Deposits and Withdrawals….
The Pastor was in the middle of his sermon when he noticed a man had fallen asleep in front and was snoring, with his head on his wife’s shoulder.
The pastor stepped down and whispered to the wife, “Wake up your husband, he’s creating a distraction”.
The wife smiled and replied, “Pastor, You put him to sleep. You wake him up.”
(May the Holy Spirit awaken all of us this morning at a new level… It’s not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord)
The message today is about Deposits and Withdrawals
Paul told the church that his desire was to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance. That’s what He desires to do today in all of us…..
Jesus began one of His well-known parables by saying “A farmer went out to sow his seed”. He talked about the different kinds of soil, saying that some seed fell among hard ground, some fell among the thorns, some fell on stony ground, and some fell on good ground.
We must ask ourselves what kind of soil we are. Are there hard, stubborn areas… are there thorny areas where other things are choking out the word…. and are there stony areas where the word cannot penetrate and get rooted?
At one time our country was a farming society before we became a city and suburb society. In the days when most of America was rural communities, we were all about sowing and reaping. If there is one powerful principal that farmers know well, it is that if they don’t put it in the ground then it will never spring up, out of the ground. If there’s no sowing there can be no reaping…..
God’s kingdom is established on the principal of seed time and harvest.
But in our current economic culture, we are more familiar with the banking terms, of deposits and withdrawals.
You earn money, then you put it in the bank so you can withdraw it, in the form of checks, debit cards, an ATM, or with an App on your phone or computer….
We are depositing in our spiritual account those things which we will then be allowed to draw out at the appointed or due time…..
Someone has said, “Having a good sized bank account can give a person a good feeling until they realize that banks are insured by an agency of thefederal government that's over $22 trillion in debt”.
Will Rogers said, “Banking is set up just like the creation of our government. –It is a system of checks and balances. If you want to cash a check, you actually need to have a balance”.
A man was walking along the beach, enjoying an afternoon vacation stroll, when he heard someone screaming. Looking around he saw an obviously distraught woman kneeling next to a little girl. The man quickly determined the child had swallowed something that was blocking her airway and held her up by her heels and gave a few quick thumps to her back. Sure enough, the child started to sputter and cough, spit a coin onto the sand and was able to breathe.
“Oh, thank you sir!” cried the grateful mother. You seemed to know exactly what to do. Are you a doctor?”
“No, ma’am,” the man replied. “I’m retired, but I am the treasurer of my church.”
(He knew how to get money out of anyone)
How you treat money and material stuff says a lot about a person…is it an end in itself or a means to an end….Someone has said that your money is an extension of yourself because it represents your time and energy which you have invested…. We either own our stuff or our stuff owns us…. If we understand that it all comes from God then we can hold it in open hands instead of clenched fists…..
In Mark 10:29 we read… “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, v30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life”.
It’s clear that the Lord doesn’t measure us by what we have but what we’ve given and how we manage what we have.
There is one person who comes to mind as an example of this scripture more than any other, and it is the biblical account of the man named Job.
In the midst of Job’s suffering, and in the lowest point of his life, when he was losing everything he had spent his life managing and increasing. One of his friends, who had come to sit with him, named Eliphaz, gives him this important prophetic word which is a light at the end of the tunnel….. It is an important principal for all of us… to not give greater importance to the test, than the testimony which it is producing in us for His glory.
Our story, can be our most powerful witness to those who are watching, if we will keep the right attitude and not let the process get lost because of our misunderstanding of heavenly economics.
Here’s the prophetic word, which Eliphaz spoke to Job…..
Job 22:24 “Then shall you store up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. v25 Surely, the Almighty shall be your defense, and you shall have plenty of silver. (silver represents redemption) v26 For, then shall you have your delight (satisfaction and fulfillment) in the Almighty, and shall lift up your face unto God. v27 You shall make your prayer unto Him, and he shall hear you, and you shalt pay the vows you have made. v28 You shall also decree a thing (establish in earth as it is in heaven), and it shall be established unto you and the light (illumination and clarity) shall shine upon your ways”.
I have mentioned before that as a boy, I had a glow in the dark plaque on the wall at the foot of my bed, that said “Forget not in the darkness, what God has promised when the sun was shining”….. God always has a light at the end of the tunnel.
Many would take Job’s words which he speaks further along in chapter 29 as feeling sorry for himself or bragging and boasting, but what Job is doing is taking inventory of what he has stored up for the very time of need which he finds himself in….Job is a wealthy man up to the point that he began to lose everything…. He knows about deposits and withdrawals… so hear his words in this context….
Job 29:12 I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. (ching, ching…. deposit)
Job 29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. (ching, ching… deposit)
Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. (faithfulness and obedience to God’s word…ching, ching… deposit)
Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind, (ching, ching) and feet was I to the lame. (ching, ching)
Job 29:16 I was like a father to the poor. (ching, ching….deposit)
So, Job is counting the seed he has sown as deposits which he has made in his spiritual account…..(Ching, ching, ching…money in the bank)
You can have the greatest opportunities for high yield investments all you like, but the bottom line is about actually laying it down and making the investment. Until that transaction takes place, all of your knowledge and interest in the opportunity will count for nothing. If the investment shoots up in value, it won’t benefit you at all, unless you are actually invested in it.
