Tag: Blessed

Prosperity Gospel

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You know what? I am really getting tired of preachers who hypocritically blast the “prosperity gospel”.

Prosperity gospel? That’s what they like to call it.

It’s true, there are definitely people who live for the buck. They treat the word of God like it’s their good luck charm. But that’s nothing new. Paul even had to confront that kind of thinking in his day.

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:3-10 ESV)

I said, “hypocritically” didn’t I? These preachers preach against the prosperity gospel (largely due, I suspect, to green eyed envy), and yet bawl and squall because their congregation isn’t giving like they should!

What should they expect? They should be excited because God’s Word is working right before their very eyes.

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 ESV)

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 ESV)

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)

Here’s the truth about the prosperity gospel: God IS for you, NOT against you. He’s not against you having money and resources; He’s only against them having YOU. God tells us to give to whoever asks. That can’t be done unless we’ve discovered the law of giving and receiving (or seedtime and harvest). And it WON’T be done unless we trust Him with all our heart AND our stuff.

Did you read what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:8? Here it is again: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)

All sufficiency, in all things. Does that sound like He wants us to just barely eke out an existence? Hardly.

He’s rich to all who call upon Him. In other words, He has more than enough to go around. He’s generous by nature; and we should be, as well.

Let’s drop the dollar signs when we think of prosperity. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation; for our spirit, soul, and body. When we receive God’s word and begin to act on it, our whole being prospers.

“And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 AMP)

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.” (3 John 1:2 AMP)

God has never promised to make you or myself a millionaire. But He has given us everything that pertains to LIFE and GODLINESS. Every book of the Bible is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. And it’s a testimony for us.

There isn’t enough room in this post to share everything about God’s truths in regards to finances, etc. I have written a couple of eBooks on the subject, though. See them here:

http://tinyurl.com/pjbqjeo

I will soon have a paperback book published combining both “Breaking the Spirit of Poverty” and “Generosity” into one. It is titled “Breaking the Spirit of Poverty with the Spirit of Generosity”.

Please. If you need to address error, then do it biblically. Don’t act as though prosperity is of the devil. You know you really don’t believe it.

Coveting and selfishness IS from the deceiver. Prosperity is NOT.

A Married Apostle’s Advice

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Not only was Peter an apostle, he was also MARRIED. Here’s a little bit of marriage advice from Peter, the married apostle.

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NLT)

All of you” refers to those whom Peter had just addressed: husbands and wives. Here are his instructions to “all of you.”

Be of one mind – make sure you walk in agreement. In order for that to happen someone has to yield to the other.

Sympathize with each other – feel what the other feels. Never exploit or trample on your mate’s feelings.

Love as brothers and sisters – just because your spouse loves you unconditionally does not give you the right to treat them like dirt. Remember, your mate is God’s son or daughter.

Be tenderhearted – let yourself cry. Weeping is a good thing, at times. Don’t let the evil in the world make you hard hearted.

Keep a humble attitude – be honest with and about yourself. Always remember: you are nothing without the Lord.

Drop any “get even” kind of thinking. It takes too much effort in keeping an accurate score.

Bless. Whether it’s your turn or your mate’s turn; bless, and bless some more. If you’ll make blessing others a habit, you’ll find God’s favor surrounding you like a shield.

Remember: it is always wise to listen to the wisdom of godly men and women. Peter, God’s man of faith and power, is also a man who knew how to have a marriage blessed by God.

Do you have any good tips for husbands and wives? Please share them…

Equation For Ministry

EinsteinIf you take 58 and subtract 28, you end up with 30.

I suppose you find that to be a simple math equation, eh? But here’s something that just might engage your mind and heart: 30 is the age Jesus was when He began His “public” ministry.

Maybe you’ve never heard of the phrase “ministry equation”, at least in those words. But you’ve probably heard or read teachings about “how to be truly blessed”, “God wants you to prosper”, and “how to put the swagger back into Christianity; in six easy steps.”

I submit to you that the “equation for ministry” is:

58-28=30

I use the numbers 58 and 28, because of the contents in Isaiah 58 and Deuteronomy 28. Please take a few moments and read those scriptures.

First from Isaiah:
“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid. Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me. They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God. They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.

‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord ?

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.

“Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord ’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord , have spoken. (Isaiah 58:1-14 NLT)

Now from Deuteronomy:
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.

