Leon Fontaine - Making Others Jealous
As a young man, a teenager, I remember beginning to struggle with Christianity. Some of my friends would say things like, "Before I settle down and give my life to Jesus, I want to go travel the world and have some fun". And I thought, "What in the world do you need to not have God for that"? Another guy told me, "I want to go party. I'm going to go meet people. I want to before I settle down and give my life to Jesus. I just want to go live it up". I thought to myself, "So what's, why can't you do that serving God"? Someone else told me, "Well, you know, I'd love to, but you know what, I really want to prosper and just rise up in the financial world and be successful". And I was thinking, "What's the problem"?
The problem is religion. The problem is that even as a teenager back then, I would listen to many of the men and the women that were teaching in our denomination at that time, our fellowship, and everything was about reaching the big bad world, staying away from it, not being in it. And they had all these verses out of context, too. So we kind of we're hunkered down and the big, and the Bible doesn't say anything like that. But you see, I recognized that, and I knew God had called me to pastor but the only thing I had seen as far as pastoring was churches, you know, under a hundred wherever I went. And everything in the world could succeed, businesses could have like, you know, 80.000 workers in four or five different countries. But the churches were just this small little thing and so that became my image.
And I remember when God really began to call me I said, "God, I don't want to pastor. I don't want to be in some little place". You know, fighting with the burden and trying to get people to come out to this boring music, boring preaching, boring whatever. And God took me on a journey of understanding the Word. And I want to talk to you about this today, because when I began to examine the Bible as a teenager, my beliefs began to change from misbeliefs to truth. Now, when God made the earth, the animals, the fish, the air, the planets. When He put all of the laws of nature, the laws of space, time, etcetera. When He put them all together into this physical world, everyone thinks God was done creating. But He's not done creating. From what we can tell in the teaching of Ezequiel, Genesis, and other scriptures that talked about the garden of Eden, it was exactly that a garden. Gorgeous, beautiful, amazing, plants, rivers, animals, fish. You name it. It was phenomenal.
But yet the Bible talks about how human started in the garden. But did you know that at the end of our age when Jesus comes back, we're not going back to a garden. We're going to a city called the new Jerusalem. You see, mankind according to Genesis 1 was made in the likeness and the image of God. And just like that creative ability that was in God. It's in every human being today. And so when Adam looked out and saw the trees and the mountains and the valleys and the different colors of dirt and the different kinds of rock. Mankind was going to find out you could make steel, bronze, iron. That there's computer chips hidden in the sand. There is steel hidden in that mountain of ore. God knew.
He's not surprised that mankind began to create things like asphalt and tarmac and jets. I mean, the ability to understand radio waves, microwaves, and all the thing. And we've hardly touch the surface of what God has created. But He gave mankind the ability to begin to understand. We call it sciences. He gave him the ability. When He said to Adam be fruitful and multiply. He said in Genesis 1:26-28, He said take over all the earth. Have dominion over fishes. Have dominion over animals. Have dominion. It doesn't say over people, because people are made in the likeness and the image of God and never made to be dominated. No human being should be dominated because every human being is made in the likeness and the image of God of every color, every language. We are made like Him.
And so when you study by chapter 4 of Genesis, we find that grandkids within one, they began to do songs and poems and music and dance as the arts came into existence. Another one began to understand animals and herds and how to look after our food supply and farming and agriculture, began to rise up into... Another began to work with bronze and iron and understand different things as the sciences began to rise way back then in the very first family. We can see this began to rise up as God began to flow through mankind. And the Bible says they began to build cities. Now, if Adam was told fill the earth with your family, with your kids. If you're going to have a planet full of people, then you're going to have to understand culture.
And so a lot of Christians talked about you've given your life to Jesus and telling the world about Jesus as though the great commission is the only thing we do. So we rush around, and we preach Jesus. Give your life to Jesus. Just a minute. That's actually not accurate. The mandate that God gave Adam to fill the earth, subdue it, have dominion over it, to literally be creative still here today. And so whatever you do, you are to rise to the top. The word "blessed" if you look up in the Amplified Bible in brackets it will give a definition like this, blessed means happy, fortunate, and to be envied. And today I want to talk about making the world jealous.