Mathew 6:20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”
It’s not just our money that we are spending, we are also spending a piece of our lives. Every Birthday is far more than just another marker on the journey, it is a time to reflect on how we are either spending or investingour lives.
Someone said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last
Jesus told us to be careful about storing up treasure for ourselves on earth, but not being rich toward God in the areas that really count the most and cannot be taken from you by thieves, deflation, or rust and dust…
When Paul was in a Roman dungeon, he didn’t feel like he had done a lot with his life. In the conventional wisdom of the day, he had every reason to anxious and uncertain about his life. His life is basically over. He is in a dungeon in Rome, awaiting his time to be executed by the evil tyrant, Nero. He was destitute. He didn’t even have a coat to keep him warm. He was not a world-renowned best-selling author and conference speaker. At this point, he didn’t know, as one author put it, that centuries later people would name their sons Paul and their dogs Nero. He was just a lonely old man, chained to a Roman guard, but Paul understood that God had made the greatest deposit in His life, by sending His only son, so he felt that no price he could pay, would compare to that Divine deposit in Him, and that no power on earth could touch it!
Footprints on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. As he stepped onto the surface he uttered his now famous line, “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That historic event happened almost 50 years ago but those first footsteps are still there undisturbed. In fact, NASA estimates that those first footprints will be there for a million years because there is no wind or water or animals to disturb them. As we walk through life, we leave imprints on others lives that not only can last a lifetime, but can last for eternity. Spend money on a meal and it’s gone in hours…. Spend money on a car and it depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot….Spend money on a house and it starts falling apart along along with your body….invest in things eternal and they will outlast the footprints on the moon!!!!
If we keep in step with the Spirit and we sow to the Spirit, the Spirit will use us to leave a footprint in peoples lives that can last for eternity.
We are given some good advice in Hebrews 10:35 “Cast not away your confidence, (boldness to act on what you believe) which has great recompence (compensation) of reward.
Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise”.
Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay…..Jesus took the curse so we could receive the blessing. He bore our judgment so we could receive the rewards of His finished work.
He has sown His seed and made an amazing investment in each of us. Will our lives produce a return on His investment?
Listen to what Paul says about the investment God has made in us…
Ephesians 1:14 “For it is the earnest (pledge and security) of our inheritance until redemption (full payment) of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory”.
The “earnest of our inheritance” means that He has already made the down payment, to guarantee the inheritance which is ours.
Let’s call this The Generosity Factor….He has signed His name in blood to activate that guarantee….and the determining factor, is about how much has He guaranteed and secured in our account that we have access to. But know that we activate His generosity factor with our giving and our obedience….
We are told that the amount in Ephesians is more than we can think or ask….
Look at it…Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”
Then in another place we are told that He guaranteed all things to the church
Ephesians 1:22 And (the Father) has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things unto the church, v23 Which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all (that’s everyone) in all (that’s everything).
I would say that this is an incredible investment!
We also see Matthew 13:23 “But he that sows his seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; so that the seed might bear fruit, and bring forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (now that’s some great return on your investment)
This applies to relationships, our marriages, and every area of our personal lives.
We are told clearly how to activate this cycle of investment and return which we’ve been reading about and which Jesus spoke about…
Luke 6:38 “Give, (our time, our love, our charity, our resources) and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you give out it shall be measured back to you again”.
Jesus told us that the greatest among us are those who serve…. Because it activates the cycle of deposit and withdrawal…
Speaking of serving….An insurance agent went from one staff person to another at a church trying to find out who was in charge. The treasurer said, “Not me; I just help take care of the money.” The secretary said, “Not me, I just keep notes, file and answer the phone.” The assistant pastor said, “Not me, I am here to help the pastor get the job done”…
By this time the insurance agent is quite frustrated and says, “well, who IS in charge around here anyway?”
The lady who serves the coffee had heard what was happening and she pipes up and says, “I’m in charge, NOTHING happens around here until I make the coffee!” (now that’s an important deposit) she was sowing into every ministry in the church
Oh, yes, of course there’s Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes (10 percent of our increase) into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house, and prove Me now with that portion, says the LORD of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. v11 And I will rebuke the devourer (the lack and insufficiency) for your sakes”.
(can anyone say “I’m right here Lord”)
So, how did this work out for Job, in this time when he was watching everything go down the tubes….and he began to call upon the deposits he had made his entire life….
After God warned Job to not get proud about it, and have the right attitude in remembering that it all comes from Him. …..everything turns around….
Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends, and gave Job twice as much as he had before. v11 Then all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, came and ate bread with him in his house: and every man also gave him money, and everyone gave an earring of gold. v12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand mules. v13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. v15 Andin all the land no women were as beautiful as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. v16 After this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. v17 So Job died, being old and full of days”.
