Category: Bible

Bushels of Seeds

“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.”        2 Corinthians 9:6-7

I have always enjoyed history, especially American History. One part that captured my attention involved a man named John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. He traveled through the Midwest planting apple seeds for 45years. It is estimated he spread more than twenty bushels of seeds, each bushel contained an estimated 300,000 seeds!

In the Bible there is the principle of sowing and reaping. You plant corn, you harvest corn. (Not potatoes) One ear of corn planted, will result in a harvest of several ears of corn. The more seeds you plant the more produce you harvest. While this principle  always hold true, today’s “prosperity preachers” have mistakenly taught if you give $20 to their ministry; God will bless with a $100 reaping!

This doesn’t mean we’ll come into lots of money if we give to the Lord’s work. As many people have experienced, wealth can be fleeting, but if we sow into His Kingdom, we will reap blessing in both time and eternity far beyond our original gifts. Choose an investment that is reliable, is guaranteed to never fail and yield great rewards. Invest in the Kingdom of God.

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Pro-Motion

I have been a Christ-follower for over thirty years and I have thought a lot about why the Church has lost its effectiveness in impacting and changing our culture. Today, I think I have found the answer. I wish I could say that it was due to my own intellectual prowess but the truth is my “discovery ” came from watching a message by Andy Stanley (http://yourmove.is/episode/pro-motion/)

Allow me to share the truths that I have gleaned from his message.

Christians for the most part have substituted devotion for action. We have a tendency to believe all the right things, so that means me and God are good because I believe all the right things. Believers are often content to believe something rather than do something.

We are good at making a point; showing what is wrong but if all we do is make a good point and don’t make a difference; we are not good Christ-followers.

It is NOT enough to believe, you have to DO something with what you know! We need to “put some motion in our devotion.” James 2:27 “…faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.

Your devotion to God is authenticated by love for others. When my faith stops at “How am I doing God?” we are telling the world “we know it all and are better than y’all.”

A Depraved Nation

Just when you think our society cannot get worse, a news headline proves us wrong.

  • This week we were all shocked when police found that 13 children and young adults had been held in horrific conditions was listed as a private school. We cannot understand how parents could ever abuse their children in such a matter. 
  • A USA Gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 175 years in jail for sexually abusing children 
  • Most recently, a video was released showing a daycare worker hitting a child on her head because the worker did not think the child was obeying.  {Warning: graphic images} 

We have become so calloused to events that we see and hear every day. How much lower can a man sink into his depravity? The Prophet Jeremiah was correct in saying, ““More than anything else, a person’s mind is evil. It cannot be healed. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

If we are upset with the culture around us, how do you think God feels?  “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” 

There is coming a day (?) when God is going to bring justice to all the earth. “…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

 

Passion Killers – Part Three

Image result for soul rest

Matthew 11:28-30 (RSV) “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

When we read this passage, we tend to relate it mostly to the physical and spiritual. However, Jesus is not only addressing physical and spiritual weariness [burdens]. Take note that the rest Jesus promises is rest for your soul. Soul-rest and emotional rest.

Often we find our physical bodies may be on the bed but our minds are racing through a worry maze. In order to experience full rest, we must recover our minds. Physical rest is not enough. We need relief from anxiety, tension, guilt, and fear. Many people turn to their television, some turn to their refrigerator seeking comfort. But Jesus is saying, “Come to me and I will give you rest for your soul.: True and lasting rest comes from Christ alone!

Passion Killers – Part Two

In my last blog, we looked at how vital it is to have passion. Jesus said He came to earth to give His followers an abundant life John 10:10 but He also warns us the devil has a plan to keep us from experiencing that life. The devil uses”passion killers” to steal our passion.

The Good News is God is taking you by the hand on a journey to Full Recovery. To recover your passion you must prevail over “passion killers. The first is An Unclear Purpose. Purpose and passion go together. The clearer your purpose, the greater your passion because purpose creates passion. God created you for a specific purpose so do not just go though life waiting for things to happen. It is your responsibility to locate God’s purpose for your life. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning. 

The second passion killer is An Unsupported Lifestyle. We were designed to need other people. “Two people are better than one… Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  Without support, it is difficult to run very far as you will most likely burn out. God’s way is iron sharpening iron. And when iron sharpens iron, there will be sparks because of the friction and heat.

Most people do not want to deal with “sparks” so they isolate themselves – spiritual solitary confinement. None of us is as strong as all of us. You need to connect with people. You need community. The word “encourage” in Hebrews 10:25 literally means to put fire, courage, and zest into one another. An unsupported lifestyle burns passion easily.

Passion Killers- Part One

As an amateur history buff; I love reading stories of people who have preserved and became successful or reached their goals. It did not matter if they were rich or poor; educated or uneducated; attractive or homely. The creative force behind any great thing you come across in music, art, or science is passion. No one can live a great life without passion.

Passion energizes life. It is a passion that makes ordinary people do extraordinary things. Passion is what makes ordinary people walk in the supernatural.

God plans to give you a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) The enemy also has a plan to kill, to steal and to destroy your passion. In order to rob you in any area, the enemy first attacks your passion for that thing! 

Marriage, for example, the reason there are so many broken marriages is people have lost their passion. If your walk with Christ is monotonous and boring, you need to find where you have lost your joy.

“… I hold on to you for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post.” Psalm 63:8 (MSG) 

 

Where Are You?

Image result for god's gpsI confess; I love electronic gadgets. (Unfortunately, I cannot afford most of them.) But the one device I probably use the most is my GPS. I use it even if I know how to reach my destination because the GPS “might” know a faster route.

When using a GPS, it will ask the user if they want to start at their present location. To most of us, that is a mute question. Of course, I want to start at my current location!  But the GPS cannot give you directions unless it has all the information. 

People who desire a relationship with God, know they are not where they should be, spiritually speaking, but the problem is they do not know where to start. Many people think they need to “get their act together” before they can come to God. They think must give up this, stop doing that, start going to church, etc.  It is sometimes difficult to convince people that they are sinners Romans 3:23. Many believe there has to be something they need to do before they can come before God. Titus 3:5  

God’s GPS tells us where we are; we are separated from God [lost] and we need to confess to Him that we need a Savior. Only by fully trusting Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins; can we be made right with God. Once you trust Christ to forgive your sins; God’s GPS (The Holy Spirit) will guide you to your destination. John 16:13  

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6