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Category Archives: Purpose

Being Rich Toward God

Luke 12:15-21, And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

It’s important to take inventory of our lives. To examine ourselves.  What does my life consist of?

When we find ourselves in a prosperous season… when the harvest of seeds sown has come to bear, there comes with it  a temptation to “pull down” our barns and build greater.  An upgrade is due us.

Somewhere along the way maybe, we’ve been lead to believe that we will arrive at a certain level of prosperity.  It’s a lottery of sorts…  a sweet spot in life, where we can just rest easy.  “Eat, drink and be merry”, right?

We long for the day when we won’t have to work so hard. When we can just retire and finally “live” a little.

We start to daydream of pulling down our barns.  It might look something like this…

“Oh, God has great things in store for me.  His plans are SO big that I’m gonna need a better ______________, a better _______________, a better _______________.  That’s what I intend to do! As soon as I get MY harvest, I’m gonna leave this ______________ behind.  I’m gonna build the life of MY dreams!”

Perhaps this kind of mindset has truly diminished the things that God has already equipped us with to use for His glory.  We’ve pulled down our barns.  And if these barns already aren’t enough for us, then how could something bigger and better ever be enough?

And here it is… that man was rich already. He was significant. He was provided for. He was equipped.  In essence, he had what was necessary for today.  He was taken care of, yet somehow, He thought he had to take care of himself.  Somehow, he thought the ground he was given belonged to him.

So what it all boils down to is that there is a question left unanswered.

In all of your pulling down and building greater, who have you served?  If you got your harvest and bought your dream _______________, to what purpose was it?  If it all ends at sunset…whose will it be then?

Will our children know what to do with it?  Will our extended friends and families?  How about our neighbors and communities?  And heaven help us, our government?

We must consider the “whose” of our harvest!  We must begin something with what God has given us that will live well beyond our years!

Get ready! The harvest is upon us. It’s time to seek the Lord! The Lord of the harvest is visiting our ground! He is preparing laborers to who will not labor in vain but will produce more of His spirit and yield His glory in this earth!  Unless the Lord builds it, we will labor in vain! Even if we give it ALL away, we will not find ourselves wanting.  The windows of heaven are opening and God has promised that He would pour out a blessing, so much so that there would not be room enough to contain it!  For some, even the most faithful among us, He hasn’t been able to release such a blessing because with even a handful, we pull down our barns!  We must settle it in our hearts that the foundations are good! What is already built is good! Yes, the barn is good! This is the year of the open door! If we will refrain from pulling down our barns, we will discover that He has opened the door of those barns and His bounty shall spill forth!  If we will rejoice in our room, He will give us a realm! Be rich toward God!

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Nothing Shall Be Impossible

For months now…all summer long actually, I’ve been fighting some sort of funk.

I’m going to be transparent for a moment.  More than usual.

I’ve been anticipating being 36 for no less than 6 years. Seriously.  Everywhere I would look, I would see #36 and God would whisper to me.  The excitement has been building for so, so long and God has kept me guessing, thinking that I would step into something.  A prophetic word? A specific event?  Or perhaps I would come into my calling? You know.  Like “TADA!”

And as the years have passed, the milestones of anticipated events and prophetic words have occurred.  As far as the calling on my life and the spiritual gifts…I realize now that I will never fully arrive.  This is something that I will grow in, discover and take joy in for the rest of my life.

But it’s left me wondering.

It wasn’t until 2 years ago that a different plan began to unfold.  A plan that He had only given me bits and pieces of.  Like a puzzle it began to take form. A plan that wasn’t mine but gloriously His.  It was the unexpected.

All of the prophetic words, events and callings that I thought were “it”, weren’t.  The lights dimmed on the  glamorous vision and what I had in mind has begun to fade.

God’s thoughts really are higher and His ways better than mine.

The desire of my heart has become so far removed from “status quo”, that I’m both elated and weary.  Zealous and hesitant.

I feel like Mary in a sense.  “How can this be?”  and at the same time, “Be it unto me.”

My prayer for this year(…my 36…or better yet…God’s 36… ) resonates with the words that the angel spoke to Mary on the heels of her question mark.

For with God, nothing shall be impossible.

Here I am, telling my story but you’re the one reading.  Maybe this is your story too.  I believe God is speaking to us on the heels of our questions marks.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Confidence, Hope, Jesus, Purpose, Vision

 

Come To The Hour

John 12:26-28, If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.  Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?  Father save me  from this hour:  but for this cause came I unto this hour.