“The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! “The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. “If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord , and they will stand in awe of you. “The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-13 NLT)

I am not into numerology, or anything like it. I only find it interesting, that as I compare these passages, I see Jesus’ earthly ministry and the impact He made, and also a few reasons why the church isn’t making more of the same kind of impact today.

Deuteronomy 28 tells the people of God how to be blessed in every part of their life. Jesus did all Moses said, and The Lord set Him high above the nations! Father God took care of Jesus’ need for food, water, shelter; and everything He did prospered!

His enemy came at Him one way (on several occasions), and had to flee seven. People stood in awe of Him, wondering where did He receive such wisdom and learning. He never lacked anything He needed, and always had enough to meet the needs of those around Him. I’d call that blessed; how about you?

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 really speaks to the nation of Israel, and all the people of God. Yet it also points to the responsibility of every individual to do the right thing. Do things right, and receive God’s blessing for YOU.

“Well, if Deuteronomy 28 is true, then why can’t I get it to work for me?”

Here’s where Isaiah 58, the other part of the equation, comes into focus.

Jesus ministered effectively because His eyes weren’t on Himself, but on what other people needed. He wouldn’t fast, pray, or minister to please Himself, impress His Father, or even “build His church.” No, He ministered, gave of Himself, because people needed what He had to give.

The people in Isaiah’s day cried about how they had done so much for God, fasted and prayed, and all that jazz!

“But You don’t even notice”, they exclaimed to God.

“Oh, I notice”, God said. “I see just where your focus is. It’s on yourselves! It’s not where it should be; not at all. If you’ll change your focus, you’ll discover My focus will change as well! For if you will use your blessing to touch others, I will take care of you!”

That’s exactly what Jesus did, the disciples did, the early church did, and what we should do!

Jesus removed Himself and His needs from the equation, and found the grace of God to really minister.

Ministry begins when “self” is removed.

So, as I mentioned before:

58 (the dreams and desires of God for all people), minus 28 (the dreams and desires of man for themselves), equals 30 (the number that represents when true ministry begins).

The ministry equation.

Blessed!

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“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel.

Say to them, “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” ’

“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”(Numbers 6:24-27 NKJV)

Blessed!

The Hebrew word, barak, means to kneel, to bless God (as an act of adoration), and man (as a benefit).

It has always been God’s will for His creation to be blessed; to enjoy all the benefits He prepared for them. Yes, there was the rebellion which took place, but The Lord still had a passion and a plan to bless His people.

He told Moses to instruct Aaron to bless the people, impart the will of God to them, by SAYING. Aaron would speak to the children of Israel the word of God, His revealed will, and God equated that with putting His Name on them.

According to God, they were blessed with benefits and protection, fellowship and favor, deliverance, healing, and wholeness of spirit, soul, and body. This is what God desired for them and delivered to them, through the words of Aaron.

That was the Old Covenant. The New Covenant, established upon greater promises, has not diminished the blessings of God. Rather, He has secured, guaranteed the blessings through Jesus Christ.

“God sent Jesus to bless you, by turning each of you from your sins.” Acts 3:26, paraphrased.

But do the blessings and benefits really pertain to this present life, or the one to come?

Both!

Ephesians 1:3, “He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in Christ Jesus…” Spiritual blessings aren’t just those that touch the spirit of a man. They are blessings originating from, and distributed by the Spirit. They affect every area of our life, for He has given us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness. Blessed in Jesus!

“Beloved, I pray of above things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2

Under the Old Covenant, David blessed The Lord because He “daily loaded him with benefits.”

The New is better.

Under the Old, the psalmist declared, “I will say of The Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress…” and ,”He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases…”

The New is better!

The Old Covenant kept the plan of God intact, until The New Covenant was established in Christ.

The New is better!

Blessed going out and coming in. Blessed in giving and receiving, planting and harvesting. Blessed because He sent His Word to heal us and deliver us from all our afflictions. http://clicktotweet.com/t3SO4

Just as the High Priest, Aaron, spoke the Word of blessing over the children of Israel, so the High Priest of the New Covenant, Jesus, God’s Living Word, speaks over (and into) us.

Our response, our amen, our part is to receive the Blessing of God. Jesus, THE Blessing of God!

We are blessed in Jesus because He says so! We agree so by believing God raised Jesus from the dead, and by declaring Jesus the Lord of our life.

“And let the redeemed of The Lord say so!”

BLESSED! It is so!

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