Lessons on Life & Business

Romans 11:29 (8/10/22)

August 10, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Romans 11:29

* There’s a difference between gifted and anointed. * Backstory - Paul is talking about the corporate gift and calling of the gentiles to be grafted into the same covenant along with the Jews. * No matter how many Jews may object to this, God won’t change His mind. * The gentiles can be a part of God's chosen people - that’s a part of His plan. * Vs 29 - “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” * This verse also applies to the individual - when God gifts someone it's irrevocable. * Whether they use it for God or not doesn’t disqualify the gift. * So our question isn't "what are we gifted at?” * Our question is "how can I use my gifting to glorify the Lord." * But here's the most important part - the gift may not be irrevocable, but the anointing is! * A gifted person relies on talent. * An anointed person relies on the Holy Spirit. * A gifted person receives the glory for himself. * An anointed person deflects the glory to God. * A gifted person can give you an emotional experience. * An anointed person can change your life. * How do we receive the anointing? * SURRENDER - in the Bible oil was poured on someone for a symbolic anointing. * You had to be in a state of surrender for that to happen. * OBEDIENCE - then you have to walk in obedience to God’s ways. * True love is compassion w/standards (makes you righteous). * To be righteous means two things: * 1) Right relationship with God. * 2) Conformity to God’s moral standard (Psalms 71:2). * Anointing comes with authority (the right to use power). * If you want to keep your authority, stay in your place of responsibility. * 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 - Paul modeled what “anointed” looks like.

Romans 12:1 (8/10/22)

August 10, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Romans 12:1, Genesis

* The pathway to life is paved by sacrifice. * Life through death. * It started in the Garden - when Adam and Eve sinned and were naked, an animal had to be killed to “cover them up.” * It showed itself in Christ’s death as the ultimate sacrifice. * Our life came through His death. * We must also learn to die to ourselves. * When we let go of what we want we get life in return (what God wants). * God won’t give you what’s in His hand until you let go of what’s in yours. * EX: Seed in the ground. * What “type” of sacrifice are we to be? * Vs 1 - “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” * We are alive on the altar. * So when the heat picks up we want to jump off. * EX: Isaac in Genesis 22. * Skip Moen: * The living sacrifice is a contradiction in terms - sacrifices were killed.  * But occasionally, after the worshipper brought a living animal and it was accepted by the priest, a previously unnoticed blemish was discovered.  * The animal could not be sacrificed, but it also could not be returned to the owner - it was already offered to God.  * So, the animal became the property of the Temple and it lived out its life as a “living sacrifice.”  * Do you suppose the psalmist has this circumstance in mind? * If he does, he might have written a statement something like this: * I was born to serve You. From my birth, I’ve always wanted to be useful to You. But you and I both know that my life has not been blameless. I’ve got plenty of spots. Even when I want to dedicate myself to Your praise, those blemishes remind me that I’m not a worthy sacrifice. So, let me just stay near to You. Let me live in Your company. At least then I will be able to honor You.” * Part of being a “living sacrifice” is to live forgiven! * To remember your blemishes but not let them keep you from being close to God. * It’s experiencing gratitude for His forgiveness rather than guilt for your mess ups. * This changes the game from doing something hard - “staying on the altar while it burns” - to experiencing something beautiful - “staying close to God even though you’ve got issues.”

Psalms 57:2 (8/3/22)

August 3, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Psalm 57:2

* Power is the ability to do a thing. * Authority is the right to use power. * God has given us the power to do things, and He’s granted us the authority to use that power to make decisions. * Matt 16 - Jesus gives us “keys” to the kingdom. * Keys represent “access to authority.” * “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” * Essentially, “I’m giving you the power to make decisions on earth as if I were the one making the decision myself - so whatever you decide to do in my name and for my glory, just do it. It’s approved.” * EX: CEO giving a VP a job to do (don’t go to the boss for everything). * God does the same with us. * So long as we keep the extension of His kingdom and the glory of His name in the forefront of our decisions, then God decides “with us!” * This is why it’s so important to pray “in Jesus’ name.” * It reminds us of who we’re working with. * Vs 2 - the original Hebrew version of the phrase “who accomplishes all things for me” (NAS) is actually “to the God who decides with me.” * God involves Himself in your every decision.   * This changes things - every decision I make is laced with divine involvement.  * I have impact on God; He has impact on me. * When you make a decision “together,” you allow yourselves to influence each other. * We have “delegated authority” here on this earth, as God’s ambassadors. * The key to keeping this authority is staying in our place of responsibility. * EX: Priscilla Shirer.