As a  Christian,  I live with an expectancy of what God has said.  I look to the “time” it will occur, believing it will eventually happen or  come to me at some point.

Jesus too lived with such an expectancy.  All throughout the Word and His ministry, He was awaiting the “hour”. 

John 2:4 eludes to this. When the wine ran out at the Wedding of Cana, Mary put a demand on His destiny and…”Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.”

Another account of this is when Jesus had met the woman at the well.  “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” John 4:21 

John 5:25, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. “

The hour was a definite time.  By definition, it’s a moment free from uncertainty or obscurity; unquestionable; decided.  FREE FROM DOUBT!  The hour is faith in permanent ink on the calendar!

Jesus could say, “is coming” and “now is” without contradicting Himself because the hour is continually present.  The “hour” was simply the outcome of what He had already.  That’s why, when Mary put a demand on Him, he could fulfill it at that moment because what was “yet to come” was “present”. There was a cause! 

Looking again at John 12:28, Jesus said “for this cause came I unto this hour”. 

Each of us have an “hour”. 

Jesus came to His.  He didn’t wait for it to come to Him.  In everything He did, He approached it, as though it was present tense, happening now because it was.  What was done for all eternity, could be released at any moment at Father’s will. 

He didn’t ask to be delivered from an hour that He felt wasn’t in His strength to fulfill.  

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Christian Living, Faith, Purpose

 

In Your Face

For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.  

Isaiah 50:7

When God places a calling on our lives and releases us into it…setting us on the journey to fulfill His purposes and plans for our lives (because it absolutely requires our participation), it’s a comfort to know that God will help us!  He assists, supports and bears with us in it!   We don’t have to go it alone!

We will not be disgraced!  We can determine to stay within the boundaries of grace.  Remembering God is our help will keep us from trying to work it or do it in our own strength, outside of the grace afforded us for the journey.  Because that is what disgrace is; a result of doing anything apart from grace. 

Just like Jesus, our faces can be set like a flint. What does that mean?  Looking at the word flint, I found that it is a stone or rock, diamond like in nature, which is believed to be unbreakable and of impenetrable hardness. 

A word that is used to define flint is ‘adamant’, which bears a two-fold meaning.  The same as above and also, it refers to a mental quality.  To be adamant is to be unshakable or insistent in maintaining a position or opinion.  Unyielding. 

 Our faces are to be set like that!  And what is a face?  A face most readily reveals our identity.  When someone looks at your face, they can see who you are! 

What an awesome thought!  My face is set like a flint!  My identity is impenetrable & unbreakable! I will not yield! I’m determined in who God has said that I am and in what God has said that I am to do and where I am to go! 

So, the journey begins!

 

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Confidence, Identity, Purpose, Vision

 

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Fishers of Men

Matthew 4:18-20

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

This morning as I read this, I realized that when Jesus called these men promising to make them “fishers of men”, He was using words that they could relate to because they were in fact fisherman

It’s important to note that to become anything that will be of profitable service, we must follow Jesus.  He wasn’t asking them to leave their profession or their skill or craft.  He was simply saying, let Me employ you in this.  He was emphasising the greater purpose in what they “do” from day to day.  A higher employment. 

Whatever trade we have taken up, from President of the United States to janitor, we must let it be “of men”.  There is a higher way to be president and a higher way to be janitor. 

What is it that you are employed to do right now?  If you are a Christian, you are employed by Father God.  You are in the family business.  A growing family business, if you will.  Fill in the blank here.  If you are a _________, become a _________of men. 

That word of; for being such a simple small word, it hold’s great definition.  It carries great weight. 

One definition is: a function word to indicate relationship between a result determined by a function or operation and a basic entity

[Your trade, skill, craft, etc.]  Whatever you are being used to do, however you are employed right now is meant to forge a relationship.  In what we do, we can either lead men to God or keep them from Him.  

Jesus called us to watch Him, keep our mind on Him and to attend to Him and as we “do”, we will become of service “of” men.  He wants us, in whatever we do, to be the bridge to relationship between Him and them.

