You SHALL Inherit the Promises of God

You SHALL Inherit the Promises of God

The children Manasseh had a giant problem, literally. They had seen God’s deliverance from Egypt’s oppression, daily experienced God’s provision, crossed the river into the land promised their father Abraham but there was still one problem…giants. They were in the promised land, it was under their feet, they could see it but it didn’t quite look like what they were expecting. Have you ever felt like you were where God wanted you to be but it was full of problems? Maybe those problems even caused you to question if you’re in the right place. You’re not alone.

The nation of Israel had the promised land in reach, all that was left was to take the land. We are in a similar position yet under a new covenant. We have been translated into the Kingdom of Jesus, delivered from the power of darkness with all spiritual blessings within our grasp yet our outer world may be full of problems. Let’s check back in with the tribe of Manasseh and see how they handled this issue.

Does Prayer Do Anything?

Does Prayer Do Anything?

Have you ever felt like prayer doesn’t make much of a difference? Over the years people have confessed to me they don’t pray much. They don’t pray much because they feel like it doesn’t do much. People know they’re “supposed” to pray as Christians but often feel like it doesn’t change anything. Ever been there?

We pray and then carry on as if we don’t expect anything to change. That may sound a little harsh but if you’re honest with yourself, you know it’s true. You have probably felt this way at times. I want to give you some good news about prayer. Whether you understand it or not, something is happening when you pray. You might not see immediate results, you may never see results, but if you believe what you pray, something is definitely happening.

Have a Swig of Righteousness for Your Thirsty Soul

Have a Swig of Righteousness for Your Thirsty Soul

How does righteousness satisfy your soul?

Your soul craves emotional and spiritual drink. The body craves physical drink. When your soul is thirsty and you try to quench it with physical or emotional drink from the world, you’ll always be unsatisfied. But if you drink of spiritual drink when your soul is thirsty, you will always be satisfied.

The world has plenty of physical and emotional stuff to drink, water, wine, juice, whiskey, as well as fear, worry, temporary relief, and possibly even temporary happiness. But the thirst always comes back. Righteousness is the only thing that can satisfy a soul.

What is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy?

What is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy?

Grace and mercy are not the same thing even though most Christians use the words interchangeably. Knowing the difference is important for theological integrity as well as practical life application. Let’s look at the definitions of grace and mercy.

Definitions from Strong’s Concordance

GRACE
Greek 5485 charis - graciousness of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life): acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, grace, gracious, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanks, thank worthy.


MERCY
Greek 1656 eleos
- kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, that of God toward sinners, joined with a desire to help them; of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one's self merciful; of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life.

Understanding the Gospel has Miraculous and Freeing Benefits

Understanding the Gospel has Miraculous and Freeing Benefits

The Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is that God became like us to conquer and remove all the issues keeping mankind from being worthy of His presence. He became our sin so we could become righteous, He delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of Jesus. He forgives us freely, we simply believe in the power of Jesus' finished work to qualify for everything God has for us. We are no longer servants but friends of God. The list can go on and on.

The power of God's inner influence, otherwise known as grace, becomes effective in your life when your mind and heart understand the Gospel. When you understand that Jesus is LORD, that he is preeminent over all creation and that he has shared his authority over all creation with you, you will allow God's spirit to have its way in your life, and you will believe that nothing is more powerful than Jesus.

The Subtlety of Fear - A Message for Men

The Subtlety of Fear - A Message for Men

We don’t realize it but we make many of our decisions out of fear, especially men. We don’t necessarily feel afraid, we’re now sitting in the corner balled up biting our nails, we don’t have chills running down our spine, but we have let fear constrict our willingness to stand on God’s promises because of fear associated with responsibility.

Responsibility, that’s mostly a good thing but it can cause us to limit our interaction with God. This, of course, applies to women but I feel it on my heart to talk to men this week.

My man, you’re doing a good job — you’re paying your bills, you’re trying to be a good dad, you’re treating your wife as lovingly as you can, you’re working at your job to make your boss happy so you can have a shot at that promotion, you’re voting for the right issues, you’re trying to take care of your body, you’re investing for your children’s future, and so on. There’s only one problem with all that, God isn’t in that “list.”

In fact, the last thing men want is more responsibility. Unfortunately, men try to go to church and get another list of rules. They’re pressured into serving and being made to feel like their love for sports or fishing gets in the way of living for God. It’s no wonder male church attendance has declined.

But men, I have a few more things to say. Many of us feel like we don’t have time for church, which is fine, but do you have time for God?