Psalms 81:7-16 (8/3/22)

August 3, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Psalm 81:7–16

* God wants to bless us. * He’s our Father and it makes a dad feel good to bless His kids. * But He has boundaries in place for His blessing. * Boundaries existed before sin entered the world. * They bring freedom. * EX: Dad when we moved to Garland. * Backstory: * God is giving the Israelites a little history lesson. * He’s reminding them of times they walked outside the boundaries and how that worked out for them. * Remembering your history makes you HUMBLE, THANKFUL, & OBEDIENT. * Vs 7 - the waters at Meribah - where the Israelites grumbled against God. * God brought water from the rock. * “Don’t Forget This,” God is saying. “I will take care of you even when you’re obstinate!” * Vs 8-10 - God’s warning like a dad warning his kids. * “Don’t put anything in front of Me and I’ll fill your mouth with what you need.” * What goes in the mouth nourishes the body! * If we honor God we feed our souls! * Vs 11-12 - the worst thing God can do is let us have our own way. * Remembering your sin is a good thing - it keeps you humble. * Holding onto guilt is a bad thing - it keeps you shameful. * Vs 13-15 - If the Israelites would simply obey the Lord and honor His boundaries, He would give them what they need. * Vs 16 - you won’t just get water from the rock, you’ll get honey! * Obedience to God precedes nourishment from God. * 1) Nourishment from the rock. * God can use your tough situation to nourish you. * God brings you to rocky places to teach you how to rely on the ROCK. * 2) Sweetness from the rock. * God can turn a bitter time in your life to something sweet.

Acts 16:14-15 (7/27/22)

July 27, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 16:14–15

* All throughout the Bible God used marketplace people to accomplish His tasks. * Even the word “entrepreneur” is laced with spiritual meaning. * “Entre” means “go between” / “Prende” means “to undertake.”  * An entrepreneur goes between people with problems to bring solutions.  * An entrepreneur’s identity is that of an intercessor (Ezekiel 22).  * Kingdom Entrepreneur - “a risk-taking go-getter who generates income by meeting needs so that he can be a bridge that connects people to God.”  * Backstory - the gospel is spreading. * People aren’t meeting in synagogues - they’re meeting in houses. * Paul traveled to Philippi to preach (there was no church there). * Vs 13-14a - Lydia was a female entrepreneur. * Purple cloth meant she owned a boutique selling luxury clothes. * Vs 14b-15 - her house was big enough to have all the apostles in it! * The first church in Philippi was founded by an entrepreneur. * EX: Love Life looking for entrepreneurs in cities.

Romans 4:15 (7/27/22)

July 27, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Romans 4:15

* Romans is the first deep-dive into theology. * Paul talks a lot about the law and how it works. * This is why he had to mention the Jews. * They were seen as the “law givers and keepers.” * Paul thanked them for being God’s chosen people to usher in the law and rebuked them not keeping it. * He explained how you can’t get right with God by keeping the law - we all break it (it’s in our nature). * We get right with God by repenting, and then God’s grace and mercy comes in and triumphs over the law. * This is what faith looks like. * It trusts God to forgive us even when we’ve broken the law. * Then Paul moved deeper into why the law exists in the first place. * The law is important. Why? * Vs 15 - it brings transgression. * The law sparks my sinful nature. * When we give into it, we sin. * When we sin, we need a Savior. * Needing a Savior leads us to Jesus. * Without sin there’s no need for a Savior. * Once we have the Savior we still need to obey the law. * The law is a fence around your life that keeps the good in and the bad out. * It’s not a barrier to keep you in bondage, it’s a boundary to give you freedom.

Acts 19:8-10 (7/20/22)

