Sunday, August 29, 2004

Riches For A Reason

Riches For A Reason


Today our text will come from Matthew, Chapter 6. While you are turning there let me read a key passage of scriptures for the day.

Key Scriptures: Mark 10 (NIV)

28 Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"

29 "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel

30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.

31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

This past week my wife shared a quote with me which she found in her daily devotion time. Let me in turn share it with you:

God gives every bird his food, but doesn’t throw it in the nest.

This got me to thinking and studying the subject. And, after much prayer, counsel and consideration I have reaffirmed some very strong convictions in my life and doctrine.

Without respect to your current circumstances or situation of life.

I am convinced that God wants you to be rich …

rich for a reason

I know that God has a purpose for your prosperity


I believe that there is a season for your success


A specific field for you to flourish in

I believe that God has a reservoir of resources waiting for you with your name on it

A well of wealth which only you can draw from

A storehouse of substance held in reserve just for you

Provision for the vision God has for your life

We all have personal accounts in heaven into which we make heavenly deposits and earthly withdrawals. Matthew 6:19 & Proverbs 19:17

Matthew 6 (NIV)

24 "No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

25 ¶ "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin.

29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.

30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Deuteronomy 28 tells of blessings which come upon and overtake God’s children who are following Him and His purpose for their life.

Two things the faithful believe about God Hebrews 11:6

#1 He Is! That He Exists

#2 He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

I am convinced that God wants you to be rich.

I am not talking about riches for riches sake -

But riches for a reason

I am not suggesting prosperity for personal passions & pleasures

But prosperity for a purpose

I am not talking about wealth for worldly advantage

But wealth for His will

I am not talking about money, power and position to build your kingdom but His.

God wants to finance His Kingdom advancement through you.

We are God’s husbandry, God’s field, God’s garden - His place of sowing and reaping. 1 Corinthians 3:9

God designed us, you and me, as the most fruitful place for Him to invest in all the earth.

When God invests something in our life, He has designed that it would increase … prosper in our hands.

Remember the parable of the talents given to people in Matthew 25

5 - 2 - 1

They were given according to each one’s ability

They were designed to double under their care

God will bless all the work of our hands. Deuteronomy 28:12

Whatsoever we do shall prosper. Psalms 1:3

But Prosper For A Purpose

The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who went into a far country and left his vineyard in the hands of hired servants. Later, he sent other servants by to receive his due. Those hired servants refused to consider the owner’s claims as legitimate. The owner then sent his son to take charge. Those hired servants killed the son, thinking they would be free from the land owner’s claim and the inheritance would be theirs. What?, Jesus asked those who were listening in Mark 12, What do you think the Lord of that vineyard shall do?

The answer is simple. God will not continue to bless and do business with those who do not give Him His due portion of their harvest. He will take His business elsewhere.

We can get rich without God, but if God is going to make us rich, He will not make us rich just so we can be rich. God wants us rich for a reason. “Blessed to be a blessing”, He told Abraham.

God wants to finance His Kingdom advancement through you.

We are God’s bank account. His central depository on earth.

He will pay you up to 90% of what He occasionally deposits in your life in exchange for another 10% of what you make on your own.

Remember, God’s deposits are designed to double with your help.

How much is He willing to deposit in my life? It Depends on:

1. My past faithfulness in money matters

* Was I a steward or did I act like I owned the field?

2. My present ability to handle more (Current Lifestyle Choices)

3. My future plans for any increase (No Vision - No Pro-Vision)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Kingdom Way

The Kingdom Way


Our whole life is an expression of what we believe.

The system of God partnering with mankind is based on a ‘Trust Me, Try Me and Prove Me” scenario.

Key Scripture: Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (NKJV)

For the sake of doctrine, lets exegete this scripture together. Lets break it down as though we were meditating on it.

I. The Breakdown

A. For with the heart - ‘kardia’

1. Greek word ‘kardia’ used interchangeably for both the physical organ which is the center of the body’s blood circulation system and the spiritual organ which is the center of the human soul and all its spiritual life. Here the heart is understood to mean the fountain and seat of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors, understanding, intelligence, will and character of a person. The innermost being. The true self whether good or evil.

B. one believes

1. one --- anyone and everyone without regard to the one - no special or specific one - just one - a person

2. believes - ‘pisteuo’ which in this case means to be persuaded, be committed and have confidence that a thing is true.

