The light that leads to life is found in Jesus! The closer we get to Jesus the more exposed we our by his light, however, his light also intensifies in us and through us as we reflect him.
There are 3 things that keep light from penetrating the soul which are pride, lust, and greed.
Pride, lust, and greed only points to our own selfishness. My own importance––My own desire––My possessions. Our flesh is selfish from the very moment sin came into the world and the focus went from God to me. It creates jealousy and selfish ambition.
Self-absorption makes no room for God and others and that, my friends, is dangerous!
James 3:16 (AMP) “For where jealousy and selfish ambitionexist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice.”
When life is ONLY about you, there is no check and balances or accountability. (See 2 Samuel 11)
How Can we detect Selfishness?
When we are selfish we stop sacrificing for others. We sacrifice for others a couple ways.
1. Love is an act of sacrifice towards others, not a feeling to hoard for ourselves. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
2. Humility is the act of valuing others above ourselves.
KEY THOUGHT: Our preoccupation of God and others leads to humility, charity, and community.
The only way you stop being so preoccupied with self, is to be in a community. We have to stop making excuses such as I don't have time, it's family time, I'm tired or I don't get anything out of it. Our light intensifies as we gather together and is only impressive when we are in a community. Get involved! Join a community!! Sign up for LifeGroup or join us Thursday's for City Light Bible Study!
Let's Shine for Jesus together!
Last Sunday was a great reminder on how God is light and he wants to intensify his light in us and through us so we can be productive as he fills up every space. Have you ever tried to work in the dark? It is difficult!
We touched on a sensitive topic for many - Giving. The Lord calls us to be Generous! Greed is another one of those light blockers that the enemy tries to get us to take part in to hinder our work for God and to destroy our trust in Him.
How many people are financially frustrated because their work doesn’t match their blessing? They labor with just enough light, but not enough to make a difference.
Greed is a preoccupation of possessions and resides in people, not things. It tries to erase God as your source. It is rooted in fear and unbelief.
It is not our custom to talk about money in our church. And in fact, we make sure to ask our visitors not to give if they don’t want to or can because of a few reasons:
1. Our church we believe that giving at Urban Poiema Church is an outward expression of an inward experience.
2. People are more important than how deep their pockets are.
3. Spiritual growth develops givers. That’s a journey not a destination. (Gather, grow, give & Go).
4. Money is not the problem, it’s the heart behind our giving.
A generous heart opens up the door for God's blessings. It is not based on what or how much you give but your heart behind your giving.
How can you tell if you have a problem with Greed? Look back and see how much you've given 1) To God and furthering his kingdom and 2) To those in need vs to other things that are self gratifying. Ask yourself, are my possessions possessing me?
How can I defeat greed and chase light? You can’t pray it away. You can’t fast it away. You have to give it away. Look for ways to give daily.
2 Corinthians 9:8
When we do this, we are not going to be like the person who is trying to work in darkness.
Jesus has been generous with us giving everything He had out of Love, right down to his life. We are to carry that same heart and be generous while giving cheerfully. God loves a cheerful giver!
Join us this Sunday at 1 PM as we start a new series - invite a friend and come worship with us!
Season 2 of life group is around the corner and I wanted to take some time to write this small blog on the importance of community in our spiritual walk.
If you go to Urban Poiema Church, you have heard me say several times; if you are not connected, you are not protected. I use this axiom to show how deeply important it is to have protection through connection.
So, what are we protecting ourselves from?
Community matters enough to be prioritized. It needs to be more than an afterthought, but needs to be part of our focus.
We often say there is not more important ministry in the life of our church that our life groups. It's that important.
Whatever your plan or program for life groups, keep these principles in mind. Understand why groups are good and take advantage of the good they can bring into your church.
In His Service, Pastor Juan
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