July 20, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 19:8–10

* When God wants to move you from one place to another, often times there’s a push from where you are and a pull to where you need to be. * The problem comes when we only feel a push or a pull and then we make a move. * EX: Like a man hating his job but no prospects of another job - it hurts his family. * Backstory - Paul’s life shows us this. * His heart was to preach to “all” people, both Jew & Gentile. * His early ministry was in the marketplace, houses, and synagogues. * The reach was not big. * He had to travel a lot. * But things changed in Ephesus. * Vs 8 - In Ephesus, the 1st opportunity that opened up was at a synagogue. * It lasted about 3 months (12 speaking engagements). * Vs 9a - The mood changed! Their attitudes got hard toward Paul. * This was the PUSH. * Vs 9b - So he started his own teaching ministry inside the famed “Hall of Tyrannus.” * This was the PULL. * He probably felt this pull early on because he didn’t want to only address Jews, but he waited. * The Hall of Tyrannus was a parachurch training center. * The Hall was “non-religious,” so many people who would never enter a synagogue or religious place would come hear Paul. * Vs 10 - the Result! * The Hall of Tyrannus literally became a launching pad for the gospel around the world. * Early manuscripts said Paul spoke from 11AM-4PM every day. * Two years of ministry to both Jews & Gentiles - commentators say he preached to about 2 million people from this place!! * This was Paul’s last big ministry effort before he was brought to Jerusalem and held as prisoner and then sent to Rome for death. * Paul’s biggest ministry success hung in the balance of a push and a pull. * When you feel the push, wait for the pull. * When you feel the pull, wait for the push. * Caveat - this isn’t “fool proof” - sometimes you need to make a move with one or the other. But you need to be 100% sure God wants you to do that first!

Acts 7:60 (7/13/22)

July 13, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 7:60

* Death is the beginning of life. * Jesus said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24) * The life of a seed stays in the seed until it dies. * EX: Caterpillar to Butterfly. * Death not only brings new life, but it ushers in new seasons. * It turns the page from one chapter in your story to the next. * God did this several times in the story of redemption. * Leviticus 10: new age of the priestly order - Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire and died! * Gospels: there’s a new king - Jesus had to die. * Acts 2: new age for the church - Ananias and Saphira lied to the Holy Spirit and died! * The church all flocked together. * Acts 7:59-8:1 - the church needed to scatter. * Stephen died for his obedience! He was killed for his Fatih. * Death is the foundation of the church! * Note - each death struck fear in the hearts of people. * Proverbs 9:10 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” * Fear is to be our Foundation. * Two Keys to be what God has called us to be: * 1) Die to ourselves - like Stephen. * 2) Die to our former chapter - don’t go back! * To enter into a new chapter in your life, it will require a death of the former chapter. * You can’t hold onto what you did previously. * You have to let that go if you’re going to embrace the fulness of what God has for you in the next phase of your life. * EX: Working out - Crossfit at 35 was like I was 21, but I kept getting hurt! * Two questions: * What am I alive to right now that I should be dead to? * What am I holding onto that I need to let go of? * EX: I have a natural entrepreneurial impulse - I see solutions to problems and know how to make it profitable. * That worked for me when I was younger - I was “go-go-go!” * But I am in a new chapter - I have to say “no” to opportunities that I used to say “yes” to. * Otherwise I miss what God has for me in this new chapter.

Acts 13:48 (7/13/22)

July 13, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 13:48

* Disappointment is the gap between expectation and reality. * EX1: If your favorite drink is Sprite, but I put it in a Coke can and told you to take a drink you’d spit it out even though you love it. * Why? Because you were expecting something different. * EX2: If I walk up and push you without you knowing it’s coming, you might fall over. * But if you brace yourself because you’re expecting it, you’ll be fine. * EX3: If the Marines change their commercials to match beer commercials, guys would quit right and left. * They’d flee the battlefield because that’s not what they signed up for. * This is what has happened with Westernized emergent Christianity. * The expectation is the best life NOW, not later. * EX: 100 ft rope - your life is the tip of one end. * And in that life you’ll experience trials and tribulations (John 16:33). * The expectation of Christianity hasn’t been managed. * But it wasn’t always this way - the early church blossomed with the expectation of severe persecution and struggle. * Backstory - The gospel was now open to the Gentiles, and Paul was their chief evangelist. * Vs 47 - the gospel was always for everyone, not just Jews. * Vs 48 - Passion Commentary - “The Greek word for “appointed” can also be translated ‘stationed in battle order.’” * Those who understood the spiritual battle between light and dark and who were ready to fight, believed! * God didn’t save you just to go to heaven - He wants you in His army! * Church Triumphant / Church Militant. * We’ve replaced the warning label on the Bible with a party invite. * But if you know there’s a fight coming, you’ll train for it. * 2 Corinthians 10:4 - “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” * Prayer, Bible reading, fasting - they’ll have purpose behind them. * Matthew 10:16 - we are to be “sheep among wolves.” * Psalms 127:4 - your family is supposed to be involved in a fight. * EX: Joshua - he heard the sound of war coming down the mountain, and he was made the leader of the people. * EX: Gideon's 300!

