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Posts tagged ‘Wealth’

SATURDAY SUNDAY MORNING DEVOTIONAL SERVICE OF PRAYER AND PRAISE 75 THE WORD

SATURDAY SUNDAY MORNING DEVOTIONAL SERVICE OF PRAYER AND PRAISE 75 THE WORD

Good Morning Children of God, the time has come to shift our thoughts away from the world and move them ever closer towards the heavenly rims where God is waiting on us to make a brand new beginning.

Today we are continuing to bring you the Word of God in video format, as we prepare to begin live streaming our weekend services later this year.  Just click on each video in the order it is presented and enjoy the Word of God, for God’s Word is truth and it will lift you up from where ever you may be, to where ever you desire to go.  All you have to do is ‘BELIEVE!”

OUR WELCOME AND OPENING PRAISE:  God is the Light of the World

 

 

 

SCRIPTURE READING OF THE WORD: By Pastor Davis

 

 

 

PRAYER:  By Pastor Davis

 

 

 

BIBLE STUDY TEACHING IS TITLE:  God’s Word will prosper you (Isaiah 55:11)

 

 

 

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

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WHAT IT MEANS TO BE STEWARDS OVER GOD’S VAST RESOURCES

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE STEWARDS OVER GOD’S VAST RESOURCES

REFLECTIONS FROM THE VAST RESOURCES OF GOD'S CREATION (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

REFLECTIONS FROM THE VAST RESOURCES OF GOD’S CREATION (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

In our most recent posting we taught the lesson title: “THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEAL OF WORK IS STEWARDSHIP.”  In today’s lesson we will expand on those thoughts and take you deeper into the mind of GOD and explain how He has provided the vast resources of this UNIVERSE for all His Children to share in and become TEMPORARY STEWARDS over.

Now let us understand this basic fact of life, and that is, when we claim OWNERSHIP of the material things in this world, that OWNERSHIP is a relative term, and as a HUMAN BEING, created in the image of GOD, it is up to each one of us to come into the full knowledge and understanding that WE OWN NOTHING IN THIS WORLD, and that everything that comes into our procession is a gift from God, is owned by God, is placed in our hands by God to become good STEWARDS over HIS possessions, and are to be used as a tool to help us to grow and live a loving, joyful and prosper life while we are on this earth.

It is truly a humbling experience to realize that nothing that we possess is really our own.  Our time, talent, material possessions and the relationships we have been given are merely consigned to us by God for a few decades.  Now think about that for a moment as you build MATERIAL WEALTH and then agonize over how you are going to keep others from stealing and taking it away from you.  My question to you is simple, “to what degree are you conscious of God’s ownership of everything which you call your own?”

Pause for a moment and think deeply on your THOUGHT PROCESS, how you view your time, talent, material possessions and of course your relationships with those whom you love dearly?  Are you working consciously are unconsciously to process the things and people that God has placed in your life?  Now I am certain these words are going to rattle your brain as you question this PASTOR’S knowledge and wisdom for making such a bold statement.  However, let us understand that we are only temporary STEWARDS over all of God’s vast RESOURCES, and WE OWN NOTHING IN THIS WORLD.

Have you developed a “stewardship mentality” a growing awareness that you will one day have to give an account of how you have used the trusts you have been granted?

Now let us explore this theory for a moment by first looking at GENSIS 1:27-28 (AMP), it says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.

And God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.  This verse has been realized to a far greater extent during the past century than ever before.  For the first time in human history, we face the crisis of global pollution and wholesale destruction of irreplaceable resources.  Much of this is due to human greed and presumption; people have assumed that the supplies of earth are inexhaustible and that we are free to use them for personal gain.

However, let us understand this simple truth that scripture cautions us that we really own nothing that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.”  A steward manages the possessions of another.  We are temporary managers of God’s resources because God created us for that responsibility. Remember, God has no needs, and he did not create the cosmos because he was lonely or bored.  Instead, the created order is the overflow of the fountain of love that has always existed within the triune God head.  As stewards, we participate in a world that derives its being and substance from the infinite, personal CREATOR.

God has entrusted to us the dignity and responsibility of being stewards of the resources and creatures of this planet.  When we shape, refine and creatively utilize the minerals, plants and animals that God has placed at our disposal, we are accountable for the results.

As a steward of the resources that God has placed in our hands, we are expected to realize the maximum possible return on the resources which the master has entrusted to our care.  Then we are to thank God for providing us with such vast resources, lift Him up with praise and thanksgiving daily as we go about using these resources with love, care and joy in our hearts, and share with others and help others to understand that they too can do and have at their possession all that they desire in their hearts.  God is a true and loving God and He will take care of each one of His children, never putting on them more than they can bear.

I want to personally thank each one of you for reading, studying and sharing the Word of God with others.  You are truly a blessing to this Ministry and the Kingdom Building work that each of you are doing in your own right.  Never quit; never give in, because a quitter never wins and a winner never quits, for God is moving you in ways you have not yet begun to understand. Be strong and keep your eye on the prize.

We will continue to expand this very important teaching in our SUNDAY PRAYER, PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE with our lesson title:  “CONSIDER THE ANT, AND LIVE AN ABUNDANT LIFE!”  Please do not miss out on this awesome lesson, it begins at 0700 each Sunday Morning.  To God be the glory!

 

BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS PART 3 of 3

BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS PART 3 of 3

WILDFLOWER GARDEN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

WILDFLOWER GARDEN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

MATERIAL WEALTH IS A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE     

This is the third and final session in this series of teachings on Believers Actions.  Today, let us begin with the scripture from Sunday’s Prayer, Praise and Worship Service.  This is what the Scriptures commands us to do, it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  (Proverb 3:5-6 ESV)

Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (Matthew 6:19-21 MSG)

A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being you before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.  For as the man came forth from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came; and he will take away nothing for all his labor which he can carry in his hand.  (Ecclesiastes 5:15 AMP)

But if it’s only money wealth and fame you desire, everything will self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (1Timothy 6:7-10 MSG)

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  (Matthew 6:30-33 MSG)

I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. (Philippians 4:11-12 MSG)

God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God. (Proverb 10:22 MSG)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33 ESV)

Now, may God continually to add a blessing for each of you to His Holy Word, in Jesus name we have ministered this word to you for the edification of your soul.  May the grace of God rest and abide in you now and forever, we pray, AMEN.

 

YOU OWN NOTHING IN THIS WORLD

YOU OWN NOTHING IN THIS WORLD

GOD’S VAST RESOURCES NEAR PORTLAND, OREGON (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Ownership is a relative term, and as a human being, created in the image of God, it is up to each one of us to come into the full knowledge and understanding that WE OWN NOTHING IN THIS WORLD, and that everything that comes into our procession is a gift from God, is owned by God, is placed in our hands by God to become good STEWARDS over HIS possessions, and are to be used as a tool to help us to grow and live a loving, joyful and prosper life while we are on this earth.

