God isn’t impressed with your sacrifices. It’s your obedience He wants!

By on November 14, 2017

A lot of Christians seem to have gotten the wrong idea. They think that as long as they’re happy and do without a few things for the Kingdom of God, everything will be OK for them on the Day of Judgement.

They don’t realize that God has a very specific plan for their lives and that He will require them to answer for how they carried out that plan when they stand before Him.

Influence of the world’s system:

In the systems of this world, we’re taught that our primary goal and purpose is to be “happy”. Whatever it takes, as long as we feel good. This pleasure loving (and soul-destroying) philosophy has crept into the churches and is bought wholesale by the Believers.

For example, you might say, “I want to go to a church where I like the music.” Or, “I want to go to a church where I like the pretty carpets and the beautiful landscaping out front. These things are important to me, and I KNOW God wants me to be happy!”

Did you ever stop to think that God just MIGHT want you in a particular church because there are things He wants you to do for His Kingdom in that church? Or, that there might be a person whom God has assigned to you there?

Like I said, we’ve gotten the wrong idea. See, we think that the reason we go to a particular church is for US. It’s not. It’s for the NEED in the Body of Christ that God places us in a particular church.

He has committed certain people to you and He will require them at your hand on the Judgement Day. If He’s called you to teach Sunday School, but you rather not bother yourself with making a commitment to get up every Sunday and be faithful, guess what? God will STILL hold you responsible for that Sunday school class when you stand before Him on the Judgement Day.

There are many things that God has planned for you to do:

There are many Kingdom tasks that He has set before you, and will require at your hand.

Specifically, that alcoholic that you know needs the Gospel, but you’d feel uncomfortable inviting her to church. Or, the person right there in your church who really needs someone to listen to them, but you don’t really feel like listening to someone else’s problems. I hate to sound insensitive, but, if God has placed someone in your life, He will hold you to answer for whether or not you were faithful. He isn’t going to ask you if you were comfortable, but He WILL ask you if you were faithful.

What about all your “sacrifices”?
We like to point out all the things we don’t do because we’re Christians. We don’t drink alcohol anymore, or smoke dope. We don’t freebase, or smoke blunts anymore. We stopped stealing, because we love the Lord. Doesn’t that at least impress the Lord?

Actually, most of the things that we like to point out as sacrifices are things that the Lord would point out as “privileges.” It’s a privilege to be sober and in your right mind. It’s not a sacrifice at all. It’s a privilege to be honest and upright. We can’t rightly call something a sacrifice when in reality it’s something that the Lord delivered us from, can we?
What about our legitimate sacrifices?

What if we didn’t obey Him, but instead we did other nice things? If God called you to do something as simple as to teach a Sunday school class, or offer someone a ride to church, but you didn’t…and instead put a check for $100 in the offering…do you think He’ll be willing to accept that as a trade for the souls that were lost because of your disobedience?

No, when you and I stand before God, He isn’t going to be asking you our “sacrifices.” He’ll be asking about our obedience. Did we obey Him? Remember, He’s looking for obedience, not sacrifice.

Some of us will have to answer for all the things we did in this life that didn’t amount to anything at all in the Lord’s Kingdom. Like how great we were at shooting pool, dancing, putting on makeup or how nice our lawns looked. We’ll have to explain why we had hours to waste in front of the television and plenty of time to wade through multitudes of paperback novels, but somehow couldn’t find the time for church, prayer or reading our Bibles.

We’ll also have to answer for things left undone, for people unreached and not helped. I really got under a sense of conviction when I was reading in John 17, where Jesus was praying to the Father. He said, “Those that Thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost.”

I want to be able to say that to the Father when I stand before Him on that day, don’t you? That of those people that He has committed to your keeping and helping, that you haven’t lost any of them through neglect, insensitivity or through the sheer business of having too much to do.
I don’t want to lose even ONE of the souls that the Lord has committed to my keeping. That’s why I hurt so badly when I feel like I’ve let someone down, or maybe did something to make someone think I might not care about them.

