THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (29)
FAITH CHOOSES TRUE RICHES
During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Books of Romans and Hebrews: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16, 17). Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that when the Gospel takes hold of you it changes you, radically and eternally. It makes you free! Faith is born! Faith is wise! Faith chooses the best God has to offer you. The Gospel is the story of Jesus, the good news proclaimed that Jesus died and rose again for sinners like you and me. The Gospel is not about the power! It is itself the power of God, able to change a sinner into a saint. There are only two places where there is no hope: Heaven (because you do not need it there; you are fulfilled) and Hell. Faith sees hope! Once saving faith enters your heart, you see all things, life and death, poverty and riches, thru a new perspective.
We continued to study Abram, the Father of them who believe in the only Living God. His faith is increasing. (Genesis 14:11-24; 15:1). Lot chose Sodom. Some kings attacked Sodom and defeated the city. The king of Sodom and all the citizens of Sodom, including Lot, are taken captives. Abram hears if this and with only 318 of his trained servants he defeated the kings. Coming back from a far distance, from Damascus, he meets two kings: the king of Sodom and the king of Salem, Melchizedek. Observe how Abram’s faith is growing. God rewards Abram’s faith!
The King of Sodom comes first. He represents the world. Sodom was known for sexual sins, (homosexuality). But that was not the only sin. The Sodomites were wicked, proud and selfish. “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: “She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit… Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness (prosperous ease), while the poor and needy suffered outside her door” (Eze16:49, 50). Everybody who worked in Sodom were slaves. Abram wins the battle and brings back the spoil of war (cattle, clothes, gold, silver etc). The King of Sodom wanted to make friends with Abram. He offers to Abram goods taken from the spoil of war. But Abram refused to make alliance with this king. Be careful! The world offers great goods to buy your friendship. But this is a snare! “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). By faith, Abram rejected that offer! It is not easy to reject money! In Egypt, he made money by compromising his marriage to Sarai. He repented of this! Now, he rejects the offer of Sodom. This is a great lesson: It is better to lose money than to grieve the Holy Spirit, lose your peace, your joy and your testimony as a child of God!
Melchizedek comes and interrupts The King of Sodom’ speech. The Holy Spirit intercedes for you! He will always warn you not to lust after the world. The name Melchizedek means ‘King of Righteousness’. He was King of Salem (same as Shalom, Peace). He is our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7). Melchizedek blesses Abram. To bless it means to be happy, to be congratulated! Others will envy you! God gave him the victory, deliverance! God offers a relationship that has also blessings. God will always be in a covenant relationship with Abram. Melchizedek blesses God! The name of God here is El-Elyon! The Most-High God! He is above all! Even the Cherub cannot fly above God! He is the Possessor of heaven and earth. He created it and He keep it. This is the God of Abram! It shows Abram how to do it! How can you bless God? How can you make God happy? What does God want? We bless God by kneeling before Him and worshipping Him!
By faith, Abram refuses the money of Sodom and receives what El-Elyon offers, not money, but an eternal covenant love relationship. Abram gives Him a tithe from the plunder. In this encounter, by faith, Abram loses money and gains God’s favor!!! This is a reason why we pay tithes and give offerings for the work of God! Abram made a vow that he will not take anything that will not give glory to God! This is the work of grace! This is the Gospel, the desire to always give glory to God! This is a proof that Abram gets humble and his faith increases! Praise the Lord!
This is another lesson: Each time you receive money consider the source of the money! That determines if you take it or reject it! If it is from God, take it! Thank Him! If it is from the devil reject it! Immediately, God encourages Abram for making the right choice: “Fear not Abram! I am your Shield and Exceeding Great Reward”. The Most High God gives the Exceeding Great Reward! He is Abram’s shield! See how Jehovah protected him in the war (with only 318 servant/soldiers) and even against the temptation-offer of the king of Sodom! God says: ‘If you chose Me, if you have Me, you have everything! I am your true riches!’ This is King Grace speaking! Like Abram, may we learn to say no to the devil and yes to God!
“Take the world, but give me Jesus,
All its joys are but a name;
But His love abides forever,
Through eternal years the same”
Worship the Lord!