It is truly a humbling experience to realize that nothing that we possess is really our own.  Our time, talent, material possessions and the relationships we have been given are merely consigned to us by God for a few decades.  Now think about that for a moment as you build material wealth and then agonize over how you are going to keep others from stealing and taking it away from you.  My question to you is simple, “to what degree are you conscious of God’s ownership of everything which you call your own?”

Pause for a moment and think deeply on your thought process, how you view your time, talent, material possessions and of course your relationships with those whom you love dearly?  Are you working consciously are unconsciously to process the things and people that God has placed in your life?  Now I am certain these words are going to rattle your brain as you question this writer’s knowledge and wisdom for making such a bold statement.  However, let us understand that we are only temporary STEWARDS over all of God’s vast resources, and WE OWN NOTHING IN THIS WORLD.

Have you developed a “stewardship mentality” a growing awareness that you will one day have to give an account of how you have used the trusts you have been granted?

Now let us explore this theory for a moment by first looking at Genesis 1:27-28 (AMP), it says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.

And God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.  This verse has been realized to a far greater extent during the past century than ever before.  For the first time in human history, we face the crisis of global pollution and wholesale destruction of irreplaceable resources.  Much of this is due to human greed and presumption; people have assumed that the supplies of earth are inexhaustible and that we are free to use them for personal gain.

However, let us understand this simple truth that scripture cautions us that we really own nothing that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.”  A steward manages the possessions of another.  We are temporary managers of God’s resources because God created us for that responsibility. Remember, God has no needs, and he did not create the cosmos because he was lonely or bored.  Instead, the created order is the overflow of the fountain of love that has always existed within the triune God head.  As stewards, we participate in a world that derives its being and substance from the infinite, personal Creator.

God has entrusted to us the dignity and responsibility of being stewards of the resources and creatures of this planet.  When we shape, refine and creatively utilize the minerals, plants and animals that God has placed at our disposal, we are accountable for the results.

Now I encourage you to pause for a moment and click on this link and watch the video clip title: People come into your life for a season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLltt5cPDOc&feature=share&list=PL39D33D1419A12C83

As a steward of the resources that God has placed in our hands, we are expected to realize the maximum possible return on the resources which the master has entrusted to our care.  Then we are to thank God for providing us with such vast resources, lift Him up with praise and thanksgiving daily as we go about using these resources with love, care and joy in our hearts, and  share with others and help others to understand that they too can do and have at their possession all that they desire in their hearts.  God is a true and loving God and He will take care of each one of His children, never putting on them more than they can bear.

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN

SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Now listen to how the Scriptures teach us on this subject matter; it says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction, (1 Timothy 6:6-9)!”  Now pause your thoughts right here for a moment and click on this video for a short introduction summary of what this lesson is about and we will meet you on the other side.

Those few simple words make a powerful and profound statement that I would like to take a few minutes of your valuable time to explore.  The text is a little bit longer than our normal lessons, but I encourage you to read it through till the end, I assure you that it will bless your soul.

The lesson today is taken from Paul’s letter that he wrote to his son Timothy, known as the book of 1st Timothy.  In this closing section of his instructional letter, Paul returned to discussing how Timothy should handle the false teachers.  Paul main concern was not about the form of the instruction they were providing to the people, but that the false teachers disagreed with what Jesus Christ had taught and demonstrated.  They erred in contradicting and discounting Jesus.

Therefore, Paul told them that false teaching is ungodly teaching; it cannot result in a godly life.  Our applications of God’s word will always depend on how accurately we have understood the teaching of God’s word.  But these false teachers were not merely mistaken in their doctrine; their evil went deeper.  Or rather, it originated in deeper problems.  They were not well intentioned teachers who had made unfortunate mistakes.  Their basic motivations were evil.

Paul told Timothy to stay away from those who just want to make money from preaching, and from those in the Church who stray from the sound teachings of the gospel into controversial arguments.  Paul was exposing these false teachers by revealing their real character behind their veneer of prestige.  These are not very flattering words for a group of teachers who apparently thought very highly of themselves!

Paul said, “CONCEITED,” describes the trait of a person having an excessively favorable opinion of his own ability or importance.  The false teachers showed all that and more, yet Paul confronted that conceit by explaining that they were actually “ignorant.”  The utter falsehood of both the content and the conclusions of their teaching was worthy not of pride, but shame.  They did not agree with the truth, but instead had an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words that promoted speculation and led to arguments about ideals that came not from Scripture, but from the minds of the false teachers.

The controversial ideas and the disputes about words had a devastating effect in the church.  With the believers embroiled in arguments over meaningless theories and false doctrine, relationships began to deteriorate.  Jealousy is followed by fighting, meaning competition and or violent and bitter conflict.  Slander and evil suspicions surely follow.  The seeds of false teaching in Ephesus were yielding a harvest of bitterness.

Here are some more characteristics of false teachers: they always cause trouble because they all had corrupt (debased, depraved, tainted) minds.  Not only were they ignorant, but their minds were so corrupt that the truth (God’s truth) was completely absent.  They were motivated by getting rich.  While Paul instructed the church about the Christian leader’s right to be paid for their service, he made it clear that they should not be greedy and should not consider their ministry as a way to get rich.  Those who did clearly could not be serving the Lord Christ with pure motives, but instead were serving their selfish desires.

The false teachers thought religion was a means to get rich; instead, true religion is great wealth in itself when accompanied by contentment.  One’s religion does not come and go with the uncertainties of material wealth; faith in Christ, with contentment, is the wealth, independent of one’s bankbook and possessions.  The false teachers had it backward.

True religion (faith in Christ) requires training and develops inner spiritual qualities, while at the same time being apparent in the way we relate to others.  It exhibits true character exemplified in the way we serve others.  Contentment grows from our attitude toward living God’s way.  To have contentment in Christ requires four decisions about the events and possessions of our life:

  1. 1.     We must focus on what God has already allowed us to have.
  2. 2.     We must disregard what we do not have.
  3. 3.     We must refuse to covet what others may have.
  4. 4.     We must give thanks to God for each and all of his gifts.

If we fail to make these decisions, our contentment will diminish.

Finally, the great wealth that motivated the false teachers was neither lasting nor escapable of bringing contentment.  Their earthly profits would be left behind.  What brings great wealth has to do with eternal values.  When material treasures become our focus, we quit contributing to our eternal account.  Whatever gains we may experience in this life mean nothing if they cause us eternal bankruptcy!

This statement provides the key to spiritual growth and personal fulfillment.  We should honor God and center our desires on him, and we should be content with what God is doing in our lives.

Paul followed up his statement about the true source of contentment by discounting any hope of ultimate contentment based merely on this life.  The correct perspective on material possessions—money, houses, clothing, vehicles, jewels, land, etc.—remains eternally the same.  They cannot last forever.  We can lose, break, or ruin them in this life.  We didn’t bring them with us when we were born, and we cannot carry anything with us when we die.

Human beings have basic needs.  Believers and unbelievers alike require food and clothing (also implying shelter) for survival.  The difference should be that when believers’ basic needs are met, they ought to be satisfied and content, requiring nothing more.  In contrast, unbelievers are driven by society’s standards and desires, they cannot be content with only basic needs being met because they must always strive for more.