You see, this is actually the way God has designed His church. We're not to be this religious subculture whose hoping the world doesn't stomp us out, behead us, stamp us with the mark of the beast or whatever crazy fears are pushed at us. But instead we have what is called the cultural mandate is what most theologians call the command that is in Genesis from God. Then we have a command from Jesus in the Gospels to share the gospel. And what I have discovered is the world is attracted to excellence. The world is attracted to victory. The world is attracted to those who are able to rise up and live truly the way Jesus said in John 10:10. He said I am come that you might have life and that you can have it to the fullest in every area. But very few Christians believe that, because if you start teaching healing, Christians will attack you.
If you believe God is loving and God is caring and God is a prosperous God, then the culture of your society will be a happy one, a forgiving one, a rejoicing one, a helping one. But if your beliefs about God are that He is mean. He is angry. He is judgmental. You will have a culture that is mean and judgmental. And if you ever study world religions and you'll look at other religions in which way they move. You will see that culture is religion externalize. Culture is what we believe externalize. There's a culture for your home. There's a culture for your business. There's a culture that we need to be very aware of because the culture of Christ is very different than the culture of religion.
As you go on through some of these verses. It says in Exodus 35 here, that when it comes to any skill whether it's metal, wood. Whether it is the arts like movies and book writing. All of these things the Bible says here that we are filled with the spirit of God for this and He's given us ability, wisdom, intelligence, understanding, knowledge, and all of this craftsmanship. And so wherever you are, whatever you do if you're in business, then everybody who works for you ought to be just bragging about the most amazing boss. You're not a pushover. You will get the best work out of them but you're honorable and you are integrous. And they believe that being with you they're going to go somewhere because they see your leaderships. They see your giftedness and the skills you've added to your gift and that there will be no cap on you.
You're going to go somewhere. And this is something that we need to understand. That as we fulfill what God has called us to do. Live! Really live. Live with joy. Live with peace. The fruits of the Spirit or the strengths, I call them, of the Spirit. Fruits shows you how they come. They grow little by little and they grow stronger and stronger. That you're an amazingly patient husband, a patient dad, a patient leader. You are a wise woman as a leader, as a mom, as an entrepreneur. That this strength that come out of the Spirit of God in our recreated human spirit makes us better at everything. You see, we cannot be just a little bit better because people aren't going to be envious of that.
They're going to say, "Oh, I can do that". But if what you do is so stunning, so bless, so incredible. That they just go, "There's just no way you can be at the right time at the right places so many times. There's just no way that you can weather so many storms, have so many attacks, and when the smokes clears, you're still standing". This world has yet to see what a businessman and a businesswoman and a politician and a professor and a mom and a dad and a friend yet to see what that looks like with someone so favored of God believing it. That they rise up and they truly are the salt and the light of the communities they're in.
So many people think that I as a pastor that I seemed that all of these things should be following me, and they should. But I'm to equip you with the Word of God and so that you can rise up in the world area and whatever area you're gifted this is. God will be with you. God will work with you. But if you don't believe that, then His grace won't flow. Because His grace which is His favor, His ability, it comes to you as you believe it. And if we don't teach you messages like this, that say you are highly favored. You are loved. You are blessed. You are gifted. Believe it! And the presence of God will be with you. And it's not going to do automatically. You need to work.
Someone said, "Yeah, I wish Adam wouldn't have fallen in the garden, made that mistake because now we all have to work". No, no. Adam worked in the garden. It was just the most enjoyable thing you can ever have done, to create and to build. Today, a lot of people can work and get nowhere and so works got in a bad rap. But in the garden, he played hard, worked hard, hanged out with God. It was the joy of his life to be building, naming, doing stuff, and that's the kind of work. So when you begin to believe. You see, you can't have faith without work because faith without working is dead. But when you begin to believe something, you begin to work in that direction.
And so as believers we need to work hard. We need to play hard. We need to laugh, love, enjoy life. And the Bible word "hard", I don't mean desperate. I don't mean barely get by. I mean laughing and enjoying it till you can't tell when I'm playing, and you can't tell when I'm working. As you begin to get into the world and as you begin to rise up in success, in leadership, the world is going to want you to believe what they believe. There are those who are going to fight to teach your kids what they want your kids to believe.
Now, whenever someone ask me, "Well, what do you think about this? What do you think about that"? And you see they're trying to find out. Where do I stand on gender issues? Where do I stand on sexual issues? Where do I stand on all these issues? And it's the fighting the world. I always tell them the same thing. You and I do not have to agree on everything to be friends, to do business, to be neighbors, to hang out together, to go golfing. And so the believer must understand that we are not in this world to attack people. You trying to get them to clean up their life doesn't work. So stop it. You're judging them. And the world just going to judge us back. There's only one thing they need to do to make heaven and that's to choose Jesus, invite Him in their life. Now, finally can they have the desire, the will, and the power to begin to change and to embrace the principles of the Word.