C. unto - ‘eis’

1. Greek word - ‘eis’ which could have two meanings. If you saw a poster saying “10 People Wanted For Terrorism” It could mean that 10 are wanted so that they can commit terrorism or 10 are wanted because they did commit terrorism. It can be both future conditional or past relational. It can either connect the past to the present or the present to the future. This word is used both ways in the bible. How do we know which one is the correct meaning here and elsewhere? These things must be decided based upon the whole counsel of God’s word, interpreted not by denominational or personal doctrine, but by the compelling evidence supplied by the consistent theology of the whole and undisputable bible message. Let me give you two examples of this word ‘eis’.

2. Acts 2:38 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In order for the whole counsel of God’s word to be consistent with the grace message of the bible, specifically those portions which so firmly and solidly deny that works have any place in the forgiveness of sins and salvation of the soul, the Greek word ‘eis’ translated ‘for’ in Acts 2:38 must be understood as an act relating the past to the present and not the present to the future. This makes the understanding that water baptism is not conditional now to being saved in the future, but is the admonishment to believers because they have been saved. Water baptism does not make one become a candidate for salvation, but rather, salvation makes one become a candidate for water baptism. We are presently baptized because we have been forgiven.

3. Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness …

Here we can easily see that believing, consistent with the many other passages throughout the bible, specifically those from Romans, Chapter 4, which tell of Abraham’s belief in God which resulted in righteousness, which, verses 23ff confirm, that this is the continual will of God that all would become right with God through faith. So it is evident that belief is conditional to righteousness. It connects the present belief with the resulting state. One does not believe because they are right with God, but one becomes right because they believe.

D. Righteousness - ‘dikaiosune’

1. Greek word - ‘dikaiosune’ - which in a broad sense means the attainable state of a person’s integrity, virtue, purity and/or correctness of thinking, feeling or acting which brings them into a condition of heart and mind acceptable to God.

2. Right standing with God. The right to stand in His presence. Standing in the right place to be accepted, approved and blessed by God.

E. and with the mouth

1. and denotes here a continuative thought

2. Mouth - ‘stoma’ which means the part of the body through which the heart and mind are expressed.

a. it also means the edge of a sword, which at times the tongue is likened to, as well as the Word of God is called the Sword of the Spirit.

b. An expression of the heart and mind which cuts through the silence, indifference and ambiguity.

F. Confession is made

1. Greek - ‘homologeo’ to say the same as; to agree with; to concede; declare; admit or promise.

2. To express heart felt agreement, confidence, persuasion and/or commitment.

G. unto - ‘eis’ future conditional - without the expression of the heart’s conviction, the resulting salvation will not occur.

H. Salvation - ‘soteria’

1. deliverance, preservation & safety

2. One bible commentator put it this way:

It is a four fold salvation:

* Saved from the penalty of sin

* Saved from the power of sin

* Saved from the presence of sin

* And most importantly, saved from the pleasure of sin.

(A.W. Pink)

So from this simple study of one key verse we can see the system of the kingdom of God at work.

II. The Kingdom Of God/Heaven is not a place.

A. Is not a place, but a method, a system, if you will.

1. The Kingdom of God

* Romans 4:17 is not meat and drink

* 1 Corinthians 4:20 is not in word but in power

* Luke 17:21 is within you

2. The Kingdom of Heaven

* Matthew 13:31 is like a grain of mustard seed

* Matthew 13:33 is like leaven

* Matthew 13:44 is like treasure hid in a field

* Matthew 13:42 is like a merchant man seeking pearls

* Matthew 13:47 is like a net cast into the sea

* Matthew 22:2 is like a certain king which made a marriage for his son

* Matthew 25:14 is like a man traveling into a far country

B. The Kingdom is not a place, but a method, a system, a way of thinking and living. A mindset!

III. God’s Kingdom System Is Simple

A. First it is a system of Trust

B. Next it is a system of Try

C. A System of Trust and Try - Like the old Hymn - Trust Me, Try Me, Prove Me saith the Lord of Hosts and see, if a blessing, unmeasured blessing, I will not pour out on thee. (Lida Leech, Cpywrt: 1923)

1. Based upon the scripture Malachi 3:10

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

2. Romans 10:10 puts it this way

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (deliverance; safety; etc)

Our whole life is an expression of what we believe.

The system of God partnering with man is based on True Faith and Confession, a ‘Trust Me, Try Me and Prove Me” relationship.

It’s the Kingdom Way!

I challenge you to trust God, try God and He will prove His Word!

Have faith in the truth and express it!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Facing Fact & Speaking Truth

Facing Facts &

Speaking Truth


My aim this morning, as always, is to take you from the wherever you are right now to a place of prayer.

Many of the challenges of life can be handled by simply facing the facts and telling the truth.

I hope to expose you to the

Information - Inspiration & Motivation

you need to get spiritually connected this morning.

