Friday, November 30, 2012

Doing for others

Larry DePrimo, in case you haven't heard of him, is a New York City Police Officer who saw a homeless man with no shoes or socks setting on the street. He asked the man what size shoes he wore then went to a Skechers store and purchased this man a $100 pair of all-weather boots and socks.

He had no idea a couple of tourists would witness this act of kindness and take it viral. He was doing this out of a caring spirit and trying to help this poor guy out and make his life just a little better.

This is the way we should approach life and other people. Too many times we hesitate because we think what's in this for me and if we can not see an immediate benefit we do not do it.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
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.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

These scriptures tell us that if we will freely help others He will bless us in every way because we are not only helping that  person but we are glorifying God through the deed. We should never help someone out of a selfish heart but you should always do this out a generous heart with no expectation of anything in return as God desires.

Spiritual Prosperity

Of all the types of prosperity having a prosperous spirit is the most important. When we have are following the commandments and laws of God according to His will we will pour riches and glory out on us accordingly.

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  Phillipians 4:19 (NIV)

In order for our souls to prosper we must dedicate ourselves to God and make time for prayer and study of the Bible. That means making time for God in our lives and giving our full efforts to follow Him. He will give us the best gift of all, Salvation, just for asking. When you accept Christ as your savior you receive the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven.

"I would like to learn more about God, but I don't have time." - Give Him 5 or 10 minutes a day and you will find that things in your life that were hindering this time will begin to smooth out and you have more time to devote.

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

"I have tried and I cannot understand all those thee, thou, and art The parables are like riddles. The Bible is not clear enough."  There are many translations that put it into modern language instead of Old English (King James Version). The understanding of the parables comes from studying with the soul and not the mind. If you go into Bible study and open yourself up to God you find a much better understanding than if you are trying to read it with your mind. God will provide a growing understanding of His word if we will allow him.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:5-7

Spiritual prosperity will also give you the confidence and knowledge to help others to find God. You will be able to speak with others and answer their questions about God and the Bible. It is one of our duties as Christians to spread the work of God to others and help them to find Salvation. 

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  Mark 16:15-16

In summation we are responsible for our lives, if we live a life for God learning and spreading His word with an honest desire and faith He will bless our lives with the same zeal. If we make a halfhearted effort to honor and learn His ways we will not receive the blessings that are in store for us. We serve God all the way or not at all. 

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Has God Done For Me Today?

We go through life facing struggles and trials and wondering why God is letting this happen. He wants to bestow His blessing upon us and He is always watching over us. If we miss the blessings that He has for us it is not His fault, we have to let Him move in our lives. 

The way to do this is not to as "What has God done for me today?", we should be asking ourselves "What have I done for God today?".

We want this and need that and eagerly tell God what He can provide for us, but how many of us try to do something for God with the same zeal we ask for things. We can talk to co-workers about sports, movies, or current events but how many of us have talked to those same people about God and what He has done for our life. In order to get the full blessings in store for us we need to follow His plans for us. He wants us to tell others about Him, some will not want to hear, but for others all it will take is one word about Him to bring them to salvation because He has been dealing with them and leading them to Him. 

This will not only lead others to God but it will bring us to a stronger relationship with God and help us to identify the opportunities for blessings that He presents to us. 

Deuteronomy 28:9-13 (NIV)

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lordyour God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Stuff and Things

With the holidays being upon us and the Fiscal Cliff fast approaching I think it is safe to say that most people have money or something related to money on their mind. We need to remember to stand on our faith and put it in God's hands and He will provide. Worrying and dwelling on something is not going to make any difference, but God can and will. It is very difficult to let go of these things for most people because money is a necessity in our society and lives. Instead of thinking about how you need money, what you will eat, or how you will finish shopping we should use that time and energy focusing on the word of God because He will provide for those who strive to serve Him.

Luke 12:24-31 (NIV)
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Remember What This Country Was Founded On

I have been watching this petition on that was around 6,000 signatures yesterday and is at nearly 12,000 today. It is to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency and "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Most of these petitions are just ignorant, but this one worries me because once it gets 25,0000 signatures it goes to the White House for consideration. Our government has already taken God out of several places, they are currently working on taking Him out of several other things(such as marraige), and this would be something I could see them pursuing once it meets their guidelines to start the process.

This country was founded by people who wanted to be free to worship God their way. Yet we, as a whole, seem to be turning our back on God in every way possible. Continuing to do so WILL end badly for the U.S. We need to pray that we, as a people, will correct our ways and go back to what this country was founded on...a belief in God and a desire to serve Him.

Isiah 59:2 (ESV) "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear."

I for one, do not want God to stop hearing me.

Live For Today

God has made us many promises (salvation, prosperity, love, and an eternity of peace for those who follow Him to name a few). One thing we are not guaranteed is tomorrow on this planet. He has an appointed time for each of us and only He knows what that time is. We need to try to live each day to the fullest for Him. The only way to get to Heaven is through the Son and by living by God's word. We need to live each day as if it is our last and make sure to we are living our lives by His will.

James 4:14 (NIV) - "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

What Is Wrong With People

Google "black friday 2012 voilence" and you will instantly see news articles over shootings,riots, mayhem, and parents going into the store with a kid and leaving alone with tv.What is a dscounted tv or toy worth to us as a people? I want my kids knowing that our desires are best achieved thorugh God not shooting someone over a parking spot or hitting someone to save
$15 on a video game.

We should remember Psalms 112:1-5
"1 Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. 2 His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. "

29 Days of God

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas Season is now completely upon can tell by every radio station playing a carol every other song. We need to remember and get back to what the CHRISTmas season is about. I am going to post the 29 days of God's Love. Christ is the true reason for the season.

Prosperity (Introduction and Types)

Prosperity is defined as a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial respects; good fortune.

We all want this for ourselves and our family, especially the financial area. We tend to focus on financial prosperity and see it as the way to achieve prosperity in other parts of our lives. Do we often consider what other types of prosperity we have available to us and what is the best way to gain success in all parts of our life? God has recently been helping me to define these and better understand what needs to be in order to achieve the levels I desire in each. 

I have defined 7 types of prosperity in our lives that are distinct and yet intertwine differently for each one of us. I will give the types a brief description of each here, but will devote a more in-depth discussion of each and how they relate to God's word and promises individually. 

1. Spiritual Prosperity-God has a plan for each and every person, but we have to be willing to walk with Him, study the word, and believe in order for His plan to be revealed. Spiritual prosperity is having a good relationship with God and allowing Him to use us as his tools to spread the His word. 

2. Family Prosperity- Family prosperity is about how strong your family's bond is with each other and with God. Family can extend to others outside your home such as Church, friends, or extended family if there is a genuine concern for each other. 

3. Mental Prosperity- Mental prosperity is not about a persons intelligence level it is about what each one of us do with our mental abilities. Do we try to learn new things and expand our views to help improve our lives or do we just putter along through life with no desire to increase our knowledge on Biblical and worldly topics. 

4. Physical Prosperity- This is simply how physically fit you are. 

5. Monetary Prosperity- Money

6. Environmental Prosperity - This would best be defined as your surroundings, type of house, what kind of car do you drive, what type of television do you have. What have you surrounded yourself with to make life more pleasurable. 

7. Social Prosperity - This is best described by looking at who your surround yourself with. I am not talking family and close personal friends who you visit, but what type of people do you choose to be with whom you are not that close too. Do you prefer to be alone in the woods, in a bar, or at a basketball game and how do you interact when you are there. 

All of these things make up our life as a whole and the order and methods for achieving each is crucial. My next post on this will be about most important one, Spiritual Prosperity.