* God blessed man with the ability to procreate and cultivate. * Both of these involve seed, which is the potential for life. * He blessed man so he could participate in bringing about life - both human life and plant life. * Just as there are boundaries in procreation (in marriage) there are boundaries for cultivation. * Vs 5-7 - We come from what we were intended to cultivate. * God puts us in the environment we were meant to influence. * Cultivate = “to improve or develop by careful attention.” * We don't have to try to cultivate someone else's ground. * We don't need to try to influence someone else's environment. * He wants stay put right where we are and be His hands and feet to cultivate the very place He put us and people He put us around! * Acts 17:26 - “From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” * God determined your boundaries before you were made. * This is why social media is so dangerous - it takes you out of your ground and engulfs you in someone else’s. (Bloom where you’re planted) * So what do we do? * We WORK “our” ground! * 1) Vs 8 - We plant, just as God planted. He’s a worker. * He took the seed (potential for life) and brought about life! * 2) Vs 15-17 - We stay on “our” ground. * We stay inside the boundaries created for us. * Stay in your lane - you don’t have the grace to handle someone else’s lane! * EX: I am not a ra-ra business coach - I am a Biblical thinker! * My entire upbringing points to that. * WARNING - if you don’t give God your best you won’t be able to cultivate that in which you are intended to cultivate. * Genesis 4:12 - Cain’s curse. * He didn’t attach WORSHIP to his WORK.
Genesis 2:5-7 (1/13/21)
The Power to Cultivate
January 13, 2021 • Benham Brothers
Leviticus 25:18-22 (3/4/21)
Make God Your Work Partner • March 4, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* God wants to be your partner at work. * But you have to do things His way. * Backstory - God had given Israel some laws to obey in order to teach them how to trust Him. * Honoring the Sabbath was one of those laws. * They also had to take a a Sabbath year every 7th year - no working the land at all. * On top of that, they were required to take the 50th year off as well, which would be a double-Sabbath year rest (49th & 50th years in a row). Year of Jubilee. * We have no record of Israel ever honoring the 7th year or 50th year Sabbaths (this is one of the reasons the Babylonian captivity was necessary). * The principle is still powerful - honor God and He’ll honor you. * Vs 18-22 - God wants to bless your work!!! * The Israelites were farmers - that would be like telling a stock broker to pull out of the market and no longer trade, but then God says, “I’ll fill your portfolio with so many good stocks you can’t count the money!” * EX: Franchise story - don’t market! * God will provide, but only as you fully trust Him with the results.
Psalms 23:1-3 (3/4/21)
Controlling Your Desires • March 4, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* “Not wanting is as good as having” - Seneca. * When you want something, you can choose one of two things: * 1) Get it. * 2) Stop wanting it. * #1 requires ambition. * #2 requires contentment. * #1 meets the external “felt” need. * #2 meets the internal “true” need. * Contentment is the path that David takes us on in this Psalm. * Vs 1 - He essentially says, “With God as my guide, I am not in a state of continually wanting more and more stuff…” * Famous quote - “Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” * Vs 2-3 - a picture of contentment. * A professional shepherd, Phillip Keller, wrote a book on Psalms 23. He said that in order for a sheep to lie down four things are requires: * 1) They must be FULL. * 2) They much be UNAFRAID. * 3) They must be CONTENT. * 4) They must be in UNITY (those around him need the first three things). * Problem - if you don’t get vs 1 right, vs 2-3 aren’t possible. * Want is like the magnifying glass on a piece of paper on the sidewalk in the Texas summer heat. * It magnifies the sun’s light and intensifies its heat until the paper is burned up. * What you focus on magnetizes in your mind and your longing for it intensifies until you’re burned up. * EX: Jake w/every new thing - “dad, we need a boat!” * The result is always emptiness - you get the thing but it doesn’t satisfy you like you thought it would. * Here are three ideas on how you can want something less: * 1) Acknowledge the cost - you may want a Ferari, but getting it means you have to pay the bill… and never parking in a normal spot again. * You were free before you had it, but you give up your freedom to get it. * Imagine every time you formed a new want, you drew up a contract detailing what you would give up in exchange for the thing. * “I promise to be unhappy until I get _________.” * Don’t put on the “golden handcuffs.” * 2) Desire stacking - keep your bigger desire the focus, rather than the smaller desire. * EX: I’ve always wanted a lifted truck. But that short-term desire took a backseat to my long-term desire of independent wealth. * Prioritizing your desires helps you remain content. * 3) Delay until expiry - don’t let yourself get something until you’ve delayed for a period of time. * Purposeful delays often times makes the desire go away. * EX: Give yourself a 30 day buffer before you buy your thing… * Not wanting is as good as having.