Sunday, 13 March 2016

Lent 5 and Special Farewell to Ven William Fobosi

1 Kings17:1-16
Psalm 124
Galatians 6:7-10
Matt 6: 25-34

Seed Faith

Oral Roberts had this idea of “seed Faith”, which develops Jesus’s words, “Give and it shall be given to you” (Luke 6:38).  He outlined three principles –

1.  God is the source of my supply

In Phil 4:19 St Paul says, “My God will supply all your need out of the magnificence of his riches in Christ Jesus”.  God is the source of all good things, even the technical miracles we boast of nowadays.   “Every good and perfect thing comes from above, from the Father who created the lights of heaven”, says St James (1:17)

Relax, Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not ask anxiously, What about food?  What about clothing?  What about the water and electricity?  These are the things that occupy the minds of the HEATHEN, but your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

2. Give and gifts will be given you

There is a difference between the words of Jesus and belief in Karma.  In karma you have control, and what you put out comes back to you in an automatic sort of way, they believe.  Here is something different – there is a loving Person involved.  When Jesus says this, he goes on to add more (Luke 6:38): “give, and gifts will be given you.  Good measure, pressed and shaken down and running over, will be poured into your lap …”  God supplies generously.

Giving ACTIVATES, as it were, God’s programme of supply.  Plant a seed of giving, and it GROWS.  The paradox of supply is that if you are in need, satisfy the need of someone else!  If you need money, give some away to a more needy person. Of you are lonely, help another lonely person.  Your supply will not necessarily come from that person, but it will be there.  Giving then is an ACT OF TRUST, even if you don’t FEEL particularly trusting.  Seed multiplies after it is planted.  If you plant nothing, then 1000 x 0 is 0!  God is the great multiplier of our faithful deeds.

However, what we RECEIVE does not multiply – only our faithful deeds and gifts.  The difference between tithing and seed faith is that seed faith happens BEFORE we receive.  Tithing is returning God’s portion of what we HAVE received to him so that we do not steal from him.

Expect a miracle

Our very expectation is a statement of faith, and it seems that faith has a lot to do with miracles  ( Heb 11:6), (Matt 17:20), (Matt 21:21). (Mark 5:34)
If we were to make a little ‘action plan’, it would be

Surrender – Make sure that Jesus is Lord of all your life, in every part.  Hand over your worries.
Acknowledge – that you owe everything to him, and that he is the source of your supply
Give – make space for the blessing you need
Expect – Act out your faith in confidence (Remember the word ebenezer= hitherto has the Lord helped us.  He will not stop now)

After a while it becomes a life style.

Many don’t receive because they have not made room in their lives for the miracle, and frankly don’t really expect anything miraculous.  So they make a plan B, just in case.

Health – pray for others who are ill; take food to someone suffering; visit or write to them,
Loneliness – be a friend to a lonely person
Finance – give
Busy-ness – pray for others who are busy.  Offer to help someone.
Temptation – pray for others under attack
Study – pray for others studying, writing exams or battling with theses.
Sleeplessness – pray for others awake in the night

Remember the well in Death Valley – pour the whole contents of this bottle into the pump to prime it.  Then you will get as much sweet water as you can ever want.  Just be sure to leave a bottle for the next one.  If you don’t pour ALL the water in, the pump won’t work.  Do you take the risk?

Put ALL your faith and trust in the One who has never yet et anyone down, and who will not start now.

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