After stating the simple plan for living faithfully, Paul challenged the world’s view by showing the outcome of trying to gain contentment through the pursuit of wealth.  The desire to be rich is, by its very nature, a desire that cannot be satiated.  People who long to be rich cannot understand contentment because they can never have enough money.  The temptation of money feeds their greed.  Soon their passion plunges them into ruin and destruction.  Therefore, let us feast on these words, “GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN!”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED THE NEXT STEP

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED THE NEXT STEP

In the first step we told you this, “God says the Blessed person is a,” “Happy Person” and He describes

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that person in this manner, “BLESSED is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2)

When you are BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED BY GOD, you have chosen to be obedient to God’s will and commandments and to love him.  Your life has become a living example of that blessed and highly favored person.  In many conversations you have the opportunity to ask a person, “How are they today?” Their response is, “I AM BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!”  When a person can truly answer in the affirmative, you will know that this person is truly experiencing God’s Blessings over his or her life because God says this about such a person, “Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!” (Matthew 5:6)

To a virgin named Mary, this is what it meant to be Blessed and Highly Favored, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (Luke 1:26-28 KJV).  Gabriel told Mary that God had decided to bless her.  The words did not point out any special virtue in Mary, she was not sinless.  God chose Mary, blessed her, and she humbly accepted his call to be the mother of Jesus.

God’s Blessings and Favor are for those who are willing to be obedient to his word and keep his commandments.  When the Lord Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, He said three times that the Blessing was for the obedient.  “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments: and I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” (John 14:15-16 KJV).  Obedience is what God demands.  Obedience attains what was lost by the fall.

This lesson will be continued in the NEXT STEP and the many steps afterwards, because when we talk about the blessings over our lives and being flavored by God there is no beginning are ending point.  Just learn to walk out your purpose in this life and be obedient to His Word and He will reward you as being BLESSED and HIGHLY FLAVORED.

WHY DOES A HUMAN BEING EVER DECIDE TO GO TO WORK?

THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEAL OF WORK IS STEWARDSHIP  

A child grows up ready for work (Photo by Pastor Davis)

What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 ESV)   So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him? (Ecclesiastes 3:22 ESV)

Now that the scriptures have spoken, let us begin this study this morning by describing the reason for work.  Work is something we all do day in and day out.  But if I ask you, do you really know what work is and why we are all called to the task of doing it?  You would automatically answer the question by saying in the affirmative; “of course I know what work is.”  Do you think that I am that stupid, when I have to get up every day and do it?   To begin with, please indulge me for a moment and allow me to provide you with a few basic facts about this word work.   “Work is a means by which we glorify God by fulfilling our calling; work is a means to love God by loving our neighbor; work is a means by which we learn and understand our need for God; work provides for our needs and benefits the community.

For at least eight hours a day, forty hours a week, two thousand hours a year, and one hundred thousand hours a lifetime, nearly every one of us works.  By comparison, even death and taxes seem less certain.  So why do we spend so much time working when it seems in today’s technology world there is so much more to do than to spend all our time working.  But if we didn’t work, what would we call the things we do to get what we want?  What would it all be about?  In order to clarify this, let us understand how work came into existence.

Work first begins when God created the heavens and the earth.  He worked for six days, with light and atoms and dirt and fire and water, the elemental, and he was satisfied.   He worked and, stepping back from the results saw that it was good.  To drive home the point, he repeated himself.  Other than the work itself, God did not need to manufacture a reason for working.

In his image and after his model, God created man, in part, to work:  “The lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  (Genesis 2:15).  God’s first assignment to mankind was this: “work.”  Uncorrupted by the perversions of sin and death, work had to be good—very good.  An ideal as high as God is wide, work was no less than the sharing of divine privilege.  God asked that we work as he did so that his work, creation, would be cared for.

Robert R. Ellis, writing in the Southwestern Journal of Theology, summarized three simple and magnificent truths from (Genesis 1:26-30):

  1. God created, and therefore he owns.
  2. We manage resources that God owns.
  3. We were created in God’s image, and therefore we are expected to manage resources the way God would manage them.

The fundamental idea of work is stewardship—the task of protecting and adding value to all the assets God has put under our care.  Through our work, God asks us to care for his creation.  Because we are created in his image, work is in fact one of the defining activities that separate us from other creatures.  Bees, bears, and beavers work to survive, we as people work to manage God’s assets.

Work, then, is a big idea and no small matter.  In the name of the King, we serve as steward of all we see.  Therefore, let us understand that when it comes to our work, stewardship offers us a brand new perspective.  We no longer work “under the sun,” but view life from above the sun—from God’s perspective.

From this vantage point, we now come to know that God calls each one of us to our jobs, in order that we may now do His work.  That is, we are to take care of His creation.  We must manage His resources as He would.  We possess His power of attorney for management decision making.  When someone requests references, we can drop the name of the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos.  When money is an issue, we can sharpen our pencils in the light of eternity.

More than correct theology, stewardship is a powerful philosophy that permeates all of life and work.  “Stewardship is not a subcategory of the Christian life.” “Stewardship is the Christian life.”  Stewardship is first an internal reality, affecting the way a person thinks, sees, and feels.  Stewardship anchors motivation.  Once inside our heart and mind, stewardship eventually and inevitably works its way out.

Now in conclusion, it is clearly understood that in our day-to-day living, stewardship knows no limits.  There is no blank in which we check off “DONE.” Therefore, we leave you with this final thought, “THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEAL OF WORK IS STEWARDSHIP!”  I have ministered this message to you this day from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity, and I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

 

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE BEING CONTENT WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES

MATERIAL WEALTH COULD BE A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE    

Bread from Heaven (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (Matthew 6:19-21 MSG)

A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.

But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (1Timothy 6:7-10 MSG)

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  (Matthew 6:30-33 MSG)

I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles. (Philippians 4:11-12 MSG)

God’s blessing makes life rich; nothing we do can improve on God. (Proverb 10:22 MSG)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33 ESV)

Now, may God continually to add a blessing for each of you to His Holy Word, in Jesus name we have ministered this word to you for the edification of your soul.  May the grace of God rest and abide in you now and forever, we pray, AMEN.

BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS PART 2 of 3

Agape

Agape (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

MATERIAL WEALTH IS A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE     

In part one; we presented you with the scriptures just as Jesus gave them to you.  In this lesson we want to focus your attention on what was happening at the time Jesus taught this very important lesson and how it fits into all of our lives today.

Jesus life was unique, so were his teachings.  His teachings were known for their fresh and new approach.  Jesus taught several distinctive spiritual truths that set Him apart from any other religious leader who ever lived.  This past week we have focused your attention on how Jesus used parables as a great tool in his teaching methods.

In this lesson, we will focus on Jesus unique abilities as a Master Teacher to teach this one great lesson that we all need to understand and that is:

HOW A BELIEVERS ACTIONS ARE ROOTED IN LOVE NOT FOR HONOR OR POSSESSIONS.