God isn’t a hard task maker:

He wants you to be a completely fulfilled and useful individual. God wants the Day of Judgement to be the happiest day of your life. It can be. And, it SHOULD be. To obey really IS better than sacrifice.

Strengthened, Led and Guided By the Spirit

By on November 7, 2017

It’s intensifying. Stepping up. The amount of pressures, stress, decisions and spiritual assault that believers are facing is greater now than it was even a few years ago. And not all believers are meeting these challenges successfully. That’s why many churches aren’t growing numerically, and some are even on the decline. That’s also why you are possibly worshiping next to someone who is living a lifestyle that even just a decade ago would have been considered unthinkable for a Christian. You can be sure of this: God hasn’t changed His standards, and He also hasn’t stopped helping people to live holy and godly in this present life.

In fact, the inspired prayer of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 3:16 is that you and I would be strengthened by the power of God on the inside of us. See, when you get saved, the Holy Spirit comes and lives on the inside of you. That means you have an incredible potential to be successful in your spiritual life.

The Spirit of God strengthens those who believe. That’s why those who will listen to and ACT ON what God says find themselves STRONGER, more blessed, more victorious, more Godly and just living a BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE than those who walk in the flesh and just go by how they feel.

As long as you go by your feelings, you’ll be blind to the goodness of God and weak in others. That’s why we can get so tripped up on the dumbest things…while being totally victorious over some absolutely brilliant assaults and trials that could wipe out a super-saint!

But, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. So, how do you go from being weak and faltering to being stable, firm and consistent? A clue is in Romans 8:14, where it says, “…as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

The point is that it’s those who are LED by the Spirit that get to be called the sons of God. Those who are the sons (or daughters) of God are those who will LISTEN and DO, or ACT ON what the Spirit of God says. They do what HE says, not what their FLESH says, or what their carnal mind says. What leads them or directs them ISN’T their wants, desires, “needs” or appetites, BUT THE SPIRIT OF GOD. “As many as are LED by the Spirit are the sons of God.”

It’s like this: God is looking down at you as you’re REALLY TRYING to please Him. He sees your conflicts and knows your upbringing, and in spite of the opposition you face, you do well. Then He says, “THAT’S MY BOY…! THAT’S MY GIRL!” HE’S PROUD OF YOU, IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU GET PROUD OF YOUR KIDS WHEN THEY DO WHAT YOU TELL THEM! Just like He was proud of Jesus when Jesus was baptized… God spoke it out from heaven, He was so proud! “This is my Son that I love so much…”

That’s why those who listen to and obey, the ones who DO SOMETHING about what the Spirit of God says, are the ones whom God says are His sons and daughters. Any old carnal believer can go to church and try to read their Bible, but it takes the Spirit of God to live and walk by FAITH!
And, the Holy Spirit will LEAD you (and me) into a holy life, a life where you’re LIVING like a son of God. He takes you by the hand and leads you into that kind of high-quality life… ABUNDANT LIFE!

God’s Unchangeable Principles for Your Wealth and Blessings

By on October 31, 2017

God has some interesting words for His people in Deuteronomy 8:18. He is talking to people who were wandering in the wilderness, depending on miracle after miracle for their daily lives, protection and sustenance, and He is talking to them about the days that are coming, when that will no longer be the case. He spends the first part of Deuteronomy talking about how He is going to bless them financially, and in homes, lands and goods. Then, in verse 18 He warns them not to forget Who the Source is for their blessings, their wealth. He also reminds them WHY He is going to bless them and prosper them. Listen:

18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Most people could use a little more money. They might not want to be rich, but they could definitely use a few hundred more dollars each month. And, it’s not just money. Most of us could use a few more friends, quality friends, positive, caring, considerate people in our lives. Then, there’s health. Who doesn’t want to feel better, to be healthier, to lose a few pounds, or be a little stronger?

There’s spiritual health and wealth, also. If you’re reading this, it’s because you want to be closer to God, you want His will to come to pass in your life. You want to be in the center of God’s will, you want to be faithful, you want Him to be pleased with you and how you are using your life for His glory.

