Friday, June 28, 2013

On Being A Giver Pt. 2

I have never done a part 2 on anything but I felt that my testimony last week stopped short of all that God had laid on my heart. So, I decided to finish it this week. I was told a long, long time ago by a wise man of God that one of the very few ways that someone could prove to God that they were serious was in their giving. If someone was willing to give of their substance they usually weren't playing around. At any rate let me share some thoughts with you on the subject.

7  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Gal 6:6-7 (NASB)

You know for a long time I thought this verse was considering spiritual issues in our lives but that isn't the case here. The preceding verse(6) starts a new paragraph and with it a new line of thought. Look at verse 6, the context is material and the sharing of material blessings.

6  The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.
Gal 6:6 (NASB)

That verse is self explanatory. Whomever is feeding us spiritually, our pastor or our church should be able to expect material support from us. This actually is part of the burden or load that we are expected to bear. We are responsible not only to our families but to those who feed us spiritually in the household of God. God places great importance on this. In verse 8 Paul likens this material support or lack thereof to sowing to the flesh or Spirit.

8  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Gal 6:7-8 (NASB)

Notice the use of terms here. On the one hand we can withhold and sow to OUR flesh or we can give and sow to the SPIRIT. Not our spirit but the Spirit of God. But, as I said last week, it is to our(yours and mine) benefit to become givers. Let me give you another illustration that was given me years ago.

If you know anything about the Dead Sea you know that their is no life in that body of water in Israel. The reason for this I am told is because the Sea is fed by the Jordan River in the north but has no outlet. The water flows in but then is trapped with no channel to flow out and everything dies. You see we are all channels of God's blessings. Just like this blog. If God gives me stuff to write about and I don't write about it, eventually it will die on the inside of me because I didn't channel it on down the line to someone else. Same concept with giving. If God blesses us materially and we don't take a portion and send it on down the line, then it restricts the flow and eventually will block it altogether. That's just the way God works. But, God has given us many promises from His word on giving.

38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
Luke 6:38 (NASB)

Now this isn't just anyone talking here. It's the Lord Jesus Christ himself. You see the concept here. Ronnie, you give and I'll give back to you. You keep giving and I'll keep giving to you. It is a flow. You open the tap for more blessing by being a blessing. Look at that "your standard of measure". That's talking about our liberality in giving. How we measure it out to others is the exact same measure God will use to give to us. God's giving to us is based on how we give to others. It says as much later on in 2nd Corinthians. Looksee.

 6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
2 Cor 9:6 (NASB)

Listen brothers and sisters God isn't interested in getting what is ours. HE OWNS IT ALL ANYWAY! No,no, He's just providing us a way to partake of His blessing and that way is by becoming a blessing to others. I'll close with this final verse.

12 Then the Lord said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it."
Jer 1:11-12 (NASB)

In this passage the Lord is telling Jeremiah that He will do what He says He will do. It was in connection with the prophesies that Jeremiah would be carrying to Judah. Well, God hasn't changed. He still watches over His Word to perform it.
"Ronnie, I'm good for My Word. You give and I'll give to you. You give bountifully and I'll pour it into your lap, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. There won't be enough room to receive it."

Like I said last week God is good for His word. He wants to bless you and me and make us a channel of blessing to others. Become a giver. Amen?!

 4  Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5  Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalms 37:4-5 (NASB)

God Bless

Sunday, June 23, 2013

On Being A Giver

6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
2 Cor 9:6-8 (NASB)

One of the first concepts I learned as a new Christian was the importance of being a giver. Not only the importance but the BENEFIT of giving to the work of the Gospel. That truth was for the umpteenth(?) time brought home to me these past couple of weeks. I have been really fighting with sickness these past three weeks and I had missed a day or two of work. I also took a week off without pay and whatnot. You get the picture. Well, to make a long story short on my last two paychecks I received extra pay. No reason given, no explanation, I was for some unknown reason paid at a higher rate. The first time it happened I just sort of shook it off but the second time, this week's check, it really hit me. Now understand the amount in the eyes of the world would be a mere pittance but to me it was a marvelous blessing. When I opened my pay envelope all I could do was shake my head and offer up a heartfelt thank you. As I sat there at work and quietly shut my eyes to just thank Him, the Holy Spirit spoke a word to my heart. It was simply this "I got your back" So instead of suffering loss, I actually came out a little ahead of the game. People, it's not the great amount of what I received that's important(although to me it was important) but, it was the fact that once again God was good to His word." Ronnie you give to my work and I'll give to yours." This was so out of the blue, and for absolutely no known reason God moved on the heart of someone in that company to bless me not once but twice at a time that I needed it. IT HAD TO BE GOD!AMEN?

