Pastor Shane Ham : Avoiding Entitlement Creep

Reality Check · 39:43 · Recorded November 26, 2017

Avoiding Entitlement Creep

2 Timothy 3:1-5, 14-17 (NLT) 1You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!… 14But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.
15You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

1. Guard your heart carefully!

Matthew 6:21 (CEV) Your heart will always be where your treasure is.

Luke 6:45 (NRSV) It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV) See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

2. Measure your intentions scripturally.

3. Give your money generously.

2 Corinthians 9:11 (GW) God will make you rich enough so that you can always be generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (TEV) …God loves the one who gives gladly.

1 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT) What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

2 Corinthians 9:13 (Phillips NT) Your giving proves the reality of your faith.

4. Serve people humbly.

Mark 10:45 (NIV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 16:25 (ESV) For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 25:23 (NIV) …‘Well done, good and faithful servant!… Come and share your master’s happiness!’

John 12:26 (NLT) The father will honor anyone who serves me.

1 Peter 2:16-17 (NIV) Live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

5. Love people liberally.

Luke 6:32 (TLB) “Do you think you deserve credit for merely loving those who love you? Even the godless do that!”

1 Corinthians 13:47 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

6. Live your life impactfully!

Have a question or comment? shaneham@northpointe.org

Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 14-17. When have you “looked godly” but lacked a true heart for God? Comparing your spiritual life to a tug of war, are you gaining or losing ground?

Read Psalm 139:23-24. Do you ask God to check your motives? Does God correct you with an internal voice or do you need the feedback of others?

Read 2 Corinthians 9:78 aloud. How does generosity affect righteousness and the ever widening circles of people giving thanks to God? Do you find giving contagious? How does it reflect God’s grace?

Which one of the 6 points challenges you the most? Discuss with your small group. How can you encourage each other in these areas?

Reflect on Luke 6:32. Expand your study by reading verses 27-36. How does this description of love challenge you?

Parents, we wrapped up our series on gratitude, which we have defined as a thankful attitude, by reminding kids not to let a bad attitude spoil their gratitude. We looked at the Parable of the Vineyard Workers in Matthew 20. Ask your kids who let a bad attitude get in the way of their gratitude. Talk together about the sort of things that we allow to get in the way of our gratitude. Discuss ways we can remind ourselves to keep an attitude of gratitude. Then pray together as a family and ask God to help you remember to keep an attitude of gratitude.

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