So I always tell people, "Ha! You know, you and I don't have to agree to get along. So you are a freewill moral being. You get to believe what you want, live what you like, decide what you want to do, spend your entire life pursuing whatever you want. You have the right to do that". God gave every human being freedom. Now, if you make wrong choices, there's always consequences. So He's trying to give us a book to show us the right choices to have a stunning amazing life. But I'm not going to sit here and just bash away at you trying to make you. You have your own choices.
Now, like I give you the freedom to choose what to believe, act, and do. You must give me the freedom to believe what I believe, to live my life the way I want to live my life, and you're not going to teach my kids what you believe. I'm going to teach my kids what I believe. And you see that it's about freedom. Stop trying to argue, debate, or many of you are afraid to say anything because if you stick your head up, it's going to be banged down. Well, then make every issue about freedom. That way just like we give freedom to them. They must give freedom to us. And we need to rise up and train our kids to become everything, from politicians to lawyers to doctors, and they must rise up and influence. We cannot hunker down as a subculture, okay?
And just whatever they do, we're sure of praying and hoping that we've got great leadership. No, we're not praying and hoping. We're teaching and admonishing and raising up our kids and our grandkids and every generation. Because in them our phenomenal leaders, phenomenal actors, phenomenal songwriters, phenomenal politicians, phenomenal doctors. They just have never been taught that you my son, you my daughter are going to rise to the very top to be the greatest blessing that Canada has ever seen. The greatest blessing the world has ever seen. This is what we need to teach our generations. We've got to make sure that we understand that you can't just live our lives waiting for Jesus to rescue us.
If we're going to impact the world, here's three quick things that we need to understand. We need that it's crucial that we live great lives so they can see the favor of God, the goodness of God in us. Then the goodness of God leads them to go, "I want what you've got". I know it. How in the world you do that? In your marriage, with your kids, your families, generations, your finance, but I want it. And so we have to live great lives and God will help us do that to make the world jealous. We must recognize and show them that we all have human needs. And that yes, we are all human. But that God will help us to fulfill those needs in a godly way. He's not against them.
Listen to me. The greatest sex lives on the planet are between two people who love and marry and promise each other man and wife and go for it. And why do we back down from that? Let's go prove it. Let's live it. And then we must, the third thing, we must be able to understand and love a fallen world. Arguing with them doesn't work. Trying to see who's right doesn't work. Just love them, accept them, forgive them when they hurt you, and live a life so amazing that they want what you have.
Here in Deuteronomy 4:5-8. It's pretty interesting. Listen to this interesting verse. It says, "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in this land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day"?
It's talking to the Israelites and saying when we have a nation, if these are the keys to great nations, great families, great cities, great prosperity and the world is going to see. Well, the same promises are to read the church today. And wherever we are from country to country regardless of our color and race, the church of Jesus Christ should be the salt, the light, and should be the leadership. You! I'm talking to you right now. You need to recognize that God need you to rise up with passion and love. And let everybody around you when they ask you know. You know, St. Francis of Assisi said this.
He said, "Everywhere you go witness and share with people and when necessary use words". Oh, what does that mean? That means your life should be one that is so full of joy and love and peace and the strengths, the fruit of the Spirit. That at the same time the promises of God should be at work in your life. So they look at you and go, "Oh, my, how do you live like this year after year, decade after decade? Your wife still loves you. Your husband thinks you're awesome after 30, 40, 50 years. Your kids cannot wait to get home. You hang out. You're out enjoying this beautiful world prospering and healthy. Whatever kind of a stuff pushes at you. You weather. You keep going". This is where the church of Jesus Christ rises up.
And by the way, don't make the promises of God what you seek after. The Bible says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you". Not only do we have the great commission. The people need to know about Jesus. That we have one of the greatest ways to do that. And that is to understand the cultural mandate that we go forth with the promises of God, the presence of God, the blessing of God, and it's upon you. Stop listening to your religious background. If you were raised in religion, let God get the Word into you and clean that up. Follow Jesus and He will lead you to the Bible says still waters, to green pastures, to a place of the blessing and the favor of God.