Connecting with God is the right thing to do and this morning is the right time to do it.

I know that you will reach out to God if you believe He exists and believe He rewards every one who seeks Him.

Believing God, like believing me this morning, is a choice which each one of us have to make for ourselves.

You see, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

Unfortunately however, “Not all people have faith.” 2 Thessalonians 3:2

This morning I am going to take two simple stories from the bible, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

These are biblical accounts of real people, facing real life situations.

We will attempt to see them through God’s eyes and hopefully, increase your faith. As we proceed, be alert - the Holy Spirit will reveal how these biblical truths can apply to your life.

Let’s begin with the story from the New Testament in Luke Chapter 8

I. Where Is Your Faith?

Luke 8 (NKJV)

22 ¶ Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side of the lake." And they launched out.

23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy.

24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.

25 But He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, "Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!"

A. We all expect Jesus to have faith, but do you know:

1. Jesus expects you to have faith.

2. Even in the midst of your toils & troubles

3. Even in the your darkest hours

4. When others are panicking and all seems lost

5. When you wonder if anyone else even cares

B. The question rings loud

* Where is your faith?

C. Mark’s Account phrases it this way:

Mark 4

38 He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

40 But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful?” “How is it that you have no faith?"

1. Tell me, Jesus said, after all you have seen & heard

2. Why are you so fearful?

* “How is it that you have no faith?”

Hold that thought while we go now to Exodus 14 and look at the Old Testament story for today.

II. Lift Up Your Rod!

Exodus 14 (NKJV)

13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.

14 "The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

15 ¶ And the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.

16 "But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

A. Their backs against the Red Sea

B. Enemies biting at their heals

C. Trapped between a Rock and a hard place

D. Moses gives his advice:

1. Do not be afraid;

2. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord;

3. The Lord will fight for you;

4. You shall hold your peace.

E. God Corrects Moses’ Doctrine & Expectation

When trapped between a Rock and a hard place, go with the Rock.

1. Why are you crying to me?

2. Don’t tell them to stand still - tell them to go forward

3. You lift up your rod

* You are on a mission for Me!

* You command the sea by the authority I gave you

F. In this instance - Lift up your rod!

G. In the earlier NT story - Exercise your faith! The Name of Jesus which God gave to every believer. The Believer’s Rod!

* Mark 16 (NKJV)

17 "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

18 "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

John 14:14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Many of the challenges of life can be handled by simply facing the facts and telling the truth.

The facts may be ugly, threatening or painful.

For example, you may be tormented, sick, addicted, depressed or afflicted, and it may even be that you are partly to blame.

Nonetheless, Face the Facts and Tell the Truth -

What is the truth?

Jesus speaking to His Father God about you said, “Sanctify them, (clean them up and make them holy), by the Truth - Thy Word is Truth!” John 17:17

So speak the Truth - Speak the Word of God.

You are being afflicted & some of it may even be your fault?

Speak the Truth

Psalms 34:19 is the Truth

Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

You may think, “God would surely deliver David“, but not me. David was a man after God’s own heart … David was righteous.

Do you know where this Psalm came from, when it was written and what the circumstances were that inspired David to pen this Psalm?

Briefly, David was running for his life from King Saul who had tried to impale him with a spear. David had first gone to Nod and lied to the priest there, who believing David’s lie, they unwittingly aided him in his escape. They gave him holy bread for provision and the sword of Goliath which had been stored there. This angered King Saul who had 80 of those priest of Nod brutally executed. David then proceeded to Gath, the seat of Abimelech, King of the Philistines. Being recognized there and placed in custody as a captain of Israel who had killed tens of thousands of their soldiers, David was brought before the King to be sentenced to death. David, scared for his life, acted as if he were a lunatic. He fell in the sand, ate dirt, drooled with spittle over his beard and made the mad man. His acting was such that the King felt him legitimately crazy. Since it was bad luck to harm a crazy person, the king let David go free. David ran away and wrote this alphabetical Psalm about his encounter with King Abimelech. Each alphabetical Psalm has 22 verses, 1 for each succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew alphabet is a picture alphabet. (Insert & Refer To 1st Page of Chart) Each letter represents something tangible. When we look at verse 4 for example we find that the letter there is ‘Dalet’ - it is the picture of a door. David declares that he sought the Lord, was heard and delivered from all of his fears. The truth pictured here is that God is a door of deliverance to all who call upon His name. God will deliver you but shut the door on your fears. Your fears can’t come to pass - cannot pass through the door. (Go To Page Two) You can pass through but your enemies can’t. When you seek God instead of sitting silent with your fears haunting you, you literally pass through a spiritual door to God through which your enemies cannot gain entrance. So …

Face the Facts --- but for goodness sakes ---

Tell the Truth

Speak God’s Word no matter what the facts are.