Jesus taught that love must not be selective.  His followers are to love all people, regardless of how unlovely or even hostile they may be.  They also must act on that love by being willing to do good when it is in their power to do it.  There are several words for love in Greek.  The word we are using here is agape love, meaning the kind of love shown even when the one loved has no merit for that love.  It is love that must be chosen and willed.

All people have experienced agape love from GodGod loved the world even while people were sinful and rebelliousGod willed to love his people and sent his Son to die for them, not because they deserved it, or had any merit, but only because of God’s love.  Those who have experienced God’s love understand what it means to be loved undeservedly.  People who were once enemies of God and have joined his family can understand what it means to love your enemies.  Only with the help of God’s Spirit can his people do well to those who hate them, pray for the happiness of those who curse them, and pray for those who hurt them.  When believers are hated, cursed, and hurt, they are to respond with love.

HOW CAN ANYONE RESPOND TO HATE WITH LOVE?

I submit to you when you are in the flesh, this can be a very difficult thing to do.  However, let me assure you that people who have accepted Christ as their Savior have the Holy Spirit’s help to accomplish what would otherwise be impossible.

Now let us for a moment take a look at the examples Jesus offers to us; he says, “If you get slapped, turn the other cheek.”  “WOW” Who me, you say? Turn my other cheek and let you slap me again.  “You got to be crazy!” And therefore, the normal response for a person in the flesh would be to slap back, but Jesus offers another option—the attitude that says, “I will not seek revenge.”  Pause your thoughts, and think about this for a moment… then say, “In fact, if need be, I am ready to take another blow.” This attitude is not so much to offer to be slapped again, as it is to offer forgiveness.

The same attitude is illustrated regarding the coat and the shirt, referring to the outer garment and your undergarment.  If someone demanded the one, you are to offer the other as well.  The point is not so much being passive when someone is attempting to rob you as it is being compassionate for another’s need.  If someone needs to steal your coat, then perhaps that person also needs your shirt.

In fact, a more general principle could be stated:  Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Such an attitude completely confounds the world.  It doesn’t understand non-retaliation, forgiveness, and a loose hold on possessions.  But believers, citizens of a future heavenly Kingdom, are freed to forgive and to give.  The point is not that giving is always the correct answer, but that “believer’s actions are rooted first in love, not in regard for honor or possessions.”

In our final lesson on this subject we will conclude it with, “HOW MATERIAL WEALTH IS A HINDERANCE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE.”

 

 

FREE YOUR MIND AND LIVE IN PROSPERITY (PART 1)

JESUS SAID, “I AM THE TRUE VINE!”

The time has come for all of God’s people to rise up and FREE their MINDS of all negative, thinking and learn how to live in this world where the abundances [PROSPERITY] of all God’s gifts are available to all who would seek after them.  Know that Jesus is the true VINE and we are the BRANCHES, and if we abide in Him, he will abide in us, and we shall produce the fruit that we desire for our lives in great abundance.  Pause for a moment and watch this short video clip and we will continue this discussion on the other side.

In this world today, we find that many people are filled with anxious desires to overcome their present lot in life. Anxieties are running deep in their veins, being faced with much lack of everything that this world has to offer and in their heart of hearts not being able to have the basics necessaries that God has promised to them that love and believe in the Lord.

Nevertheless, I say to all the people, know that God never makes a promise that he will not fulfill.  Just hold onto God’s unchanging hands and your storehouse will never be bare.  You see, God has provided the world with all the necessary things for man’s survival in this world.

Remember, there are three basics things that we need for our survival and they are; the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.  These three basics necessities, God provides them in great abundances’ and they are free and without germs are diseases.

But Then You Would Say, I Need A Job And Without A Job How Can I Have Food On My Table For Me And My Family To Eat, Clothes For My Children To Wear, Money To Pay My Mortgage And Car Note, Money To Keep The Lights And Gas On In My House, Money To Send My Kids To College And Of Course Your List Will Go On And On.  It Is True, That Working On A Job And Receiving A Paycheck Is One Way Of Providing You With Money To Help Offset These Burdens.  However, Do You Remember What Jesus Teaches Us Concerning These Things?

This is what Jesus wants you to know, He says, “Therefore I Tell You, Stop Being Perpetually Uneasy (Anxious) And Worried) About Your Life, What You Shall Eat Or What You Shall Drink; Or About Your Body, What You Shall Put On. Is Not Life Greater [In Quality] Than Food, And The Body [Far Above And More Excellent] Than Clothing?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?

And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?

And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.]

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, what are we going to have to eat? Or, what are we going to have to drink? Or, what are we going to have to wear?

For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

But seek aim at and strive after, first of all His kingdom and His righteousness, His way of doing and being right, and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.  (Matthew 6:25-34 AMP)

You see, in this passage Jesus is trying to bring you into the realization that you are free of all yokes and bondage of man’s rule over you.  It is not man that is going to provide you with the necessities of this life, but it is God who provides all of those who believe.

This concludes PART 1 of our teaching this series on, “FREE YOUR MIND AND LIVE IN PROSPERITY!”  In PART 2, we will discuss the PREREQUISITE of how to “FREE YOUR MIND.”

Today we have ministered to you from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER and PROSPERITY.  May we encourage you to lift your sights high and think globally as you work locally within your FAMILY, CHURCH and COMMUNITY, to help bring about the necessary changes that will FREE your MIND and those around you in order that you may enjoy the great abundance that God has already provided for those of you who truly loves Him?  I remain your brother in CHRIST JESUS, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

THE TIME TO ACT ON THE VISION IS NOW

THE TIME TO ACT ON THE VISION IS NOW

MINDS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Achieving the victory requires you to take action.  The first step was when God gave you the vision; He told you to, “WRITE THE VISION.”  God made it crystal clear that you must take action before the vision will appear as a reality to you.  In other words you must activate what God has given to you in order for you to begin the process where you find yourself going through.  The process is never going to be easy, but it is a necessary step that must take place.

One of the reasons so many of us never achieve any desired results from what has been set before us, is because we dislike going through the process.  We fail to write it down; we fail to ask God for wisdom, guidance and understanding.  We fail to seek knowledge and clarification of where we are in the process.  Then we come up against what seems like a brick wall when door after door is been slam shut in our face.  We stand in front of the door and look at it with disgust and ask ourselves “WHY?”  But we refuse to take the next step and KNOCK, because fear has so gripped our minds and we find ourselves questioning our own ability to achieve what God has already given us.

However, I want you to know that the Bible is crystal clear on what God wants you to do in this process.  God’s intention is to teach you how to be successful at achieving the VISION which he has given to you.  Now listen to the words of Jesus, “So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.

For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 Amplified)

Do not hesitate to move on your ideas and respond to situations that call for action in order to keep the momentum going. If you are sitting waiting for something to happen, doing other “important” tasks rather than those that you know will produce the results you desire, you are wasting time and you are no closer to achieving your VISION and desired goals, [the vision which God gave you]. You may realize that you have waited for so many things in your life that never showed up!

