “It’s all about souls!” Your soul, the souls of your family, your neighbors, friends, and people you have never met, both here in our communities and communities like ours around the world … How shall they be reached with this power?

·        We have a light to shine.
·        We have a love to share.
·        We have a hope to give.
And it’s all about souls and together we can make a difference. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful only the laborers are few”. Won’t you become a light to your family, a witness to the world, a laborer in God’s harvest field?

You can join me on this journey of a lifetime beginning next Sunday morning, right here at 9:30am. I guarantee God’s Word will help you:
·        Make a better living
·        Build a better life
·        Make a greater difference

Beginning next Sunday, September 9th

Today however, before I send you out to enjoy the holiday, allow me to send out an invitation to you.

·        Come to Christ Jesus for the salvation of your soul

·        Come and join the strength of your life with the vision of this house to reach the souls of your family, friends and the lost around the globe.

·        Perhaps you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and have already joined your heart to this house but have not gotten a personal chance to introduce yourself to me and let me pray with you.

·        If there is anyone here that falls into that category, I would appreciate having that chance this morning. Will you allow me to personally welcome you to our Church family?

·        If so, then please come