I challenge you today to Find out the truth about the facts of life.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wisdom From The Word

Wisdom From The Word


A word about daily bible reading plans.

* Straight through the bible - Normally Yearly

* Daily from several sections of the bible

> OT for history

> Psalms for praise & inspiration

> Proverbs for wisdom

> The prophets for a sense of spiritual awesomeness

> The Gospels for relationship & intimacy

> Revelation for futuristic perspective

* Read the ‘anywhere it opens up to method’ for ‘as long as you can stay awake plan.’

Some Interesting Facts About The Bible:

* 66 Books

> 39 OT

> 27 NT

* A total of 1,189 Chapters

> 929 OT

> 260 NT

* 31,173 Verses

> 23,214 OT

> 7,959 NT

It was about here in my research for this message that I came across a website that had some interesting information which I think you will both enjoy and perhaps by exposure to it, have the opportunity to become more familiar with the stories of the bible. (Sort of a history thing.)

So, I have decided to share this information, which is not original to me - in that I did not come up with this presentation myself, however I did take the liberty to do some editing which I felt did not do an injustice to the original intent. The website which you can visit for yourself and find out more interesting things about the bible is:

I do not vouch for the content nor the accuracy of the content on this site, however I have checked out the portion which I am about to share with you now and have found it to be oddly representative of the bible, at least in content if not so much in intent.

So tonight we are going to have a history lesson from the bible and hopefully gain some Wisdom from the Word and have some fun as well. On top of that, some of you may get some direction tonight.

The Top 15 Biblical Ways to Get a Wife

1. Find a prostitute, buy her, and marry her; If she runs off, pay her debt and marry her a second time if necessary. - Hosea Hosea 1:1-3 & 3:1-3

2. Find a preacher with 7 daughters and impress him by protecting his family and watering his flock - Moses Exodus 2:16-21

3. Purchase a piece of property and get a woman as part of the deal - Boaz Ruth 4:5-10

4. Go to a party and hide outside. When the women come outside to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife - Benjamites Judges 21:19-25

5. Find an attractive P.O.W., bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes - Israelites Deuteronomy 21:11-13

6. Just have your father send his servant to find and buy you one. - Isaac Genesis 24

7. Agree to work 7 years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman, then work 7 more years for the woman you wanted in the first place. That's right, 14 years of toil for a wife. But you do get two wives this way - Jacob. Genesis 29:15-30

8. Cut 200 foreskins off (OUCH!!) of your future father-in-law's enemies and win his daughter for a wife - David I Samuel 18:27

9. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. Marry the winner - Xerxes Esther 2:3-4

10. Even if no one is out there, just wander around for a bit and I guess you'll find someone eventually. (It's all relative, of course) - Cain Genesis 4:16-17

11. When you see a woman that you like, go tell your parents, "Get her for me." if they question your decision, simply flex your muscles and say, "Get her for me." - Samson Judges 14:1-3

12. Kill any husband and take HIS wife (Be prepared to pay a heavy price for this one) - David II Samuel 11

13. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (This one isn't just a good idea, it was the law. Deuteronomy 25:5

14. Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity! (In other words, have 700 wives and three hundred concubines) - Solomon. 1Kings 11:1-3

15. Have GOD create a wife for you while you sleep - Adam. Genesis 2:19-24

The Top 7 Biblical Ways to Get a Husband

1. Take a bath naked on a rooftop in public - Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11:1-5

2. Find a woman who can’t have a baby. Hang around her and hope that she gives you to her husband - Hagar Genesis 16:1-2

3. Let daddy get a groom so drunk that he doesn’t know who he’s marrying, then substitute yourself for the bride. By the time he sobers up, you’ll be married - Leah Genesis 29:15-30

4. Marry a jerk. Be nice to his enemy, who is a nice guy. Tell your husband and when he has a stroke and dies, marry the nice guy. Abigail 1 Samuel 25:2-34

5. Go to the threshing floor; see a man asleep; lie at his feet and wait for him to wake up - Ruth Ruth 3:1-7

6. Go to a water hole; Find a guy with a lot of camels; Give him a drink and water his camels like your are auditioning for a drawing contest - Rebekah Genesis 24:11-14

7. Find someone whom told God to “Marry A Prostitute”, and become one - Gomer Hosea 1:2-3

8. Allow God to fashion you to be the one woman for the one man He has chosen for you. When God wakes him up, he’ll be willing to do anything to be with you - Eve Genesis 2:19-24