Act on your desire in order to get to where you want to be. Waiting will not do it. The best men are not those who have waited for chances, but who have taken them, and made chance the servitor. It is better to act first and apologize later than to seek permission first. We often wait for the feeling to be right first; before we take the action we know will bring us satisfaction. The feeling of satisfaction only comes from accomplishment, not from pondering and procrastinating. Take immediate action, not out of fear, or to force things to happen, but because the next action you take brings you, one-step closer to your desire and you will see tremendous results come into your life.

Now I realize that this might sound like a contradiction in terms of what God said when he told us to wait on the VISION.  But understand this, God was challenging us to have patience, and believe in the promise he had given to us when he said, “though the vision may tarry, the VISION will surely come.”

Sometimes opportunity knocks but sometimes you must knock. If you truly desire what is behind the door, you will knock until it opens. Sometimes you may even have to break down the door to get through to what you want. The difference between using the force out of power and using the force out of fear, doubt or worry, is that when you are powerful, you know what it is you are doing and are doing it powerfully. It does not feel forced but liberating to you.

As soon as you know your desire, have asked for it, and are experiencing it in your mental world, you must then take steps towards it and allow the universe to manifest your desire into your physical reality. Although the universe will bring into your physical reality, anything you ask for, it will accelerate the process greatly if you are also take physical action towards your desires. This does not of course mean that you physically have to go out there and do everything yourself. You simply have to take positive steps in the direction of the VISION that was given and your desire to achieve the promise that came with the VISION, which reinforces your claim that it already exists in your present reality.

The vibrations of your physical actions also firmly impress upon your subconscious mind your total commitment to realizing your VISION and desires. If you have your subconscious mind as well as your conscious mind influencing all the energy of reality in the direction of bringing the object of your desire into your physical reality, it will be much more powerful and your desires will manifest sooner as a result. Reality creation happens through metaphysical and physical means. Both intention and action are necessary for creating what you want.

For example, you wish to manifest a new house, you should take positive actions to physically go out and look for one. You do not have to worry about whether you can afford it or not, that would be a negative emotion resulting in the negative influence of energy. Anyway, the realization of your house is not your concern; it is for God and the universe to take care of the manifestation of your VISION and desires into your reality. Manifestation is a balance of taking action and letting it happen. Perfect manifestation is a combination of intention and detachment.

In the case of your new house, the very act of physically going out and looking for the house of your desires will not only project the positive energy of intent, but will also produce other emotions such as excitement and expectation all of which will add to the net effect of positive energy in realizing your desires. The more you physically take steps in the direction of your desire, the more positive emotion you will generate and the more you can integrate the object of your desire as part of your being. The more powerful also will be the effect, and the sooner you will be able to realize it within your physical reality. That is the reason to act as if your desire is reality.

Massive action results in massive manifestation. The more you want something the more focused you must be in your actions towards getting it. The bigger and the more frequent the action you take, the better it is but takes some sort of action you must. Never wait until tomorrow, because the next day you will defer until tomorrow again, and you will never take that important first action in the direction of your VISION and your desires.

Today we have ministered to you from a position of PEACE, PURPOSE, POWER and PROSPERITY.  We encourage you always stay focus on the big picture and think globally as you work locally to accomplish the VISION and your desired goals.  I remain your brother in CHRIST JESUS, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

 

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING

The Dead Sea on a rough day, with salt deposit...

IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF YOU TO RISE AND SHINE

Isaiah 60:1-5 AMP

ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and dense darkness [all] peoples, but the Lord shall arise upon you [O Jerusalem], and His glory shall be seen on you.

And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Lift up your eyes round about you and see! They all gather themselves together, they come to you. Your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried and nursed in the arms.

Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall thrill and tremble with joy [at the glorious deliverance] and be enlarged; because the abundant wealth of the [Dead] [a]Sea shall be turned to you, unto you shall the nations come with their treasures.

Footnotes:

Isaiah 60:5 Prior to well into the twentieth century, scholars could only speculate as to what Isaiah might have meant here by “the abundant wealth of the [Dead] Sea” that would one day be turned over to Jerusalem. Of course, the Dead Sea, which for ages had been considered only a place of death and desolation, was ruled out as a possible meaning. Then suddenly it was discovered that the waters of the Dead Sea contain important chemicals. In A.D. 1935 G.T.B. Davis wrote, “One is almost staggered by the computed wealth of the chemical salts of the Dead Sea. It is estimated that the potential value of the potash, bromine, and other chemical salts of its waters is… four times the wealth of the United States!” (G.T.B. Davis, Rebuilding Palestine) Isaiah himself did not know this, but the God who caused the Dead Sea to play a part in His program in the last days knew all about it, and He led the prophet to so prophesy here in this verse.

THE DOCTRINE OF TITHING (LESSON 2)


THE MYSTERY OF MALACHI REVEALED (By L. Ray Smith)

It is the book of Malachi that today’s clergy uses as their main authority for promulgating the doctrine of Christian tithing.” Christian tithing means that everyone must give 10% of their gross income (which is in the form of MONEY, 99%+ of the time), or they will be “cursed with a curse.” It will be well worth your time to read the real meaning of Malachi’s prophecy.

Mostly one will hear only three verses of Malachi quoted by those attempting to wrest a doctrine of Christian tithing from this prophecy.

Here are the “cursing” verses:

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:8-9).

Here is the “blessing” verse:

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that thee shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

Their interpretation of these proof texts are as follows: Rob God of His ten percent of your salary and be CURSED, or pay God ten percent of your salary and be BLESSED.

Before we go any further, just who is cursing whom in this Malachi prophecy? Does God, indeed, say, “You are CURSED with a curse” (Mal. 3:9)? This definitely sounds as if it is GOD Who is doing the cursing, doesn’t it? But say, did you notice that the word “are” in your Bible is in italics? That means that the word was supplied by the translators and was not in the original manuscripts. Remove it, and the verse says: “You cursed…” rather than “You are cursed…”

Is it God, or Israel, who is doing the cursing in this verse?

The Sopherim (Jewish Scribes) understood this verse to say that it was Israel “cursing God” rather than “God cursing Israel.” I have a few translations that make this correction:

“With the curse YOU are cursing [me], and me YOU are robbing—the nation in its entirety.”

And:

“With a curse you curse Me, and Me you are defrauding—the nation, all of it” (Mal. 3:9, Concordant Version of The Old Testament).

We must always keep in mind that when the Bible says “tithes” it means products from the land—as grains and cattle. But when the Priests of Christendom say “tithes,” it always means money. Because the clergy prefers to be paid in money, it therefore, became necessary to change the Biblical use of the word “tithes” to now include money. And if “money” can now be shown to be a tithable commodity, guess what? Abracadabra, hocus-pocus, open sesame—every believer, of every occupation in the whole world (not just the farmers as in the Law of Moses), now is required to pay ten percent of his income to the Church. They increased their base of productivity a hundred fold.