Acts 6:1-7 (7/6/22)

July 6, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 6:1–7

* Choosing to Cheat - when you have to decide between two people, someone will feel cheated. * You choose who that will be, and then be ok with it. * Often times, in order to get the most out of our life we end up losing control of our lives! * We’ve all experienced this - we’re operating in our calling and then we get busy and distracted and the next thing you know we’re doing stuff that doesn’t line up with our calling. * We get distracted by what we “can” do rather than what we “should” do. * This happened in the early church - it started to grow big and fast. * Money was pouring in for donations, and it had to be managed. * All biz starts out as leadership, but evolves into management. * Leadership is big pic / Management is details. * The 12 disciples (Apostles) found themselves operating as managers. * And they were doing a terrible job! * If a bunch of customers complain about the service at a restaurant, what’s that say about the manager? * Vs 1 - the number of “disciples” was increasing (make disciples, not converts). * The first issue in the newly formed church - comparison. * The 12 were terrible managers - they missed a whole group of widows! * Vs 2 - it wouldn’t be “right” to do one thing over another. * Compare tasks, don’t compare people. * They looked at two tasks - distributing food or preaching the gospel. * They looked at their calling, talents, skills and made a decision. * AUTHORIZED WORK - it’s all based on how you use your TIME! * The question isn’t “What CAN I do with my time.” The question is “What am I AUTHORIZED to do with my time?” * Your time was purchased by Christ - He is the one who tells you what to do with it. * Just like you owe your boss 40 hours - he tells you what you’ll do. * Vs 3 - they looked for the Spirit in someone, not their experience in waiting tables. * To handle money, you need the Spirit! * You can be Spirit-filled and do menial tasks. * Vs 4 - they will “give their attention” to one thing over the other. * What do you give your attention to? * The devil’s first line of attack is to distract. * Ministry OF the word (the others had the ministry OF serving tables). * Vs 5-6 - seven “ministers.” * Vs 7 - because they chose to do what they “should” do rather than what they “could” do, the gospel spread. * So when you're in a situation that involves your time where you have to choose between two things, both of which are good, how can you know which to choose? * 1) What can you and ONLY you do? * 2) What does your heart tell you? (God plants desire inside us) * 3) What gives you energy?

Acts 12:6 (7/6/22)

July 6, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 12:1–6

* True faith doesn’t freak out in the midst of the storm. * It keeps its peace even when the heat picks up! * Vs 1-2 - What do you think James’ mom felt? She said James could drink His same cup. * Vs 3-4 - Different things happen to different people. * Don’t compare - simply be faithful. * Vs 5 - we should pray for those who are persecuted. * Interceding taps into the mirror neurons of the brain. * It will help you keep your peace! * Vs 6 - Remember the boat! (Matthew 8:23-27) * Peter, bound in chains, knowing that the same fate as James awaited him. * Anxiety - projected powerlessness. * His response - he projected power, and therefore he experienced PEACE! * True faith involves more than just believing God can do something, it’s walking in authority as you believe it. * The beauty of a storm is that you will always see God in a new light - you’ll come to know Him better!  * When the storm comes, what do we do? * Ask two questions:  * 1) Did I bring this on myself? (Self-inflicted storms come from God) * 2) Is Jesus in my boat? Have I made Him captain? (What’s His posture?)

Acts 4:29-32 (6/29/22)

June 29, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 4:29–32

* We wrote a book - Beauty In Battle: winning in marriage by waging a war. * Premise - “fighting together draws you together.” * Four levels of community - you grow close with those you: * 1) Study with * 2) Share with * 3) Serve with * 4) Suffer with * CrossFit Sign - “I hate you. I hate this place. See you tomorrow.” * God built us this way so we would need each other. * God is not all we need! (Adam & Eve) * EX: 911 story. * Random Number Generators based on earth’s electromagnetic field. * When everyone grieved together, they all synced up. * Backstory - early church had intense suffering. * Apostles beaten, killed, thrown in jail. * In the midst of that, they prayed: * Vs 29 - they had a “whatever the cost” mindset. * Vs 30 - answer our prayers so people know Jesus is alive! * Vs 31 - God responds to boldness! * He gives you the power you need to do the job. * Vs 32 - “All the believers were one in heart and mind…” * Fighting together draws you together. * Unity as the result of suffering yields power! * Problem - Satan wants people to fight face-to-face against each other rather than shoulder-to-shoulder against him. * Three Battles: * Personal - fight over sin. * Relational - fight with people. * Kingdom - fight for people. * The more you win the personal battle and stay out of the relational battle, the more powerful you are in the kingdom battle. * The personal and kingdom battle involve suffering - that’s why God wants us to do it with others. * Fighting together draws us together. * Matthew 18:20 - “Where two or three are gathered…” * Matthew 16:18 - “…and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.”

