Today is Wednesday, H.O.P.E. (Hour Of Power and Encouragement) Wednesday, and I want you to begin this day with the expectation and belief that you are empowered by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit and encourage you to confidently walk in His presence throughout the day.
I also want you, child of God, to be focused. Focused on what? Focused on what you do and why you do it.
We go through our daily lives and many things can seem mundane or routine, so much so that we may take the opportunity to do them for granted. Thank God that you have something to do.
But, we may also have some things that we do that we consider to be special, out of the ordinary. And, how we go about doing those things is really important too.
When we do good deeds, when we do charity, when we show love, we should do it from the heart as guided by the Holy Spirit. If we do so, then we are doing things for God and should expect for God to reward us in our doing...however God chooses to reward us.
But, when we do things from our heart as guided solely by our mind, then depending on other's reactions, we may or may not get the reward that we desire. But, more importantly, we have chosen to do things without any regard for God...and therefore should not expect anything from God.
I do not know about you; but, if I get any reward, I want to make sure that it lines up with the will of God. As we have been studying in my home in preparation for Sunday School, the first line from the book of Genesis reminds us that God created the heaven and the earth. So, God can reward us from heaven and earth. The creator can reward the creation; therefore, why should we, the creation, seek rewards from other parts of creation instead of from the creator?
Whatever we do, we should do it for the right reasons, those things that will be pleasing to the most High God.
Matthew 6:1, 3-4 puts it this way,
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven...But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
Yesterday, the Food Pantry and the Clothing Closet was open. God saw it. Church members, our church family, volunteered to serve. God saw it. People got clothes and food that they needed. God saw it.
I am pastor and was busy attending to other matters. I did not see it. God saw it. Which was more important? My seeing it or God seeing it.
I can offer accolades for service done as we seek to work out our own soul salvation; but, it is God who gives out rewards on this side and the other side of glory.
So, in all of our doing, let us be prayerful to make sure that we do it for the right reasons.
Beloved, I am going to ask two things of you, maybe a few more in terms of how you receive my two requests. These are things that prayerfully you will do for the right reasons.
First, be in prayer for the Grace family during their time of bereavement. If you can come to the wake this evening at First Baptist between the hours of 5-7pm, do so. If you can make the funeral service at 12pm with family visitation beginning at 11am tomorrow also at First Baptist, do so. If you cannot make either, then pray. That I know you can do. And, after praying, however God would have you to engage with the family, do so.
My second request is quite simple. Tonight is H.O.P.E. Wednesday. If you can be there, be there. As was preached this past Sunday, God wants to transform your excuses-stumblingblocks-problems into elevation-steppingstones-platforms. The choice is yours as to whether you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind or if you will choose to stay as you are. God is in the transformation business. Child of God, be what your heavenly Father would have you to be.
Come and invite someone.
Tonight is our last mini lesson and it will deal with Healings.
Next week, we will begin a study on the book of Revelation.
I look forward to seeing you this evening.
Remember, God loves you and I love you too.