What then is the 21st Century application of this Malachi Prophecy? Are we now to tithe money? Let’s read Malachi 3:10 very carefully:

  1. WHAT were they robbing God of? “tithes AND offerings.” Tithes of what? Products from the land—grains and cattle.
  2. WHERE were they to bring the tithes? To the “storehouse” [Hebrew: ‘garner’-- a granary for grain].
  1. WHY did God want these tithes of the land brought to the “storehouse” (the granary)? “That there may be meat [bread] in Mine house [God’s house, Not the granary].”

If there is no spiritual application of these statements and we rather take them literally, there appears to be a contradiction here. Why should the people bring the tithes to the “storehouse” (a granary for storing grain) when what God wanted was “bread in His house,” (the tabernacle/Temple, and not the “storehouse”)? The only food in God’s house—the tabernacle, was a dozen loaves of bread. And that bread was for the Priests only, not for the tribe of Levi. Since there were only twelve loaves of bread in the Tabernacle/Temple of God, are we to believe that the whole nation of Israel did not bring enough grain to the storehouse to make even twelve loaves of bread?

God does not contradict Himself, there needs to be something other than a need for enough grain from the whole nation of Israel to make twelve loaves of bread! Just what does God mean, “that there may be meat [bread] in Mine house?” Is God really reprimanding Christians of the 21st Century through Malachi’s prophecy to bring our checkbooks to church, “that there may be money in Mine house?” Yet this is the teaching of the Church regarding Malachi’s message. What is the Truth?

Does God ask Israel to bring all the tithes and offerings into the storehouse, or treasury, or granary, so that there will be “tithes and offerings in Mine house?” No. God says so, “that there may be meat in Mine house?” We know that they did not bring the tithes and offerings into the holy place of the tabernacle. Only bread was kept in the holy place. The “bread” in the holy place was a type of something future, just as everything that happened to Israel and all of their offerings and ceremonies were a type of something future (I Cor. 10:11). He must indeed be spiritual blind who cannot see that the “bread” in the holy place foreshadows “The True Bread of Life—Jesus Christ.”

If God wanted more money in His house, why did Jesus do what He did in the House of God?

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the MONEY changers… and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matt. 21:12-13).

THE CHRISTIAN INTERPRETATION OF BRINGING IN THE TITHE

The Christian interpretation of Malachi 3:10 is this: “Bring ye all the tithe MONEY and extra offerings of money to the church bank, that there may be money in the Church.” Granted, they might not enunciate it that crudely, but that is what they teach. Ask virtually any pastor of any church, “How do I, starting today, actually obey this prophecy of Malachi to stop “robbing God of His tithes and offerings?” and he will tell you to write out a check in the name of his church, for 10% of your salary (plus an offering), and that check will then be deposited into the church bank account.

Then ask these same pastors what kind of blessings you will receive for obeying this procedure, and they will probably tell you stories where people received huge amounts of material goods and even huge amounts of more money. This is their interpretation of God “opening the windows of heaven and pouring out a blessing.” And there are ministers by the tens of thousands at this very moment preparing more stories and more yarns on how blessed one will become in every imaginable physical, earthly, and material things for giving them (they would say, giving God) your money.

Is this really how God wants us of the 21st Century to apply Malachi’s prophecy to our lives? I speak as a fool.

This prophecy has absolutely nothing to do with tithing money to the Church.

Does God suggest somewhere in this prophecy that there isn’t enough “money in His house?” Is Jesus Christ coming back to this earth to judge these “priests” because the “people” failed to bring enough money to the storehouse so that there would be money in God’s house? Is it a lack of money that concerns God in this prophecy? No, it is both the people and the priests who have corrupted themselves according to this prophecy. But like always, God holds the priests to a much higher standard and therefore they receive the greater condemnation. There are two groups of judgments in this prophecy:

[1] “Behold I will send My Messenger… But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall PURIFY the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (Mal. 3:1-3).

[2] “And I will come near to you to judgment [not just the priests, but many of the people as well]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 3:5).

It is amazing how the clergy make most people think that the only thing of value in the book of Malachi are these three verses on “robbing God” and “receiving a blessing.” There are four whole chapters in this book, and maybe it should behoove us to see what the rest of this book has to say. Here are just a few more things contained in Malachi:

“You offer polluted bread upon My altar… if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil…” (1:7-8).

“And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you… I will curse your blessings… Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your face…” (2:1-3).

“But you have departed out of the way… ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi… therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people…” (2:8-9).

“Behold, I will send my Messenger… But who may abide the day of His coming… He is like a refiner’s fire [like the lake of fire] …And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi… that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (3:13—See Isa. 6:29).

“Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them… And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I made up my jewels; and I will spare them… Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves Him not [‘Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?’ I Cor. 6:2)](3:16-18).

“And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (4:6)

(TO BE CONTINUED IN LESSON 3)

PASTORS MUST STOP KEEPING THEIR MEMBERS PROSPERITY POOR (PART 1)

In today’s market place when so many people have lost their jobs and inability to earn a proper living for their families and losing their homes and all their worldly goods it is time for Pastors and church leaders to carefully study the types of messages they delivery to their congregation. The bible gives us a road map for us to follow, how we present that road map to our followers at a time such as this is the most important thing that we can do in the name of Jesus.

I do realize that I am going to get a lot of negative feedback from my fellow brethren in the ministry, but I also feel that it is important to get this message out.  Now I ask you to read and study the entire message before you make up your mind, and let us begin a dialog that can be beneficial to all believers.

Throughout most of the Church History the spiritual current, especially of the Catholic and Orthodox churches has been that the most spiritual possible lifestyle is to be poor.

The preaching and teaching of these Pastors have done more harm to the poor than they have given them the keys to living a prospers life style because they use Scriptures like “Blessed are the poor…” and “Sell everything you have and come follow me,”  the mindset has been that in order to truly follow Christ you must impoverish yourself.

Now, of course, at any given time, only a few are willing to do this at one time, and so they are considered the most spiritual.   This promotes a general sense of guilt among the middle class and of pride among the self-impoverished.   Moreover, it creates a universal rejection of Earthly wealth for Christians, leaving it to be pursued by either those of other faiths (such as the medieval Jews) or by Christians who do not really believe the Gospel.

It is my opinion this promotes a general place of powerlessness for the church, and of “scraping by” for the average person.   Ironically, which teaching its people to be poor, the church itself held greater riches than most kings, building incredible edifices to promote itself.   The outcome of promoting poverty then, was to have a rich clergy and a poor laity.

In the wake of the great healing revival of the 1940’s and 50’s two things happened.  First, the healing crusaders like Oral Roberts and Jack Coe and others had built huge and very costly ministry empires which required a remarkable amount of money was needed.    Secondly, the anointing waned on many of these men, depriving them of the power which would both draw people to their services and money to feed the ministry empire.   Largely because of these two factors, the doctrine of “Faith” which they had developed with regard to getting people healed began to grow into a doctrine of Wealth.