These things all come under the category of wealth. That means to have abundance, to have what you need, and then some left over. That’s what being wealthy is – being able to take care of yourself, your loved ones and also be able to help other people.

So many people want wealth but they never figure out what wealth is. If you don’t know what it is, you’ll never reach it, and if you could, you wouldn’t recognize it when you had it! You can’t even CHOOSE it if you haven’t even decided what wealth is to you.

Most of us would agree that to be wealthy is to have everything we need, have some left over and to be fulfilled in our relationships and in what we do with our lives.

For many of us, when we hear what’s available, we see what our friends and neighbors have; we find out what other peoples’ situations are, we hear about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, we get depressed.

Being guided by what other people have or what other people have accomplished is not how God meant for His people to be directed. He has His own plan and His own order for bringing you to a blessed place in life, where you are not only well provided for, and no longer living day to day, or paycheck to paycheck, but you are calmly content that God knows your needs, feels your wants and hears your prayers.

First, there’s the issue of FINDING OUT what God’s plan for your life is, what God wants for you NOW, and what He’s prepared for you in THIS LIFE. That’s first. It begins with getting in a right relationship with God, by yielding your life, your will and your plans to His life, His will and His plans.

Then, are you willing to pay the price? EVERYTHING has a price. By paying the price, we mean, you have to be willing to make changes. Sure, we all understand that “Jesus paid it all.” He truly DID. He purchased your salvation and covered all your sins. You can’t add to that.

On the other hand, there is GROWING in the grace and favor of God and man (Luke 2:52) and that means to change, to become bigger. To become bigger in your thinking, bigger in your attitude, bigger in your believing, bigger in your faith.

Nothing changes until YOU change. You might have to change how you talk to people! You might have to change your attitude. You may have to make some changes in who you hang out with and what you do when hanging out with them. Sometimes it’s a matter of just a handful of small changes that need to be made, just a few simple things that are blocking the blessings of God, that are keeping some of those doors from opening for you. Are you willing to make those changes in order to be in a position to receive what God has prepared for you?

In Romans 4.16 and 17 God tells us about something from back in Genesis 15. Here is is:
“Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” — He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist. 18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”….

Another important fact is that not every problem that you have comes from Satan! He may USE everything that he can, in order to discourage you or defeat you. But many times WE provide the ammo for his attacks.

There are three main sources of problems that block the flow of God’s blessing in our lives.

The first is carnality. Allowing how we feel at the moment or allowing our circumstances to cause us to react and to do things that aren’t in our own best interest and won’t bring glory to God, things that aren’t God’s best for us or for the Kingdom of God.

These are the things we say that we don’t mean to say. We may say them because we are mad, or frustrated, or upset. Then, there are the things we do that we don’t mean to do. Sometimes it’s the BUYING of things without thinking them through.

We’ve all done that – Bought something on the spirit of the moment without thinking ahead of what else will be involved in that purchase. The car that later we realize we can’t afford to make the payments on and still keep it insured! Or a horse, when we live in a townhouse or apartment and we didn’t realize how time consuming and expensive that can be… maybe a puppy, because it was cute, but we weren’t thinking ahead to when it is grown, or who is going to take care of it when we go on vacation. A puppy is a ten or fifteen year commitment!

There are any number of things that are major commitments, but that we decide on impulsively. They are all things that can increase our stress, cause us to worry and block the freedom and liberty that is a part of the wealth of God.

By the way, here is a major key to financial wealth: Reduce your wants and your purchases until they line up with what you can pay for with the amount of money you’re making! That’s a Bible principle. If you make this ONE adjustment, you’ll be wealthy! That’s what it’s about, being satisfied. Money doesn’t pay your bills, you do. There’s stress and pressure in every new bill we add to the ones we already have.

A second source of problems comes from our human will. God’s Word says one thing, but our will says, “I want to do something else!” When we don’t choose to do what God says to do in the Bible, then we can’t blame the devil for our bad results.

