Faith Promise 2023 with Rev. Fred & Donna Otto
Fred relates stories from his years of ministry in Africa. He closes with a message from Romans 5.
I. A PERSONAL THIRST
A. Man Is Born With A “Thirst.”
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made know through Jesus Christ.” — Blaise Pascal
B. In Christ Is Our “Thirst” Quencher (John 4:14)
II. A PROPER THIRST
A. A Thirst For Things.
“Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you however innocent it may be in itself.” — Susanna Wesley
B. Developing A Thirst For God
III. A PROMISED FILLING
A. The Infilling By The Holy Spirit. John 4: 14, John 7:38, Matthew 6: 33
Acts 2:39, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
B. Filled To Overflowing.
C. Flowing Rivers That Touch Others.
(Due to technical problem, volume is low for first 3 minutes.)
Acts 4:33 – 5:11
I. ANANIAS FAILED THE CHURCH
A. By Misconstruing His Mission.
B. By Misrepresenting His Commitment.
C. By Mishandling His Sacred Trust.
II. ANANIAS FUMBLED HIS OPPORTUNITY
A. To Help People In Need.
B. To Demonstrate His Love For God.
C. To Trust God Completely.
D. To Have God’s Special Blessing.
III. ANANIAS FORGOT GOD
A. That God’s Sight Is Sure.
B. That God’s Lordship Is To Be Complete.
C. That God’s Judgement Is Final.
“Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.”
– Elisha A. Hoffman
“God Uses People . . .”
I. WHO ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. (vs. 1)
A. It is Significant That We Find Peter and John Together.
B. God Uses People Who Do The Right Things.
II. WHO ARE WILLING TO BE INTERRUPTED (v.2-3)
A. Peter and John were Interrupted From Their schedule.
B. God Uses People Who Put People First.
III. WHO PAY ATTENTION TO NEEDS (v. 4)
A. Givers Are Not People with Less Needs.
B. What Peter and John Could Have Said . . .
IV. WHO INSPIRE HOPE IN OTHERS (vv. 4-5)
A. People Always Want to be Around Givers.
B. How to Have “Charisma.”
V. WHO USE WHAT THEY HAVE (v. 6)
A. Givers Always Look For A Way to Give.
B. A Giver Will Always Find a Way to Contribute.
VI. WHO REALIZE THAT THEIR SOURCE OF GIVING IS GOD (v. 6)
A. Peter and John Realized . . .
1. God’s Power.
2. God’s Provision.
3. God’s Partnership.
B. There is Not a Significant Event Since Creation That God has
Brought to Pass Without the Assistance of Man.
D. We are in Trouble When we Feel –
VII. WHO ARE WILLING TO TRY AND TRUST GOD TO DO THE REST (v.7)
A. God uses People Who Do Their Best.
B. Giving Contains a Lot of Faith in God.
VIII. WHO WANT GOD TO RECEIVE THE GLORY (v.11-12)
IF GOD OWNS IT ALL, WHAT AM I DOING WITH IT?
I. GOD OWNS IT ALL (vs. 14-19)
A. God Has A Right To Do Whatever He Wants With Possessions He Has Given Me.
B. Every Spending Decision Is A Spiritual Decision.
II. GOD USES POSSESSIONS TO PREPARE US FOR HIS COMING KINGDOM (vs.20-23)
A. Money and Possessions Are A Very Effective Tool That God Uses In Our Lives
B. Money and Possessions Are A Very Effective Test That God Uses In Our Lives
C. Money and Possessions Are A Very Effective Testimony That God Uses In Our Lives
III. THE AMOUNT IS NOT IMPORTANT (vs. 21-23)
A. What Is Important Is Not The Amount Of Possessions.
B. What Makes God Angry? (vs. 26)
IV. STEWARDSHIP REQUIRES ACTION (vs. 24-30)
A. The Wicked Servant Knew What To Do, But He Did Nothing.
B. We Know What To Do, But We Disobey Or Delay.
Reasons Every Christian Should Be A Tither.
