August 20 - Message Update

Dear SANLO Community, an update for the week of August 20, 2017

Thank you Pastor Brian for the message from 1 Chronicles 29:10-19, “Give More, Get More." In this portion of scripture, King David prays for Israel and for his son to be cheerful donors to the building of God’s temple.  Through his prayer we answer the question, “Why Give?

I). We give because God gives FIRST. (vv.10-13) "Both RICHES and HONOR come from You.” (v.12)  King David, through his prayer, acknowledges and is humbled by what King God has given him.  The principle that God, in His sovereignty, gives first to His people to make them great and strong is true throughout the Bible.  Jesus is the prime example of God giving first so that His people would be strong and courageous. How good are you at receiving gifts?  Is it difficult for you to accept presents, compliments, or encouraging comments?  We have a hard time receiving gifts because 1) we feel we don’t deserve good things or 2) we don’t trust the intention of the giver.  The first response is about self-esteem.  A low self-worth dictates to us that we are not worthy of nice things.  If we don’t believe we are worthy of any good thing then it’s difficult to accept what God offers to us. By faith we need to understand that God loves us regardless of how bad we feel about ourselves.  Though it is true that we don’t deserve all that God gives us, it is because of His grace that He gives us so much. Jesus is proof of this amazing grace and love. The second response is a bit more pessimistic.  We don’t trust the giver.  We might think God has no need of anything so why give to Him?  When we give to Him it’s not for His benefit but for ours.  Two things happen. 1) We get to participate in God’s works and 2) we are set free from the grip money has on us.  This freedom from the love of money encourages us to Give More to God so that we will Get More of God. If we would by faith receive God’s provision regardless of how we feel about our self-worth and trust that with God there are no strings attached, our giving turns into something we want to do instead of something we have to do.  Isn’t it easier to find joy in giving when it’s something you want to do instead of feeling like you have to?  God gives to us first, with no strings attached, to discover true joy in giving.

II).  We give because God gives FREELY. (vv.14-16) "But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this?”  (v.14) You’ve heard that we cannot out give God.  We cannot give more than what God has given us.  Things like grace, love, joy, peace, and forgiveness.  These are gifts that God FREELY gives.  Everyone seeks these treasures of God.  Self-help gurus try to help people attain these gifts, but they neglect to go to the source.  There is no amount that we can offer that will equal the generosity of God.  Even King David who contributed 3,000 talents of gold to build God’s temple understood that by comparison to God’s gifts, it was nothing.  In today’s dollars 3,000 talents is about 4 billion dollars, give or take a few hundred million, which was only a portion of what King David gave!  Today there is a very wealthy man who has committed to give away a great portion of his profits every year. Those of you who love arts and crafts may have heard of Hobby Lobby.  David Green is the owner of this very successful company.  David and his family have committed to giving 50% of Hobby Lobby profits to organizations that support the promoting of God’s Word and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is no small sum of money.  Hobby Lobby is worth billions of dollars and David Green is in the top 400 of the richest people in America.  He and his family have committed to contribute to God’s work because he and his family believe that God is the true owner of Hobby Lobby.  They realize the privilege God has given the Green family to manage or steward, the business.  He wrote an inspiring book, “Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back, The Way of Living Generously.   "But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this?” (v.14)   David Green understands that wealth is more than money and as a Christ-follower, the legacy he leaves is more than the material riches he will leave his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He wants to be remembered as a man who loved God and desired that his entire family would love and serve Him too. As believers we give of our time, talents, and tithes to our Lord.  When we willingly and sincerely Give More to God, we Get More of God.  For David Green he gives thanks to God that his children, and grandchildren know and serve the Lord.  In his mind, eternal life for his family is the most important and greatest gift in life.  By giving it all away he has gotten it back in ways beyond his imagination.  

Kunio Okui, a long-time member of SanLo graciously agreed to share his journey with cancer.  Like David Green, Kunio is thankful for the gifts God has given him, especially the gift of the spiritual legacy God has allowed him to attain.  Now all Kunio's children and their spouses have accepted Christ.  His daughter-in-law accepted Christ just last Sunday.  Kunio is using this bout with cancer to share God's most precious gift of Jesus with others. In the past month, God has allowed Kunio to witness 9 of 13 individuals join God's family through Jesus.  The following conversation and Scripture is a summarized version of what Kunio presented to each of these people and the prayer that followed:

Do you believe in heaven?  Are you going to heaven? 

The most common answer is they believe in heaven and think they will get there because of the good life they have led.

Do you believe you are a sinner?

“We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

“Because we are sinners, we will all die, but God has given us the free gift of eternal life.”  Romans 6:23

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2:8 & 9

Do you know what grace means?  It is an unmerited gift.  We don’t deserve this gift, but God offers it to you.  This means that you can’t work your way to heaven by “being good.” 

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus is the only way to be sure you are freed from sin and get to heaven. 

If you are prepared to accept this gift of salvation, pray this prayer:

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner.  I believe that Jesus is your Son.  Thank you that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I want Jesus to be Lord of my life.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you said this prayer sincerely, the Holy Spirit allowed you to accept the gift of salvation and eternal life.  You are a child of God and the Holy Spirit is dwelling in your heart.  If I were to ask you tomorrow if you are going to heaven, you can answer with confidence, “YES, absolutely I will be going to heaven.”


Praise and Prayer:

Please pray for our nation as protesters and counter-protesters clashed violently in Charlottesville, VA.  Pray for God’s love and peace from this time of unrest, hate and violence.  Pray that Christians would be united in God’s hope, love and power.  Also pray for all those affected by the horrific terrorist attacks in Spain. 

Calendar Items:

8/26      9am-3pm           Room 10 reserved for training session (Pastor Brian)                            

8/27      12:30pm            Missions Team meeting in room 8-9                                                                   

8/27       10:45am          Single worship service (no 8:45 a.m. service)

8/27       12:15pm          Joint Fellowship Hour -- please bring finger food – CASTRO VALLEY IN CHARGE

8/30        9:30am            Women’s Bible Study resumes                                                      

9/2          8:30am            Missions Prayer 

9/3        10:45am            Children’s SS resumes from Summer break

9/8          5:00pm            VBS Reunion (Potluck)

9/15        6:00pm            Sixth Grade Welcome Party (Potluck)                           

9/16                                3 on 3 Hoops Classic at Alameda Point Gym

9/17      12:30pm            Craft Day planning meeting for assignments, confirm teachers and design program

9/21       10:00am           Lamb’s Club (Japanese/English joint ministry) for 0-5 years old

9/23    10am-12pm         Potluck Brunch for supporters of Andy Jeung / ERRC

10/14                              88th Anniversary (13th) and Fall Banquet

10/31                              Harvest Festival

11/11                              CRAFT DAY!


Have an abundantly giving week in the Lord,

Kathy, for SLZJCC