This can help you understand what blessing and true wealth is. It’s not faith or even a blessing to compare yourself with a hundred of the wealthiest people hear about and then feel that you’re not blessed unless you have a much or more what than they have!

Wealth is different things to different people. For some people just being able to eat, drink and have a place to live is a great victory. To others, paying off a car, and the credit cards while meeting the mortgage or being able to pay the rent gives a great thrill. As in most things, having a little more than you need is a great accomplishment, and you’ve done very well.

If you’ve got a lot of little extras, and don’t mind the extra effort to keep on top of it all, you’re outstandingly blessed! Be thankful, and let God know it! Don’t complain your way out of the blessings God has given you! Are they hard sometimes? Yes, but why shouldn’t it be hard sometimes? Everything worthwhile is a little hard and a little scary at times.

Learning to walk. Learning to ride a bike. Going to school. Going into high school. Graduating and getting a job, going to college or signing up for the military. Getting married. ALL these are hard and are scary! In fact you could pretty well say that if it isn’t hard and pretty scary, it may not be worthwhile!

See, you’ve got to get an attitude towards the material blessings of God that BUILDS faith, instead of making you miserable. You need to move ahead no faster than your faith and income can handle. You need to choose to increase what you save and decrease what you spend until they cross and you start having some money in savings, you start paying off your credit cards, paying down your debts, paying your bills on time – and do it well enough that it motivates you!

When you reach this level, stay there until you get the understanding of what that is, and then start moving up. Prepare for a slightly higher challenge and meet it.

The third source of obstacles are the attacks of the devil, coming contrary to God, and contrary to you. Now, the Bible teaches us that Satan on his own, absolutely cannot do what God doesn’t want him to do. Why? He has no authority. The Bible tells us that in Hebrews 2.14. There is no way devil can stop, on his own, what God’s wanting to do in you and for you.

But when you cooperate with Satan, the flow of the Spirit of God is shut off. When you refuse to act on what God has shown you, you shut off His moving in your life. ACTIONS OF FAITH on your part ACTIVATE God’s power in your life, like a light switch. Just the flip of that switch fills the room with light and vision!

See, God’s reward comes to those who diligently seek Him. Listen to what He says in Hebrews 11:6. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

I teach a lot on faith because all the things that God has available to you are received by faith. Without faith, you can’t even have peace with God!

There are so many joy killers out there and doubt givers, God’s told me that I have to contend for the faith, like the Bible says to do in Jude 1:3. “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”

He says he WANTED to write to them about spiritual things, about salvation and all that, but the Holy Spirit compelled him to instead write and urge them to contend, to fight for, to take a stand for, the FAITH that the early believers had and that we have been entrusted with. You have to CONTEND for it! That means you have to FIGHT those forces of the world, the flesh and the devil who come to steal from you what God is wanting to GIVE you!

They’re out there telling you that you can’t have the things that God said. They’ll take your financial blessings from you and say that God doesn’t want you to make more money. Well, how are you going to obey Jesus and give to the poor if you ARE the poor? You can’t give them anything if you don’t have anything! You HAVE to have enough for yourself and your loved ones and enough to give to others if you’re going to be able to obey Jesus! The Bible says to GIVE to the poor, not to BE the poor! God says He lifts the poor up out of the garbage heap, He doesn’t put them in it!

That’s why we preach a strong faith message here! I don’t teach doubt and unbelief like a lot of preachers do! I preach the BIBLE! I preach it plainly, I preach it clearly and in a way that is anointed to undo and remove that atmosphere of doubt and unbelief that’s covered not only those in the world but many in the church!

I preach faith because if I can get you to believe what God says in the BIBLE, if I can get you to believe He’s a NOW God… If I can get you to BELIEVE He’s almighty. That He is Just and Good, If I can get you to just believe that, you’ll believe then that He’s also the Rewarder of those that seek Him diligently!