1, Obedience. Matthew 23: 23
2. Honesty. Malachi 3: 8
3. Love. John 14: 15
4. Gratitude. Psalms 1: 16
5. Faith. Malachi 3: 10, Matthew6: 33, Luke 6: 38
The Requirement – “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. . . “
The Response – “. . . and test me now in this …”
The Reward – “. . . open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” Malachi 3:10
POVERTY OR PROSPERITY?
Three Words to Describe a Slave/Owner Relationship –
I. Three Perspectives Contrasted
` 3. Stewardship
II. Problems With Poverty and Prosperity Theology
A. Problems with a Poverty Theology
1. There is a presumption of dishonesty
2. It exaggerates the role of sacrificial work.
3. They are extremely naïve.
4. It can become a manipulative lifestyle.
B. Problems with a Prosperity Theology
1. It becomes a sign of God’s approval.
2. It produces guilt.
3. It creates wrong motives.
C. Is God obligated to us?
D. Financially Blessed Christians Can Often Fall for One or
More of these Errors
1. They take credit for prosperity.
4. Dependence upon prosperity.
Stewardship doesn’t ask the question, “What did you give up?”
Stewardship doesn’t ask the question “What are you going to do with what you’re going to get?”
Stewardship asks one simple question, “What are you doing, right now, with what you have?”
The Benefits of Lifestyle Stewardship
I. HOW TO DEVELOP A LIFESTYLE OF GIVING
A. Totally Give Yourself To God.
B. Learn The Biblical Benefit Of Giving.
C. Apply Those Principals To Life.
II. THE BENEFITS OF LIFESTYLE GIVING
A. It Puts Material Wealth Into A Biblical Perspective.
B. It Teaches Us That Giving Should Not Be Separated From
Behavior. (Matt. 5:23-24)
C. It Is A Key Test Of Spiritual Commitment. (Luke 6:11)
D. It Protects Against Financial Enslavement. (Matt 6:24)
E. It Gives Me Victory Over Materialism. (1 Tim 6:17-19)
F. It Strengthens My Faith. (Malachi 3:10)
G. It Makes Me Happy. (1 Chron 29:9)
H. It Blesses Me In Return (Luke 6:38; Prov 22:9)
I. It Keeps Me From Losing My Assets and My Abilities.
J. It’s The Proof Of My Love. (2 Cor 8:7-8)
K. It Focuses on the Eternal Rather Than The Temporal.
L. It Will Bring Rightful Recognition From God.
M. It Makes Me More Like God. (John 3:16)
What Makes A Great Church?
I. What drives the Church?
A. Some Are Driven By Tradition.
B. Some Are Driven By Personality.
C. Some Are Driven By Finances.
D. Some Are Driven By Programs.
E. Some Are Driven By Buildings.
II. God Desires for the Church to be healthy.
A. Notice What God’s Word Says About Heath
2 Corinthians 2:9
B. Church Health is the Key to church growth.
III. The Qualities of a Heathy Church
A. A Healthy Church begins with a passion for God
B. A Healthy Church will walk humbly in the presence of God
C. A Healthy Church will be united in its purpose
D. A Healthy Church will make the needs of a lost world their
Philippians 2: 12-16
I. A passion to know Christ Jesus.
A. What do we want, as a church: (Phil 3:10)
B. Where are we, as a church?
II. An overflowing love for others.
A. Paul was not only inwardly excited, he was outwardly motivated.
B. Does loving this way come naturally for those who trust Christ? (Phil 1:9)
III. A willingness to pay a price.
A. “There is no bargain day in the Kingdom of God.” (Matt 13:44)
B. What do we want to be, as a church? (Matt 8:19-20)
IV. A confidence that God will provide the resources.
“…my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of
His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)
May we commit ourselves to this task in this new year – “so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world.” (Phil 2:15 CEB)