These are the raw sermon notes from my message on April 13, 2014. Palm Sunday. You can get more clarity by listening to the podcast.
Exodus 12:1While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: 2 “From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. 3 Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. 4 If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. 5 The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects. 6 “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb at twilight. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. 8 That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. 10 Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning. 11 “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed, wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the lord’s Passover. 12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the lord! 13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The Passover demonstrates the uniqueness. For Jews and Christians – the Passovers defines and gives identity. At the center of Judaism and Christianity is the bloody death of a helpless victim. Why? What does it mean?
There is a Bible long story of the Lamb.
The Offering of the Lamb
The Pharoh won’t let the people go. God says he will strike down every first born.
v.23 Moses says- the Lord will not let the destroyer into your house to strike you down.
There is a simple fact/law: when you violate God’s laws you unleash forces of destruction, disintegration, and chaos.
- If you overwork- career as an idol leads to breakdown of all sorts of life
- Holding a grudge- there is breakdown and disintegration of all sorts.
When God says the destroyer will come, I have scrolled ahead and in one night and in one place, eternal/divine judgment day justice (consequence) will be focused at one point in one place. There will be a preliminary, temporary but devastating judgment day. Not just the forces of destruction, disintegration, and chaos that are out there in general, but for one night there will be a release of destruction.
I’m about to unleash the most irresistible, unstoppable, irreversible force in the universe. The destroyer. It will go through the most powerful military and dynasty that the world has ever seen (Egypt). It will go right through it like a knife going through hot butter.
Blessed Life | Week 2
Turn to: Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13
Last Sunday, we saw Zacchaeus go from a broken life to a blessed life when he encountered Jesus. He immediately begin to reflect Jesus. He obeyed out of the tenderness of his heart!
We keep on Talking about the BLESSED LIFE this week with:
“Breaking the Spirit of Mammon”
Matthew 6:24 NO ONE… (not 1 person) can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon is the only thing that God says you can not serve alongside of Him.
What is mammon?
(not English or Greek) – Mammon is an Aramaic word meaning riches.
It might be “money” in your translation of the Bible. Which is not a far off word.
But, Jesus frames the word to mean something much deeper than simply money. He makes it sound like something more of a god or a spirit of riches.
Many believe mammon came from the Syrian God of Riches which can be traced to Babylon and the tower of Babel. Mammon represents a prideful, self-made, arrogant spirit of man that says we don’t need God. We can do it on our own.
The spirit of Mammon came from here. Mammon is a spirit. Jesus was referencing this Syrian False God of riches.
Mammon is a spirit that rests on money. All money has a spirit on it. It either has the spirit of Mammon on it. Or the Spirit of God. Jesus said that you can not serve God and mammon.
Let me say it another way:
All your possessions are identifying with the God of all sufficiency or the god of self sufficiency.
The BROKEN LIFE is one where you are constantly in charge and stressed about whether you are going to make it or not
The BLESSED LIFE is one where you are confident that God is in control.
Trying to serve God and Mammon is like putting one foot a boat and keeping one foot on the dock and trying to go somewhere on the boat. The dock (self sufficiency) won’t take you any where, and the only way the boat can is for your to get all the way in!
The BLESSED LIFE requires you to get in the boat all the way and completely rely on God, meaning that you will not rely on your own self-sufficiency!
So…How Do you Break the Spirit of Mammon?
How do make sure that you are not self sufficient but instead relying on the sovereignty of God?
Giving money to God often hurts.
We make a conscious decision to take money that we would normally spend on something else, invest, or save and give it to our local church. It can sound like a great decision on Sunday morning when the preacher lays out the scripture and vision of the local ministry. However, the truth is that later in the week or month, you will FEEL THE BURN.
When you look at your bank account online and see that there is a significant amount of money “missing”, your mind begins to struggle. This is normal. We often feel the weight of any investment. Any sacrifice whether it is physically working out, ‘doing the right thing’ with a relationship, or exerting time to study for a test will at some point be really tough to walk through. A pressure point. Tension. Questions…should I have really done that?
I’m not talking about giving God a tip. When we give God a minimal amount that is not a sacrifice or significant to our overall income, it does not take faith. In fact, you need minimal motivation (and no scripture) to make this type of contribution. We can put a litte in the offering and in the back of our minds, think “if this doesn’t work or if they don’t spend it correctly, then it doesn’t really matter. There is no real loss to me.”
Because of the Old Testament standard, we often use 10% as a guide today. Giving the first 10% of our income to God immediately gives us a different viewpoint of God and our money. All of the sudden we are relying on God. We are believing that when we start ‘feeling the burn’ of missing finances, that His grace is sufficient. He will carry us with our remaining 90% better than we could have handled 100% by ourselves. Not only will God deal with us individually (in a positive way) because of our personal commitment to him through sacrifice, but our local church will have financial resources to reach others.
It is amazing to me that the things we see as insignificant are glaring to the eye that sees everything in the entire past, present, and future of the whole world.
God gave King Saul a very specific directive in
1 Samuel 15:3 ” Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
Saul gets to Amalek and makes an executive change decision. In essence, Saul says, “Let’s destroy all the worthless things/people and save all the good animals and people (like the king, “Agag”) He uses human thinking and reasoning and actually thinks his idea is better than God’s.
When Samuel catches up to the army, Saul says, “Hey, what’s up Samuel…I did what you said and destroyed everything.” Then, Samuel says something that gives me chills every time I read it.