When you’re making your budget, or you’re pondering your job and how you can make more money, or when you’re thinking about your kids, do you leave some time to get God’s heart on the matter? Do you take time to find a passage in scripture that relates to your specific areas of responsibility in life?

The Secret of Kingdom Seeds

The Secret of Kingdom Seeds

Jesus said “pay attention to the word you hear.” That doesn’t mean listen really hard, that means attend to it. If you have a garden, you don’t pay attention to it by looking at it, you get your hands dirty by tilling the soil, watering the seeds, eradicating pests and uprooting invasive plant species.

“Paying attention” to the word of God that you plant in your heart means you need to make sure you’re watering it. Stay in faith. Make sure you are thinking how God thinks about your life. Pray and meditate, include God’s logic in your thought processes. Change the way you’re thinking about your circumstances and see God’s possibilities and promises.

Paying attention has more to do with the meditation of your heart than the function of your ears or eyes.

From Expositor’s Greek Testament

There shall be given over and above, not to those who hear (T. R., τοῖς ἀκούουσιν), but to those who think on what they hear. This thought introduces Mark 4:25, which, in this connection, means: the more a man thinks the more he will understand, and the less a man thinks the less his power of understanding will become. “Whoso hath attention, knowledge will be given to him, and from him who hath not, the seed of knowledge will be taken. For as diligence causes that seed to grow, negligence destroys it,” Euthy.

How to Hear God: A Lesson from George Washington Carver and the Peanut

How to Hear God: A Lesson from George Washington Carver and the Peanut

George Washington Carver is credited with saving the agricultural economy of the rural South. From his work at Tuskegee, Carver developed approximately 300 products made from peanuts; these included: flour, paste, insulation, paper, wall board, wood stains, soap, shaving cream and skin lotion. Carver is also credited with the innovation of crop rotation.

Cotton was the primary crop in the South in the early 1900’s but cotton depleted the soil. Carver knew that peanuts replenished soil and tried to convince his constituents to plant a harvest of peanuts in between cotton yields so the cotton harvest would be more bountiful. The only problem, peanuts were not a profitable crop, which led George Washington Carver to the woods. Why the woods?

All my life, I have risen regularly at four in the morning to go into the woods and talk with God. That’s where He reveals His secrets to me. When everybody else is asleep, I hear God best and learn my plan… ~ George Washington Carver

Expand Your Tents and Make Room for God to Move

Expand Your Tents and Make Room for God to Move

All things are possible for those who believe, and we believe with our hearts (Romans 10:10). Your heart or inner man is paramount in experiencing God in this life. God wants you to increase the capacity of your heart to trust him so he can move through you in greater ways and see the impossible come to pass. The more confident you are in his character and his word, the more you are able to allow him to do through you. And what he wants to do is increase and enrich you in every way so you can be generous in every way.

2 Corinthians 9:10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

God’s goal is to have a nation of priests in the earth who lead people to Jesus and disciple those people in God’s ways so his kingdom will increase in the earth.

Being Made Rich Through Generosity

Being Made Rich Through Generosity

In this article I address old covenant tithing vs new covenant generosity and how the church should handle offerings.

Should You Tithe?

No, you shouldn’t, you should be generous though. You are under no obligation to give any percentage of your income as a qualification for atonement, favor or blessing under the New Covenant.

There is no penalty or curse for not giving. You’re free!! Plain and simple. There is no law to keep, but you do have a new heart that is designed for generosity. In fact, generosity from this new heart tunes the rest of your being to hear and follow God into blessing and long life. Generosity produces a harvest that affords you to be a blessing any time you want to.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed

God loves a grumpy giver too, he’d just rather you be happy about it. Happy giving reflects a heart that trust in God for provision instead of a heart that feels like it’s losing something by giving money away.

Should You Give?

Yes, generously! Why? To take care of widows, orphans and those in legitimate need. You should also give toward the work of ministry. You should do those things as you’ve purposed in your own heart rather than out of guilt or obligation. Check out Paul’s thoughts on church members giving to their local body.

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

Paul is encouraging the Corinthian church to give a fixed percentage of their income on a weekly basis. It should be used to support those preaching and teaching as well as for those in need in the church. Those collections should also be designated for missions to spread the Gospel.

By the way, this a very straight forward article, I’m highlighting Paul’s thoughts about money under the New Covenant. It’s up to you how you incorporate these facts into your personal financial life.

I know many of you don’t have a church you can call home in your community. We humbly invite you to be part of our online church body, we’ll do our best to stay as connected as possible, but you’ll have access to all the same resources as our local body.