Job received twice as much as he had before, finances, herds, family, and length of days….
You can sow and grow a Revival…..
Revival and restoration are described as a process of deposits and withdrawals……
Hosea 10:12, “Sow in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you”.
Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
When evil abounds, when the people love darkness instead of light, when good is called evil and evil is called good…. It’s the right time for revival.
When you see Disasters, distress, perplexity, evil abounding, people’s hearts failing them for fear….
Folks want answers to their dilemmas and they’re not finding them. They have no solution to their overwhelming problems. The worse it gets the deeper the hunger for the reality which only God can give….
Listen, All The Boomerangs Aren’t in Australia…. So, get ready, it’s coming back….The seeds we sow are the boomerangs we throw… I have seen many folks who don’t like the harvest they are getting, but they try to change the harvest without dealing with the boomerangs they are throwing….! To change the harvest, you have to change the seed you’re sowing….
"We sow a thought and reap an act; We sow an act and reap a habit; We sow a habit and reap a character; We sow a character and reap a destiny."—
God has sworn and bound Himself by His own word, and has taken an oath to honor His own law of sowing and reaping. Sometimes God must correct our attitude so that we do everything with gratitude before we see His exactitude!
If your spiritual life is dry and barren, it’s because you haven’t been depositing lots of prayer, bible study and obedience into your life bucket. It might be that you’re no longer hungry and thirsty for the things of God enough to lay aside other things. Without the heaven sent rain, there is famine and bareness, but when you stay thirsty my friends….. there will be fruitfulness and abundance. So stay thirsty my friends….
Forth-giving is about deposits that shape your own future…..Every one of us has the power to sow the seeds of change in our own lives… It doesn’t come in one giant leap, or a total make over, but with a lot of small seeds sown.To sow kindness where my flesh wants to sow impatience. Sowing Gentleness, patience and longsuffering where my flesh wants to react with harsh anger. Sowing unselfish love where my flesh wants to sow selfishnessand insensitivity.
Many folks want to take short cuts and try to get around God’s laws that govern sowing and reaping, but none of us are THAT SMART!
A car was involved in an accident in a street. As expected a large crowd gathered. A newspaper reporter, anxious to get his story could not get near the car. Being a clever fellow, he started shouting loudly, "Let me through! Let me through! I am the son of the victim, that’s my father." The crowd opened up and made way for him.
And there, lying in front of the car on the ground was a jackass.. So much for shortcuts!!!!
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. v8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. v9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.
Keep going, keep growing, keep sowing…..
One of the greatest running backs in NFL history was Walter Payton. Although he was just 5’10” and 202 pounds, Payton set the all-time rushing record of 16,726 yards. During his 12-year career, Payton carried the football over nine miles. If you divide that number by the number of times he ran the ball, you discover an amazing statistic: He was knocked to the ground on average every 4.5 yards by someone much bigger than himself. He set the record because every time someone knocked him down, he got up and ran the ball again. He kept getting up and getting up and getting up. That’s one of the overlooked secrets of a great harvest.
When you are knocked down by discouragement, by adversity, by the dry times, keep on going and keep on sowing seed. Churches are closing every week in this country, Christians are giving up and just quitting, because they don’t see it, they stop believing it’s theirs… Satan is a deceiver, stop listening to your feelings, your emotions, and your doubts and fears… GET UP AND CLAIM YOUR HARVEST!!!
Old Jack was a homeless man who lived in the streets. He didn’t have many friends and he had given up on life with no expectations that anything good could ever happen in his life. All his luck was bad luck. On a cold February day, a finely dressed lady came up to him and said that she wanted to treat him to lunch. He could hardly get to his feet, so a passer by, helped him getto his feet.
So, they went to a nice restaurant, where the owner told her he didn’t want old Jack there. She told him that she was the CEO of the bank where he did his business, and she was holding his mortgage. He waited on them personally after that. She said Jack, do you remember me. But he couldn’t remember. She said, Jack, years ago, I came here fresh out of college to find work. I was out of money and I had wandered the streets for days without finding anything. I came in here and you were behind the counter. I asked you if I could work for a meal. You said it was against company policy. Then you made me the biggest steak sandwich I had ever seen and a cup of coffee. You led me to a table and I watched you pay for it. I got a job the next day and worked my way up to CEO of the central bank. I have made arrangements for you to get a job there, and give you an advance so you can buy what you need and get a place to stay. I am so glad I can give back to the person that was there for me in my darkest hour…..
Old Jack made a small deposit which brought great returns that came back to bless him at his lowest hour. Don’t quit, keep going and keep sowing. God keeps accurate records.
The seeds for the coming Revival have been sown and it’s being stored up for your appointed time when it is time to draw it out….You don’t have to wait till you’re starving to eat, or dying of thirst before you drink… “Come and dine the master calls us, come and dine”…. The table is spread…! You can have some heaven to go to heaven in!
It is still true today as it has always been….2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”.
Receive His forgiveness, Receive His restoration, Receive His healing,