Slowly the ability to get out of a wheelchair was replaced with the promise to get material goods.   Instead of “if you have faith, you can be made whole” it was “if you have faith, you can get out of debt.”  Now at the time, I believe the shift was subtle, but a generation later, what had happened became clear — the power of God had been traded for money.     We live under a system of “prosperity” now, where ministers promise that giving (to them) is the way to wealth, and implicitly that if you do so you will become rich like them.   These rich ministers are the ones who had “faith” to get wealth, and by “sowing in” to their ministries you can get the same thing.    The great irony again is that this has not produced a race of billionaire Christians, what it has primarily produced is the same exact thing that the Old Catholic “poverty mentality” did — rich ministers and poor laymen.

Does this mean that God does not want his children to prosper?  By no means, I believe that God desires to give His children great wealth so that they can “make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, and then “they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9)   In other words, we are given the financial resources to advance His Gospel and reach every living creature.   If that is your heart and practice with your wealth, God wants to give you the increase.    What these “prosperity” preachers are doing is just the opposite, however.   They are taking huge sums of money which otherwise would be putting others into ministry to spread the Gospel and helping those in need and spending it on lives of difficult to imagine luxury.  And they feel no pangs of conscience about it because in their system being rich is a sign of being blessed.

Anyone can get rich by telling you that by giving him or her money, you will get rich.   That is what they call a “pyramid scheme” and rightly so.  It is the devil’s method.  Take from the many to enrich the few. Real prosperity then is the businessperson who uses his God-given talents to bring wealth into the Kingdom.   God does not tell such a man he must live on nothing.   He tells him that if his heart is in the right place, he’ll want to give greatly to the cause of the Gospel.   If you have a business or hold a job, God wants to give you the increase, but it’s not going to come by giving more money to a “prosperity” preacher.  It’s going to come by your God given talent, the favor of God on your life, and by giving to reach the ends of the Earth with His message.

We have come to a place where we think that having a private jet is a sign of the anointing.   It may be a sign of the anointing, but a sign that the anointing has been misused.   We need to fear the Lord, because he does not take use of positions in His house for personal gain lightly. This is not unlike the sin of Gehazi.  He saw that he could get a couple of talents of silver and some robes from Elisha’s anointing and look where it took him.  He became a leper.  The sons of Eli thought their spiritual inheritance was best used to gain better portions of meat from the people’s sacrifices.  God killed them.  It’s amazing how in every reformation of the church from Jesus, to Luther, to our time, that one of the great issues is the abuse of money.     I believe the Lord has winked at many in our time because they legitimately believed they were helping the people, but a time is soon coming when He is going to reform the church again.

Get ready for the Lord is going to make it all right.  The leaders of the church have prospered while the rest of its members have remained poor.

SALT AND LIGHT LEADERSHIP JESUS WAY (PART 3)

BELIEVERS MUST BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

In the last two lessons, we have learn the value of salt in our lives and the need for us to be used as that salt, to stir up our gifts, and preserve the best qualities of our lives.  God has equipped us in order that we may have a positive effect on others as the salt of the earth.

The Bible speaks of light as the symbol of God’s presence and righteous activity.  Light has been associated with the presence, truth, and redemptive activity of God since creation.  Before human beings were created, light was brought into being by the Creator: “Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good’ (Gen. 1:3-4). Through-out the Bible, light represents truth, goodness, and God’s redemptive work.  Darkness, on the other hand, symbolizes error, evil, and the works of Satan.

Now listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” As salt makes a difference in people’s food, so light makes a difference in their surroundings.  Jesus told them that He was the light of the world, and if you follow me you will not stumble through darkness, but instead you will have the light of life.  He further said, “You as my disciples must live for Christ, shining like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  They are like light in a dark world, showing clearly, what Christ is like.  Because Jesus is the light of the world, his followers must reflect his light.

When Jesus was on earth, his divine life illuminated the inner lives of his followers.  Everywhere he was present he gave light.  This light penetrated people, exposing their sin and revealing divine truth.  No one could encounter Jesus without being enlightened.

Know in your heart that Jesus is light, and as light enables people to do their work, it produces growth in crops; it reveals beauty and provides safety.  Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable.  Light reveals; light shines.  God is so completely “light” that there is no darkness in him at all.  “Darkness” represents what is sinful and evil.  God is untainted by any evil or sin.  Thus, “God is light,” means that God is perfectly holy and true and that he alone can guide people out of the darkness of sin.

Those of us who claim to follow Jesus must be living in the light of God’s presence.  They must be illumined by the truth of God’s character.  To “live in the light” requires constant contact with God and no tolerance for dishonesty, hypocrisy, or sin.  Living in the light comes from continuous effort to take on Christ’s qualities.  This involves complete transformation from within.

Living in the light leads to fellowship with each other.  This fellowship among believer’s results from each believer is having fellowship with God.  True spirituality manifests itself in community fellowship.  One cannot say that he or she communes with God and then refuse to commune with God’s people.  Such was the case with some of the false teachers of John’s day, and this situation exists among false cults today.  Often their followers and leaders claim to have special relationships with God, but they do not affiliate with other believers.  They stay isolated and withdraw from everyone else.  John’s point is that the natural result of living in the light (in fellowship with God) should be joyful relationships with other Christians.

1 John 1:5 (Amplified Bible) 5And this is the message [the message of [a]promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [[b]no, not in any way].

 

SALT AND LIGHT LEADERSHIP JESUS WAY (PART 1)

WE MUST BE DIFFERENT IF WE WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Our lives must be a living example of what Christ presented to us to become.  Jesus did not
just talk about making a difference, He lead the way in truly setting the example in how we should do it.  Let us look at how Jesus did it.   When He was preparing for the direction in
which His ministry was going to go in, He took His leadership team to the top of the mountain for a few days and essentially gave them a top-line preview of the next two or three years, as well as a behavioral blueprint that we can use to this day.

Now listen to how Jesus taught His disciples.  He said, “13You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”

14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

16Let your light so shine before men that they may see your [g]moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and [h]recognize and honor and praise and glorify
your Father Who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-14, 16) AMP

In these three powerful verses, Jesus took two household commodities essential to the livelihood of the poorest of the poor and the wealthiest of the wealthy and painted a word
picture.  Everyone in that culture understood the concept of salt and the concept of light as does everyone in today’s culture.

Jesus was talking about influence.  He commanded his followers to have a full and intentional positive influence in their culture.  Do all followers of Christ carry out this command?  Absolutely not.  Their salt becomes tasteless, their light covered or doused.  Observation bears
this out.

Clearly, Jesus calls his disciples to be “transformers of culture.”  Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, put it this way: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  (Phil. 1:27). No greater opportunity exists in which to live out this command in the modern world than in the marketplace.  It is the soup.  It is the darkened alley.

For the most part, followers of Christ have a handle on Sunday.  There is room for improvement, to be sure.  Church growth is slack among many traditional denominations, but more and more churches have identified innovative ways to be culturally relevant and biblically sound.  In addition, their members know the part they are called to play on the first day of each week.  However, many believers never connect the Sunday message to their lives on Monday through Friday in the workplace.

Moreover, it is at work, of course, that we spend most of our waking hours.  It is at work that most of us are in contact with nonbelievers.  It is at work, that salt will be most noticeable and that light will shine the brightest.