Listen brothers and sisters I can testify today that God is good for His word. The way He operates will leave you shaking your head. His ways are not our ways. If you are not giving to the Lord's work, you need to start. FOR YOUR BENEFIT! I can say of a truth He will not let you down. He is good for His word. HE'S GOT YOUR BACK!PTL!!

25 I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread.
Psalms 37:24-25 (NASB)

God Bless


Friday, June 14, 2013

Right Or Reconciled ?

18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:17-19 (NASB)

You know I'm thankful that I never say an unkind word to anyone or never say anything hateful to a brother or sister. I'm also very appreciative that I am able to exercise self restraint and hold my tongue in heated situations. It's a wonderful way to live......and if you believe that give me a call, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn.(any takers?smile)

Vines Expository Dictionary has a very detailed and long working for the definition of reconciliation. But, most simply it means to make an exchange from hostility to peace or from enmity to friendship.

Look at those verses namely the last three words of both verses. God gave us the ministry of reconciliation and the word of reconciliation. Now in these verses the reconciliation that the Apostle Paul is talking about is the reconciliation God offers men and women through Jesus. But, once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior then we are called to be reconciled to one another. God makes it very easy to be reconciled to Him. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved. Amen? That's easy enough. It's the other reconciliation that gets a little dicey from time to time. Yeah, God is waiting and anxious to be reconciled to you, the next door neighbor however may prove a little more difficult.

 I read a book a long time ago titled "Right or Reconciled?" It was by  pastor Joseph Garlington. The only point that I could recall from that book was the question posed by the title. What's more important to be right or reconciled? Is it more important to win an argument or to be at peace? Let me give you an example from my own life. I had a very dear friend years ago. We were very close, worked together, socialized together you get the picture. Well, we got mad at each other over something and to this day I cannot tell you what it was. We were at odds with one another and neither would give. Understand this was one of the two best friends I had and we weren't even talking to each other. Well, we were able to settle our differences but it never was the same. All over something that I can't even remember now.

15 " Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom."

Song 2:15 (NASB)

It's the small stuff that causes all the problems. It's the hateful word or the unjust accusation. Or even an innocent look and before you know it you have fired back and the war is on. Jesus said that offenses would come. That is a part of the human condition. But, when those offenses come if we can keep our head about us and our mouths closed, we will be way ahead of the game.

 1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Prov 15:1 (NASB)

If you can't give a gentle answer just turn around and walk away till you can and  cooler heads prevail. Remember that angry word may be the last word you speak to that friend or loved one.

1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
Psalms 15:1-3 (NASB)

God Bless

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It Takes Two

Remember that blast from the past? Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell. If you are reading this today I NEED your prayers! I have contracted one of those bugs and it won't let go. I've been dealing with it for about 7 nor 8 days and it has a grip on me.Please pray that God touch my body and chase this thing away. That being said let me vent a little bit here. Let's see here..hmmm...metadata??? what is that? Seems like that is the term for the massive amounts of information that our government has been collecting on private citizens since at least as far back as President Bush's administration and GREATLY EXPANDED under President Obama's watch. Back to that in a jif. I saw a commercial for a smart T.V. that is so advanced all one has to do is wave your hand at the screen to change channels, turn it on and off etc.,etc., You know we in the Christian world keep pointing to a day in the future when "they" are going to be able to do this and new technology will usher in the antichrist and whatnot. While that is all true, I wonder if that "day" isn't already here! Amen?  The human tracking devices we call cell phones are now in full bloom and they keep an account of your every move. If you can wave your hand and turn on a television how far away is the waving of your hand in order to buy food for your family. I've had this verse on my mind all week. I couldn't remember where it was and had to get my concordance to find it.

9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Eccl 4:9-12 (NASB)

Two are better than one. Now this is just me thinking out loud, but how far away are we before being a Christian is cause for secret survelliance? I will bet my bottom dollar that it won't be any other religious group that will be scrutinized. How far away are we before speaking out against something that God says is wrong will be justification for IRS targeting? The day is coming AND MAY NOW BE HERE when everyone who names the name of JESUS will be precious. I read the last page and yes we do win. Despite the attempts to destroy the people of the only true God, the God of the Bible it will fail. But, not without a fight.

6  Arise, O Lord, in Your anger; Lift up Yourself against the rage of my adversaries, And arouse Yourself for me; You have appointed judgment.
Psalms 7:6 (NASB)

God Bless