Acts 6:8-9 (6/29/22)

June 29, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 6:8–9

* Notice two types of fights that took place amongst people who were filled with the Holy Spirit: * 1) Infighting (vs 1) * Disputes arose amongst the believers. * They started arguing about stuff. * 2) Outfighting (vs 8-9) * Disputes arose amongst those who weren’t believers. * Non-Christians started accusing them of things they didn’t do. * You would think that a mighty move of God, one powered by the Holy Spirit, would be free of such fights, right? NOPE! * It’s the same with giving birth. * Life happens in the midst of messiness. * When we do things for God it doesn’t mean the fight goes away. I * In fact, it may mean the fight picks up. * Just be ready for it. * What do we do about it? * Do what the disciples did * When it came to infighting - they fixed the problem. * When it came to outfighting - we stand boldly (like Stephen).

John 18:1 (6/22/22)

June 22, 2022 • Benham Brothers • John 18:1

* As believers, we all need a garden. * A garden is a place of growth. * Spiritually speaking, it’s a place of peace and quiet where you can incubate in the Lord (secret place). * Jesus always sought a garden where He could spend time alone with His Father. * It was the pattern of His life. * KEY - we don’t just grow in a garden, we should fight from it too! (Psalms 66) * It’s not only a place of rest and growth, but a station for battle! * EX: Daniel - defied the king’s order from his garden! * Look where Jesus went when He knew He was about to enter a fight. * Vs 1 - Fighting things out in the secret place is the access way to the Holy Spirit. * Your public life is only as strong as your private time with the Lord. * Vs 2 - You should share your garden with those you lead (family). * How does a garden make things grow? * Sunlight, right temperature, moisture, air, nutrients. * A garden benefits the most by the use of compost. * It is considered “black gold” to Gardners. * Compost is decomposed organic material (plants, leaves, twigs, fruits & veggies). * Bacteria breaks down these materials and makes them extremely useful to growing new fruits & veggies. * Your spiritual garden is where you are broken down so you can be built back up! * All fighters get broken down in the fight - but it makes them stronger for the next one. * EX: Me with anxiety. * I learned that God often breaks us down before breakthrough so we can “break it down.” * He wants us to learn from it so we can help others when they need it.

Acts 2:14 (6/22/22)

June 22, 2022 • Benham Brothers • Acts 2:14

* Your greatest weakness is an over-extension of your greatest strength. * We turn our strength into weakness. * God turns our weakness back into a strength! * Blind Harry’s book “Wallace” about the life of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. * The opening line in the book - “In 1297, William Wallace raised his head.” * All William’s previous experiences led him to this moment where he would lead his people to fight the English for Scottish freedom. * Reading through the first few chaps of Acts made me think of Peter. * The last time we saw Peter: * He was on the seashore eating crow before Jesus. * The time before that he denied Jesus three times. * The time before that he got rebuked for cutting of someone’s ear. * The time before that he got rebuked for standing in the way of Christ’s mission. * The time before that God told him to shut up and listen (on the Mount of Transfiguration). * Peter was naturally bold - it was his biggest strength, but also his biggest weakness. * But now, things were different! * It was the Day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit descended powerfully on the place. * People were confused … * Vs 14 - “Then Peter stood up …” * No longer relying on his own strength or cowering in fear. * He stood boldly for the Lord and preached the very first message of the gospel. * Acts 3:1 - he was also the first to heal someone. * Peter turned his strength into a weakness. * But God turned Peter’s weakness into a strength. * What needed to happen before God could use Pete’s natural strength? * 1) He had to be humbled. * Boldness apart from Brokenness makes you a bully (Pete in the Garden) . * Brokenness apart from Boldness makes you a bystander (Pete in the Courtyard). * Boldness on the foundation of Brokenness makes you a Bridge between heaven and earth. * Pete was now a bridge! * 2) He needed the Holy Spirit. * God fills the humble, pure, and courageous heart. * Pete was simply “willing” to stand and speak, so the HS filled him for the job! * But not everyone wants to walk across that bridge - and some people want to blow the bridge up! * Response: * Acts 2:37 - 3k got saved. * Acts 5:33 - “When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put him to death.”