Again, Matthew 4:19 says, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  

Here’s my paraphrase.  Follow me, and I will make you most effective and prosperous in what you do.  How rich are you?  (Not counting your paycheck. ) 

 

Spiritual Indigestion

A while ago, a few months maybe, God spoke to me and said, “You are suffering from spiritual indigestion.”  In fact, when I heard it, I was driving and it came out of my own mouth before I even thought what I was saying. 

“I’ve got spiritual indigestion.”  

There, I had said it but what?  Who says something like that?  What is it anyway?  I thought it was just me so I overlooked it, put it off, out of sight, out of mind.  But all along, God had been planning my menu.

I have finished reading The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist by Craig Groeschel

And now, I’m reading, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of Holy Spirit by Francis Chan  

As I’m reading, it’s become all to clear that I do have it and God said it! I have spiritual indigestion.

So back to the question, what is it?    

Well, as far as I can tell, it’s wrongly ingesting the Word of God for my own feel good purposes.  Binging but never purging.  Eating for my own self, my own sake and using nothing of it for the furtherance of the Kingdom. 

I’ve been asking myself some hard questions lateley and I don’t like the answer.  When was the last time I read the Word for His sake?  What have I been praying all this time?  For what have I been asking and has it been for His sake or mine?  What am I doing?  Again, is it for His sake? 

I’ve learned that when you are suffering from spiritual indigestion, you will inevitably lose your appetite.  The reflux of overindulgence will eventually leave a bad taste in your mouth.  You’ll find yourself going to the Word only for some sweet milk because you can’t stomach the meat at this point.  The last you had eaten is still laying in your gut, unheeded.

I have to change my diet.  I can’t eat just for me anymore. 

Last night I found myself praying Philippians 3.  Lord, let it be. 

Philippians 3:7-15 (Amplified)

7But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [ one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.


8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),


9And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

10[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]

11That if possible I may attain to the [ spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

12Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.

13I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

14I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

15So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

 

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No More Me and My Shadow

James 1:17 says,“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” 

What are the gifts? 

1 Corinthians 12 gifts… spiritual gifts, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, working of miracles, gift of healing, faith. 

Ephesians 4 gifts…apostlic, prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral, teaching.

Romans 12 gifts… Prophecy, ministry of helps, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, showing mercy.

I find it interesting that a double emphasis is put on the gift in this passage and even more interesting that there are two words used to describe the gift, that would seemingly hold the same definition.  Good and perfect would seem to be relative to one another, so what’s the difference between a “good” gift and a “perfect” gift?  

Taking a look at the word good, it means, to be of good constitution or nature.  Constitution refers to the physical makeup of an individual, in regard to the appearance of such an individual.  We’re talking about the one who the gift came from, so that constitution would be Father God’s.  And the nature referred to here is very much the same, yet speaks of creative power as well.  The power to act and something interesting is that is speaks of disposition…what is transferred to another.  It is the essentially useful gift.  It’s meant to be put to use.  

When we use the good gift, it’s going to look like Father and what He himself created.  And with it, we create.  In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.  Genesis 1:1  and in verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21 and 25 that God saw that it was good! In fact, when you read it, in it’s original context, the words it was were added.  So it should read, God saw that good! 

You see, after the fall of Adam, what was good was no longer ours.  We had to work for it. The law required it.  But since Jesus, the cross and the resurrection, good has been restored to us through grace. And that word gift is simply another word for grace.  And as we use the gifts or the graces that God has given us, we create again in this earth that is rightfully ours through the blood of Jesus.  We have been restored to the good! 

Now, how about perfect?  There is a perfect gift. Why the distinction?  Well, perfect means to be brought to it’s end, finished, wanting nothing, complete.  To be perfect is not about being “flawless”.  It’s about fulfilling our purpose.  Matching our integrity, moral character and virtue with God’s and doing His will in this earth.  Psalm 37:37 says, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”   

We also know that the Hebrews 5:9 says that Jesus was made perfect in that he became the author of eternal salvation to all that would obey him.   If it was about being flawless, it wouldn’t have applied to Jesus.  It was about becoming His purpose.  

When we use the perfect gift, we become the purpose God created us for. 

And He is the Father of lights.  I find it interesting that the word light translates of truth and it’s knowledge but more than that, it’s the truth and knowledge that is exposed to the view of all, openly and publicly.   

In Him there is no variableness nor is there shadow of turning.  God never turns from His purpose…His perfection.  And if we are to be like Him, perfect as He is perfect, then we must use these gifts and not turn from the truth.  No more me and my shadow.