Give Generously and Joyfully

even-smaller-bug-light1

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  — 2 Cor. 9:1​0, 11 N​IV
 
When it comes to giving and receiving, God turns our worldly mathematics upside down. Worldly increase comes when we add or multiply. But God gives us increase when we subtract by giving and by dividing when we share with others. He is our source and our supplier.  We need to empty out our storehouses so He can refill them with fresh seed and food. As Jesus told the rich young ruler when the young man asked Jesus; “what do I still lack?”
 

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. — Matt. 19:20-22 NIV ​ 

God’s supply never runs out. He allows us to be stewards over a portion of His riches fully expecting us to use those for His glory. As we learn to be good stewards over a little, He will give us increase so that our generosity will result in others giving thanks to God.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-18-2018

Remain Faithful

even-smaller-bug-light1

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
– Hebrews 13:4 NLT

Hebrews 13:4-8 NLT

God warns us over and over not to participate in immoral sex because it is more than just a physical act. It involves the intertwining of the body, mind and spirit. Those illicit desires quickly become much too strong for the flesh to handle. Those who continue to participate in these sins will soon learn they have become captive to their fleshly lusts. It will become an abomination to our bodies, the very Temple of the Living God.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Cor. 6:18-20 NIV
We need to flee from this sin and God always opens a door for us to leave if we choose to do so. The lust for money and power is almost as strong as the lust for sexual immorality, so we must be sure that our choices of how we use our finances and our positions honor God.  It is very easy to become addicted to any of these sins.  We don’t have to be millionaires or CEOs to misuse the resources God has entrusted to us.  We can sin in finances by refusing to help those in need around us. We need to watch for the opportunities that God gives each of us to do good in His name. It isn’t the amount or the “bigness” that impresses God, it is the willingness and the attitude with which we perform the tasks.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” 
— Mark 12:43, 44 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-24-2018

Be Careful of Riches

even-smaller-bug-light1Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. ​– James 5:3 NLT

God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized, that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it.  Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

11 of 39 parables talk about money.
1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com


Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” .  
This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.–Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)

Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it.  Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-09-2017

What Does God See?

even-smaller-bug-light1

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

Society and the world wants us to “dress for success”. Commercial after commercial emphasizes how we should continue to try to look young and beautiful (or handsome). All those things are temporary and fleeting. Good looks, great physiques and great wealth can be gone over night. None of that is guaranteed, so why do we spend so much time and money on those things? The important thing is this: What does God see when He looks into our hearts? What is in our heart will determine where we spend eternity. It is much more important to please God than to please man. We need to ask God to “create in us a clean heart” and “renew a right Spirit within us”. What does God require of us?

Micah 6:6-8 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-20-2017

Live Long and Prosper

even-smaller-bug-light1

 12  Does anyone want to live a life

    that is long and prosperous?  — Psalm 34:12 NLT

When I read this verse, my first thought is this:  Is there anyone who doesn’t want to live long and prosper?  Our bodies were originally designed in God’s image to last forever.  Then sin entered the world bringing decay and death with it.  Now, our bodies wear out and decay because sin still exists here on earth.  God designed a garden where man could live forever and prosper.  Sin entered that garden, seduced humankind, so God had to remove man and never allowed him to re-enter.  So, living long and being prosperous has taken on a whole new meaning.  Actually, it has taken on two meanings.  One is defined from the worldly point of view and the other from the Godly point of view.  We are bombarded on a daily basis with how the world defines prosperity.  As Christians, we can be very prosperous in the Kingdom of God and the world will little know or pay any attention to the wealth we have built up in heaven.  But God knows where we are laying up our treasures and He also knows  that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.  What is worldly will perish in the fire, that which is Godly will last throughout eternity.  A worldly long life of a hundred years or more is nothing but a speck of dust compared to eternal life with God.  We, as Christians, shall all live long and prosper!  God has promised and so shall it be!  So, let us join in a praise of thanksgiving!

Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! — Psalm 47:1
Post 07-21-2016

Miracles

even-smaller-bug-light1

20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. — Acts 19:20 NLT

Acts 19:11-20 NLT

We are told in verse one that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.”  In verse twenty, we see the reason for this was to spread the Good News about Jesus and the redemption story.  The spreading of the Gospel always has a powerful effect on all those that hear.  To those that hear and believe, it brings new life.  To those who hear but refuse to believe, it brings death.  Anytime the name of Jesus is spoken those that hear it must make a decision right then and there.  Either they will believe the Good News and receive life or they will refuse to believe and earn their way to hell.  When the name of Jesus is spoken with the intent to glorify God, it contains all of the power that was present at the resurrection of Jesus.  But when the name of Jesus is spoken with the intention of self-glory or for the mere purpose of gaining wealth, the result is confusion and chaos. Just ask the seven sons of Sveca.  God is a God of miracles and miracles are still being performed today.  Not all of us are given the power to perform miracles as Paul was.  God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ so that it can be whole and bring glory to Himself. God doesn’t perform miracles on a whim or on demand.  Each time we witness a miracle we know that God has a purpose and a plan that requires a miracle to complete the plan.  Miracles always affect more than one person.   The person receiving the miracle is not the only one touched.  Those seeing or listening that are already believers are encouraged and those who do not believe will be drawn to God.

Humble Ourselves and Pray

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger was turned away, and he did not destroy him completely. There were still some good things in the land of Judah.
— 2 Chronicles 12:12 NLT
God is so good and merciful.  He gives us opportunity after opportunity to repent and return to worshipping Him and Him alone.  He had blessed all of Israel with forty years of peace and wealth beyond measure.  Yet, here they were, back to worshipping idols.  God had split the kingdom into Israel, the northern kingdom and Judah, the southern kingdom because of the iniquities of the people.  Rehoboam, the son of Solomon was the king of the southern kingdom and reigned in Judah from Jerusalem.  For a while, he was faithful to God, but then, he returned to idol worship and God sent Shishak and the Egyptian army to destroy Judah.  After Shishak had taken the fortified towns in Judah, he advanced on Jerusalem.  The king and the leaders of the people in Jerusalem humbled themselves so God did not allow Shishak to destroy Jerusalem, but He did allow Shishak to take all the wealth from Jerusalem and made the inhabitants his servants.  God saw that there were still some good things in the land of Judah, so He relented.  We need to pray that God will see that there are still some good things in our country and not destroy us yet.  We need to pray that we and our leaders will humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the one true and Almighty God.  We have had our warnings, let us pray fervently that God continues to show His great mercy and compassion on this nation.
Post 05-31-2016