Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Living and Giving Through Faith!

God is a supernatural God and it’s natural for a supernatural God to have children who live supernaturally! Live expecting God to do the unexpected - to do things for you that He has never done before!

If you want God to do something that He’s never done for you before, then do something for God that you’ve never done before!

Faith Receives the Impossible! God promised Abraham a son when he was almost 100 years old and when his wife was 90. In Romans, the Bible says that Abraham held strong. Every day he waited, his faith got stronger, not weaker, and be expected Sarah to get pregnant. It was impossible for that couple to have a child, and yet Abraham and Sarah received the incredible. Faith is dead to doubts, it is blind to impossibilities, and it sees nothing but success and victory.

Faith Takes Risks! Faith that costs nothing and risks nothing is worth nothing. If you try to always play it safe, if you’re afraid God is going to let you paint yourself into a corner, you will never see God’s miracle working power for you personally. There’s an element of risk in faith. If we’re not growing by stretching our boundaries, we’re backing up and shriveling because faith has to be exercised to grow.

Abraham risked his own son’s life by taking him into the thicket and depending on God to supply a ram for him. Sometimes we never know what God can do until we are desperate for a miracle and move into this realm of faith because of our great need.

Obedient Giving! Whether we like it or not, little in the Kingdom is accomplished without money. It takes money to send a missionary, feed the poor, print Bibles, build churches, serve the homeless, or  deliver drug addicts, prostitutes or alcoholics from a lifestyle that is killing them. To have a part in the harvest of souls, you and I must practice an obedient faith whenever God calls us to respond to a need. Obedient faith has to do with what we possess and comes from our known resources.

When God speaks a word about giving something of our resources away, we should release what we have in faith. Abraham had such complete trust in God that he could agree to release the dearest one to his heart. When we are stretched in the area of finances, it may be that God is asking you to trust Him enough to know that you will never go without if you give away even what you think you need. The more you have to give away, the more prayer it takes to wisely give it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Naturally Supernatural

As we continue with our series Naturally Supernatural, I believe we are all seeing how this Christian experience is a supernatural one. We serve a supernatural God who operates in the supernatural.

Today’s message is dealing with supernatural provision which is a major part of how God works. My thoughts to-day as I write, which I believe is also a major part of how the supernatural is natural for us as believers, deals with healing. “And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Then He put out his hand and touched him, saying “I am willing; be cleansed.”” (Luke 5:12,13).

Here is one of the most asked questions: ‘If I’m ill or dis-eased, is it God’s will to heal me?’ First, you have to believe that it is God’s will to heal YOU. Believing that God heals is not enough. You can believe that a bank has money in it, but still not have access to it. You can walk around it saying that I believe there is a millions dollars in there but not have any means to withdraw a penny. Believing that God heals others is not enough. Even if your sister was healed from cancer, that’s not you. You have to believe that it is God’s will to heal you! Once you answer, it is his will to heal you, then the confidence to demand the healing becomes easy! Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

In the text the person asking the question was a leper. Leprosy was a death sentence. People kept their distance from them, they wore bells to alert people they were near. He asked Jesus if he was willing, then Jesus put forth His hand and touched him saying, “I am willing; be cleansed”. Immediately the leprosy left him. Is God’s mind on the issue? Jesus put forth His hand before he spoke. His willingness came from the act. Jesus was willing to take it from him and get it on Himself. Then He touched him, “I will carry it”. The germs on Jesus were burned up and replaced with brand new spirit filled cells. If you doubt willingness, you lack confidence, so the source of confidence is the knowledge of willingness. James says, if you waver do not think that you will receive anything. If you doubt even a fraction. Once you know it is in his will to heal YOU the confidence to command the healing is easy. Jesus is willing to carry it! “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was one Him, and by His stripes we are healed!” (Isaiah 53:5). 

Yes we serve a supernatural God, and our supernatural God is capable of anything naturally! That is who He is and what He does. Unto God be the glory!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What is Vitamin J?

A very significant scripture for me is found in Proverbs 11:25, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

So many people seem to live in fear. They fear losing their job, their health insurance, and their retirement benefits. No matter how much material wealth we may accumulate, it is never safe from being lost. Riches do not bring security, and neither can it be certain to bring joy!

The Bible says, “command those who are rich -- not to -- trust in uncertain riches but in the living God”. It is ironic, the more people accumulate, the more protective they become and have greater concern that it could all be swept away by events that are out of their control.

That is not how God intends for His children to live. He wants you to save and He wants you to sow. And when you have done all that wisdom demands, He wants you to trust in nothing but Him.

So, what is vitamin J? It is not God’s purpose for us to live in fear, but to live life full of Joy, and joy is received by blessing and being a refreshing fountain of water to others. A biblical principle that has always been the key to contentment and deep joy is that of giving to help others.

A verse from the old testament is one which shows us the formula for joy. “The people rejoiced -- for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.” Not many of us associate joy with giving, even though we often quote Jesus words, “it is more blessed to give than to receive”.

When Jesus said it was more blessed to give then to receive, He was speaking from His knowledge of how he created us– to be givers, like Him. God will always prosper you with this purpose: He wants you to bless someone else.

Start With What You Have
Vitamin J (joy) results from the practice of giving. You have to start from where you are with what you have. Just like everything else in your life of faith, God will guide you in the area of sharing your finances. When God speaks, obey Him. One step of obedience always opens up two doors: the door of supply and the door to serve. Gods best rewards are the doors of opportunities that He puts in your way.

God multiplies what we give Him, not what we hold on to. As we give what we have, God sees that we never lack. An example is the Widow of Zarephath who was so poor that she only had one last meal for herself and her son. The prophet Elijah came with a request that she make him something to eat. The woman took her last meal and oil to make him a cake. By giving what she had, God rewarded her by giving her an unending supply of meal and oil for one full year. God multiplies what we give him, not what we hold on to!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Naturally Supernatural

As we start our new series, “Naturally Supernatural”, one of the first thoughts that pop into our heads is healings, miracles, out of the ordinary events. Those are supernatural, but you might be surprised that the greatest supernatural manifestation in the Kingdom of God is the supernatural miracle of SALVATION! Yes that’s right, salvation. The Greek word is soteria which means: deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue, general well-being.

The Bible says in Luke 19:9-10 “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost”. The word “today” which is also used in verse 5 of Luke 9 is suggestive of the present reality of salvation present in Jesus. Here in this text an acceptance of a hated chief tax collector expresses the presence of the Kingdom's supernatural power even more so than other acts of healing or exorcism! In this case, for example, Zacchaeus goes far beyond the laws of just restitution, giving us clear evidence of a changed heart. Just think, a changed heart. A changed heart is at the center of salvation.

In verse 10, Jesus announces the very purpose of His mission here on earth and it went against all expectations of the people. For the Son of Man has come to SEEK AND TO SAVE THAT WHICH WAS LOST!

I think the same holds true for us as Christians when we think of the supernatural; our expectations are opposite of that which Jesus' example truly shows us. Salvation is a supernatural present possession with a fuller supernatural realization in the future. “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breast-plate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:8-9).

So let us embrace this supernatural manifestation of salvation living out naturally in our every day lives. Everyday I wake up and pinch myself and ask “Lord is this real or am I dreaming?” and He answers by leading through another supernatural day!