Rodney Herra Talks About Riches
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on August 1, 2015 began with an introit by Cheyna Ashe on the piano. Bob and Michelle Gustafson had the Personal Ministries Corner. They mentioned that they and many students have been helping with the Vacation Bible School in the Graysville Seventh-day Adventist Church this week. Eleven or twelve young people have been attending. Michelle witnessed to one young man whose parents are either in jail or on meth. This young man learned how the Scriptures applied to his own life. The closing VBS is tonight is at the Graysville church from 6:30 to approximately 7:15.
Bob Gustafson then talked about garbage. He talked with a lot of garbage people about Laurelbrook’s trash collection. He found an individual who has a garbage truck repair business in Manassas, Virginia. This individual questioned Bob for nearly 45 minutes about Laurelbrook and its program. This businessman then offered to sell a different truck for $10,000 (instead of the $16,000 asking price). But the truck didn’t have the dumpster reloader options.
The businessman had some prominent friends who wanted to hear about Laurelbrook. Then after tours, the businessman offered to include the parts at no additional charge – and deliver the truck to Dayton free of charge. He was astonished at what students were learning at Laurelbrook.
Stanton Rolle welcomed everyone and announced that everyone is invited to the cafeteria for lunch. There will no vespers here tonight, but everyone will be going to the Graysville church for the VBS program. Be in front of cafeteria by 5:45 to get a ride there.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Whiter Than Snow”. Stanton Rolle allowed for three testimonies before the Morning Prayer. He then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Montel Johnson then called for the offering, which was for local church budget. Adiv (sophomore) and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Stanton Rolle prayed for the offering.
Lorealle (senior) told the children a story about the Good Samaritan. Mari (9th grader) then read Proverbs 22:16 “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his [riches, and] he that giveth to the rich, [shall] surely [come] to want.” Michelle Gustafson sang “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, accompanied by Cheyna Ashe on the piano.
Rodney Herra discussed the topic “Deceitfulness of Riches”. The congregation sang “Wholly Thine”. Rodney Herra had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Bob Gustafson – men’s work coordinator and Laurelbrook vice-president
Cheyna Ashe – works in the Laurelbrook business office
Daryll Ellis – works for nearby Majestic Stone Company / local church deacon
Michelle Gustafson - Laurelbrook farm manager / wife of Bob Gustafson
Montel Johnson – one of the academy math and science teachers
Rodney Herra – head local church elder / works with Laurelbrook’s auto body program and elsewhere on campus
Stanton Rolle – works in the Laurelbrook business office
Following are some notes on the sermon by Rodney Herra:
- Many people have a goal to have a million dollars, but we really should be ministers of the gospel for God.
- Proverbs 22:16 “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his [riches, and] he that giveth to the rich, [shall] surely [come] to want.”
- There is nothing wrong with riches if we attain them God’s way.
- Proverbs 23:1-5 “1 ¶ When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite. 3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they [are] deceitful meat. 4 ¶ Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. 5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for [riches] certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”
- Ellen White says that it is not God’s Will that His ministers should seek to be rich.
- 1 Timothy 6 says that we should be willing to distribute the money we get for God’s cause.
- A tool is no good unless it is in the proper hands. We are all tools in God’s hands.
- Luke 12:13-15 “13 ¶ And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
- Our possessions are lent to us by God. Ellen White says that if Adventists would put into God’s work the money spent on selfish gratification, they would be doing what God requires of them. In God’s judgment, we must account for all the money God has lent to us and what our motive is when we give.
- If we look at what God has done for us, what is really the worth of the money or riches we have?
- Luke 12:16-20 “16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry. 20 But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
- The rich man was taking credit for his riches, but he forgot that God’s blessings had really provided those riches. He was thinking only of his own comfort when he could have helped the poor. He lived as though there were no God nor any heaven.
- God has blessed us so much – what do we do with God’s gifts?
- 1 Kings 3:5-7 “5 ¶ In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it is] this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I [am but] a little child: I know not [how] to go out or come in.”
- Solomon realized he needed God’s wisdom to do his job properly. He wanted this wisdom more than he wanted riches or honor.
- The higher a position a person occupies, the greater his need for dependence on God and the greater his need to follow God.
- God is still willing to give wisdom as He did to Solomon.
- If we desire wealth, power, or fame without God’s approval, the end will not be pretty.
- We need divine approval in everything we do.
- Ellen White says that a recognition of God’s ownership is essential to true success in any line of business.
- Our possessions really don’t belong to us but to God. Our temporal blessings are given us to try us to see if we are really ready to be given eternal life and glory
- May we take it seriously if the Lord blesses us with riches! Take time every day to connect with God.