See, if I can get you to see how big God is and how good He is, then I won’t have to BEG you to seek Him! You’ll WANT to spend time with Him in prayer, and you’ll love praising Him and thanking Him for His blessings in your life and in the lives of your family and loved ones.

Somebody said that you don’t get a thousand dollar answer from a twenty five cent prayer. A lot of people have great buying power but little paying power and then they get down, discouraged and defeated. They buy everything they can get the credit for, but then struggle to make the monthly payments.

Listen: You can desire something and even want it so bad you can taste it, but it doesn’t mean it’s God’s will for you to buy it. Or, you might get a clear knowledge from God that it is His will for you to have such and such an item, but it might not be now.

To find out His will you’re going to have to have FAITH in God as you seek His face. You’re going to have to have FAITH in God to get His peace in your heart. You’re going to have to have FAITH IN GOD to walk is the answer you receive.

Now notice Rom. 4.18-19, where it says that Abraham’s body, his reproductive system was dead, and so was Sarah’s. Yet, Abraham didn’t even consider that! Instead, he believed God. If you ran into Abraham, the day after God appeared. He would’ve said, “Guess what? I’m gonna be a daddy! We’re gonna have a baby boy!” Abraham began to make room for his miracle, giving God the Glory!

There’s believing God. There’s making room for the miracle, and there is ACTING in faith, which releases the power of God in that situation.

But look what else happened. Abraham missed it at first. Genesis 16:2 tells us that he had been waiting and waiting, and nothing was happening, so he and Sarah decided that they needed to come up with their own way!

Abraham listened to someone else’s advice and got into something that he never really got over. God promised a son, Abraham wanted one, but instead of seeking God, being patient and getting the RIGHT ONE, THE RIGHT WAY, he got one the first way he knew how and it about wrecked his household.

Have you ever done that? Even in Genesis 17.18, years later, Abraham is still trying to get God to bless what Abraham had done for himself. Listen, God wants to bless you more and bless you better than you could EVERY bless yourself!

Over in Genesis 21:10-12, Abraham has to let go of Ishmael. He should have obeyed God and waited patiently, and received the promise that God had made to him, but instead, he dragged out the struggle for years and years.

When you’re moving in faith and walking in the Spirit, you have to listen to the Spirit of God!
So many people decide what they want and then go out shopping and buying and figuring that since they pay their tithes, that God’s GOT to make their credit card payments, meet their mortgage and pay off their expensive car.

Well, let me tell you something, if God didn’t co-sign with you, He doesn’t have to make your payments! If He didn’t pick it out for you, He doesn’t have any obligation to keep it fixed to maintain it or put it back together again. And if He didn’t give it to you, He doesn’t have to help you KEEP IT.

This is where so many Christians miss it. We get filled with faith, we learn that God wants us to prosper so we spend Sunday afternoon online filling out credit card applications and spend the rest of the day out shopping, following the WORLD rather than Jesus Christ!

We figure that we’ve got to have everything they have if we’re going to be happy. It doesn’t work because first of all, because they are not happy! Secondly, it doesn’t work because you are not like them. Your AFFECTIONS are in HEAVEN. Their lusts are here on earth. You don’t love the World. They are of the World and love it. You don’t love money. They love it and lust after it. You have hope. They are without Christ and without hope in this World. That’s what the Bible says about that situation.

By walking in Spirit you don’t fulfil lusts of flesh. God tells us in Ecclesiastes 1.8 that the eye is not satisfied without seeing, nor the ear without hearing. In Proverbs 27:20, He says that Hell and the grave are never full and so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

But! A good man, a good woman, Proverbs 14:14 says SHALL be satisfied! Hebrews 13:5 says for us to be content with such things as you have. Those things you have in Christ! Those things He provides when you seek Him first. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you!” God doesn’t take your things away! He is the “Adder To-er,” not the “Taker From-er”

God’s your goal, not being rich. Let God bless you as you seek Him. When God has blessed you, you’ve sought Him and you have let Him guide you. You can TRUST Him with the means to pay for it. You don’t lose the joy of it by the worries of how are you going to pay for it.