Being different means making a difference in the lives of those you employ to work with you are for you.  Never just, take people for granted.  Use your influence over them to make their lives better just as Jesus did when He took His disciples into the mountains and taught them the role of leadership.  The choice is yours; will you make the right
one?

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2.

 

LIVING IN THE MOMENT BY THE CHOICES YOU MAKE

"Seek first the kingdom of God "

Image by E.Herrera|Photography via Flickr

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city, spend a year there, carry on our business, and make money.

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].

You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].  (James 4:13-15)  AMP

For now is the time to realize, that this is the day, that God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Let us learn to live one day at a time. Yesterday has passed and tomorrow is definitely, not promised.  God has blessed you with His marvelous light of life that you have this great opportunity to make this day anything that you want it to be, what are you going to do?

The choice is yours, nothing or no one is standing in your way of you achieving your desired goals. Whom will you serve this day? Whom will you give the praise and glory to for allowing you to be exactly where you are?

For the choices you made yesterday and all the yesterdays before has led you to be right where you are today. You may or may not like where you are, but you are where you are because of the choices you made early on in your life.

Now, do you have to stay where you are? Absolutely Not! Today you have been given another opportunity to make a different choice.

There is a story about a miner that was prospecting for goal many years ago. He had been digging in this same mine for more than twenty years, and had very little to show for all his many years of labor, One day two young college graduates came alone and offered to buy the old miner out, giving him a nice retirement for his many years of labor. The old miner decided to take the two lads up on their offer. He packed up all his personal belongings and moved on. The two lads set up camp and then they begin digging. After digging just a few feet down, they hit the mother lube and now they were super rich.

You see, the old man had to make a choice that day, to stay and continue digging or except the offer from the two lads. Was it a bad choice or a good choice? You decide.

The Bible tells us to seek the kingdom of God first and all the other riches of life will be added unto you. It also tells us not to store up our treasures here on this earth because they can easy be stolen are taken away.

You see each day you awaken, you have the choice to do right are do wrong, go left are go right, be a success are be a failure, except the ways of God are except the ways of Satan. The choice is always yours to make. Whatever choice you make, you can, rest assured that you will be rewarded for your choice, just as the old miner and the young lads were given their rewards while still in their earthly garments. What rewards are you seeking when you make your choice this day?

When we think about all the disasters that are taking place in the world today, and they are all around us, we must remember, our lives are uncertain, like the morning fog that covers the countryside in the morning and then is burned away by the sun.  Life is short no matter how long we live.  We should not be deceived into thinking we have plenty of time left to live for Christ, to enjoy our loved ones, or to do what we know we should.  There are choices to be made; Today is the day to live for God!  Then, no matter when our lives end, we will have fulfilled God’s plans for us.

Now let me close with this final thought for each one of you who have taken the time to read this entire lesson and the many lessons we teach here daily, “Think globally, and work locally.  Looking beyond ourselves in the real and on line world, to reach out to others who might be in need, for we all are truly our Brothers Keeper, salvation is FREE for the asking.  Take a moment wherever you may be, and ask the Lord to come into your heart.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and if you have spoken these few simple words in truth, you are saved, and now have eternal life.

 May God continue to bless each one of you? Today I minister to you from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity in Jesus name. I remain Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

 

THE MEASURE OF REAL WEALTH

How do you measure the real wealth of any individual?  Very simple; it is a person with a rich self.  What a person is, not what he are she has.  You see, to become a wealthy individual is simply to live richly in body, mind, heart and spirit.

You become physically rich when you have rich sensations:  When your senses are alert and attuned to life so that the very fact of being alive takes on new dimensions and simple experiences have new meaning…the smell of a rose, the stretch of a muscle, the sight of a mountain, the sound of the surf, the taste of strawberries, the touch of clean white sheets…

You become mentally rich when you think rich thoughts:  When you immerse your mind in the noble thoughts of men, preserved through the ages in books; when you are curious to learn all you can about the world and its people, the earth beneath your feet and the farthest star in infinite space; when you develop an appreciation of beauty in painting and sclpture, poetry and music; when you expand your mind to encompass great ideas; when you use the magin of your mind to create and to serve…

You become emotionally rich when you have rich feelings:  When you know the radiant glow of obeying noble impulses to give and help and inspire; when you experience the bond of warm friendship and deep affection; when you know the joy of hearing a baby laugh; when you are aware of giving and receiving love…

You become spiritually rich when you discover the riches of the kingdom within:  When you have a consciousness of the oneness of all life; when you experience kinship with nature; when you are open to the buoyant spiritual lift of being in tune with the Infinite; when you know the power of meditation and prayer.

Now that you know the truth, how will you begin to live your life?

THIS IS THE MOMENT TO REDEEM YOUR TIME

Time is your most precious asset, stop wasting it and start using it wisely. There are 1,440 minutes in each day. Manage your time wisely and you will be successful.  The Apostle Paul advocated “redeeming” or buying back every precious wasted minute.  He understood that God has made us stewards over our most irreplaceable possession-time.  We are to be good stewards of our time using it wisely, constructively, and in the worship and service of our Lord.

Throughout OT and NT scripture, we see that God condems idleness particularly, saying, “an idle person will suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15).  Now in Proverbs 31:27, the virtuous woman is described as a busy woman, who “does not eat the bread of idleness.”  The wise king declares in Eccl. 10:18 that the man who does not take time to work in general maintenance will find his house crumbling around him.  Similarly, Ezekiel stated that the foundation of Sodom’s destruction consisted of pride,, gluttony, and to much idle time (Ezek. 16:49).  Our Lord in His parable of the laborers in the vineyard illustrated that God wants our time to be spent in some worthy endeavor, specifically working in His Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16).

YOUR TIME IS WINDING DOWN

Now listen carefully to these words my friends.  “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to peerish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  (2 Peter 3:8-9).  Notice the similarity between these verses and the following statement by Moses:  “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night”  (Psalm 90:4).  In the same psalm, Moses observed, “The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).  If one thousand years equaled one day, our seventy years would last for only about one and two thirds hours.

If we equate one thousand years with “a watch in the night” (a three-hour period of time), our seventy-year life span reduces to 12.6 minutes!  On this scale, our entire earthly existence passes as a momentary blur.  By contrast, the Lord inhabits all of eternity: “from everlasting you are God”  (Psalm 90:2).

Peter indicates, however, that the reverse is also true; “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years”  From that perspective, God has only waited two days since the first advent of his Son.  We could just as well say, by extension, that for God an infinitesimal moment is like eternity and eternity like an infinitesimal moment.  God views all things as part of an eternal now, and, in each moment, he has all the “time” he needs to provide for each of us the individual care he has promised.

Do you believe that the Sovereign God has given you enough time to accomplish his purposes for your life?  God’s plan for you has been unfolding since the beginning of earthly time.  He calls you to seek out his plan for your life and act on it.  What steps can you take today to begin the work God has called you to do in your family, personal and professional life?  In Jesus name, Amen.

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